I completed my Whole 30 and how did I celebrate? By cooking my breakfast omelet in BUTTER! As much as I enjoy my homemade pastured ghee, nothing can replace butter; real, creamy, salty, sweet, rich golden, HEALTHY BUTTER. Thinking back over the past month, it turns out that it was butter that I missed the most. Not wine, not pasta, not chocolate, not cupcakes or other baked sweets, not cheese.
I also had some raw cream in coffee this morning. I'm monitoring my body for any signs of dairy rejection, like allergy symptoms or gastric distress. So far, I'm feeling great and that makes me happy. One other thing I added back was my morning green blender drink. I made a bright, fresh elixir of lots of spinach with celery, cucumbers, a small chunk of ginger root and a handful of red grapes. I like getting the extra vegetables in and I like how those fresh vitamins and enzymes make me feel.
How did I benefit from my Whole 30?
1. The inflammation caused by sugar and grains is gone, my lingering leg injury is healed. Dr. Melodie declared it "resolved" on my last visit. She is now recommending The Whole 30 to her patients who have slow to heal issues due to inflammation. This was the main reason for taking on the elimination diet, any other benefits are gravy. And I'm swimming in gravy!
2. I have broken free of the stranglehold that sugar and grains had on me. I've talked about this before when I first started making the connection between the way I feel and what I eat, sugar (and I learned grains) are like a drug to me, stimulating me to eat even when I'm not hungry. The dreaded mouth hunger, those cravings, the brain-mouth cycle that keeps you eating crap and feeling like crap. Feeling mad/sad/stressed/tired? Have a sugary snack! But that pleasure is gone in a moment and the ill effects on your body and brain lingers. It makes it much harder to make healthier choices when your brain is on sugar. When I eat grains, or even white potatoes, at supper, I find myself to be snacky and cravey after supper. You know you've done it, just ate supper but find yourself wandering through the pantry looking for a "little something." When I eat a delicious, nutritious meal of protein, lots of veggies, and tasty, healthy fat, I'm done. No need for snacking, no need for a little something.
3. The peri-menopause that has been plaguing me since I turned 39 (hormonal/mood swings, poor sleep, horrible periods, brain fog and hot flashes) has been put down. I've been cool and (mostly) calm, sleeping much better and I had the best period during my Whole 30 than I've had in FOUR YEARS! No cramping, no bloating, no breast soreness, no period brain and a much shorter duration with lighter flow. I had about a 2 hour window right at the start of my period when I felt irritable and then it was gone.
4. My skin looks amazing and my dark circles are gone. Along with poor sleep, dark circles can also be caused by a sluggish liver/detox system. An elimination diet is by nature a great detox, which coupled with better sleep can improve and eliminate dark circles and give you a brighter, clearer complexion. My skin is smooth and glowing and I look and feel more awake.
5. I lost 6 pounds and some inches. I used a pair of no-longer-fitting pants as a gauge and 30 days later, they fit. I've got some good momentum going here to start making closet goals. And unfortunately, I've got plenty of them to make.
Going forward, I'm going to stick to a slightly modified Whole 9 way of life. I don't love the label Paleo or Primal so I'll have to come up with my own clever name. The formula of protein/veg/fat for meals really works for me. I plan to supplement with raw/fermented/grassfed organic dairy in smaller amounts. I'm going to have my favorite uncured bacon on the Sundays even though it does have a small amount of sugar in it. I'm going to stay off alcohol, sugar and grains and will indulge sensibly on my birthday, major holidays (no, national cupcake/donut/cookie/pie day is *not* a holiday) and at times when on vacation. When I indulge I'm going to make sure it's really, really worth it.
I can't mess around with my mobility. I have tasted the freedom of having two good legs again and nothing will ever taste sweeter.