What I learned from Whole30

When I started my first round of Whole30 on September 1, 2019, I was a bit skeptical and more than a little nervous about my ability to actually see it through. As we all know, follow-through is not my strong suit. However, I did it; I actually did an entire 30 days of no sweeteners of any kind, no dairy, no weighing myself, and no alcohol – I was already basically no grains, so that was nothing new.

Tomorrow, I am starting round 2, and this time I am excited. Why am I doing it again? Well, I have been off of it for 16 days now, and although my calorie intake hasn’t been huge, I have nearly regained 10 of the 14.8 pounds I lost…and it is not weight I have gained, it is inflammation. I am swollen and puffy, and my joints ache. While I was on the Whole30, I had lost all of my swelling and I rarely ached.  Why is that? Well, that’s a great question and I actually have the answers.

Dairy can cause inflammation. Now, I have known for years that if I am going to eat ice cream, I am going to pay for it because it will go straight through me. I would do it anyway because, well it was ice cream and I had Gas-X, I did, however, finally wise up and stop with the eating of ice cream a year or so ago because Ben & Jerry’s came out with some spectacular non-dairy ice cream and I also purchased a Yonana – which is a fantastic machine.

Other things that are contributing to my inflammation are beer and sugar. Now, being that I am unable to tolerate gluten, the beer is a no-brainer – I just have not wanted to give it up because I truly love good beer, or at least I did. Now, my favorite beer did not taste good to me at all, and the beers I have tried have made me look like I was four and a half months pregnant with all of the bloating. I can still tolerate red wine (I drink low carb like Cab or Malbec), and hard liquor like whiskey gin and bourbon, but I found that for the most part one drink now and then was more enjoyable than having a glass every night.

I am not a sugary foods person, have not been for a while because since I had my gastric sleeve surgery, eating too much makes me feel horrible. Therefore a bite or two now and then is more than enough and I have found I prefer erythritol and stevia-sweetened items. On Whole30, you are not allowed any sweeteners, that includes things like salad dressings and other condiments. I added those back in and found that they sit in my stomach like lead balloons.

What do I hope to gain by doing a second round? I hope to get back to where I was two weeks ago, no inflammation and very little aching. I will still cook with Kerry Gold Butter, and cream cheese may show up now and then, but these items do not seem to bother me. We will be eating more dairy-free Keto/Paleo than the way we were before, which included a wide variety of cheese and quite a lot of it. Beer just will not be coming back, and I will be continuing to replace our condiments with either homemade or ones that contain no msg or sugar – I had already done away with high fructose corn syrup.

Something I learned about myself during this was I have a lot more self-control than I thought I did. I attended 4 cake decorating classes and touched nothing, even while baking at home for the classes. I went to a trivia night at the local brewery and drank water and ate nothing while those I was with drank beer and ate pretzels with pub cheese. So I know I can do this again, and I know I am going to learn even more about myself while doing this. I will be better prepared, and since my husband is going on this ride, I will actually be planning and cooking meals instead of just grabbing a piece of cold chicken some veggies and plated fat. This round is going to rock.

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