People often come into the studio and ask me questions. I often suggest an elimination diet. Many of our dis-ease can be eliminated through what we eat. I have cut foods out here and there to see what may work for me but, I have never fully taken my own advice. I was looking for a plan, a guide to walk me through the process. A friend suggest I pick up the Whole30 book at the library. She had tried it and was very happy. So, it took a few months and getting through the holidays before I took her advice.
I like the book. It walks you through step by step of what you are eliminating and why, tells you what you may experience throughout the process, explains how to reintroduce foods back into your diet and gives you plenty of recipes and on-line support if you need it. I asked my hubby to get on board and support me throughout the journey and to my surprise he decided to join me. My young adult children were told they didn't have to follow the program but, if the were eating dinner at home they would get what I cooked. They were OK with that.
I must state that before I started I ate pretty clean. I love to cook, shop and try new recipes. We buy organic vegetables and organic grass fed meats as much as possible. I make most of my ingredients from scratch so for me this was not a difficult transition as far as cooking. This is NOT for vegetarians!
You eliminate all grains, sugars, dairy, beans, soy, processed foods, alcohol and tobacco. You eat animal protein (including fish), vegetables and fruit. Plus you are not supposed to weigh yourself - some crazy idea about ruining your self esteem. Besides, this is not a diet to lose weight. This is a way to determine if you have any food sensitives or allergies. OK, it doesn't say no processed foods but if you read the labels (I've been doing that for years - scary stuff) it most likely has one of the contraband ingredients in it. We rarely eat processed foods and neither one of us use tobacco so that was easy. We are not drinkers so for us giving up alcohol meant no herbal tinctures. You can have coffee - just no sweetener or dairy (almond milk or coconut milk is OK as long it doesn't have banned ingredients - read the label). I eliminated the cream and started drinking my coffee black - hubby switched to coconut milk. I couldn't find an almond milk without rice flour in it. My saving grace is that you can have potatoes. Hallelujah! It said you could experience numerous challenges (like headaches and fatigue) the first week as your body detoxes from sugar consumption, and relearns to pull energy from fat stores rather than sugar.
We just finished seven days. Other than both of us feeling hungry all the time we have not experienced any adverse affects. I'm not a sweets person and ate very little breads and grains prior to starting - I can't stop at a serving and then I feel yucky. My hubby is a two bagel a morning kinda a guy so I was a little surprised he didn't have any issues. He has had to increase his food intake - going from two meals a day to three. And he has had to step up to the plate and make food for his lunchbox.
It takes a little thinking outside of the box and preplanning meals. Superbowl Sunday we have appetizers for dinner. I made the kids their nachos and I made hubby shrimp cocktail (a little homemade ketchup and horseradish), sausage stuffed mushrooms (with homemade sausage) and lettuce wraps with the veggie filled taco meat left over from the nachos.
Meals this week have included walnut crusted pork loin over a bed of greens with raspberry vinaigrette, grilled shrimp over a bed of sauteed vegetables and roasted salsa chicken. We are not deprived.
It says it will take a week or more to start feeling really good - more energy, clearer skin, etc. I will let you know.