Saturday, April 28, 2018

Our "Revised" Whole30 After Week One. Intuition as Strength. Re adjusting isn't 'Quitting.'

Our 'Revised' Whole30 Journey

Day 6.5 and I found my food quitting the COMPLETE Whole30 Re Set program. We are actually still going to eat 85- 90% of the Whole30 guideline mentality for now. But, we are actually reintroducing some foods back in during week two instead of eliminating for thirty days. This may even change as we go. If we find we are getting more issues, we will change our minds. I realized I literally do have to go with my gut (ha ha?) and intuition. (We have done Whole30 before so thus WHOLE7 for Re sets is truly all that is needed.)

I want to say that our first Whole30 was a life changer. I still believe most people should try this form of elimination diet at least once in their lives. Especially if they are having unexplained medical issues, food allergies they can't figure out or severe gastro distress. It is WORTH it. I also still stand by everything I said in previous posts. But with all things in life, there is another side.

For our family, I had to re ask myself the main reason we were attempting a second Whole30 again. My main reason was iron absorption and to cut down on any inflammation. My reasoning for my family was to get back on track with eating, figure out a few issues each member was having, and cut out the sugars (over use of honey) again or other not so great aspects of food we were mindlessly consuming. Honestly? Seven days was enough for this. We already know we react to gluten and all sugars except honey in moderation. So 7 days was a great reminder to be mindful of what and how we eat. My secondary reason was to lose weight hopefully by re setting hormones and look younger and healthier. Perhaps that wasn't quite as noble? Although I do have a goal of cutting down inflammation still and re setting some of my issues. I still hope this will help with iron absorption along with my Kelp and BC1. Now, I simply will be doing this process a little bit more relaxed, with a few added elements for life quality, budget and food enjoyment. Again, we are still planning on sticking 85-90% of the plan. If we were needing a full gut re set (and we may still if we get too sick after this) we MIGHT do this again at some point or a form of it.

I still believe that our food choices shape our health. I believe there is a time and place for the Whole30. But I also realized it probably was not going to help me absorb iron more. Or maybe it would, but I wasn't willing to suffer the runs to find out. I prefer to keep my bathroom habits healthy and regular. I do think that eating more protein and veggies could help with this anyway but I need a bit of starch and fermented dairy in that department. At least I think I do...time will tell.

The Week of Lessons:

This week taught me a lot. I am relieved and happy that we started this journey. Already in week one I have modified some aspects of our eating. We will be incorporating grass fed, organic protein in as many meals as feasibly possible. Vegetable variety will be found on our plates or in our smoothies. Fruits will be consumed in moderation. My tongue has already adjusted and tuned into natural herb flavours and the lack of additives. We will still be especially meticulous in these areas. But I am hoping to add back in the yogurt, mozzarella, and butter. (Update: This was unfortunately not successful other than clarified butter.) Along with a few non gluten grains. If we react or find our quality of life goes down, I will take these elements back out. Nothing is set in stone. I feel we can afford to experiment without a full reset. I don't wish for mindless grazing or snacking. I also like the concept of not eating after dinner for the most part. Honey has many beneficial qualities. Just in moderation. We were consuming too much. We can scale that back but the raw honey is still on my list. I do like a home made, gluten free muffin at breakfast sometimes, and there should be no guilt in that. As long as it is paired with a quality protein source and some vegetables.

This whole experience has showed me that I was not enjoying food much before, and I was not really enjoying it on the re set either. I have always struggled with the pleasure aspect of food. It's rare I actually savour and love what I am eating. I mostly eat to survive. In this way I am a bit disordered in my eating. I also don't eat enough. I need to learn to love food for both it's nutrients and it's goodness. Part of quality of life DOES revolve around yummy, yet nutritious food choices. Deliciousness should also be a factor sometimes.

The Budget and Obsessive Factor:

Another reason why we are cutting this short? Our already stretched budget went overboard. Now we are two months behind our monthly budget and it will be hard to recover. (Perhaps we over prepped? And we had to drive to get our groceries...but luckily we still have a month of good food stocked and ready to go!) I think quality food is worth it, but we also have to do what we can afford. I was also OBSESSING about food from the time I got up to the time I went to bed. For 7 days my quality of life revolved around one aspect of living. Prior to I wasn't feeling a lot of guilt about my food choices, other than knowing I needed to cut back on a few choices and add in more veggies. But on the Whole30 this time, it felt like I had a full blown eating disorder. I already tend to have a warped perception of my body and maybe I do have a form of disordered eating that I need to unpack. I was revolving my life around image, health and food. All good balanced moderation.

Cold sores appeared all along my tongue last night, which I never get otherwise, and this seemed to be an indicator that I was consuming too much of something or not getting enough of another nutrient. Some say it could be a detox symptom, but I felt energized more than ever because of the protein at each meal. I wasn't suffering mood swings or cravings. Although I did crave the smooth texture of yogourt. Overall, it was a good seven days of eating. But it needed to be switched up.

A week was enough to learn some valuable lessons, new nourishment strategies, and re set our minds on sustenance. I'm still planning on reading the rest of the books to my children. I still believe in most of the science. (The crucial wording is MOST. From the beginning I disagreed on some concepts like honey, yogourt ect. I come from more of a Weston Price mentality in general but do believe something like the Whole30 can do wonders for those addicted to sugar or processed foods.)

