Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Grain Detox My Whole 30 Experience

Background:

On a whim I decided to do the Whole 30 to detox of grains. Well actually that's not accurate. M and I had a conversation about how I haven't been feeling great. We diagnosed me with IBS; all symptoms fit to a T. And then I went to the internet…because "we don't know why", "because of stress" and "just avoid the triggers" are not how I would like to live my life. I'm absolutely on board with stress as the initial trigger but upon further reading am pretty sure that a gut imbalance is the cause. Since I'm not looking to be prescribed medication (at this point), I decided that my first course of action would be to try and detox, clean my system and then see about reintroducing (grains and legumes) and possibly adding a probiotic. So I went to bed reading about all the possible causes of IBS…bacterial, fungal, etc, and woke up deciding to quit my daily bread (literally).

How it went:

Breakfast- After trying out different combos, I settled on two eggs (scrambled or sunny side up), sometimes sautéed greens or leftover veggies mixed in, and a salad of tomato, a cucumber and avocado. I did mix it up with all manner of eggs but overall this really worked for me and kept me satiated.

Lunch- I really tried hard to go with the spirit of Whole30 and just eat 3 square meals a day, but running around after kids for most of the morning is almost like a workout and I couldn't keep my energy up without a snack. Generally a small handful of almonds around noon kept me energized enough until I was home to eat lunch around 2pm. Lunch was usually leftovers from dinner, or a salad supplemented with tuna or chicken sausage.

Here are the dinners I remembered to write down. I forgot most of the third week and a few days were leftovers, but this should give you some ideas if you're interested in trying it out.
*Fish and veggie stew, salad.
*Carrot/celery/onion riced, leftover fish, salad.
*Chicken pieces, almonds, bananas (out and not much choice).
*Fish cakes made with sardines, carrots, celery, onion, egg; green beans, salad
*Buffalo burgers (no bun), green pepper and onions, cabbage salad, green salad
*Chicken with mushrooms, eggplant- celery-zucchini sautee, salad
*Hot dog, broccoli, salad
*Burger with zucchini, mushrooms and spinach, salad
*Mahi mahi with garlic aioli, zucchini and lettuce sautee
*Schintzel (made with arrowroot powder), grilled eggplant, yellow green beans, salad
*Beet greens, fish in oven, salad
*Baba ghanoush w/carrots, green salad, ground beef w/spinach
*Beet salad, cabbage salad, baba ghanoush, grilled chicken
*Zucchini eggplant sautée, mahi mahi, green salad, roasted broccoli
*Mahi mahi, yellow pepper and carrots, cherries*Chicken thigh, summer squash, salad

How I felt:

Week one- The first couple days I felt hungry and incredibly thirsty. Then I was just feeling fatigued, followed by a couple days of irritability and then pure exhaustion. This description was spot on: http://whole30.com/2013/08/revised-timeline/

Week two- I had crazy dreams and still tired. I took about a week off of drinking coffee completely and felt fine so I guess that means I had more energy. By the end of the week I felt like I had just gotten used to the new diet.

Week 3- I was coasting and kind of bored with my options. I did decide to bring coffee back in, but just a half a cup or so after breakfast to get that extra zing. After trying hard to eat lots more meat and chicken the previous two weeks, I realized that it just wasn't for me and started reverting back to my mostly pescatarian ways. (I guess there's a reason I ate that way for several years).

Week 4- So over it! Really the only silver lining is that the "rules" were preventing me from eating all.the.chocolate. while dealing with moving stress.


What I learned:

*My nursing supply tanked except on days I ate A LOT of starchy vegetables (carrots, beets, potato, sweet potato) and fruit. 

*That afternoon slump- still had it most of the time! I'm pretty sure it has more to do with being tired from a full morning of activities than what food I'm eating.

*Going back to having just one coffee in the morning is great! I should just go back to having an espresso (like I did for years) instead of that french press pot I was having the last few months…

*As mentioned above- pescatarian for the win. I'm not opposed to some meats here and there but I really don't think they make you healthier in the long run and I don't like the heavy feeling I get from eating them regularly.

*Cooked veggies keep you fuller longer than raw.


I'm hoping to follow up this post with short and long term effects of the detox. In the meantime, I'm glad I did it!