Whole30 Tips for Success

I’m feeling pretty successful now that I have reached day 20 of my Whole30 journey. I think that I will be able to share some whole30 success tips or just tips for staying on any elimination diet. They will be very similar.

Find your favorite approved foods

It is counter-productive to focus on foods that you can’t eat. You will start to feel deprived and hungry. It will be more mentally challenging. You may even find yourself feeling exhausted without any real reason.

The first thing that you must do when starting an elimination diet is to identify the foods that you enjoy eating that are on the approved list. Heck, even if you are doing an all-meat diet, you need to identify which foods you absolutely love and can handle eating repeatedly.

Listen to positive affirmations

I have a tape of positive affirmations from Think Right Now. I play it every night. It gets into my head that I will be able to heal from my health conditions. This can help me from thinking negative counterproductive thoughts. It keeps me from cheating and starting over as I have done in the past.

The tape that I listen to has some classical music playing in the background that is also supposed to have healing vibes. I can’t say for sure whether it works or not, but I do seem to feel a bit more positive about my efforts and journey to stay the course.

Get the junk out

Don’t try to start the diet with your food temptations in plain sight. Wait a day or two until you can eat them up or throw them away. Willpower does not always stick around when there is a slice of pizza to be eaten. Pizza may not tempt you once you have a few months of the diet down, but in the beginning, keeping temptation away is good.

Select a reward for yourself

Kindergarten teachers always gave you stickers for doing a great job. Your boss will hand out bonuses for excellent work. Reward yourself for staying on task with Whole30. There is no shame in this game. For me, I have been thinking that my reward could be a fun trip to go fishing on the Potomac. I may reward myself with some birthday cake at the end (because my birthday is at the end of February.)

You can set small rewards for making it through the week on the diet or big rewards for getting through the whole month. The idea is to make following through on your goal to eat healthier a bit more fun.

Some non-food rewards could include:

  • a bubble bath
  • buying your favorite perfume
  • a trip to the movies
  • get your nails done
  • a clean house (get a maid for a day)
  • a fun hike

Conclusion

Dieting is not fun when your friends and family eat the addicting junk foods that you usually love. Then again, those foods tend to make you sick and tired. It isn’t until you are sick and tired of being sick and tired that you will change your ways. Whole30 is a great way to start making healthier choices.

Rewarding yourself for sticking with your diet will not only bring you closer to your health goals, but you’ll feel better about yourself. You will not only have accomplished a goal, but you will gain a treat for doing so!

Hope these tips have helped and you have convinced yourself that you can stick with an elimination type diet like Whole 30! Best of luck to you!

Whole30 – 19 Days In

Whole30 is a diet that encourages you to eat whole foods for 30 days. It eliminates grains, dairy, added sugars, and processed foods. The beginning of the diet is such an adjustment because so many of the delicious foods in our diet include grains. They also are composed of added sugars. Dairy is very common in multiple different cuisines, so cutting it out is challenging. 

My mental victory

I think the biggest victory from this Whole30 challenge has been mentally breaking the addiction to butter. While I do like butter and don’t know how much it impacts my health, adjusting to life without butter is almost effortless now. I feel pretty confident that I can continue on without butter after the 30 days are over. 

Do I want to? 

I’m not sure. I do like the idea of eating junk foods on special occasions, but I also really want my hair to start growing again. It is just discouraging that I have changed my diet multiple times without seeing much progress at all. 

Symptoms update

I started the diet with relatively good health. I tend to have good energy, sleep well, and feel good overall. The symptoms that I do have are minor. I experience some mild bloating and gas, but this seems more correlated with my menstrual cycle than with the food that I eat. 

My hair does not seem to be growing. Occasionally, I will notice a few extra clear eyelashes, but I don’t know if they are new or not. My head hair is not growing. 

I have not had a seizure during this Whole30 journey. I feel like it could be due to taking the vitamin D cod liver oil. 

The hard thing is that improvement with hair takes a long time for even normal growth. Fixing whatever is preventing the growth takes time and then you have to wait for another month to see if the hair will emerge. 

My favorite foods on Whole30

I got rid of my bacon and egg breakfast because the grocery store bacon was cured with sugar. I started making butternut squash and hamburger breakfast hash that is now my favorite breakfast. I think I like it more than bacon! I do cook it in pastured lard, so it tastes a little like bacon. 

I love my soups! It helps that it is winter and soup is just comforting during winter. I make a big pot of soup at the beginning of the week and have a cup or two each day. It is tasty, comforting, filling, and full of nutrition. 

