Lessons From a Summer of Whole30

July 28, 2015

Whole30 has basically come to a close and I'm back to just eating Paleo/Primal for the most part. With Jeremy's birthday next week and only one week left of summer I had to ditch the 100% dedication and move back to a more balanced 80/20 approach to healthy eating.

For the sake of every else's sanity in this house at least.

The whole reason I started Whole30 at the beginning of summer was to detox myself from what I had eaten an entire pregnancy. 

Before I found out I was pregnant I had been eating Paleo (whole foods diet, but whatever you want to call it) for quite some time and planned to continue it throughout pregnancy. Needless to say I was slapped in the face with serious pregnancy sickness that lasted to about week 22 and I didn't stop taking prescriptions for it until probably 25 weeks. 

It was bad. 

Husband picking you up off the floor and cleaning up the puke bad. 

Which he did on more than one occasion. 

So whole foods went out the door, especially since the thought of meat made me want to die. I was reminded recently how I wandered around with a tissue full of Vick's Vapor Rub shoved up my nose so I couldn't smell anything and subsequently puke. 

Good times. 

So after 9+ months of eating whatever, and those first 13ish living on a diet of tortilla chips I had to do something. 

When I went into the hospital to have Harrison I was up 55lbs. By the last week of May I was down 45 of those and still had roughly 15 I wanted to lose. 

As far as weight loss goes, I managed to lose 7lbs this summer on Whole30 and get back into a few pair of pants. 

There were other issues that needed addressing although that I didn't realize they were going to be fixed with Whole30. 

Honestly I forgot how different I felt eating this way before pregnancy because frankly, pregnancy was rough on me. 

1. Harrison's colic

He didn't have true colic, but the gas was tough on him. Turns out that cutting out dairy radically changed how he felt. No more constant tummy rumbling and sleepless nights with a tummy ache. 

2. Pregnancy/Postpartum Hemorrhoids

I thought that would just disappear but after pushing out a nearly 9lb baby they weren't going anywhere. I really should have seen a doctor for it, considering they were of the internal bleeding variety but didn't. Instead 3 weeks into the first round of Whole30 for the summer I noticed they were gone. 

Cutting out wheat fixed it. 

I know for sure it was the wheat/gluten because I took a week off of Whole30 at the end of June and they came back something awful, and wheat was the only thing that had been added. 

3. Inflammation

This last round in July I wasn't expecting much. I was allowing myself 1 treat a week as to not blow the entire summer completely snow cone-less. I already know how I personally react to dairy, aside from the baby, I'm lactose intolerant. That's been a fact since I was a kid. 

However, last week when I made Strawberry Shortcakes and started prepping for Jeremy's birthday cake the introduction of gluten again showed me a different symptom... inflammation. 

One afternoon I ate a handful of Oreo's that were only in the house for this birthday cake I'm making and by that evening I noticed that my face felt puffy as well as my mouth. Come the next morning when I was flossing my gums were bleeding bad! 

To back track my gums have always bled and the dentist has always told me to floss more. Flossing never fixed it. Doing Whole30 this summer though made the bleeding stop. 

So I cut out wheat/gluten for two days and my gums were back to normal, not swollen feeling and not bleeding. Therefore, I'm attributing gluten to the inflammation. 

With Whole30 being done, I might do another one in January, it's time to just get back to eating. So what does that entail?

Another 80/20 Primal approach to eating. I'm not saying Paleo outright because I like a little cream in my coffee and that tablespoon a day doesn't seem to effect my breast milk. 

No dairy - aside from a tbsp in coffee everyday
No wheat, grains, legumes. 
Limit added sugar - 2 tsp of Stevia in my coffee daily
Limited soy - I don't like eating it because of the effect it has on hormones (my grandmother's breast cancer was estrogen sensitive so that is something I'm mindful of) but I won't be spending extra money on coconut aminos for when I make an Asian dish. 

I'll give myself the permission to have cake if everyone else is having it, but not every day. 

A girl's gotta live! 

We will have date night and the sort, but overall the majority of my "diet" is whole foods. I've just come to learn I feel better eating this way, and that's without buying organic. 

I can't afford that mess! 

So there you have it, the effect Whole30 had on my body. In the past I didn't see a huge difference when I did a Whole30 because I didn't have much to cut out, but after pregnancy it showed a ton of improvements in my overall health. 

Many of which are much greater than the weight loss I was aiming for in the beginning.