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