My Whole30 exceptions

I have made a few exceptions to the Whole30 diet. I am taking a supplement that is not a whole food. I take cod liver oil. It is a bit processed. The cod liver oil that I am taking has some synthetic vitamins added to it. I do think it has made a difference in preventing my seizures, so I didn’t eliminate it on the Whole30 diet. 

The other thing that I made an exception for on Whole30 was bacon. I bought some pastured bacon that contained evaporated cane juice during the curing process. I realized that it contained an added form of sugar after I had eaten a few pieces of it. 

Olives. I put some black olives in a salad without reading the back of the bottle. It does look like there are some questionable preservatives in olives, so I didn’t start over and consider the Whole30 experience ruined with a few olives on top of my salad. They aren’t something that I regularly eat or put on a lot of dishes. 

Conclusion

Whole30 has been a great experiment for me. I started it because my cousin was doing it, but it has been good for my overall health and wellness. Just another eleven days until I am finished. Then I can decide to get tighter with the autoimmune food restriction or loosen up and celebrate my birthday. 

For many people, strict diets are easy to implement immediately. For people like myself, you need to slowly eliminate a few foods at a time and not jump into something super restrictive immediately. The slow adjustment just seems to work better for me. It may mean that the healing is slower, but I’ve tried it both ways and it is very difficult to tell if I am healing. 

A Whole30 Histamine Reaction? My experience

Yesterday was day 16 of my Whole30 experience. For some reason, I thought that I would just feel increasingly better or the same during the whole month. Not at all. First I had some upper eyelid inflammation that I remember having with other elimination diets. It only lasted a few days. Now, I experienced a full-blown histamine reaction. I sneezed and my face swelled up a bit.

The whole reaction lasted about 3 hours. It was majorly disappointing. I wanted to attribute it to one particular food I ate and could eliminate, but which one? I had a salad, pulled pork, eggs, and olives. I had been eating these things all along without a problem. So what to eliminate?

How to proceed after a reaction

I wanted to change up everything and see if there was one particular food allergy. I’m honestly struggling with doing that. Eliminating your favorite foods is very difficult. I’ve already eliminated dairy, grains, and sugar. I toyed with the idea of doing the paleo ketogenic diet again without vegetables. That is really hard initially.

Now that the inflammation has subsided, I think I’m just going to keep an eye out for future breakouts during the rest of the 30 days. At the end of the day, you have to eat something. Eliminating everything from your diet may just leave you starving.

I’m hoping this is a one-time thing. I will reassess if I continue to sneeze and break out in rashes.

The next steps

So, since I decided to continue the course and how I have been eating. The next steps will be to decide on the diet to follow after Whole30. I can gradually add foods back into my diet and see if I have a reaction. (Clearly, I don’t know what to do if I do have a reaction since I’ve just decided not to change anything.) Or I can do a stricter diet, like the GAPS or paleo ketogenic diet, and see if that works for me. Both of those will be very hard.

I think my goal should be to do a week of the Paleo Ketogenic diet, which is very similar to the GAPS intro. I know if I can get through a week, I can keep it going longer.

Testing, testing 1,2,3,

It has been a whole month since I tested my TSH and vitamin D levels. I think that I will wait two more months before testing my vitamin D levels again. That will give me a good idea of where my levels are and I can determine if I feel better or not. I’m hoping to get my vitamin D levels closer to 60.

Since my TSH levels were in the normal non-Hashimoto’s range when I tested them the last two times, I may save my money on that test. I don’t seem to have a lot of Hashimoto’s symptoms.

I could test some inflammatory markers to determine if I was inflamed after this reaction, but my symptoms have subsided. It may not show up on the test and I’m not entirely sure what to do if it did. So, I’m not going to bother with any extra blood tests.

Emu oil

One thing that I’m going to try on my scalp will be emu oil. I was reading up on the Weston A. Price Foundation website about emu oil and some doctors were using it topically with great healing results. Apparently, it is full of vitamin D and soaks into the skin well. It would be interesting to see if the vitamin D that soaked into the hair follicles could trigger new growth.

So, I ordered a bottle of emu oil. I should get it in the mail today or tomorrow. I’m super excited to start using it. My biggest challenge with topical applications is remembering to apply it! I’m not someone who has ever used lotions on my skin much at all. In fact, I don’t use any products on my skin unless they are edible because they can absorb into your body. Also, I’m super cheap and it saves money. So, there’s that.

