Whole30 Round 2: Weeks 1-2

Ok, technically, I did attempt a Whole30 sometime last year.  I can't even remember when, but my friend Heidi was doing one and I tried to jump on the bandwagon but I missed and fell in the dirt.  Round 2.1 then.

What is the Whole30?
Established by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig (of Whole9) in April 2009, the Whole30® is our original nutritional program designed to change your life in 30 days. Think of it as a short-term nutritional reset, designed to help you put an end to unhealthy cravings and habits, restore a healthy metabolism, heal your digestive tract, and balance your immune system.
Certain food groups (like sugar, grains, dairy and legumes) could be having a negative impact on your health and fitness without you even realizing it. . . Strip them from your diet completely. Cut out all the psychologically unhealthy, hormone-unbalancing, gut-disrupting, inflammatory food groups for a full 30 days. Let your body heal and recover from whatever effects those foods may be causing. Push the “reset” button with your metabolism, systemic inflammation, and the downstream effects of the food choices you’ve been making. Learn once and for all how the foods you’ve been eating are actually affecting your day to day life, and your long term health.

For more details on the Whole30 eating plan go here, or here.

I've been wanting Mr. Cyrus to try an elimination diet for ages.  He has random, seemingly unconnected, aches and pains that make me think he has some inflammation going on, but he's always refused to try healing himself with food. One perfectly normal day in May, he came into the kitchen and asked, "So how do I do this Whole30 thing you want me to do?" I whipped out my computer and started planning meals before he could say, "that's a lot of eggs."

So now we are on day 15.  Grant felt tired in the first week, but again, could be the product of his life working a million hours a week in a stressful environment.  He's still tired, but maybe less so now that we're starting the third week.  I haven't been able to quiz him extensively on his feelings  (which he totally loves, ha!) thus far, but I will once we break free on our drive back to Oregon.  Nowhere to hide at that point.

He's happy because I'm overseeing all of his meals now, which means his meal quality and quantity has gone way up.  Before, he would manage his own breakfast and lunch for the most part because he's usually gone for these meals.  He is not what you would call a planner.  I would send leftovers with them if we had any; otherwise he ate lots of oatmeal and sandwiches, which are not necessarily bad, but lack in taste and nutrient variety.  Now he's getting full meals for breakfast and lunch, and I often send extra for dinner when he's going to be late coming home (read: every day).  So Whole30 seems like it hasn't really been hard for him other than getting tired of eggs, and having strong chips-and-salsa cravings.  He didn't bother to read the rules though, so he will often text me from work, asking "can I eat potato salad?" or something like that, and then gets irritated when I tell him no.

As for me, I did have serious headaches during the first week.  I felt physically exhausted, but I was so pleased with myself for actually sticking to the plan this time (after my spectacular failure) that I sailed through with the help of some pain meds and lavender essential oil.

The second week I felt better but still so very tired.  Again, could be a product of my life with small children and a husband working overtime-plus, but by day 11 I was bone weary.  I remember sleeping much more soundly during my first Whole30, but this time it's taken until 10 or so days in before I noticed any improvement.  In fact, my sleep was worse because I was so itchy.  Yes, itchy.  Prior to taking wheat out of my diet a few years ago, I would periodically get obnoxious hives on my legs and not know why.  I almost never get them now that I don't eat wheat, but oddly, I have started to be itchy again since we moved to California.  Coincidental timing?  Stress?  Excess chlorine in the blasted California water?  I don't know, but I also noticed my leg-hive situation flared up during the first week of my Whole30.  I've heard this can be a kind of detox symptom, so I started some natural detox aids and now I'm fine again.  (Probably that was too much sharing.)

I started this Whole30 dreaming of the bright, golden experience I had last time when I finally felt good for the first time in years.  I've been surprised these past two weeks that I have not had the same experience.  I guess it makes sense - removing wheat from my diet had (and continues to have) a profound affect on my wellness, so I felt better almost immediately when I stopped eating it.  This time I have noticed a more stable mood and less brain fog, but it just seems to be taking longer to notice strong physical benefits.  At any rate, I definitely am a calmer parent without sugar in my diet.  This third week will be where I hope to start feeling really good.

Some recipes we are really enjoying:

Omelet prepped during the previous night's dinner
Egg and Spinach Muffins (although I made with less spinach)
Banana Egg Pancake with Sausage and Fruit

Any leftovers wrapped in these Paleo Naan Wraps, especially this Basalmic Roast Beef (leave out the honey) plus veggies, but also this Tarragon Chicken Salad (minus the yogurt).
For a quick lunch, I fry sliced Aidells Chicken and Apple sausage (Costco) and slice up carrots, bell peppers, whatever else is around.

Steamed Hake with Spinach, Onions, and Tomatoes (and mushrooms)
Shrimp Avocado Salad
Masala Chili with Kohlrabi and Kale (toned down a bit for little ones)

(I think these are technically illegal because they are pseudo-treats that don't help you address your cravings.  Whatever.  They fit the program rules and I'm fine with my cravings.)

Banana Ice Cream
Chocolate Date Balls (pecans, dates, cocoa powder, and cinnamon in my Vitamix; roll into balls, inspiration here)

My first Whole30


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