Today is day 15 of my elimination diet challenge. Halfway through. Yay. My enthusiasm is barely containable. NOT. This seems to be the hardest few days because after 2 weeks of being strong and consistent, I am so over it. I’m over not being able to even have 1 square of dark chocolate. I am over not being able to have a bite of creamy yogurt. I am over having to wash off every spoon because I can’t lick off the cheese sauce I made for the rest of my gang. I am over not being able to have some of that delicious smelling mango jam (which I just made myself!) on a piece of crusty, warm toast. Ugh!!
But then I get reminded every morning when I get dressed that I’m way less bloated than ever before. I feel lighter. I successfully switched my (almost) daily glass of red wine with an every other day glass of barely sweet kombucha. Served in a wine glass, … alright. And I haven’t weighed myself but some of my clothes fit better! I contribute that last one to the small amounts of random, in between things I don’t eat anymore: namely the bits of leftovers from my kids’ plates, the handful of crackers here and there, the one more bite of homemade biscuit with salted butter, the calories from wine and beer, and of course the aforementioned pieces of chocolate.
Yes, it’s hard to say no to all these things for 30 days but it’s amazing to see what happens when you start noticing:
a) how often you randomly snack on stuff and
b) how much and how quickly your body can improve when you change your habits.
And that is why I’m gonna keep going and finish the Whole30!
Oh, and remember one of the main reasons why I started in the first place? My skin: my perioral dermatitis. Yes, it has improved. Visibly improved, but not gone yet. So, I’m not sure if the addition of probiotics gave that a boost as well, or just the diet, but I’m happy either way. Kombucha is a probiotic since it’s a fermented food. I have gone through five or six 16oz bottles in the last 2 weeks, but I also started taking liquid probiotics I got from Whole Foods last week. Probiotics are good bacteria that help clean up your gut and put the bad gut bacteria in check. They’re found in fermented foods like tempeh (fermented soybeans), yogurt (esp. raw milk yogurt), kefir, and sauerkraut (from the cooler – not the shelf: that kraut’s good bacteria cultures have been killed off by the heat of the pasteurization process). This is what I’ve added:
Preparation is key for any new diet, especially one that eliminates so many of your old staples like in the Whole30 (dairy, grains, sugar, legumes, and alcohol). Last week was tough and I had to wing meals a few times because I had nothing prepared. While my husband and kids enjoyed the traditional Friday night homemade pizza, I got home from work to eggs over easy on top of some greens. It didn’t help that my hubby even pointed out that the crust was the best one he made yet, and topped with Genoa salami (which has, you guessed it: sugar in it). So I grabbed another bottle of kombucha and poured myself some in a wineglass. It helped.
I hit a low point this past weekend where I wanted to cry, but not give up. I f*d up and ate something non-compliant: popcorn. I even popped it in ghee instead of regular butter, thinking I was just so smart. And then i shoved it in my mouth by the handfuls because I was just so.damn.hungry! After about 7 or 8 handfuls something reminded me though: I didn’t see any Whole30 recipes with corn, but wait a minute!!! They said no corn chips! Quick – look it up! Is corn a grain? YES?? F***!!! But it’s a vegetable, please?! Ah, crap and I had fresh corn in my shepherd’s pie earlier this week too. WTF, Ulla???
So technically, they tell you that you have to start over if you slipped on one of the non-compliant foods. But guess what: I’m not. At least corn is a non-gluten grain, so it wasn’t that terribly off track. That was my main excuse not to have to start over. But I will add 2 days to it to “punish” myself for being so ignorant. I can’t add more because day 33 would be July 3rd and that’s the off-day for July 4th this year and damnit I’m gonna have an ice cold beer that weekend. That’ll be my first re-introductory food. Or maybe wine. Or sangria.
You’re not supposed to dive right back in to your old diet after you’re done, because you won’t know what of the old foods will cause the probable pain and food-hangover soon after. You would totally miss the point of this elimination diet btw. So, I’ll still eat pretty compliant even after my 32 days, until I successfully re-introduce the offenders: non-gluten grains first. Then gluten-containing grains, then dairy, and then legumes. I had already cut out 80% of sugar before I went on this diet, so I’m not considering myself a real slave to the sugar demon. But it will be interesting to see how sweet my first piece of dark chocolate will taste next month. So check back in, or better yet: sign up for my emails and you won’t miss any updates.
Here are some of my meal highlights from the past 10 days or so. The rest was repetitive, or I didn’t take a picture: