Thursday, April 26, 2018

First Week of the Whole30 With Autoimmune. Teens and Children On The WHOLE30. Contrasting Our First Whole30 with Our Second Experience.

The First Week, The Second time Around:

I had a gut feeling this second time around was going to be tougher. We were not quite through our first week and I wanted to be done.( SEE THIS POST for more. I actually realized that there were other reasons my intuition was thinking that we should cut it short this time around. We did end up 'quitting' and re adjusting the program the day after I wrote this post.) Choking down meat at every meal for a gal who only loves to eat meat about three times a week, has been tough. We are following the autoimmune protocol which means NO EGGS for 90 days. (Which I am still sticking to regardless.) Nightshades and nuts are also on our 'no list.' Which means we were considerably more limited in options than most who go on the Whole30. But we also didn't really feel sick at all so that's good.

Quite honestly? I felt ok. I went in with some food poisoning issues and they worked themselves out within two days. I also began that time of the month, which for me means two days of 'can't leave the house' bleeds. I gag at food on the best of days during this time. So drinking bone broth, with it's very meaty, oily taste, was...Well, I was the last one at the table, twenty minutes later, choking on soup. My children did better in this department. Actually, they did better than me overall. They also won when it came to eating spinach with beef drizzled in avocado oil. Generally, the tastes are ok for me, it's the texture. As an Aspie, texture is everything. Most Autistics can't handle certain foods because of the sensory onslaught. I am forcing myself to eat like this, but I know it is not sustainable, however the benefits, after 30 days. But I wish to do it right so the elimination process is accurate and to see if it DOES improve my iron absorption. Thank goodness that my personality can be summed up as stubborn and resilient. I DREAD meal times. Especially Meal One. I miss my smooth Greek yogourt.

This is supposed to make your relationship with food better. I don't think it will for me. In fact, I am obsessing about food. Meal 3 is always delightful but I generally gag my way through the rest. I am hoping I will adapt. I keep reminding myself I am doing this for my iron, for overall health, and to see what is triggering my inflammation issues at the end. If I had a major eating disorder I don't think I would do this Re set. (Again, see THIS post for why we pulled the plug the next day in a different form, despite being stubborn and resilient:)

Our First Whole30 Contrast:

That said, the first time we did this Re Set Whole30, we experienced AMAZING benefits. We had been eating loads of gluten, and cutting it out was heaven. So much so, that four years later, I am still not tempted to eat any gluten. Plus, we found out I was Celiac so maybe that is why...but still, the differences in all of us from not consuming gluten were too good to ignore. I have read that people who regularly consume gluten, processed foods and sugar benefit most from this Re set diet. My problem, this second time around, was dairy and corn. I never drink milk, but greek yugort was my companion at almost every meal. I also had an addiction to corn chips and popcorn. And I admit that non gluten grains and legumes were sneaking too many times into our diet. I know for a fact that after this round, Legumes will probably be out permanently for us. I am also considering opting out of rice. It truly depends what are effects are. IF, by the end of 30 days I no longer gag on my food, and I feel energized, lose a bit of weight (which means my hormones have regulated by the food and Kelp), and feel pretty good...I would maybe re consider never eating like this again.

We did not do the Whole30 this second time around, to tame our 'Sugar Dragon.' Although my daughter feels that she is craving sweets. I don't feel deprived. I don't miss honey much. We were pretty careful with our sugar overall, yet we did get it from fruit, gluten free baking, and an over use in honey. I plan to re introduce honey but curb our habit back to a teaspoon per person, per day MAX. Without any processed foods or treats, this feels reasonable to me. The first time we did Whole30 we had major sugar issues. We realized how dependant we were on sugar which often goes along with Gluten consumption. This time, we are realizing how dependant we were on rice, and how we were not consuming enough vegetables on the best of days. I picture the lame line in Fast and Furious 5 when the Rock says, "Give me the damn veggies..." Ha, cracks me up every time. Yes, we will definitely be including more of an array of vegetables when all is said and done.

I will admit to having my eyes full of tears yesterday afternoon. The tears didn't fall. I blinked them back. But I was struggling. Because I was reading testimonials of people who the Whole30 didn't work for (which is actually a very tiny stat considering! The amazing testimonials of it working far outweigh these.) But, the people who it wasn't effective for were like me. They had already cut out gluten for about four years. They had celiac and their gut took more to heal and seemed to need the fermented dairy in moderation. They also felt that their benefits happened mostly when they went off of gluten. I wasn't having gastro distress for the most part in my pre re -set life. There are a few triggers I am identifying now, which would make all of this process worth it I suppose. But in general, I am doing this for other health reasons. I DO think I have some inflammation to battle. And this Re set is all about re balancing hormones and inflammation.

