If you've been following me on my Whole30 journey, you know it's been a roller coaster ride. I'm glad I stuck through to the very end, though, because it was in the last 3 days that I started to feel the benefits. Read on to find out how the end of the journey went, my results and what I plan to do next. The Last 9 Days:
Day 22 -- It was Easter today. Some of my kids ended up pretty sick, so I was busy with that all day. That helped me keep my mind off all the yummy food I wasn't eating. My kids weren't eating it either. We consoled each other. I survived the holiday.
Day 23 -- My littlest one is feeling a good bit better today. She still isn't eating, but her eyes are a little brighter. As far as the Whole30 goes, I feel pretty good, I didn't catch whatever was going around, my skin looks decent, and my energy is no longer in the toilet, so I guess the Whole30 is fine. I still don't have that promised boundless energy. It could be because I'm a blogging pastor's wife who homeschools four kids and cooks everything from scratch. Maybe I've used all the energy up already. I'm horribly bored with meat and salads. I do eat other things, but not so much. I make Whole30 sauces and dressings, but after awhile, it all starts tasting the same. I'm not sure what to do about the food boredom, because I am making the recipes in the book that are supposed to help with that. No matter how I package the food, though, deep down, I still know that it's just protein and produce. Avocados, though. Wow. They still taste wonderful.
I don't think I've lost much, if any, weight. I'm probably still not totally a reformed eater. I hear myself telling myself, "You've been so good. You should eat a banana." Great. I'm probably sabotaging my Whole30 with a banana. You'd think I would choose a better weapon.
Day 24 -- I feel fine. Not euphoric, like so many others gush about. I just feel like a normal human. I think my lack of eye-opening, never ending wonderful-ness may be due to two things.
One, I was already eating pretty nutritionally aside from the sugar. I already know sugar doesn't make me feel good, so I always try give myself a cut-off point and don't consume nearly as much as I used to. I don't eat the Standard American Diet, so I didn't have a miraculous recovery from it while on the Whole30. If you had been eating the way most Americans eat and then did the Whole30, it would probably be a metamorphosis.
Two, I don't think I have any food sensitivities (I will still do the reintroduction phase, just to know for sure). If I had a food sensitivity, then went without that inflammatory food for a month, I would be bound to feel remarkably better. But if there wasn't any food-induced inflammation to begin with, it wouldn't make a big change to drop some foods. So, I'm okay. I still want a nap and a long trip, but that probably has very little to do with the foods I eat.
Day 25 & 26 -- I made some coconut chicken chowder (from the Whole30 book) that was absolutely wonderful, so I actually have something besides a slab of meat and a salad to look forward to. That helped a lot with the food boredom.
Day 27 -- Today went well as far as the eating thing goes. I was tired, though. I haven't had many carbs over the last few days, so that's probably why. Tonight was the board meeting. I ignored the snacks on the board meeting table, because snacks ain't the boss of me. I drank copious amounts of water, because there was so much fancy food around and fancy food ain't the boss of me either. I survived the Creme Brûlée because no one ordered it. What!?! I am still in shock. I sure hope they didn't pass up a Creme Brûlée opportunity on my account, because I was actually looking forward to the board indulging in a big bowlful of it. Maybe next year...
Day 28 -- Today went really well. I felt more energetic, enjoyed the sunshine and didn't mind the food so much. If every day was like today, I could see me eating a slightly less stringent version of this as a lifestyle. Every day isn't like today, though, so I don't know. Only two more days left now. Woohoo!
Day 29 -- I'm feeling good. I feel less weighed down by meals -- like my insides are lighter (I'm not talking about weight loss. I still don't think I've lost much there.) I don't think I want to be this strict for life, but I'm thinking I might do well if I keep a tighter reign on what I eat after this is over. Maybe "sort-of-Paleo" or something. I think I would feel healthier overall if I did.
Day 30!!!!! I did it!! I survived the Whole30, and thankfully, there were no casualties among my acquaintance. My energy is way up and I'm feeling pretty terrific. Yay me.
So what comes next? The reintroduction phase comes next, because the Whole30 people are diabolical. I have to do 15 more days of Whole30 except that now I introduce a forbidden food for 3 days, then pull it back and introduce the next one to see if I have any hidden sensitivities. Fifteen days!?! I feel pretty great, though, so I have to grudgingly admit that they know what they're doing. I would totally recommend this for anyone who is dealing with hormone issues, autoimmune disease, diabetes, etc., or if you just feel tired and sluggish. It is ruthlessly difficult, but it is wonderfully nourishing and healing.
After the reintroduction phase, I plan to eat a sort-of-paleo-most-of-the-time-but-I-can-still-have-fun-and-not-be-a-drag diet. I obviously want to stay off the sugar most of the time. I feel so much better when I don't eat it. I will still have sweets, but I want them to be mostly sweetened with whole leaf stevia or a maybe little honey. And super dark chocolate, because - chocolate. I want to keep grains to a minimum, meaning I will eat them occasionally, but not with every meal or anything. And as long as I use moderation, I won't worry too much about what I'm eating at special events or on Sunday's when things get so weird. That, of course, is assuming that no food sensitivities show up during the re-introduction phase. If I find a food bothers me, I will do what I need to do. Cuz I'm da boss.
Because you know that's the real reason you're reading this.
Energy Levels: It wasn’t until the very last few days that the energy began to kick in, but it finally did. I mean, I detailed the interior of my SUV, aka The Yuck-i-Van, which has been crying out for my attention for about 6 years. It took nearly all day to scrub out years of Ick-Factor, but I had the energy to tackle the job. Woohoo! Now the insides of both my body AND my vehicle are clean.
Clearer skin. I don't know that it glows in the dark or anything, but it is clearer. And my husband said he saw a difference, so there's that.
I Feel Better. I can't put my finger on what exactly feels better, but I do.
Hormone Balance. One month isn't really enough to tell, but things feel like they are in better balance. If you happen to be female, you know how big this is.
*Weight -- down 5 pounds. Five measly little pounds. I knew I didn't seem to be losing much, but wow. I think anyone who is brave enough to do the Whole30 should lose at least 15 pounds by default. Isn't there a diet authority somewhere who decides these things?
In other physical news, my scales also measure BMI, water weight, muscle mass and bone density. I don't think they are as accurate as testing from a doctor, but I can at least compare my before and after numbers.
*BMI -- down over a percentage point
*Muscle mass -- up over a percentage point (My month was insane, and I wasn't able to do much physical activity, so the BMI and Muscle mass changes weren't because I started some crazy workout program.)
*Bone Density -- no change
*Water retention -- Way up. So weird. I am apparently retaining a lot of water, because these numbers have never, ever been up this high. I don't know if my body freaking is out over the diet changes or, this is part of the healing process, or what. I know it isn't too much salt. It would be far more likely that I've been getting too little. I have been hitting the coffee pretty hard, so maybe that's why. I was already planning on weaning myself off coffee, but didn't want to add that to an already difficult Whole30. On an up note, though, if I can get rid of the water retention, this could mean that I have lost more than 5 pounds.
Now it's on to 15 days of Whole30 plus reintroduction foods, and then my new food life. My husband is super-excited about me staying on the Whole30 forever. He says I look leaner and etc, etc. He keeps hinting things like: "If you stay on this for 3 or 4 more months you would reach all your goals," etc, etc. Maybe I should put him on the Whole30. No, wait... I don't think I want him to turn into a He-Beast. Honey? Come 'ere. Have a donut. Have a Great Day! Angela
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