The Whole 30

I found the Whole30 and it’s been a game-changer for me.

A little history: I have had fibromyalgia that was diagnosed after a battle with Lymes Disease and have fought an uphill battle against severe chronic pain on a daily basis (since 1993) so crippling fatigue added to FMS, Osteoarthritis, TMJ, tendonitis, bursitis and every other “itis” out there…and I came to a place where eating fistfuls of prescription drugs & “dealing with it”/”sucking it up”/”putting it on ignore” inevitably became out of the question.  I was just saying “NO MORE.” No more to all of the meds…NO MORE to all of the little black pieces of tape stuck over the oil light on my body’s dashboard! I have embarked on the pharmaceutical journey through hell of long-term chronic pain management twice and had to go off said long-term pain management twice and it has totally sucked both times. I have also gone off Depo Provera twice and gained 30lbs in less than 6 weeks both times (which also sucked…but in a radically different way) and after a life time of doctors and prescriptions that led to more doctors and prescriptions – I’ve taken a different route.  The other one was way to cyclical for me.  I’m not into the “side effects include death” option unless it’s my last option anymore.

Over the past couple of years I have gone on Master Cleanse repeatedly and every time I did, I felt better when I didn’t eat
any food (but I was starving and nutritionally depriving my body repeatedly – which I knew I couldn’t sustain.) But knowing I felt better without food led me to the conclusion that at least a significant portion of my problems were directly related to food.

Let’s call them allergies for now. I’m not totally sure what these reactions were to (yet), but what I can say is, I was medication-free and pain-free in Asia for over a year. I lived primarily on the Candida diet over there…and consumed no dairy to speak of (because they don’t really have dairy in Asia, nor do they offer dairy substitutes.)  I still experienced serious GI reactions to foods on a semi-regular basis but had no method of figuring out which ones because when a plate of food was served to me in different countries, I simply ate it. Alex and I would watch my gut expand like I had a bicycle pump blowing air up my ass (I wish I was kidding), many times after I would eat a meal I would waddle out of there looking 7 months pregnant and have to wait for the mega-bloat to dissipate over the next several hours, but we didn’t get what was causing it.  Because my pain was totally in-check, we simply chalked it up to a laughable phenomena and w
nt about our daily routine…and avoided anything that required deep breaths for the rest of that day.

I went off of Depo Provera permanently (finally) last August (2014) and for the second time in my life (unrelated to Nothing_tastes_as_Good_as_Skinny_Feelspregnancy) I blew up 30 lbs in under 6 weeks time doing so.  Everything is simply more challenging at 47 than it ever was ta 27…so, by the time I was tilting the scale at 185.7 I was freaking out.  I gave birth to my daughters at that weight…and I wasn’t toting any other human beings around in my belly this time. I am not a major primper (duh), but I do care enough about my health, physical appearance and the stress on my joints and the systems of my body (which have enough  to deal with) that I do not wish to add obesity to my laundry list of health-related issues.  So, when my dear friend (and massage therapist) Sarah asked me if I’d seen or read anything about “The Whole 30” and my answer was “No. What is it?” She explained it was an elimination diet and that she knew a lot of people were loving it and that she thought it could really help me out.  I hopped off her table and went right to my iPhone and googled, Pinterested and then subsequently “Amazoned” 🙂 and I found more and more information on this program and I was all in!  I broke down, grabbed my kindle and bought the ebook and I spent the day reading up on what the Whole 30 actually was.

No_This_Yes_That_Whole30It’s Paleo minus: corn, grains, sugar, any form of sweetner, legumes, peanuts, soy, MSG, carrageenan and lectin(and a few
other things I might be missing so I will defer to their site for details) and what I found was nothing short of a miracle.  I got it! I’ve been doing it with my new grandson Liam whose system is pure – introducing new foods to him one at a time and watching for reactions. This is exactly the same concept for adults.  First, purify the system (get rid of all of it) – clean slate.  Then…add things back (one at a time in isolated fashion) to figure out
what DOESN’T work for YOU!
I know…it sounds tough – but I was committed.  If you think it’s too hard for you…let me help with this fantastic quote I read in their book’s intro:

“This is not hard.  Beating cancer is hard.  Losing a child is hard.  This…is NOT hard.”  

They were right.  I can do anything for 30 days.  The most amazing thing was, I dropped 10lbs in the first week. (Not allowed to look at the scale…I cheated and started back on Day 1) I could taste food again.  I tasted the natural sugar in Raw Organic Cashew nuts.  It was crazy.

I’ve lost 30+lbs since I started eating this way and Alex has lost 35+ and we’re going strong. I couldn’t have done it without Pintrest.