The Key to Your Food Journey and About Children and Teens On the Whole30:

The key to our journey has been reading the books, "It Starts With Food" and "Food Freedom Forever." I feel the science that backs these theories up is sound. The research and digging I have done match the facts in the book. I do believe, to an extent, in this way of eating. I feel there are exceptions but overall, yes most people should eat like this for 30 days at least once, and see the difference for themselves.

Many people say to me, "My children would never do that diet." Um, who is the parent? For that matter, what is love? Is love a birthday cake? Is love a sugar rush? Maybe sometimes but probably not every day.  Or, is love giving your child the science, the tools, the facts, and the habits of good eating that reduces risk of all types of diseases, autoimmune conditions, and overall health and affects their mental health? Unfortunately, eating is a large part of health. As the book mentions, "Genetics are the gun, but environment and food habits are what pull the trigger" on varied conditions. The first time we did this, the kids were younger. We explained what we could but generally just had them eat what we did. If they were going to throw up from something we didn't push it, but otherwise they were pretty good. And they felt the difference after! They were proponents of no gluten too! The second time around, two are teenagers. I had to approach it differently. I did say that our food is being prepared this way and they have to eat what we eat. But, every night I have been reading them a chapter of the book.

My mother calls this brainwashing. I call it giving intelligent information and allowing the reader to make up their own minds. Which my children have. I ask them questions after. Whether they agree or disagree. I ask what they would do differently, if anything, and try to incorporate their ideas. This isn't a dictatorship. However, our entire family knows that I tend to steer the ship when it comes to ideas. I think, that they allow me to do this because they see that I do it fairly, consider all the angles, and figure out what is best for everyone overall? Regardless, generally if I give enough solid evidence, my husband and children will come on board. It takes some work. It took three months for my husband to agree to the whole30 but then suddenly it happened overnight. He was game. Did I read him numerous articles, drop suggestions and comments when I could, and cite numerous health facts? Of course. Is this manipulation? Maybe to some, but for myself, I leave the decision to the person. My theory is, we have one life, if something means a lot to us and if we see it will massively benefit our loved ones or perhaps even have them live longer, why wouldn't we try to push it logically and rationally?

"Once again, we believe that the diet that is the healthiest for us grown ups is also the healthiest for growing children. There isn't a single nutrient in cereals, biscuits or formula's that can not be found in healthy meats, vegetables and fruit. (It goes on to exclude infants and why of course but at toddler hood children should be eating this way.)... Perhaps even more so, as their immature immune system and GI tract can be even more vulnerable than ours. Even in the youngest of us, typical 'kid foods' like milk, yogourt, cereal, peanut butter, and bread can promote systematic inflammation, create immune system dysfunction, and increase the risk of disease like type 1 diabetes. Lot's of parents we've talked to say, "But my kids don't like vegetables..." or "but my son loves his sugary breakfast cereals." This is where we often get into trouble asking, "Does your toddler do his own grocery shopping?"...But until your children are buying their own food, with their own money, you as the parent are the single largest supplier of your child's nutritional needs. And we believe it's just a critical to your children's long term success to feed them healthy food as it is to make sure they don't drop out of school after the third grade." (pages 247 and 248 of It Starts with Food.)

They go on to say it will not be easy. "But we think that there are few parental duties more noble than loving your children whole heartedly and feeding them as best as you can. Even if you have to fight them on it. Even if they go to bed hungry for a night or two. Even if you have to resort to the old standbys' It's for your own good. Because we said so."

And the Husband?:

A friend once said to me, "You are so lucky to have the husband that you do. My husband would never treat me like a princess like yours does. He seems to do anything you want. For that matter, I notice at mom's groups that often we end up doing what you want, and enjoying it to boot! Even if we didn't think we would, we have these happy experiences that we would never do otherwise. You are either very convincing or maybe too bossy." I laughed. I know I can be bossy. Although I prefer the word convincing. However, my husband doesn't treat me like a princess all the time. I AM lucky. He is amazing. We married young so we are both used to sharing ideas, growing together and shaping each other. We matured together and are pretty equal in our relationship now. But he did start out as very conservative and religious. He believed I should do all the cooking because I was the woman. Poor man learned a lesson in that area fairly fast. I work hard to get my ideas across and to have my children and husband open to my ideas. I make sure I am fair. I research the bajeebees out of any given subject before I present it. I make sure I have solid evidence for what I propose. I also consider people's context and personality and would never force someone to do something I know is out of their comfort zone. I know what that is like. I won't force the trauma I experienced from sensory overload on other people. My husband and I have a story that exceeds most epic love tales. We are tight. When our marriage is terrible, it is horrendous. But generally, we are THOSE partners, who have each other's backs for most things in life. It actually takes a lot of brain power to be as convincing as I can be. Ha ha. I bet you are all very relieved that you are not married to me right now.

