Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Two Months In: How are we doing now?

It's been about two months since we started the Whole30 challenge. You may be wondering how things are going now.

First of all, we are so grateful that God has freed us of so many food idols. We were soda guzzling, fast-food burger chowing, sugar inhaling folks and all of that has changed.  We haven't had a single soda in these last two months.  We actually don't mind drinking unsweetened iced tea (which, previously, we felt unsweetened tea tasted like pond water).  And while there was a huge struggle in the first few weeks to do without bread, rice, and queso, it's actually become no big deal.  At some point, the focus shifted off what we couldn't eat because those things no longer held us hostage.

Since completing the Whole30, we have allowed ourselves little treats, but those treats have left their own little treat behind- one that's not very enjoyable.  On a trip back to Brandon's hometown in Louisiana, we had a link of boudin (contains rice) which caused Brandon to gain 15 pounds in one day. (Once it passed through his system, the 15 pounds disappeared.)  No kidding.  And rice is actually the one grain that causes the least issues. Corn causes us all to break out in bumps and hives, some worse than others. (Although, I, Mandy, admit my favorite treat is to have some corn chips with guacamole. I just have to put up with itchy legs for a day or two.)

When you see that these foods really do cause pain, inflammation, bloating, stomach cramps or other less desirable digestive issues, rashes, brain-fog, and a variety of other ickiness, it's really not that difficult to steer clear of them.

Last week, we went to a Mexican restaurant where our youngest (Molly Jo, 14 months) had a few bites of a flour tortilla which caused her to feel very sick and.... puke all over her bed in the middle of the night.  The good news is that she felt much better and slept through the rest of the night!  I had a few bites of the fried flour tortilla bowl my salad came in, and I was nauseated for several hours following. Yuck.

Molly Jo has been far less fussy, probably because she's no longer consuming those organic Wheat-O's that seem like a good baby snack, and likely because my breast milk is no longer tainted with gluten, dairy, and other foods that didn't go over well in her system.

All of our children pretty much follow a Paleo diet. We do allow them little treats, like basic rice crackers with their tuna salad.  At first, we allowed them to have grain and dairy "treats" at our weekly potlucks, but their systems were screwed up the rest of the week, so we have definitely reigned that in.  It is tough for some children to adjust, and, of all our children, Keagan (5) has had the most difficult time adjusting.  It's mainly because he's old enough to pick his own food from the potluck buffet but not old enough to really think things through.  Our older two can process, "Well, this probably will make my stomach ache later, so I think I'll do without."  If they are tempted by it, they will ask us first, and we can help them make that decision.  (Sometimes we all want someone to make that decision for us, right? Sometimes it's nice for someone to say, "No, I think it would be best to choose something else.")  Keagan is doing much better, and no longer asks one-thousand-times for things he cannot have. Now it's more like a dozen times, which is far less grating on the nerves. Ha!

Mother's Day 2013

I confess, I (Mandy) held on to some items when we went on the Whole30 because I figured they would do in a pinch.  I mean, one day when I'm exhausted, those frozen corndogs will come in handy.  Do I really need to throw out this enchilada sauce that has all kinds of weirdness in it? I ended up loading up a good bit of thing, intending to donate them, but... the box of canned good are still sitting in my car because I just can't fathom giving such crap to anyone!  It's not real food!

So, obviously, we are doing quite well and enjoying this lifestyle of eating.  In fact, as we suspected, this diet paved the way for yet another pregnancy (this always seems to happen when I am grain-free, dairy-free, and legume-free)!  We are expecting our 6th child in January 2014!  Eating this way has also caused me to go through pregnancy relatively morning-sickness free (as I believe I wrote about before).  Having gone through three pregnancies with HORRIBLE all-day, keep-nothing-down "morning" sickness, I know what a blessing it is to not be hanging over a toilet throughout the day or always searching for the best place to throw up when we're out running errands.  (And, for the record, Whole30/Paleo has not negatively affected my breast milk supply at all. The key is keeping hydrated, which, yes, I do have a hard time doing now that I am both pregnant and nursing.)

I (Brandon) always feel inspired to keep going when I look in the mirror and see the progress I've made. It's like, "Hey! I'm pretty stinkin' skinny!"   (Mandy here: Seriously, he'll come out of the bathroom and say, "Who is that handsome man?")

Everything actually tastes more flavorful when it's not wrapped in bread. Hamburgers are far more delicious without bread. I don't miss the bun at all. I'm not really missing cokes at all, but sometimes I want a little something sweet to drink so I go for some orange juice.

People offer me stuff and I think, "I don't eat that stuff. It's bad for me," whereas before I would have felt like it would be a sacrifice to turn it down.  For example, turning down a coke and going for water in the beginning was a sacrifice. Now water is my first choice. No big deal. No internal wrestling or feeling deprived.

I like that our kids are learning better habits and making better food choices.  We're no longer telling them about good habits and then having a bunch of cheats which say we don't really mean what we say.

A week ago I went on a 36-hour fast to break my plateau. I have been on fasts before, but usually, within the first five hours I was crumbling. I was hostile, cranky mess... just ask my wife. (True story.)

This time, I was able to go 36 hours without feeling moody, extreme hunger, or obsessive cravings and the mental gymnastics involved with that.  I am no longer completely controlled by food.

Before, I was addicted to breads and such, so these things made my blood sugar rise and fall, rise and fall. Fasting was a horrible experience then because my body was experiencing such lows during that time, just aching for another high, another hit... like a drug!  Now I feel steady and clear-headed when I fast. (Although, in the last hours, I was feeling a little "high" in a totally different way, and I was starting to feel hungry.)

Pretty soon I'm going to have to buy a new belt.  I've had this one since junior high, so it's going to be tough parting with it! It's very well broken in by now!


DaBlairs said...

did you do a total fast or a juice fast? I've done a Daniel Fast, and a juice fast, but I think I would totally be cranky on a complete fast!

Meagan said...

My goodness. If those pictures of Brandon aren't a testimonial for this way of eating, I can't imagine what is! Amazing!