 

In conclusion

The Whole30 diet doesn’t magically make you feel amazing all the time. You may have a histamine response like I did. My next steps are going to be to simply continue on with the diet that I have been eating without changing much and wait for another reaction. In two weeks when the diet is over, I will start a GAPS intro type of diet for a week.

Testing out new protocols is a matter of trial and error. You may discover something that works wonderfully for you. But you need to be honest when something that sounds so ideal doesn’t pan out for you as well. Whole30 is one protocol that I’m still deciding about. I have started charting my daily symptoms that aren’t that noticeable like constipation, sneezing, and ringing in the ears for a few seconds. I’m hoping that I will see fewer incidences of them on a chart as I progress with the diet.

 

Walking 30 Minutes a Day – Benefits for Your Health

On this website, I tend to focus a lot on what to eat. Whether you move or not is just as important to your health. Many people wrongly assume that they have to do high-intensity exercise for a long time every day to see some health benefits. Trust me. That is not the case. 

I have been an athlete. I have been a sedentary office worker that never exercised. I think I may have found my middle ground at this stage in life. I can honestly say that if you add a 30-minute walk to your day, you will feel great.

Improves your mood

Research has shown that walking modifies your nervous system. You will experience a decrease in anger and hostility. Soaking in sunlight or strolling through some woods can be very helpful especially during colder months when many suffer from seasonal depression. 

If you make your walks social with a good friend or relative, you feel more connected. You are strengthening your relationships with the important people in your life. 

Helps with weight loss

As you incorporate a daily walk into your schedule, you may notice that your pants start feeling looser. Regular walking can improve your body’s response to insulin and help reduce belly fat. 

Want to increase your calorie burn? Schedule your route to include hills and alternate the speed that you walk. Challenge yourself to longer routes on some days. You should strive to get in 10,000 steps a day. 

Daily walking increases metabolism by burning extra calories. It prevents muscle loss which can positively alter body composition.

 

Improves your digestion

Your morning walk can help keep you regular. A regular walking routine can improve bowel functions. It utilizes the core and abdominal muscles which encourages movement through the gastrointestinal system. 

In a 2017 study, middle-aged obese women with chronic constipation were asked to walk on a treadmill three times per week for 60 minutes. Their constipation symptoms improved more than the control group. 

Poor gut bacteria can also lead to constipation. A 2019 study focused on the effect of brisk walking on intestinal microbiota composition. Results showed that aerobic exercises help to increase intestinal Bacteroides which greatly help digestion.

Enhances creative thinking

Whether you are feeling stuck at work or can’t seem to figure out a tricky problem, research has shown that it is a good idea to get up and move. In a 2014 study from the Journal of Experimental Psychology, researchers found that creative thinking tests given while walking demonstrated more creativity than taken while sitting. 

So, when your writer’s block hits hard, it is time to get up and take a walk. Get outside and move your body. You will have a break-through! 

Boosts your immunity

Walking can help to reduce your risk for disease and promote longevity. A high-intensity interval walk can improve immune function in older adults. In a study from Chronic Respiratory Disease, it shows that walking can help patients with COPD reduce their morbidity and mortality rates. COPD patients often find intense movements difficult, but walking can improve symptoms and lower their risk for cardiovascular disease. 

Go take a hike! 

Whether your goal is simply to improve your creativity or lose weight, taking a walk is one of the easiest and best things that you can do. It doesn’t require any equipment or gym membership, and you probably already have comfortable shoes suitable for walking.The intensity can be varied from hard to easy based on the route and the pacing that you select. 

Walking can be done at your convenience. You can choose to get in as little as 30 minutes of walking per day, or you can lengthen your walk to an hour or more. With consistent daily walks, you won’t suffer from muscle soreness or fatigue and often you will feel more energized after you take a walk. 

Don’t feel limited by the weather. In the summer, you can walk early in the morning or late in the evening to reduce overheating. In the winter time, just bundle up! You can still get a good walk in with freezing temperatures. A warm jacket will keep you comfortable and as you walk your blood flow will increase to keep you warm. 

So, what are you waiting for? Find a friend, grab your dog and get outside to take a walk.

My Whole30 15 Day Update

I have hit the mid-point of the 30 day Whole30 journey! It is getting easier and easier every day. My meals are very simple and I repeat the same foods often. Luckily, I love the foods that I do eat and I’m feeling pretty great. I have noticed a few improvements and a few uncomfortable symptoms that may be alleviated with time.