Check out my Whole30 board for recipes (I literally add more daily): Follow Dawn’s board Whole 30 Recipes on Pinterest.
And get the book – I downloaded their recommended ebook for kindle It Starts with Food  and I was off and running shopping the lists at the grocery store.

The plateaus and cravings can be tough to get through some days – I won’t lie to you…some days are a real bitch!
ex-whole-30-day-5But we’ve been on the Whole30 (for like a whole 90+) and just keep starting over again on Day 1.  A few times were because of little things like; finding out we were taking a supplement whose capsule was made from rice flour instead of gelatin – or not checking one mustard label (which contained added sugar) which has been very frustrating at times…but…results are often harsh…and ALWAYS fair and this food is nourishing and healthy AND our bodies are dumping toxins and melting excess FAT – SO…if it’s the Whole 120, the Whole 365 or the Whole REST OF MY LIFE, as long as it works…I’m in!  (Before and Afters to follow – soon) 🙂



"D" for the Hippie "D"iva, Dawn, my nickname "D" and my newest role and title "Didi"

Little Rock Farmer’s Market

We made a trip to opening day of the Little Rock Farmer’s Market on Saturday May 2nd.  We did so after talking about it for over 5 years and now that Alex and I are eating Paleo and are both on the Whole30, we are eating ultimately more fresh veggies than we can keep in stock, our garden was just planted and D_Alex_LR_050215we committedly support local. I totally miscalculated our morning and family obligations (typical) so, we got there around 2:45pm and found out it “closes” at 3 (not 5pm as I had estimated.) so we only did a portion of the market – however, what we got to see was chock full of fabulous!

We were there til well-after 5pm (because as anyone with a booth-based sidewalk/festival business knows…you don’t close til the last people leave if you want to make extra money.  As Alex and I were jewelry and craft vendors for many years, we often made the most money during the last hour of the last day (when everyone else was closed)…because people come late or wait to make purchases to see everything before they buy “something” and if you are the last booth standing – your something is simply the something they’re buying!  We IMG_1320stumbled upon a few amazing and very cool vendors with super high-quality stuff for great (last hour of the market) prices.

We bought our veggies first and then headed down to the top hippie attraction of the day; Mr Bamboo.  This guy quite literally taught us everything we ever wanted to know about bamboo and then some. We’re getting in touch with him this week to schedule a time to wander a bamboo forest and learn exponentially more.  Our fascination with bamboo came from Bali Indonesia where it grows in major abundance and people are building actual full-on homes out of the amazing (constantly self-replenishing) grass.  It’s brilliant stuff.  You can eat it, build your house with it, landscape with it…the uses are endless…and it’s a grass so you can cut it down and it grows right back!

IMG_1256We walked to Riverfront Steak House (after yelping and finding Whole30 compliant meals we opted for steak and after choking on some of the prices, some of the steakhouses were asking – $60+ for a ribeye?? Please!) We found our location over the river bridge – with AMAZING service, great steak and a totally accommodating staff for our dietary restrictions. The best part of our chosen dinner (time and location) was the walk back over the Arkansas River bridge.

It was one of the most beautiful sunsets I’ve experienced in a very long time. Td_sunset_best_LR050215here were a ton of fantastic quotes in the movie “Wild” with Reese Witherspoon but this one strikes me for the moment:

‘There’s a sunrise and a sunset every day, and you can choose to be there for it — you can put yourself in the way of beauty.”  

I find myself getting lost in sunsets again.  There’s nothing like letting myself get drawn into their beauty, and up and out of my mitote (me-toe-tay: Described in The Four Agreements as the cacophony of voices in your head. See below.) Alex and I have a pinky-swear agreement to stop everything we’re doing and take the time to be with each other (whether we are together or apart physically), in totally zen space, watching it set.

I am also very grateful to sunset for the gift of being able to dump my baggage (on one of life’s less than perfect days) into that big ball of fire at the end of each day and watch it extinguish into darkness. I often hear the voice of one of my very dear friends (that I haven’t had the honor of speaking to in far too longsaying “When you have a truly lousy day D, just remember…you’ll never have to live through that one again.”

Back to Little Rock…

d_LR_templeguardiand_HULee_exitWe decided to find some good live music, so we googled what was happening and found what we were looking for at Club Rev, so we walked back over the bridge, feeling nourished, relaxed and happy.  We stumbled on a very cool garden space that reminded us of Thailand on our way to the music.  It was a groovy little space that was well-thought-out and felt totally zen and isolated from the hustle and bustle on the city street right beyond it’s very cool, authentic gate.

Until next time,  Peace…xo