It’s the last day of our stay-cation. It’s been a lovely time spent entertaining family and enjoying our new home. Summer has arrived in Scotland, something of a rarity around these parts, so I am a tiny bit miffed that it came just at the end of our hols. But a few days of sun are better than none!
Since moving house and being on holiday I have very quickly accelerated to a complete disregard of everything I learnt from my last Whole 30 and subsequent predominantly Paleo lifestyle. Everything made it back in… pasta, bread, wine (and cider… but it’s sunny?!?!), sugary desserts, cheese… you name it, I’ve eaten it. But now a couple of months and several pounds (worsened due to a hip injury meaning I can’t run) later it’s time to call a halt. Along with the cellulite my lethargy and slower reactions have returned, as have regular headaches and occasional food-lows.
So, what on earth is a Whole 30®?
Well, its a tried and tested program which eliminates all the nasty stuff from your diet- and we eat far more nasty stuff than you might expect… including so-called healthy grains, soya and legumes, to name but a few. It’s a bit like extreme Paleo, advocating the complete removal of anything remotely sugar-like from your diet (yes that means honey, maple syrup and any fake sweet stuff too). It helps you to strip things back to basics, and while it sounds like you eat hardly anything (good protein and fats, vegetables, minimal amount of fruit and nuts), there’s tons and tons of stuff you can make within the parameters. Can’t wait to share them with you! The idea is that you then reintroduce food types independently after 30 days and monitor the effect they have on you.
Uhm… why would you do that?
My original main reason for going on a Whole 30 was to see if I could eliminate any of the minor, annoying health irks that I’m sure most people have had some experience of at some point. And it’s the same this time. Unfortunately during my first one I didn’t reintroduce correctly, so was unable to pinpoint which foods related to which ailments. In fact, what I did after the last Whole 30 (34 days to be precise) was go out for dinner with the fella for his birthday, eat a full meal, trying to choose fairly sensibly but not really knowing what was in it, accompanied by wine, cocktails and whatever else took my fancy. This was quickly followed by a violently sick night and the next morning the worst possible hangover I’ve ever had. I felt like I’d been poisoned, and I guess in a way I had. Don’t do this. I really wouldn’t recommend it. Read ‘It Starts With Food‘ – and follow their advice, there’s a reason why they have rules 🙂
So, back to why I’m doing it again… The list of minor, extremely non-life-threatening ailments:
Psoriasis and other sensitive, itching skin conditions – medication required
Breakouts – my face often tells me when it doesn’t like my diet
Headaches – fairly regularly – lots of painkillers consumed
Silent reflux – symptoms include sore, burning throat; wheezing; shortness of breath; mouth and throat ulcers; voice issues – medication required
Hayfever – worse this year than ever before – daily anti-histamines required, often double the recommended one-per-day
Stomach issues – bloating, cramps and the usual stuff
Tiredness – lethargy, erratic sleeping, less alert
Hip injury – strange recurring pain in my left hip after any type of exercise
Now, I’m not expecting to cure all of these in the space of a month, and I know I’m never going to stick rigidly to the very strict Whole 30 way of living forever more, but I would like to see if any of this list is affected by a change in eating habits, and more importantly by the reintroduction of food types afterwards. During my last Whole 30 I felt incredible around weeks 3/4 and my reflux medication had been halved. This time I hope to find out more about which foods trigger that. It’s all about being informed as much as possible, to then make informed choices around what I eat. If I know that Tyrell’s salt and cider vinegar crisps make my throat burn for day, that may be a choice I’m willing to make! 🙂
I’ll be publishing my experience through the next month, including what I eat, with a full Whole 30 meal plan available at the end. But most importantly I’ll be paying very close attention to changes in how I feel, during the program and after with the re-introduction.
I hope you get something out of it too 🙂