I am beginning to think that I will likely stick with the Whole30 diet beyond 30 days instead of binging on my favorite foods immediately afterward.

Whole30 Improvement

I was feeling pretty healthy when I started Whole30. My alopecia universalis is cosmetic and can easily be hidden, so while I want it to heal and improve, it hasn’t done so with other elimination diets in 30 days or even 90 days. I don’t have seizures on a daily basis and haven’t had any on Whole30, so it is very difficult to tell if I am heading in the right direction or not. I’m going to be positive.

The one thing that I can say for certain is much better is my morning congestion is going away. When I started the diet, I was having some mild congestion upon awakening. It would usually clear up with a few exercises or some bone broth and I could breathe easily through the rest of the day. I do think that eating cheese and crackers contributed to the congestion. I’m glad that I have broken my addiction to grains and dairy.

Continuing symptoms

The symptoms that haven’t cleared up are alopecia. There is no hair regrowth, but even if I have enough healing, it takes a long time for hair to grow even when you are healthy. So, I’m living with a bald head and a wig for now. I have done it for ten years. I do think that continuing with the Whole30 diet combined with the cod liver oil to raise my vitamin D levels will help. That is something different than I had done in the past.

I do seem to have gas and bloating from time to time. It correlates with eating too many vegetables or my monthly cycle. I had a bunch of fruit yesterday and my tummy just seemed really upset last night. That is unfortunate, but I know I can tweak the amounts and check for improvement. Along with the bloating, I have noticed a slight bit of constipation. I’m going to test out different amounts of fats and carbohydrates to see if it makes a difference this week.

Whole30 breakfast menu

You may be wondering what the heck I have been eating. Eggs have been a staple in my diet. I did find out that bacon has added sugar during the curing process, so I had to cut that out. The following are some of the things that I have been eating for breakfast on my Whole30 journey.

  • Boiled eggs
  • Scrambled eggs
  • Hamburger and squash hash
  • Egg, spinach, mushroom, and sausage bake
  • Apple slices
  • Grapes

Whole30 main dish menu

Lunches and dinners are very similar. I use the same foods for lunch or dinner. I have just barely enough variety not to get bored and the foods tend to keep me full. I tend to mix and match and choose a vegetable to go with a meat dish.

  • Soup and salad
  • Bone broth
  • Hamburger
  • Pulled pork
  • Steamed vegetables
  • Sauteed meat and veggies
  • Salad
  • Salmon patties

Whole30 snacks

I try not to snack too often. I am usually full and snacking is only due to boredom. It is tough working from home right now and taking a break. One of the easiest places to go is to the kitchen and grab something to munch on. Below are the snacks that I have eaten on Whole30.

  • Carrot sticks
  • Boiled eggs
  • Almonds
  • Apple slices
  • Grapes

 

Give it a whirl

The Whole30 diet is one of the easiest elimination diets. I feel that it is a gateway diet into Autoimmune Paleo or GAPS. You get used to less processed foods and the idea of cooking more. GAPS and Autoimmune Paleo have a few other restrictions that would be hard initially. For example, Autoimmune Paleo eliminates eggs because people with autoimmune conditions can be sensitive to eggs. That would take out my snack foods. GAPS has a whole structure of reintroducing foods that can be very challenging to follow. The Paleo-Ketogenic diet eliminates all plant foods, which can be unnecessarily hard. I’ve done all of these diets before usually for about 3 months. Right now, I think Whole30 combined with the cod liver oil makes me feel the best.

Carlson’s Cod Liver Oil Review

Carlson’s Cod Liver Oil Review

Name: Carlson Super D Wild-Caught Norwegian Arctic Cod Liver Oil

Website: Carlsonlabs.com
Price: $22.32
Owners: Susan Carlson, founder

Susan Carlson created the nutritional supplement brand in 1965 after her father suffered from heart issues. He found no relief by taking vitamin E. With a background in pharmacy, Susan created one of the first lines of vitamin E. Today, the company is committed to helping families live a healthier lifestyle. The brand offers over 200 vitamins, minerals, omega-3s, and other high-quality nutritional supplements.

Overall Rank: 80 out of 100

Carlson’s Super D Omega-3, Wild-Caught Norwegian Arctic Cod Liver Oil, Product Overview

Carlson’s super D omega-3 cod liver oil is a vitamin supplement that is full of natural and synthetic vitamin A and D. The cod liver oil is flavored with a lemon flavor to make it more palatable. This is a great option for someone who wants to quickly raise their vitamin D levels. Vitamin A and vitamin D are synergistic. They work together to ensure that you don’t experience toxicity from too much of one vitamin.

