Monday was my last official day on the Whole 30 plan. I have to say that the 30 days blew by very quickly, and it really wasn’t difficult at all. The only time I really struggled with a “craving” was when I went too long between meals, and it was easily remedied by reaching for some wholesome snack.
Tuesday, I was able to start re-incorporating some of the foods I eliminated, beginning with non-gluten grains. Naturally, I went with sushi! Today (Wednesday), I’m back on the Whole 30, so I can evaluate my body’s response to the rice in the sushi.
(Turns out, I was supposed to add back in beans/legumes first, so I accidentally reversed the first two re-introduction steps. Oh well – as long as I follow the basic protocol, I feel okay about it.)
Tomorrow, I get to add back in beans/legumes. Then, back to Whole 30 the next day to evaluate, and so on. The next 10 days are essentially a food diary/evaluation/reintroduction thing. At the end of it, I also plan on having my chiropractor muscle test me for the different food groups, just to confirm whether I ought to eat them, or whether I need to evaluate more closely.
Just to sum up, I would like to share the differences I have noticed between now and the beginning of my Whole 30 journey. I didn’t feel like anything was drastic, but there has been a definite change in me, physically, mentally, and even emotionally! I’m really glad I chose to do something that felt right to me. I was right to go with my gut on this one.
So, without further ado, the changes I’ve noticed:
- Weight loss. I didn’t weigh myself at all during the 30 days. When I stepped on the scale on the last day, I found I was 12 pounds lighter than when I started. No wonder my jeans got loose! I think most of it was likely water weight/inflammation, not necessarily fat, though. I don’t really know.
- The swelling in my ankle has reduced dramatically! I still have a pronounced area of inflammation or scar tissue, but I am now adding in daily turmeric to see if that helps reduce it further than diet allowed.
- My carpal tunnel pain is drastically reduced.
- **May be TMI** PMS symptoms are drastically reduced. Before, I would have 1-2 solid weeks of: very tender breasts, strong low back pain/cramping, constipation, and acne breakouts. I have had two cycles during these 30 days, and have experienced: NO constipation, NO low back pain, barely noticeable cramping, one day of mildly tender breasts right before my period, and almost no acne.
- Note on acne: I did have some “detox” acne on the back of my neck, according to my chiropractor. She believes it was a withdrawal symptom of dropping sugar cold-turkey. I happen to agree, but you’ll have to take my word for it.
- I am very regular now. And there was much rejoicing.
- My sleep is higher quality, and I feel rested when I get up in the morning. This is more strongly evidenced by the fact that I have had at least 5 births during the 30 days, 3 of them back-to-back. It only took me two days to feel fully recovered, in regards to my sleep!
- I no longer need an afternoon cup of coffee. If I have a fatigue slump in the afternoon, it’s because I went too long without eating, and my blood sugar is low. A snack fixes it every time, and my energy pops right back up.
- Overall, I feel less foggy/clueless/brainless.
- I am forgetting fewer things. I notice an uptick in forgetfulness when I am recovering after a birth, but other than that, I’m a bit frazzled by busyness, but not forgetting nearly as much.
- **May be TMI** During my menstrual cycle, I was struggling with serious (SERIOUS) depressive symptoms in the week prior to my period, as well as strong irritability and mood swings. I am far more even-keeled emotionally and mentally, as evidenced by experiencing two cycles at the beginning and end of my Whole 30. The effects were noticeable even in the first cycle. This second one (started today), is even more strongly affected positively! Yesterday should have been dark, depressing, and full of anger and tears. Instead, I felt NORMAL. This is probably my least expected, most appreciated effect of changing my diet positively. I chalk it up to the utter lack of sugar.
- Did I mention ZERO depressive symptoms??? Because…holy wow. Thank the good Lord in heaven–literally!
- I feel like my sunshiney, true Self more days than I don’t. (No depression…have I mentioned that?)
- I don’t know how to classify my energy level, so it gets its own bullet point. I feel good. My energy level stays consistent throughout the day, and I feel like I have more productive days than not. I am still always a little behind on most things, but I worry less about it. I feel like I’m living more in the present, and letting things go easier. I feel motivated, even if I’m a little tired, and I find myself well-fueled, hydrated, and like I just function better overall.
The Whole 30 has not solved all of my issues, but I feel like it’s given me the ability to see my issues more clearly. I feel as though I can actually set some goals, follow through, and accept my failures as mere stepping stones to success in many areas of my life.
Another great thing that has come out of this, is that I feel more connected to Levi, since he supported me and did so much of the cooking. We have found a connection point outside kids, home, work, and birth stuff. And who doesn’t love connecting over FOOD?!
He has also decided that we are going to eat more and more this way as a family. I am whole-heartedly in agreement with him! We won’t necessarily be Whole 30 compliant forever, but leaning heavily toward a Paleo lifestyle, since we both feel a lot better eating this way. (Levi has dropped a little over 20 pounds, too, but most of that he lost before we started, just by giving up soda and eating more salad on his own).
Anyway, I think I will stop here for now. I will try to share a post filled with links to some of our favorite recipes we tried and liked.
Thanks so much for all your support and prayers, and I’ll let you know how the reintroduction phase goes!
Have you ever done an elimination or special diet like this? What were your results, and what have you found that works for you?
Grace & Peace