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. 

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