The Good & the Bad

The Good:

PRO #1: Has both vitamin D and vitamin A in one supplement.
PRO #2: The added synthetic vitamins let you know how many IUs of vitamin D you are getting per day.
PRO #3: The lemon flavor makes it easy and enjoyable to take.

The Bad:

CON #1: It contains some synthetic vitamins.
CON #2: It is higher priced than other cod liver oils on the market.

Who is Carlson’s Super D cod liver oil for?

This cod liver oil is great for adults and children who are not used to taking a strong-flavored cod liver oil. It is ideal for adults who do not get out in the sunshine a lot or who do not eat plenty of animal foods that contain vitamin D. (This is almost everyone as we have moved away from eating vitamin D rich foods like fatty fish and liver.)

Carlson’s Super D cod liver oil supplementation

It is recommended to take one teaspoon of Carlson’s super D cod liver oil once a day. This is to maintain vitamin D levels. If you are looking to increase your vitamin D levels, you can take up to a tablespoon of cod liver oil per day.

I started taking Carlson’s super D cod liver oil with a level just below average. My level was 28 ng/mL (30 ng/mL is average). After taking a teaspoon every day for five weeks, my levels measured 49 ng/mL.

 Carlson’s Support and Customer Service

I ordered my cod liver oil through Amazon. The product arrived within 2 days in good condition. I did not have a reason to contact customer support. The reviews on Amazon suggested that the customer support is good and they are very responsive.

Carlson’s Super D Cod Liver Oil Price

The cost of Carlson’s cod liver oil is $22.32 for an 8-ounce bottle. This price is competitive for the quality. Many vitamin D supplements do not include vitamin A or the additional vitamins in cod liver oil. The cost is much less than all-natural fermented cod liver oil, but you do have some added synthetic vitamins.

My Final Opinion of Carlson’s Super D Cod Liver Oil

I am very pleased with my experience taking Carlson’s super D cod liver oil. It raised my vitamin D levels when it seemed nothing else would. It also helped to prevent my epileptic seizures. I only had one during the time that I was taking the product and the length of time it lasted had decreased. The seizure also was less in intensity. People with epilepsy have lower vitamin D levels due to the anticonvulsants. Seizures can also use up vitamin D stores.

Carlson’s Super D Cod Liver Oil at a Glance…

Name: Carlson’s Super D Cod Liver Oil

Website: Carlsonlabs.com
Owners: Carlson
Price: $22.32

VERDICT: LEGIT! Highly recommend!

Note: While I highly recommend this product, I have been reading up on the benefits of fermented cod liver oil. I will be experimenting with a few different cod liver oils to see if I can have even better results or find a lower-cost option.

My Whole30 Update – 10 days In!

I haven’t been updating my blog much because I don’t think that dieting is that interesting right now, but maybe you’ll find something interesting about my experience. The first day was super hard. I had to stop eating the addicting foods and find something else to eat or avoid the kitchen altogether.

The Whole30 detox experience

I did not expect to feel any negative side effects from getting rid of grains and dairy, but on the second day, I did get a slight headache. It was a day that I was being pretty lazy and reading a lot on my couch, so the headache could have been a result of neck strain.

My detoxing ramped up on the fourth day and I started getting the rash above my eye that I get when doing elimination diets. It is itchy and uncomfortable but doesn’t last much longer than a week if that. Luckily, I didn’t have the rash above both eyelids, just the left one.

In my first few days, I had a bit more bowel movements. They were pretty normal, so I figure that it was just my body getting rid of any excess. They have pretty much normalized. My last bowel movement was indicating a small bit of constipation based on the shape according to the Bristol stool chart.

Overall, my detox hasn’t been too bad. I’ve adjusted to the foods quite well. Then again, this is not my first rodeo when it comes to elimination dieting!

My Whole30 health benefits

This is a bit hard for me to admit, but I haven’t seen many health benefits just yet. When I started I had been waking up with a tiny bit of congestion. This has gone away for the most part.

I haven’t had any seizures on the diet, but my seizure pattern was very sporadic, so I didn’t expect to have any. I do feel like my brain is working a bit better, but it is a bit hard to explain. I have still had moments of forgetfulness, but they seem to have diminished.

My hair is not yet growing, which is the main reason that I do these diets. I keep looking for little hairs here and there, but I can’t say that there are any new ones. This is easy to tell with a completely bald head.

