After many years of struggling with weight and health, we decided to try the Whole30 plan. We have read many different plans, and even tried a few. Nothing ever seemed to work well.
However, the Whole30 seems different. The book takes you through the steps, and even lets you know that there will be tough days. It’s not going to be a picnic. Our bodies are going to be detoxing from all of the sugar and carbs we have eaten.
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Why Are We Doing This?
I have many autoimmune health issues including fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue. This had made it very difficult to do much of anything from all the pain and constant tiredness. Then a few years ago, I started noticing spasming in my legs, different from restless leg syndrome. I have been to 3 different neurologists (including “the” specialist at Duke), and none can tell me what is wrong. They have ruled out MS, ALS, and all the other letters in the alphabet. They say I have clonus (uncontrollable muscle spasming), but that is a symptom more than a diagnosis.
I’ve had all sorts of procedures performed (too many to list), all with negative neurological results. There’s nothing “wrong” with me, except for the fact that I can’t walk for more than about 2 minutes without having muscle spasms so bad that I might fall down. Now I have to take a walker with me for doctors’ visits and a scooter for any trip to a store or elsewhere where walking is involved.
All of this to say, never did a doctor mention that I should check to see if my diet made any difference. Many in my family (both sides) have different allergies or intolerances of foods. I started researching on my own, and found that many people with autoimmune issues have a leaky gut. This finally led me to the Whole30 program.
Why the Whole30?
Their approach is to have you eat whole foods for 30 days (no dairy, no sugar, no carbs, etc.). They focus more on proteins, fats, and vegetables (with a small quantity of fruits). Those with autoimmune issues may need to stay on the program longer, so I am already figuring on going up to 60 days before reintroducing any of the known trigger foods.
Yesterday was Day 1 of our Whole30 challenge. We figured it would be a good day since we would be distracted by the eclipse for part of the time. I had scrambled eggs, carrot sticks, and a banana for breakfast, a large salad with cucumber, grilled chicken, and roast beef for lunch, and a “meatloaf” burger with sautéed potatoes and asparagus for dinner. I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised. I wasn’t really hungry throughout the day like I thought I would be.
However, I noticed myself at times just wanting to munch on something. I knew I wasn’t hungry, but I have been so used to snacking that this is a habit I need to break. And desserts with meals. I love my sweets. That is probably going to be the hardest part. I figure the first day or two will be the honeymoon period, and then I’m not sure what will happen.
But I’m dedicated to try to get my life back. If the doctors’ can’t help, I will just have to try things on my own. Even if the Whole30 doesn’t help the neurological symptoms, it will at least help me heal my gut and lose some weight. I’ve gained more than 50 pounds over the last two years because of the walking problem.
I will try to keep a daily log of our Whole30 journey, but life happens; it may be every couple of days. Wish us luck!!