First, I think the "FaceLess10" was a lot harder than the Whole 30. In case you don't know what I'm talking about...I decided on day 20 of Whole 30 that I would spend the next 10 days without FaceBook in my life! (GASP) I realized I was on it WAY more than I needed to be. I found myself checking my newsfeed every few minutes as if the world would stop if I didn't find out what my FaceBook friends were posting throughout the day. Once I committed to being off FB, I found myself playing more iPhone games (Candy Crush, FreeCell, Churchill Solitaire...need I go on? ...don't judge me, I'll bet you have your own ways of killing time). So, I stopped those as well!! Ten whole days. That's bigger news than changing my diet as far as I'm concerned!
I found I had MUCH more time to read. Sadly I also found some new ways to waste time in a day (Real Wives of Dallas is a real show...who watches that stuff? People who aren't on FaceBook or playing iPhone games of course!) When I found myself "killing time" I stopped and asked what a better use of those precious minutes would be. Sometimes that meant I took a nap! Mid-day naps are glorious! I can't say I got a lot more real work done than before, but at least I felt like I was doing more with the day and this time really highlighted how much time I fritter away doing "nothing".
What I didn't eat on Whole 30
There is a set protocol for Whole 30-no dairy, grains/pseudo grains, no sugars or sweeteners of ANY KIND, no legumes. I also took out eggs and 99% of anything processed at all. I didn't modify as much as I probably "should" have because there are some additional restrictions that would have made the last 30 days "Autoimmune Protocol" compliant, but I figured being 100% Whole30 strict for the full 30 days was going to be enough, and it was. AIP takes out nightshades (tomatoes, potatoes and peppers), quite a few spices (ie cumin, coriander, and pepper of any kind) as well as nuts and seeds of any kind. While I didn't eat a lot of the AIP foods, I did have some things some of the time. I also know I was "contaminated" at least once with butter at Smashburger.
What did I learn?
Well....not a ton except that it's EASY to not eat certain foods! Seriously. I went to a party Sunday and ate a tiny bit of guacamole on celery and didn't eat the rest and I didn't feel deprived. I didn't eat gluten free carrot cake and...well, I did get a bit sad in the moment, but I'm not sad now. That moment of want FADES pretty darn fast when I am resolved to NOT eat something. In the moment it feels tough to say no, but that no was decided long before I got to the moment of having to say it so it wasn't as hard as it might have been if I hadn't made up my mind in advance. So my take-away--decide before you have to be in the moment.
What has changed?
Well...I'm not faced with having to make the call in the moment. I will NOT eat gluten. Period. I am not willing to say I'll never eat it again because I will eat Mark's donuts again and they will be worth it. But I might not ever think other gluten is worth it for me ever again. (More on this later.) I know I will eat sugar again, but my hope is that I will be able to say "wow that (fill in the blank) is just too rich!" and push said food away and not eat it (something I don't think I've EVER said/done before!).
What has not changed (much)?
Whole 30 specifically says to NOT weigh yourself at all. Well, I didn't listen to them. I did weigh, pretty much every day. And...my weight didn't change much at all. I went down a couple of pounds, back up a couple and back down a couple all month long. Well, now that I'm looking at my Garmin stats, the exact change is that I'm down 8 pounds from where I was 30 days ago. That's a little surprising...and that's exactly why you aren't supposed to weigh every day! But I have to say tomorrow I might be up a couple again, and I started a little high compared to what's "normal" for me, so that 8 isn't as impressive as it sounds. But, I also have to say I'm pleased with where I am right now all things considered.
What do I do now?
There is a set protocol for reintroductions. But, I have to face facts. I already KNOW dairy and eggs do not work in my body. I already KNOW sugar turns me into a demon. I already know gluten pokes holes in my gut. Why would I eat any of that EVER again?
The trouble is that I also KNOW something I still causing my body to react. I'm not sure what it is. There are times I eat a meal and my hands swell up, my head hurts, my sinuses feel like they are going to explode, and the scale pops up a couple of pounds the next day. (And it's obvious where those pounds are because my lower abdomen tries to imply I'm about 6 months pregnant!)
So... I have invested in a fancy food diary. I got it last week although I haven't actually started using it but that's the plan for the next 30 days. Dwayne has been saying for years "If you would just keep a food diary you could figure out what it is that gives you trouble". The problem is that MANY foods give me trouble. The other problem is that I am NOT good at "connect the dots" when it comes to stuff like this. Food intolerances can show up three days after you eat the offending food! And, complicating it even more, there are food combinations that can cause issues even if the individual foods don't. It's like connect the dots in the stars with no numbers. Not going to happen. I'm committing to keeping the diary for the next 30 days and faithfully noting all that I eat and all that I experience and then let my engineer husband look for patterns.
What happened to "Tiger (Cub) Blood"
I was fairly certain how I was feeling on Day 10 was more from the IV steroid treatments I was receiving than my diet; the last several days have been a confirmation of that certainty. I'm back to being exhausted and not thinking clearly in general. I know there will be more than one person who thinks this because I'm not eating grains, pasta, bread and rice. But, no...that's not why I'm feeling this way. My diet hasn't contained any real amount of that kind of food for years, even training for Ironman. This is certainly a result of Hashimoto's Encephalopathy. I get my next three days of treatment in a week (Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday). I'm looking forward to it more than Christmas!!
*No gluten, ever??
I say I don't think I'll eat gluten ever again (except Mark's donuts!) because everything I have read says people with autoimmune conditions/diseases should NOT eat gluten, ever. When my issue was "just" my thyroid it was easier to say "this pizza isn't going to kill me". But this new twist on Hashimoto's has been scary to say the least. The antibodies are attacking my BRAIN. We take thinking for granted, at least I used to. My health is more important to me than any gluten filled food could possibly ever be. And, if I thought eating Mark's donuts would kill me, I wouldn't eat those either! I've read too much about how the immune system works to ignore it. I'm not saying it's bad for everyone, but I believe it's not good for me. Until something/someone convinces me otherwise, I'm avoiding it like the plague. Until I go to Arkansas the next time and then Katie bar the door, I'm having not one, not two, but THREE cream filled bits of heaven in my mouth!!! (I'll skip the chocolate milk, but I might make one of the three a chocolate covered cream filled yummness!) Because Mark's donuts will "always" be worth it (unless I find myself living down the street from it again, and then they won't be as worth it as they are now!).
Thanks for stopping in. :D