A Whole30 days of clean eating: It’s a gut feeling

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Whole30QuoteA year ago I was off sugar and grains, and I felt better than I had felt in a long time.

Over the past 18 months, I’ve read so much about inflammation and the things that cause it – sugar being one of the main culprits – that it didn’t take much convincing for me to start following the No Sugar No Grains philosophy. I read a book and listened to a podcast explaining the benefits of following the guidelines: avoid simple sugars, limit natural sugars (don’t overdo the fruit juice, for example); don’t consume grains, including corn, rice and wheat; and stick to complex carbs in limited quantities.

That plan made sense after some of the books I read (I’ve read a lot of them) and the dietitian I follow, and I kept up with it and the NSNG creator, Vinnie, on his podcast – until I just couldn’t stomach the vulgarity on his podcast for one more day.

By the time I quit listening to the podcast, I had already fallen off the wagon, and now I’m a carb addict again. (One little slip can send you down a slippery slope if you’re not careful.) I do order Vinnie’s multivitamin online, though, because I trust him when he says it’s pure: no fillers, no artificial ingredients, all that stuff. And the price is great.

So when a blogger friend posted a few days ago that she was about to start the Whole30, I was skeptical, but because I trust her judgment I decided to check it out. I had never heard of Whole30, but I visited the website and really liked what I saw.

It was No Sugar No Grains with one addition (or subtraction, if you will): no dairy.

Gulp.

I come from a long line of milk drinkers. In fact, I liked the No Sugar No Grains plan because I could have milk. The Taylors LOVE milk with a passion that is so strong I can hardly explain it to you. Like the sun’s gravitational pull on the earth. That strong.

So, even though the NSNG proponents cautioned that I might do better without dairy, I just wasn’t willing to give up milk.

That was then; this is now.

Many of the Taylors are overweight and, worse, unhealthy. That gravitational pull is enough to get me to rethink my milk obsession.

Starting today, I’m giving Whole30 a whole 30 days to see if milk contributes to some of my problems: seasonal allergies (“seasonal” for me meaning 365 days a year), eczema, my self-diagnosed “silent reflux,” trouble controlling my weight, and any number of other things that might be improved with a cleaned-up diet.

I don’t like “diets” in general, for various reasons, but this one is really just an elimination plan that the creators consider a “reset” for your gut and your body. Get all the junk out and see how your body responds. See how well you sleep, whether your diabetes or your blood pressure or your hormone function improves, whether mood and mental clarity take a positive leap.

You can read the testimonials on the Whole 30 website, and, let me tell you, friends, this is the best “diet” website I’ve ever seen. The founders of this plan are transparent, forthright and not “sales-y,” as far as I’ve seen. They lay out exactly what to expect, and they include a printable PDF that boils it down to four pages. I also started reading their book It Starts With Food ($9.99 on Kindle; audio version also available) on my lunch break today, and I like their approach.

One more thing: When I’ve “dieted” in the past, I regret that I’ve never journaled what was happening to my mind and my body before, during and after. Remembering to sit down and write in a notebook is just hard.

My solution: My journal will be public, and it will be part of this blog. No way can I forget to post it here. 🙂

Don’t worry – I plan to keep it short and simple, just the broad strokes. I want to be able to say things like:

Thursday, the day before I started, I ate too much trail mix and drank too much diet Coke because I looked at it as my “last hurrah” before starting the plan.

It’s kinda silly now that I see it on paper.

If you look over the Whole30 site and decide you want to join me, leave a comment or email me at suzy@suzyoakley.com. We’ll take the journey together.

I’ve been through this before, and I can almost guarantee you’ll thank me at the end of your 30-day experiment. You’ll learn things, and you’ll feel better.

Let’s do this!

(Note: In case you were wondering, no one paid me, urged me or even asked me to mention any of the products I wrote about today.)

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3 thoughts on “A Whole30 days of clean eating: It’s a gut feeling

  1. Yea Suzy! I gave essentially been doing a whole 30 type duet for the last 6 weeks to deal with leaky gut. The detox symptoms the first week were hard but since then I feel so good! The best part is how easily I recover from my runs since I’m giving my body the fuel it needs! Congrats on a great decision and I am looking forward to reading about how great you are feeling!

  2. Hey Suzy!

    Love your post on Whole30.

    I just wrapped up my W30 yesterday and loved it – really loved it. First week was hard, but I’d do it again in a heartbeat. It got much easier with time, and now I’m reintroducing things. Started with some peanut butter this morning and black beans with dinner tonight.

    NOT looking forward to how I react to glutens, although I am looking forward to learning whether GF foods will be OK, at least once in awhile. Best to you as you get through yours!

  3. Does your blog have a contact page? I’m having problems locating it but, I’d like to shoot you an email. I’ve got some ideas for your blog you might be interested in hearing. Either way, great site and I look forward to seeing it develop over time.|

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