Essentially, we are eliminating several food groups for 30 days, then reintroducing them slowly to see how our bodies respond, so we can make educated choices about what foods are best for us. These food groups are the major ones most closely associated with chronic, systemic inflammation, which is in turn linked to several autoimmune disorders, diseases, and conditions that are largely preventable through food.
Now, I don’t have any autoimmune disorders, or chronic conditions. I do, however, have several symptoms of chronic, systemic inflammation. The ankle I sprained several years ago is still inflamed. Always puffy and swollen. I have lower back pain 80-100% of the time. I struggle with some carpal tunnel pain, especially in my right wrist, along with puffiness. I can get a good night’s sleep in, but still feel tired when I wake up. I rely on caffeine to get me through the day, and I start to drag horribly in the early afternoon. I struggle with brain fog.
Then, there’s the sugar addiction. Gluttony. A sin. (No, sugar is not a sin…don’t even go there. I’m just sharing my heart here.) I have made it an idol. It needs to stop, and the Type A side of me wants direct guidance. The Whole30 really resonates with me, so that’s the tool I’ve chosen to help my physical self obey the dictates of my conscience. I’m tired of being a slave to my stomach and my cravings. Maybe I’ll write more about this later…
Of course, my lifestyle as a student midwife and doula contribute to some of these problems. However, I know that if I continue to eat as poorly as I do, it will only get worse, and I won’t be able to do my work as long as I hope to. (Frankly, I hope to never have to retire.) In order to prevent burnout in my personal and my professional life, I need to change.
When I approached Levi about it, we talked a lot about it. He does the majority of the cooking, so I felt he deserved a lot of say in whether I tried it or not. He has asked all the right questions, made sure I am thinking this through clearly, and is supporting me by doing it with me. He had one condition. He said that if he could find a minimum of 10-14 recipes he felt excited about trying, then he would agree to it. If he couldn’t find them, then I would just do a sugar/carb fast on my own. Fair enough. I agreed, and he found the recipes! It was really a lot of fun to sit and browse Pinterest together, honestly.
So, we started on Sunday.
And so far, so good. I’m feeling it today, I think. A headache is telling me that I’m likely beginning some withdrawal symptoms from the lack of sugar.
My kids are horrified at all the foods Levi and I are giving up (we’re not putting them through it — they’re growing, and I feel they need ALL the food groups right now). I keep telling them, over and over, that I am not focusing on what I can’t have, but enjoying what I can have. I think this might provide a lot of opportunities for me to practice what I preach about gratitude to them…
In the meantime, I figured I’d share about it, in the hopes that you would pray for me. Pray that I find freedom from gluttony and sugar addiction. Pray that I honor God with my body (it is his temple, after all). Pray that I stick with it on the days I want to give up. Pray that Levi and I are given the discernment we need when it’s time to reintroduce foods, so we can choose wisely which ones we feel comfortable adding back in permanently, and which ones we should avoid. Pray that I find a new humility in my weakness, and in my marriage.
I promise not to regale you with pictures and tales of every single meal we eat. I promise to share links to recipes that end up being a HIT for our entire family.
Have you ever done an elimination diet? What did it look like for you and your family? Any tips or encouragements for me? Also, to see what we’re eating, you can follow my Whole 30 board on Pinterest.
Grace & Peace,