I’ll begin with this... Every step I take towards my health/food journey is deeply rooted in this conviction. I love my husband and I love our future children beyond measure.
I love them so much that I desire to live the fullest life and if there ever be a time when I meet fleshly trials I will be at my best and grace will rest in me and do what is left.
Today is day101 the day following my Whole100. I made it! I’m ecstatic!
It. can. be. done. For those of you unfamiliar with Whole30.. It is a nutrition program, part diet guide and part tough-love behavioral coaching. Emphasis on behavioral coaching.
A 30 day plan full of nutrient-dense foods with lots of naturally occurring vitamins and minerals.
”This is not a ‘diet’- we eat as much as we need to maintain strength, energy, and a healthy body weight. We aim for well-balanced nutrition, so we eat both plants and animals. We get all the carbohydrates we need from vegetables and fruits, while healthy fats like avocado, coconut, and olive oil provide us with another excellent source of energy. Eating like this allows us to maintain a healthy metabolism and keeps our immune system in balance. It’s good for body composition, energy levels, sleep quality, mood, attention span, and quality of life. It helps eliminate sugar cravings and reestablishes a healthy relationship with food. It also works to minimize our risk for most lifestyle-related diseases and conditions, like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, stroke, and autoimmune conditions.” - It Starts With Food
I’m here on the other side and it feels good. The finish line. I would be lying if I said it was all easy. The easy days outweigh the hard. But the hard, they were difficult. I have been discouraged by others and mocked at times during my Whole30. Embarrassed at times when I would try and brave eating out with friends. Struggling with staying compliant anywhere but your home. All the while wrestling with my personal food behaviors, which I am convinced are a root cause of our stumbles when it comes to food, diet and well being.
Simply. It’s hard to be challenged by something different than what you’ve always known unless you have a glimpse at the why.
Growing up I watched my father battle through a kidney transplant, chemo, lupus, arthritis, chronic pain and diabetes. I would help him sort out his pills on occasion and one by one count all the way to twelve. It wasn’t until I was older that I realized my daddy time was a little different. I didn’t get chased around the yard because it was hard for my dad to run. I didn’t get tossed in the air or wrestled on the ground because his bones ached and were fragile. Our time spent together was gentle, full of conversation and laughter. It was a delicate love and I am so thankful.
His day to day was a constant coping of pain management that we were all aware of, trying our best to assist and relieve. Our family spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on surgeries and monthly medication. We all worked to provide for each other. We hurt together, healed together and will always be standing on the canyon’s edge.
I never knew my grandma, we lost her to conditions by effects of lupus in her early 50's. My father passed at 49 by effects of lupus and my husband and children will never have the privilege of loving him. I watched his wife become widowed and his children stumble hard because of such great loss too early.
I love my husband so much you see.
Since my fathers passing I have spent the last six years gathering knowledge about auto immunity and equipping my body for optimal health. I can not change the quantity of my days but I can change the quality of them. I can neither fear what may or may not come but I can be prepared. After all, this is what we spend the majority of our time doing in other areas of our life, why not practice the same discipline with our food choices and health?
This is my heart and the why to my reason. I understand it’s not others. Each of us have to walk this health journey ourselves until we become believers. Or sadly, until something shakes us into trying.
For 100 days I eliminated dairy, grains, legumes, added sugar, soy and processed foods from my diet. After the initial 20days I saw these results:
+brain fog gone
+decrease in anxiety & fatigue
+regulated blood sugar
+no more between meal "shakey hands"
+increase in energy
+strong desire to exercise
+control over cravings
+control over food choices
+seasonal allergies gone
+decrease in back inflammation
The food adaptations were not hard for me as I love almost all vegetables and fruits. The challenge to read ingredient labels and be aware of the ingredients I was purchasing, constantly, was hard. The ignorance I had to what was entering my body scares me. Often, it was this quote that kept me pushing towards my goal.
“The food you eat either makes you more healthy or less healthy. Those are your options.” - It Starts With Food
The epiphanies began when my body was detoxed and I could feel the results of being fueled by whole foods. Only then, did I become hyper-aware to the effects these foods had on me and the power it gave me over my behavioral food choices.
I could now join my family for dinner at Ted’s without being tempted by chips and salsa. I could now say no to cream in my coffee or lattes. Triumph! I have officially brought ice cream home to my husband without wanting any. Triumph! These are easy tasks, yes.. but nothing for 100days. Oof!
“See, making good food choices isn’t just about knowing what’s healthy.. No, the way we choose the foods we eat is much more complicated and nuanced than that. Food is highly emotional, in ways that go far beyond your conscious awareness. Food is sneaky, affecting you in subtle ways you would never connect to your diet. And by any definition, today’s modern food landscape is enormously confusing. So it’s actually not that easy.” - It Starts With Food
The power I have gained over food is what I am most proud of. In conversation with those asking me about Whole30 I have constantly heard, “Oh, wow, I could never live without...” fill in the blank. Person by person I kept hearing that phrase and I thought A) I don’t like the idea of being prisoner to any food and B) Do I feel that way about any food after my Whole100? & listen here...
No, I don't! Woohoo! Even an iced cane latte, even pizza people!
“After implementing our program, you won’t have to wonder whether the foods you are eating are healthy for you. You’ll be able to make educated, informed food choices for the rest of your life. And you’ll know how to enjoy treats, sweets, and other “less healthy” foods in a way that is always moving you toward better health, fitness, and quality of life.” - It Starts With Food
At least seven of my friends have started a Whole30 since my husband and I started April 6th, 2015. Meeting my personal goals was well worth it but if anyone else will benefit from just a glimpse at how to improve their day to day then so wonderful.
I’ll share again.
I love my husband and I love our future children beyond measure.
This wholistic journey is rooted in experiences that allowed me to see the depths of life and the will I have to make the most of it. To live a quality life and to be around for what is mine. This deep yearning to love those I love well and to assist the Lord in filling me whole. Mind. Body. Spirit. Will be my continued discipline.
I part with this.
"The best thing you can do to honor someone's memory is to take care of the people they loved."
There is so much more I would love to share. A wealth of nutrition and food science explanations for the ways our bodies function as a whole found here in It Starts With Food.
I will add, I am lucky to be speaking from a position of preventative care. I believe in it. Praise God I have this privilege. Others may have struggled or are currently struggling with life-style related diseases. To you I say seek knowledge, ask your health care provider about nutrition plans that parallel with your current treatments and medications. Food is so powerful!
I want to thank my sweet husband for beginning this journey with me, I believe it was day 13 that I looked at you and said “Eh, I don’t want to”. You keep me strong and push me always. Here’s to our better days post Whole30!