I am 45 years old and. I am a sugar addict. Although I was always a normal weight by U.S. standards, I also struggled with losing "the last 10 to 20 to 30 pounds." That struggle lasted for 25 years. I was always, tired, anxious, lethargic, and moody. Additionally, I suffered from migraines since I was 14 years old. A friend told me about the Whole 30 meal plan and she suggested that I try it for migraine relief. I am currently on day 15 of the plan. I cannot believe the changes in my life so far, just from making simple changes to my diet. I am not trying to convince you to do this. I am simply excited about what this new way of life has done for me and I would like to share it with you. Let me first tell you how much I hate vegetables. I HATE VEGETABLES!!!! I love sugar, pizza, and processed foods. My go-to breakfast was a can of Spaghetti-O's (sometimes straight outta the can, just like the Chef Boyardee gangster that I am). Yes, most 5 year olds eat healthier than me. If I ever had anything green on my plate, it was by accident. I love bread, cheese, and pasta. Chocolate!!! Oh how I love chocolate. Chocolate cake, chocolate candy bars, chocolate brownies, chocolate sundaes, chocolate ANYTHING!!!!!. The first few days on this program were not fun, to say the least. I looked at my colorful and strange-looking plate of food and I decided it may be better to starve to death than to eat this way. Finally, I took a bite. The broccoli sat on my tongue like a disgusting tree limb. I could barely swallow the horrible green stuff. My taste buds could not take the pain. They were crying for something SWEET, SALTY, and DELICIOUS!!!! I choked down my first 4 days of food. I was second-guessing my decision to start the Whole 30, but I did not give up. For one thing, my head was not hurting. Also, my sweet husband was doing this with me and I didn't want to let him down. We were on a mission together to get healthy.
Fast forward to today... I LOVE eating this way. I look forward to meal times (it doesn't hurt that my husband is an excellent cook). I haven't had a headache yet. But the best part is that I'm really happy. Really, really, really happy! I've heard this is referred to as "Happy Brain!" I never realized that the food we put into our bodies has such a great impact on our psychological and emotional well-being. Now, those mean, obnoxious, arrogant judges, who used to have the power to ruin my entire day, have zero impact on me now. My stress level is very low even though I have a tremendously stressful job. I'm sleeping better. I do not crave sugar, pizza, or any of the processed foods that I used to LOVE.
If you want to try this, I highly recommend that you purchase the book, It Starts with Food, by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig. No, I don't know them, nor do I work for them. It's just something that has worked for me. If you want an overview of the program, you basically give up the following foods for 30 days:
2. Sweeteners (natural and artificial)
4. Seed Oils (polyunsaturated fat or PUFA & omega-6 fatty acids) (the oils that they cook your food with in fast food restaurants)
5. Grains and Legumes
With the meat, make sure that you know how the animal was raised and the food it was fed. Look for terms like grass-finished, grass-fed, pastured, certified organic, hormone and antibiotic-free, and wild-caught. "You are what you eat eats." Apologies to all of my vegetarian and vegan friends.
With vegetables and fruits, go organic as often as you can.
The objective is to eat this way for 30 days, and then slowly re-introduce some of these foods back into your diet to determine which food is causing pain, allergies, and/or inflammation. This plan also works as a re-set button for your taste buds and for your mind and body. You gain a love for real food and lose the love for fake food. Twinkies will never be your friend again. I plan on sticking with this nutrition plan for the rest of my life. Why ruin a good thing? I'm an adult, not a dog. I don't have to reward myself with food (anymore). Freedom from sugar cravings is a miraculous thing for me.
If you suffer from diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity, acne, eczema, psoriasis, chronic fatigue, asthma, sinus infections, allergies, migraines, acid reflux, Chron's disease, celiac disease, IBS, bipolar disorder, depression, Lyme disease, endometriosis, PCOS, autism, fibromyalgia, ADHD, hypothyroidism, arthritis, or multiple sclerosis, you may want to try this. Many people who suffer from these diseases have seen marked improvements in their health.
As it says in the book, the food that we eat should:
1. Promote a healthy psychological response;
2. Promote a healthy hormonal response;
3. Support a healthy gut; and
4. Support immune function and minimize inflammation.
"The food you eat either makes you more healthy or less healthy. Those are your options."
Happy eating and stay tuned for more health tips that I learn on this wonderful journey to health and happiness.