So I’ve talked to numerous people doing the Whole 30, and have heard different results across the board. First, if you did it (or are still doing it), be so proud of yourself — whether it lasted a few days, a couple of weeks or if you’ve almost made it to the finish line (you’re getting SO close!)! You took steps to make yourself feel better, which will benefit not just you, but also those around you. Undertaking this challenge was, is a big deal. By the way, if you are about to make your Day 30 goal, you TOTALLY deserve a shirt or tattoo or something!!! And regardless of how long you did it, I’d love to hear your experiences. Please feel free to post in comments if you are willing to share so we can all learn!
Okay, back to the reason I’m writing this post. So I’ve been eating healthy for years, and honestly, it’s been a work in progress and a total evolution for me. I started out about 10 years ago by reducing and then dropping sugar when I learned I was hypoglycemic. And then, I dropped the fried foods when I developed IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). Next, I cut out all whites (e.g. flours, rice, anything high glycemic) and went to whole grain (which is still high glycemic so not really sure of my justification there) to try to feel even better.
Then came an Ulcerative Colitis (autoimmune disease) diagnosis and then lupus symptoms (a year later) so the next logical step for me was going Paleo. When I first heard about it, I said “There is no way I could do that. I love bread too much!”. But after reading and researching it to death, I realized, this was a change I had to make. But, I wanted to make it a realisitic goal that I would stick with. It was so different from the way I was eating, and I was such a carb addict, I wanted to start out slowly. The first week, I took out the whole wheat bread/grains I was eating at dinner time. Then the second week, I dropped them from lunch. And finally, the third week, I cut carbs from breakfast. For me, it was a simpler and more realistic way of tackling this. Some people are so good at going cold turkey, and, well, some are like me and need to ease into new things. I still allowed myself a cheat meal once a week or so. With Paleo, to really feel the effects, you need to eat this way 90 percent of the time, and I think that is a great goal. Though, to this day I still would never add gluten back in, even on cheat meals.
So maybe figure out how you work best, and what you need to eliminate first, then just go for it! Don’t be afraid of failure because you will only get stronger and better and learn more each and every time you try. The only failure is not trying.
Okay, last couple of things to think about if you are going to go with the slower paced route, and I’m going to keep this short and to the point. One, work on getting rid of the gluten (that doesn’t mean eating a bunch of “gluten free” things). Two, get rid of the sugar. Three, reduce the dairy, or bad hydrogenated inflammatory oils, or whatever it is that is making your body unhealthy, and see if you don’t feel better. I never thought I had an allergy or problem with dairy, or grains for that matter. This was an earlier conversation I had with my doctor, years before going Paleo:
Dr: “You must take 6 pills a day. Two at breakfast, two at lunch and two at dinner.”
Me: “For the rest of my life?”
Dr: “If you want to try to stay well.”
Me: “What are the side effects of these drugs, and what is expected in the long run with UC”.
Well, the rest of the conversation was pretty depressing needless to say since this is an “incurable” disease, like most autoimmune diseases. Anyway, my point is, I haven’t had a doctor prescribed pill or steroid since I changed my diet, nor have I had a flare up of any kind, and it’s been over 3 years! Did my diet cure it? Who knows. But…so far, so good!
And lastly, don’t be afraid to eat good fats. Olive oil, avacado oil, coconut oil and butter, eggs, raw almonds or nuts (2 servings a day max if trying to loose weight since they are calorie dense), grass fed meats because it all has so many nutrients and again, (good) fat won’t make us fat. Say it, “fat won’t make me fat.” It’s true, so enjoy it!
Oh and if you do nothing else, please read Wheat Belly. This book is for everyone and as one of my good friends said, “It’s life changing!”. It really is.
Read it for yourself, and for your family and friends, because I think we all know someone with at least one of these issues (below), and maybe, just maybe, we can share what we learn and help them. 🙂
- An autoimmune disease (lupus, chron’s, colitis, scleroderma, rheumatoid arthrisitis, MS, etc)
- Skin issues
- Liver cirrhosis
- or just acid reflux
Melanie - Landria –
I have worked real hard at making small changes for me and my family. Megan and I have been eating clean for about 4 mths now and neither her nor I have even had a cold. Thanks to your blog. My husband and Mandy are still the stubborn one’s. He just asked me “where are the chips”? My response… “there are none… we have eliminated them this week”. I made him an apple sliced up and he seemed OK…haha. Last night we had fish (luckily they all like fish) with your yummy roasted broccoli. Mandy was the only one that wouldn’t try the broccoli. My hubby ate all of it which I was surprised. Both him and Mandy were sick a few weeks ago and Megan and I felt great. Keep it up girl… you are making a difference. I just enjoyed a really yummy salad for lunch with roasted flax seeds, chopped chicken, avocado, artichoke hearts and palms and some parm cheese. So even for us really non veggie eaters we are starting to conform. PS. I had apple cider vinegar which to my family’s dislike I can drink it and I love it!!!