It's Actually About So Much More Than Food- Regardless of the Timeframe or Re Set:

At supper the other night my eldest son piped up, "Mom can I have those two books when I move out?" I was confused for a second. Percy Jackson came to mind first but I knew that series was more than two books. Then it clicked and my mouth sagged a bit as I said, "Do you mean the Whole30 books buddy?" and he nodded adamantly, "Yea I would really like them." My eyes almost filled with tears again, but instead I let out a bubbly laugh and ruffled his hair. That was the night we were eating bone broth, and I don't think I would have forced myself to finish, until I heard his statement. Then I realized I was also modelling how to eat, and I was going to sip up every last gulp of the meaty sustenance. He inspired me.

Recently, we had our child psychologist/ therapist and his aid in our home. He made my heart happy when he turned to her and said, "This family is TIGHT. In all my years of working with families and children, I have never come across a family this close. They have each other's backs. Their philosophy is something I wish would be adapted more. They are outside the box. They do things quite differently. In fact, as you know our careers are heavily based on research. Unfortunately, we do not have the studies or research to know what will work for this family. We have to play it by ear because they literally defy all the rules. I love coming into their unique home and watching them interact. I hope you will enjoy working with them as much as I have. I hope you will learn as much as I have from them, just as much as you will hopefully give."

At another point I was stressing about certain milestones for my children and the outside pressure I have been receiving to "do more" or "socialize them" more. He turned to me and said, "Ok who are you right now and what have you done with Kmarie? The K. I know does not conform to other people's expectations. She is solid in her philosophies and sees the benefits she has chosen for her children. Where are all these voices coming from?" I flushed and stumbled. He then smiled, "I know the best of us will listen to outside voices, but let me tell you, that I see all sorts of families. Many whose parents to not pay even 1/4 of the attention you give your children. The one issue I see, is that independence will be tougher in your family due to your tightness. But maybe you will defy that expectation too? Unless your children avidly want it, and then you will have to work around that obstacle, but I have every confidence you will. Even if it's hard. If it is important to them. But otherwise, I continually see how in tune you are with your unique sensitive family with diverse,  sensory needs. Stop listening to the majority. While it's good to question yourself, I will say this- I have had more than 30 years of experience and you are definitely the minority in your philosophies. I have worked with the religious and the non religious. You are a minority in both. So you are gonna get flack sometimes. But that is why you have a built in resilience back bone. It has been an honour to work with you. In fact, I think I will pop by for coffee sometimes just because I like your family."

I needed to hear that. It applies to all areas including the Whole30 Re set. This is what we need to do. It's not easy this time around. I already have a weird throat rash. But, anyone can do anything for thirty days right? Maybe? I guess time will tell... ( And it did, a day later, when I decided to re focus. See HERE for more. Whole 30 helped with weight but caused more issues.)

Song Choice: Like a Love Song- Selena Gomez. This is an odd choice that doesn't have to really do with the post, yet it does. My daughter does this with 'Just Dance.' Selena Gomez' voice in this is like dessert. Which I don't miss actually, but it's nice to get a sugary sound in the ears, isn't it? "And I keep hittin' repeat, peat, peat, peat..."

Post Edit: Several months later my ferritin fell. As of February 2019 after this post my dietary lifestyle is now more restricted due to the Whole30.While I like the concepts and initially lost weight and gained ferritin it did NOT serve me well in the end. Now both my daughter and I suffer gas issues that we have never HAD before and only started after the Whole30 and we are trying everything to fix this...months later and it's still bad. If I could go back I would not go on the Whole 30. I would just add meal preps, herbs and spices more into our diet and take an approach of Brittany Nickerson in THIS book instead.


Amy said...

Fantastic post on your food freedom and the "playful" attitude you have with figuring out what works the best for you, K! I love this. Isn't it wild how a reset program can work 1 time around, but not work the next?
That word "playful" is such a great way to describe this post - it's light, it's experimental and it's totally intuitively you.

Kmarie A. said...

Thank you:) Yes, it is interesting. Re reading the book, I came to a part though that said if you have already done the whole30 it will work to do only a week re set again or two weeks or whatever...and I realized - we have done this before! We are just re setting new habits again for lower inflammation.
Lol I appreciate your words:) xo