Next week, I’m going to turn 43. The week after that, I think I’m going to jump on this Whole30 bandwagon to get my 44th trip around the sun off to a healthy start. This decision is partly inspired by my friend Rebekah over at Fantasia Hearth, and a lot of my reasons are similar to the ones she outlines in this post.
In addition to chronic pain and inflammation, the effects of long-term stress, and low energy and fatigue, I’ve also got Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) and an underactive thyroid (among other things; on the official site they list all of the different conditions that people have claimed this diet either helped or cured, and I’ve got at least eight things on that list). I’ve had some success managing all of this with the Zone diet and cutting out (or at least cutting way back on) gluten and dairy; the Whole30 plan appears to take that several steps further, by also making legumes (including peanut butter – SOB!), ALL grains (even the gluten-free ones), sugar and ALL forms of sweetener, including Stevia (goodbye dark chocolate and sweet tea), and alcohol (which, I haven’t had an alcoholic beverage since New Year’s, so NBD).
So what CAN I eat? Meat, vegetables, nuts and healthy fats, along with various herbs and seasonings. And I can keep drinking coffee and tea, which is good because that would’ve been a deal breaker (the chocolate already came close to being one, but . . . it’s only for 30 days. I can survive without chocolate for that long. I think. Coffee, though? Not so much).
What do I hope to accomplish by doing this? Well, feeling better, for one thing. Having more energy and less pain. Increased focus and clearer thinking. Decreasing all of the increased chances for all of the scary things that having PCOS places me at risk for. Improved fertility and more regular, less harrowing monthly cycles.
I also like that the Whole30 plan is designed to break emotional and psychological ties to food, of which I have plenty.
Currently I’m planning to start on the Monday following my birthday. Why then? Because I’m not willing to give up the annual Chinese buffet binge that my mom always treats me to, nor the chocolate chip and cream cheese cookie brownie my husband is planning to bake for me in lieu of cake. And since my birthday is on a Wednesday, Matt and I will probably wait until the weekend to do our celebrating, which will involve said cookie brownie and possibly pizza and may or may not also involve a celebratory glass of wine (or possibly a beer) or two — we haven’t decided yet. And for the last couple of weeks I’ve been munching on Easter candy so this will be a perfect time for a nutritional detox to break my sugar addiction. And also because it’s just easier for me to start new things on Mondays.
I also need the time between now and then to prepare. I’ve already gotten my husband on board (he won’t be doing it with me, but he’s promised to do what he can to encourage and support me), but I’m still working on psyching myself up for it. Plus I need to plan what I’ll be eating and stock up accordingly. One thing I know is that I’ll be more likely to stick with it for the duration if I can keep it simple and automate as much of it as possible by having a set of go-to meals and preparing them ahead of time. So there are logistics to figure out, too. I’ve already started pinning recipes to my healthy eating Pinterest board.
I’m probably not going to blog regularly about it, but you can follow me on Instagram where I may track my progress, and when my 30 days are done I’ll do a post on how it all went and whether it made a difference in how I feel.
Also . . . pray for me, y’all. And let me know if you’ll also be doing Whole30 (or something else challenging and potentially life changing) in the comments, so I can return the favor.