Friday, January 23, 2015

Thoughts on Post-Whole30

We're on Day 18, which means we have less than two weeks until we are done with the Whole30. Our cravings haven't totally gone away, so we are excited to have some of our old foods again (even things like brown rice!), but we've also realized how those foods have been affecting us after eating them daily. I'm hoping we can take on an 80/20 approach to things…80% of our meals paleo, 20% not. That means about four meals per week are not paleo where we can use beans, rice, sugar, gluten, dairy, etc…or go out to a restaurant and eat those things.

I've been gluten free for over three years, but still always had some slight stomach issues. Over those years of being gluten free I've heard and read a lot from naysayers, saying that it's "all in my head." Ha, I beg to differ. The summer after we were married I was so sick, bloated, crampy and gaining a lot of weight (there are other reasons this happened so suddenly, but I had struggled with these issues for years, ever since I got food poisoning in 2006 in India). Going gluten free gave me an almost immediate and dramatic relief to those symptoms. I cut gluten and tried not to replace them with unhealthy gluten free options, so I also ended up losing weight.

After doing Whole30, I feel refreshed, healed and rejuvenated! I can see how grains (even gluten free ones), dairy, processed food, sugar and legumes affect me. But, I am very curious, after over three years, if gluten would still have the same affect on me. Honestly, I'm totally fine being gluten free and even paleo at home, but it is really difficult when out and dining at friend's houses. I'd like to have the option to not bug everyone about what is in their food. So, I'm going to try eating a bit of gluten after the Whole30 and see what happens. I don't anticipate intentionally eating a lot of gluten in the future since I generally don't think it's a healthy thing to consume, but it would be nice to not worry about it hidden in things.

I've decided not to care what people think. I'm going to eat what makes me feel good, and I know my body better than anyone. So if that means I can eat cross-contaminated food and not feel sick, I will. Or even having one cookie and be ok, I will do that too. But if eating an entire sandwich or plate of lasagna doesn't feel good, I'm not going to eat that. Our recent visit with Emma's allergist assured me of that, he said if I feel better eating a certain way to do that and not listen to naysayers. So nice to hear that from a medical professional.

We still need to be careful of what we feed Emma though, she has thrown up every time she eats gluten/wheat and we don't know why. We also just found out she has a tree nut/peanut allergy and now have epi pens just in case. I'm pretty scared and nervous about all of this and we're still waiting for blood test results to come back…that is a whole other post though.

In general, I want to focus on just being healthy overall, with a few special occasions here and there (but keep it out of the house!). I haven't felt this good in a long, long time and I don't want it to go away. I feel like post-Whole30 will be the beginning of a whole new perspective for us. :)

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Whole30: Halfway There!

Yesterday was our halfway point through our Whole30 journey! The first few weeks were pretty tiring and exhausting…not only from prepping so much food, but from the foods we were cutting and our bodies getting used to this new way of eating. It's day 16 today and I have officially hit what they call "Tiger Blood!" I even woke up at 5:30 this morning (and not because of Emma)!

If you know me, you know I have gut issues. I'm happy to say that I have not had ANY issues lately and feel so great. No bloated feeling, no stomach aches after meals – it's pretty awesome! We really miss certain foods still and most of all, we miss going out to eat as it's something we really enjoy doing as a family, but we can have that again in 14 days. That's what I love about this program, it's not a forever thing, but we have a totally different perspective on healthy eating now. My hope is that we can eat mostly paleo at home, incorporating some brown rice, quonia and beans into certain meals. After going this long without going to a restaurant, we've decided to try to limit that to once a week after this program is over. It really will save us money too!

Another huge perk is that I am losing my belly pudge that I have never been able to figure out how to get rid of! I'm doing pilates reformer classes too, so I'm sure that's helping too (they are obsessed with workout out core muscles, which is exactly what I need!). I'm feeling stronger, energized and more athletic…although I can tell you that was NOT the case on days 4-9!

Can't believe I'm posting this picture, but here is me yesterday after my pilates class. Feeling good inside and out!

On Sunday I ran a 10k with my aunt at the PF Changs Rock n Roll marathon. I didn't get in the training I had hoped for (getting sick twice, teething baby, holidays…I know, I still could have done better), so the goal was to just have fun. We really did have a ton of fun, I enjoyed the quality time with my aunt. She is truly such an inspiration, I feel so energized after spending the weekend with her!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Whole30: Days 1-10

January 5 we started our very first Whole30 journey! We weren't sure what to expect and I was pretty nervous so I spent quite a bit of time food prepping that first week. We know more of what we like and need for the week now so the second week wasn't quite as bad, but it is definitely a huge help to prep things like precooked meats, sauces (homemade mayo is a MUST as a base for delicious sauces!) and cut up veggies. Above is just a sampling of some of the new delicious meals we've been trying. I'm really enjoying the new recipes we've been trying and it has re-energized my creativity in cooking.

The first few days were tough, they call those the "hangover" days, but I struggled more with cravings at night to snack. Days 6-8 brought on extreme tiredness and day 9 brought on a bloated feeling. We're now on day 10 and things are going much smoother, as long as I can wake up early enough to get a big enough breakfast in before my workout. I'm nursing, so I get hungry quite often and allow myself mini-meal snacks (especially pre and post workout).

I get a lot of questions about this program and why we are doing it. Here's a few details:

• It is ONLY for 30 days! This is not a full on lifestyle change, but a way to recognize unhealthy foods, train your body not to crave those foods anymore and heal your body from all the junk.

• We are doing this to be healthier, kick our cravings (for me its salty snacks at night, for Mike its sweets) and to help motivate us to explore new and exciting recipes/meals.

• It is very similar to paleo, but has rules like you can't make "junk" food out of compliant ingredients (like banana/egg pancakes).

• It is near impossible to eat at a restaurant during this. We just don't see the value in going out to eat only to order a dry/unseasoned piece of meat with a dry salad. Our meals at home are much better tasting and we save money by doing that!

• The basic rules are no sugar, alcohol, grains (including quinoa), dairy (except for ghee) and legumes.

20 more days to go! :)