My Whole30 eating out plan

One of the things that can be challenging about Whole30 is eating out in restaurants with friends. I had planned on eating brunch with a good friend this weekend, but we got a snowstorm.

How was I going to navigate the whole30 diet in a restaurant where most ingredients are off-limits?

I had checked out the menu ahead of time. I saw that the brunch menu had steak and eggs on it. They included a side dish of hash browns and toast. I planned on eating the steak, eggs, and hash browns and not worrying about whether they used vegetable oil when cooking it. I didn’t want to worry about it because I felt a little bit of vegetable oil was unlikely to harm me.

I do know that some people request to have their foods cooked in lard or butter, but since I rarely eat out, I was going to let it slide. Besides, steak and eggs are pretty nutrient-dense whole foods.

My mistakes on Whole30

I have not been 100% compliant with thewhole30 rules. I did allow a few seemingly whole foods into my diet that had bad ingredients in them. I bought uncured, nitrite-free, pastured bacon from a local farm. It was high quality and I assumed that it was clean. It was sugar-free, but when I checked, they used evaporated cane juice in the smoking process. It isn’t a lot, so I decided I’d go ahead and finish the package.

On the eighth day, I made a salad. My mom suggested using olives and for a brief moment, I forgot that I was doing whole30 and didn’t check the ingredients on the can. There is an additive that I didn’t recognize that is questionable. Again, it isn’t a lot. I will probably not consume more, so I am not going to worry about it too much.

I have used a supplement. I use cod liver oil to keep my vitamin D levels high and prevent seizures. It isn’t a whole food and does have synthetic vitamin A and vitamin D added, so that isn’t 100% compliant, but I do feel better with higher levels of vitamin D. I do think that it is preventing seizures.

My successes on Whole30

Ok, now that we’ve gone over my failures with the diet. I need to celebrate my successes. I was able to eliminate dairy and I don’t really miss it! I have gotten the grains out of my diet and I’m not craving bread or crackers. I haven’t touched a sugary product in 12 days.

My confidence is rising in my ability to eat healthily. I feel like I will probably be able to continue this way of eating beyond thirty days. It is only day 12, but I have gotten into a good routine with my food.

Overall, I feel pretty great about my progress on the Whole30 diet. 

My Whole30 Diet Kick Off!

Ok, you probably think I’m the crazy diet lady. I have done raw vegan, AIP, GAPS, paleo, ketogenic, paleo ketogenic, and even carnivore. None of these diets have regrown my hair. I have struggled to stick with them because I don’t tend to see results. So why am I even bothering with the whole 30 diet? 

Good question!

My Interest in Whole 30 

Honestly, I didn’t know that much about the whole 30 diet until this week. I knew that it was similar to the paleo and AIP diet, but after trying many variations of diets, I kind of figured it was just another diet. 

I read a post from fmy second cousin online that he was starting the whole 30 diet. After doing a bunch of diet variations, I knew I could tackle the challenge with him and his wife. I also was coming off of the holidays and indulging in lots of sweets and foods. A dietary challenge may be just the thing that I needed to get back on track and stop cheating. 

My Whole 30 Challenges

I have given up wheat before and it wasn’t too difficult. The paleo ketogenic diet was the most challenging diet that I have done. It eliminated dairy and grains. I had added butter and cheese back into my diet for a month. I knew that giving up dairy would be tough for me. Giving up bread was something that wasn’t as hard. I had avoided bread much longer than I have avoided butter. 

It is also a joke in my family that we love butter. My mom’s father would put cold butter and warm butter on his oatmeal. The cold butter has a different texture.

Eliminating butter means that you are eating vegetables without fat. That can be kind of hard. Some veggies are just not that tasty. One thing that I learned from the paleo ketogenic diet is that your body needs a certain amount of fat every day. It keeps you satiated and helps your body absorb those essential fat-soluble vitamins. 

My first Whole 30 day

Today is my first day of the whole 30 diet. I admittedly have already cheated on it. But I had a few strips of bacon that weren’t going to last in the refrigerator for 30 days. I know that there was some added sugar in the bacon. It is a very small amount. So small that there are no carbohydrates listed on the nutrition label. So, maybe I’ll just do an extra day or remember that I need to do an additional Whole 30 breakfast on day 31. 

I actually eliminated dairy and wheat yesterday, so today hasn’t been too bad. The whole foods that I have eaten today include the following. 

