Monday, July 20, 2015

The Whole 30


It's been about a week now since I finished doing "The Whole 30", if you don't know what that is you can find out more at the official website Whole30.com, but basically it's a strict eating plan where you eat only whole, "real" foods for 30 days. No processed foods; no added sugar; no legumes (until starting this diet, I assumed most people knew what legumes were but whenever I explain the Whole30 I have to tell people what legumes are. Basically, legumes are beans), dairy, grains, or gluten. It's an elimination diet, so any cheating would defeat the purpose.

I've had several people ask me how it went and what I learned from it. I usually give a short polite answer, not wanting to bore them with the full "results" since it would make for a lengthy, one-sided discussion. So, I thought I would tell about it here.

First of all, I should let you know the many reasons why I wanted to try The Whole 30. Since 2008 I've known that I have Crohn's Disease, my case is moderate to severe, that means I get the medicine with the most side effects! After years of taking Humira (until I started having panic attacks just thinking about injecting it), I take Cimzia, which is an injection I give myself twice a month. Doing it sucks, the way it makes me feel sucks, the injection site reactions suck. It controls my symptoms but everything else about it sucks. I recently talked with a lady a church who also has Crohn's and was able to relieve her symptoms with no medication, through doing the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, which is similar in many ways to Whole30. I would love to be able to  manage my disease without medication.

Next up: depression. I've probably suffered from depression for longer than I every realized but started taking anti-depressants about 5 months after my second child was born. I don't like having to take them and it seems like every few months they quit working and we have to adjust the dosage or change medications all together. I wondered how much of my mood and depression was affected by what I was eating.

What was I eating, anyway? Sugar! A lot of sugar. Sitting here now, thinking about the things I ate is making me nauseated. Last year I did the 21-Day Sugar Detox, which helped break my sugar habit for a while, but it wasn't long before I went back to my old habits. I thought this diet would have a similar effect in that area.

Let's go back to medication for a minute, I've yet to find one that really works for the migraines that I've suffered from for years. The solution that I want for my migraines, however, is not what the doctors are that interested in. I want to find out what is causing them, so I can prevent them, not just stop the pain once it has already started. Hardly anything stops the pain by the way. Right now I take hydrocodone-acetamenophen when I get a migraine and I feel about it the way that I've heard other migraine sufferers describe their feelings, it doesn't stop the pain, it just makes me not care about it as much. Ice-cream actually helps my migraines occasionally, and I've read that this has to do with the same effect that the cold has on your blood vessel dilation that causes "brain-freeze" or "ice-cream headaches." But that leads back to my sugar problem, if the first bowl of ice-cream didn't help, maybe I need to eat more, or it helped for a while but now the effect has worn off, so I'll just eat another pint. That's a great solution, right? I know my waist-line loves it.

I know everyone thinks I don't need to lose weight, but I was also hoping to lose the last few baby pounds and no longer have a little "carb pooch." I wanted to feel better about my body, and more comfortable being in a bathing suit in front of people (but that can go a different direction, which is another blog post altogether).

I wanted to be symptom free, without depending on medication but more importantly, I wanted to feel good.

Did it work?
Maybe.

Now I'm going to keep you in high anticipation for a follow-up post.
(real blogger-mom moment: It's after 7am now and my kids just woke up, so I'll have to continue this post later)

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