landriav - HA! I LOVE hearing all of that Mel!!! First, how amazing that you and Megan are eating so well, and are the ones not getting sick. The difference it makes is so clear, isn’t it? Stick with it, as I know you guys will, and I bet you, your husband and Mandy will figure it out and follow at some point. Eating healthy will spread! It just takes some longer than others to warm up to change, regardless of what kind of change. You are making a HUGE difference in your family and developing such good life long habits for your girls. That is awesome. And, thank you so much for your kind words. It is really nice to hear!! 🙂 Oh, and the apple cider, it’s really not THAT bad, is it? Thanks again for posting! It means a lot!
Whitney - I have just bought this book, can’t wait to read it!
landriav - Good for you. Can’t wait to hear what you think about it! I think you will absolutely love it!
Kathryn - Great post! Thanks for sharing!
landriav - Thanks Kathryn! 🙂
Shana - Great post and interesting read. Just to update you on my progress with the Whole 30…I did it really strictly for the first couple of weeks, but I think I realized pretty quickly that it’s unsustainable for me in the long run, so I made the following changes:
-I now skip rice with a meal, unless it IS the meal like risotto
-All my potatoes are sweet not white
-Cauliflower stands in for mashed potatoes
-No added sugar, honey, etc.
-I added back GF oatmeal for breakfast
-Added veggies for breakfast most mornings along with eggs
-Obviously, everything is gluten-free for me these days
-Am consistently having a salad of some type for lunch
Generally buying WAY more fruits and veggies each week
I realized that my first priority has to be keeping the gluten out and if that means leaving in some other things like oats or beans so I don’t go nuts, then so be it. I would say I have lowered my high-glycemic starch intake by 75% or more, and I feel great! Appetite way more under control these days, I don’t snack or have cravings nearly as often. And once each weekend I allow myself a bowl of ice cream and a glass of wine.
For me, right now, it feels like a good balance, and I know that over the past 6 months I have improved my diet immensely! Your recipes and posts are crucial to my success, I read every one!
landriav - Shana, I think the best thing about doing the Whole 30 is one, getting to “reset” and get back on track, and two, getting to figure out what you actually need to eat well. Otherwise, I think we underestimate ourselves and don’t eat quite as well but I think it sounds like you’ve got a fantastic balance, and some really worthwhile changes!! And isn’t the whole appetite thing just such a bonus to all of this to the feeling great, and staying well. And I bet you appreciate that bowl of ice cream or wine oh so much, and you deserve it so enjoy every bite! I really appreciate you sharing because I think everyone can really learn from tips like there so thank you! Glad to hear you’re feeling and doing so well. Sounds like you’ve really come a long way!!! And thank you for the words on my blog. They are very inspiring and motivating! 🙂
Shana - I do appreciate the ice cream and wine!! And you’re right, they are much more enjoyable when it’s not something you have every day!
April - Lan, thank you for sharing your story and your knowledge with us. Over the past couple of years, I began having health problems. It started with inflamation of the joints to which the doctor just said some people are just prone to it. Well, I am in my early thirties and shouldn’t hurt all over. Then started the severe acid reflux, which the doctor wanted to remedy by taking Nexium everyday. Things started to get worse and I was scheduled for an endoscope after already having a colonoscopy that showed intestinal inflammation. I am happy to report that since reading your blog, cooking your recipes, and starting the Whole30, I have had zero symptoms. I am off the nexium, got to cancel the endoscope, and have zero inflamation in my joints. It will still take a while for this to become a lifestyle. The Whole30, cold turkey is a tough gig for someone who ate out almost all the time. Learning how to cook and shop and menu plan is all new for me, but I feel great about what I am feeding my family. Love the recipes and the tips. Please keep up the good work. You have become my virtual menu planner! P.S. Although we are not supposed to weigh ourselves, I have lost 10 ‘lbs on Whole30! Bonus!
landriav - April! That is unbelievable! I can’t tell you how much your note warmed my heart. Thank you for your kind words. I’m so happy I could actually help! 🙂 And, more importantly I’m so overwhelmingly proud of you for going cold turkey and sticking to it for so long. And I’m glad you did it that way so you could see how it can, and does change your health so dramatically. It’s crazy the direct correlation to health, wellness and food, isn’t it?. I’s a shame the doctors don’t know what to do (most get less than 10 hours of “nutrition education”, so how would they know), or don’t care enough to help because they could read (because of course they won’t make any money on helping you change your diet). And congrats on loosing the 10lbs! WOW!
Thanks for taking the time to update me. I REALLY appreciate it!