The last Whole30 I did was in September and October. I talked a bit about it in this post, but I never came back to talk about how I felt when it finished.
And I did finish, I did 30 days with all of those restrictions – no dairy / legumes / grains / sugar / sweeteners / corn / processed foods / etc. I was super proud of myself! I love dairy and grains and sugar, especially when they are all wrapped up in the delicious package of a bowl of cereal.
So, as much as I loved these things, I kind of knew I needed to let them go. Around that time, I had awful abdominal pain, energy spikes and crashes, and fluctuating hormone levels. Although not all of these issues are purely food-related, I believe that quality food and nutrition would help. And they did.
A couple of days into the process, my abdominal pain went away. Two weeks in, my energy lifted out of its fog, and maintained. I was able to feel clear-headed and awake throughout the day, without snacking or reaching for another coffee.
Because the Whole30 is so restrictive, I was able to re-introduce certain foods into my diet after I finished and clearly see what reactions my body had to them. Most dairy gave me horrible pain, but on occasion, organic whole milk is fine. As is whole milk greek yogurt with bacteria (or “probiotics”) present. I found that when I had skim, 2%, or cream – my abdominal pain came back. Anytime the milk was in its whole form, it was pretty okay. And for some reason, unknown to me, the organic milk rarely gave me any issues, where regular milk would.
Another fun finding was that processed sugar would make me feel like a crazy person. I kid you not, my instructors would give out fun-sized candy – I would eat one – 20 minutes later I would feel more agitated, irritable, and emotional. Also, it should be noted that my instructors would give out this candy when teaching about things like Diabetic Ketoacidosis or Hyperglycemic Hyperosmolar Syndrome… Kind of mixed messages there.
It should be mentioned, that none of these reactions prevented me from gorging myself during the holidays… Oh yeah, I ate a whole lotta cookies!
And fudge…and beef stroganoff…and more cookies, but a different kind…and chocolates….andandand…well, I ate a lot. But it was okay, because if I was gassy it was around family so…. and if I got emotional, I just blamed it on those Hallmark Christmas commercials. Seriously though, those aren’t even fair. They don’t even give you a chance NOT to cry. Just try!
I love that commercial so much!!!!!
Phew, okay. I’ve composed myself. Turns out, it triggers the same reaction even without sugar.
Anyways, so after my season of sugar, I decided that another Whole30 was in order. I wanted to tame my sweet tooth, and reintroduce my body to fruit and vegetables.
Today, I am on day 17 – I started January 1st. I feel great. My energy is sustained throughout the day, I am sleeping better, my head feels clearer, and tummy feels better.
I have been cooking a whole bunch! This time around, I set a goal for myself to try new and different foods and recipes. I have made salmon, Kalua pork, brined moroccan chicken, and rutabaga hash. I even barbecued during a snowstorm (I was determined to get grill marks, however the below freezing temp fought me on that one…)
I have even survived a trip to all-you-can-eat sushi with friends! It went great, I ordered a sashimi plate for myself, extra salmon – less hamachi, and look what came out!
Beautiful! It was amazing! It was way cheaper than the all-you-can-eat price, then I didn’t have to eat my body weight in rice. I enjoyed the fish, and didn’t feel disgustingly stuffed afterwards (like I normally do after getting sushi). To avoid soy sauce (no legumes, no soybeans), I recommend using coconut aminos (found in the vinegar / oil section of Whole Foods). It costs less than 5$ and will last a long time. The wasabi should be Whole30 compliant as well.
So today I continue. I just pulled some chicken breasts out of my CrockPot (which I am in love with). I put them in their frozen last night with leftover moroccan spice mix, chicken stock, and coconut milk (canned, not the milk alternative) – now they are delicious!
When I am done with this Whole30, I would like to experiment with Paleo baking. The Whole30 puts the cabbash on Paleo-fying non-paleo foods (pancakes, pizza, desserts, etc). But when I am done, I would like to try out some recipes for waffles and desserts. Most of them utilize very little coconut or almond flour and only minimal amounts of natural sugars like honey, maple syrup, and agave nectar. If I find anything good, I will share it here!
I hope you have a great rest of your day, I am off to study, eat, get a haircut, and savor the rest of my day off, without added sugar of course.