  • 2 eggs
  • 4 strips of bacon
  • chuck roast
  • roasted carrots
  • apple
  • boiled egg (snack)

I seasoned my foods with salt and pepper. It still was delicious. 

I weighed myself and took pictures today. I was VERY bloated, but I don’t know if it was the diet or PMS. I still had bloating on the paleo ketogenic diet and I wasn’t eating any gas-producing beans or veggies. In fact, I wasn’t eating veggies or fruit at all. My after pictures may look much better just because I’m not so bloated. We shall see! 

Upcoming Whole 30 menu ideas

I went to the grocery store to pick up food for the week. I was inspired by the frozen vegetables this week. I definitely am not ready to give up all of my carbohydrates and do the paleo ketogenic diet again. So, this is a simple way to eat. 

I plan on eating very simply for the next week. Homemade soup, stir frys, hamburgers, apples, and vegetables are on the menu. I did purchase some coconut aminos to go with my asian stir fry dish. I saw that was whole 30 approved and soy sauce was out. 

I grabbed some sweet potatoes from the produce section today. I plan on cutting those up and baking them with some olive oil and salt to make sweet potato fries. That should be fun. I haven’t had those in a long time, but I know they are delicious. Also, sweet potatoes are on the GAPS diet, which allows some of the less irritating veggies onto the diet. 

A bunless hamburger is always an easy meal to make when doing an elimination diet. It can be difficult to look down at your plate and just see what looks like a hockey puck, but when cooked correctly, a plain burger can be delicious. 

Another item I found in the freezer section was chopped butternut squash. I plan on cooking that up with ground beef to make a breakfast hash. I’m hoping it will be tasty.

Wish me luck! 

So, now I have a general plan on how to survive this first week of whole 30. I haven’t given up eggs or nightshades despite having an autoimmune condition. That may come next week. This week I will be adjusting to not eating dairy or bread. Next week, I can figure out what to eat instead of potatoes and whether I want to include the spices that have nightshades in them. 

Did I stick with the Paleo Ketogenic Diet?

I haven’t updated my blog in a long time. I was working with the Paleomedicina group on a healing diet that presumably would cure my epilepsy. But, did it work? It a word. No. Did I give up on it too quickly? Maybe.

Was I strict on the diet? Yes. I didn’t cheat.

A seizure on the paleo ketogenic diet

This is one of the things that worried me the most. I knew that I was having more auras and seizures around the time that my menstrual cycle was happening. I had gotten the seizures under control to the point that the ONLY time that I was likely to have a seizure was either mid-cycle when the estrogen was dropping and the progesterone was rising or right before menses when the progesterone was dropping and estrogen was rising.

The change in hormones also triggered diarrhea. This ONLY lasted for a few days. It happened while I was on the paleo ketogenic diet as well. I actually did not see an improvement in digestion. Dr. Zsofia Clemens told me that I could go a few days without a bowel movement. I went 14 days once without a bowel movement.

Why was I having a bowel movement when I did? I started my period. Suddenly, I went from no bowel movements to lots of watery bowel movements for a few days. Then back to nothing for days.

I also experienced gas. I would belch and fart during these times when my hormones were changing. It was more noticeable than when I was on a standard diet. I was paying closer attention to the symptoms because I had to record them everyday and follow up with Paleomedicina. So, maybe it was slightly better and maybe it was worse. It is difficult to say.

Did I continue with the Paleo Ketogenic Diet?

Sadly, I had not one but two seizures on this diet. I was on the strict diet for 12 weeks. At week 8, I had my first seizure. I was encouraged to give the diet more time. Two weeks later (at the mid-point of my cycle), I had another seizure.

The diet wasn’t hard and I was hopeful that I could see some amazing results. Unfortunately, Thanksgiving was coming up and I knew that after having seizures and not feeling great on the diet, it was going to be hard to convince myself to stick with it through the holiday.

I went out and tested my vitamin D level. Dr. Zsofia Clemens had commented that it had started out low and that my angular cheilitis was a result of the low D levels, but she discouraged me from taking supplements due to additives that could hinder the healing process.

She told me that the vitamin D levels would naturally increase.

Well, they didn’t.

In fact, the vitamin D levels had dropped by one point. I had gone from 29 ng/ml to 28 ng/ml. I do realize that seizures can decrease the vitamin D level in your blood, but I had waited a week and started taking cod liver oil with vitamin D in it for a whole week before I thought to test my levels.

Supplementing with vitamin D

I got my test results right before Thanksgiving. A lowered vitamin D level was discouraging and let me cheat on the diet for Thanksgiving Day food. I do realize that I may have erased any progress that I was making, but I wasn’t feeling great with only meat in the specified proportions.