This experience was exactly what we needed...for seven days. Just not thirty. I feel freedom. Maybe it's not what Melissa Hartwig would view as food freedom forever. But life is a journey. Maybe she would think I deserve my health problems? Maybe I do. But I also have to believe in myself, look at my body intuitively and make the best of it. I have to stop comparing myself to the energy and looks of those around me. My most content years were the ones when I knew I was doing what was right for me. When I knew that my life mattered even if I struggled or was sick. There are many different reasons on the net for why people quit so I don't need to back mine up with bullet points. What I can say, is that I am happy we did this. I learned I loved Bok Choy. And that I could drink a smoothie with coconut cream and spinach and blueberries and LOVE it.

Re Adjusting Expectations, Cultural Conformity and Personal Intuition:

Some of my best choices in life have come from re adjusting expectations. Some would call this "quitting." Perhaps it is within definition. But I feel it's more of a re start from a re start. An organic way of moving from one healthy introduction into another form of Being that WORKS for the individual or family. Most people would say we "quit" school, church, swimming lessons, organized sports, piano lessons ect. Changing plans is not something our culture is generally comfortable with. And perhaps 60% of the time, this is how it should be. Otherwise there would be chaos supreme. Yes there is something to be said for accountability, finishing a project, or sticking a tough aspect of life out. On the flip side, it also takes strength to find another way, contort the box for flexibility, and be accountable in a different form.

I know I am stubborn and resilient and can stick anything out if I believe in the overall out come or benefits. But when I realize it is not the best decision? Then I take myself out of the equation. And that takes strength. Because people judge. And we also have an inner moral compass to develop. If not one way, we must grow in another. I had to fight a lot of guilt during periods where I changed the direction I was taking. But whose life is it? Mine or the majority? Who will benefit the most? My loved ones or the social structure? Sometimes I choose both. Sometimes I pick one over the other. But most times, I have to go with my intuition. Our culture has a lot to learn about the merits of weighing options, and choosing to walk away. My best decisions have involved walking away, but then opening up a new door to another path, and maybe switching that one or going back to the old one for awhile to find multiple directions of fulfillment and meaning.

Our family still needs to take some lessons in regards to food. My children were hesitant to not finish the Whole30. We had to have a discussion on basically all I covered in this blog post. Now they see it as a re adjustment. We also had to really decide WHY they wanted to continue and consider their points. Weight loss was not a good enough reason in my books (although yes, for some it would be.) In the end they settled on mostly whole30 compliant with some gradual additions. But our journey won't be as much about restricting as it will be about what is good, healthy, and yes delicious (and affordable.) I need to learn to love all kinds of food without discrimination. My husband needs to love food for fuel and in moderation. My daughter needs to learn to back off emotional eating but then allow food to heal her too. My sons need to learn to consume more veggies when they want a snack. But all in all? I am proud of their general choices. Do we have more to learn? Certainly? Does food matter? Absolutely. But is food everything? Maybe you are what you eat, but you are also so much more.
Just a reminder: I am NOT in charge of your life. Do not take my words as your truths. Work with your health care team to find what works for you. This hopefully includes a functional health doctor along with allopathic. Your journey should look different from mine, since we look different from each would be ridiculous to assume otherwise. That said, I share my experiences to help others process my truthful stories and maybe help hone in on their deeper truths. May your journey be a glorious wild mess of beauty, hardship, truth, change, growth and healing.

Song choice: Just Another Day- Lady Gaga

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.


Anonymous said...

I am inspired by your journey. It is important to make our choices work for us, but I am happy you mentioned that you had already done it once. Most people need to stick to some form of elimination diet once if they are having issues. Thank you for detailing your family's experience. Do you mind me asking what you are eating now?- R

Kmarie A. said...

R: Thanks. I completely agree with the elimination diet with issues.There are a few that are similar like GAPS or restriction that is not whole30 as well.
Right now we are eating grass fed organic meat palm sized at every meal ( Meal one, meal 2 and meal 3) with the rest of the plate with veggies. When we can't get all our veggies in we do a spinach kale, coconut milk, blueberry strawberry smoothie. We eat fruit for a snack or sometimes after a meal but not always. Bone broth is right now every week.
We tried adding yugourt, cheese and ice cream back in and it was unsuccessful. We all had major issues. My son's behaviour was the worst it has been in over 6 months. The symptoms disappeared after about 48 hours. We all had immediate gastro upset and cramping. We were suddenly tired. I was disappointed. I was hoping to add yogurt back in. Maybe after six more months we can try again to see.
We added popcorn successfully and will keep that for special movie nights or company. We have also added back in gluten free home made muffins and home made bread gluten free, and a few natural sauces ( organic BBQ sauce without preservatives) with little effects.But mostly, thus far we are keeping it within whole30 guidelines. We are going to still try corn chips and honey. Otherwise, we think we are going to leave out legumes, most rice, most grains other than the occasional baking item, and all gluten still/ preservatives/ MSG/ Triglycerides/ and sugars ( besides maybe some honey if that goes over well.) Sometimes ( maybe 4 times a year tops) the kids can choose to have some home made ice cream knowing the effects they will suffer if it is worth it at a family gathering ect. ) We will see how these next few weeks shape up:) I already I feel SO MUCH better!