I didn’t just have the apple pie, but I ate the stuffing, the potatoes, the sweet potatoes, and the cranberry sauce. I helped finish up the leftovers for the next two days without triggering a seizure. I kind of felt a little better with more food in me.

It turned out to be difficult to return to a paleo ketogenic diet. I tried to be as ketogenic as I could until Christmas. I continued supplementing with vitamin D. When Christmas rolled around, I had been taking vitamin D for about 5 weeks without having any seizures. I felt pretty good.

My ridged nails from the alopecia were looking better. Still, no hair, but Zsofia Clemens had not sounded promising about getting hair back on the paleo ketogenic diet anyway.

Christmas diet cheats

I ate all the food at Christmas when my family was in town. It was great to see them and I didn’t want to make a big deal about the food. My sister also commented that I looked too skinny and boney. This was incredibly hard to hear because Dr. Clemens had said I may initially lose weight and put it on. The putting it on part did not happen.

So, I indulged. Chocolate, pasta, pies, and pizza.

I ate poorly for about five days. I didn’t have a seizure from the cheats. On December 26, after the family had left and I was getting back to my normal diet, I had the mildest seizure of my life. I didn’t even know I had one when my mother told me. She said that it was about half as long.

I attribute this seizure improvement to vitamin D. My diet was absolutely terrible. But if my seizures were caused by diet alone, I would have had one days earlier.

The seizure was 2 days before my menstrual cycle. I could tell my hormones were fluctuating because I was getting gassy.

I know that hormones can improve with these ketogenic diets, but it hasn’t really been the case for me thus far. I think the biggest improvement came when I added in vitamin D.

I quickly made an appointment to test my vitamin D levels after the seizure. They had gone up to 49! I had watched a youtube video done by Dr. Annette Boswell who stated that neurological benefits don’t happen on the ketogenic diet unless vitamin D is above 50.

Maybe this is the key.

A Paleo Ketogenic diet isn’t a cure-all

I strongly feel that I shouldn’t have had a seizure on the paleo ketogenic diet if it was truly the answer for me. I definitely think that correcting vitamin D levels is a vital component of healing. In addition to Dr. Annette Boswell, Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride of the GAPS diet says that you need vitamin D for healing.

It is fun to hear about all the testimonials from a carnivore diet or a paleo-ketogenic diet, but when it doesn’t happen for you, it is discouraging. My frustration led me to quit blogging for a while. Sorry!

Now that we’re half-way through January, I have eliminated most junk food from my life. I’m not entirely keto or paleo, but I am taking my cod liver oil. I do feel pretty good. It’s been 3 weeks since my last seizure, but I’m feeling optimistic. I’m not strict on my diet anymore, but I’m listening to my body’s signals more closely.

Progress on Paleo Ketogenic Diet: 6 weeks

I have been on the Paleo Ketogenic Diet as prescribed by Dr. Zsofia Clemens for about 6 full weeks. This has not been difficult. But I don’t experience overwhelming improvement within the first two months. It is somewhat disappointing.

I did have a break out of angular cheilitis that has since settled down. My hair hasn’t really grown at all. (I’m still bald and not seeing any new growth.) Unfortunately, I had a seizure. I’m super disappointed by this. The last time I attempted this diet was two years ago. I had a seizure at about the same point. This time, I was monitoring my blood glucose and it had elevated a bit. It was in the middle of my cycle when my progesterone was decreasing, so apparently ketones don’t tend to prevent hormonal seizures.

I feel blessed to discover that my seizures aren’t really closely related to the food I eat. I have decided that I will continue on with the diet for a few more months. This could be a case of just needing more time to heal. I don’t want to give up too early like I have done in the past with AIP.

I’m into a nice groove with my ketogenic paleo diet. I know what I like to eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I have adjusted to the amount of food that Dr. Clemens thinks is appropriate. I would love to eat more, but according to my blood work, this is the right amount.

What’s Next?

I’m going to continue on. Overall, I feel great. I felt great when I started, but I feel like if I don’t give this diet at least six months, I won’t see any hair regrowth. 

My seizures are decreasing in intensity. I bounce back much better. It could simply be that the root canals in my mouth are the culprit for the seizure and NOT my diet. 

There is a PEG 400 intestinal permeability test that I will be taking in order to discover if I still have intestinal permeability issues. I don’t think that I do. My digestion seems fine.