I feel like my blog has no rhyme or reason … I’ve griped over my son’s father, gloated about my amazing boyfriend, threw out spurts of attempting to be healthy & get in shape – oh, and announced that I bought a house! Which I do love by the way :)
My latest escapade is a health issue. I was concerned that I might have gallstones. Last week – a familiar, yet extremely sharp pain - directly under my rib cage on the right side – struck again. I made the decision to finally go see a doctor. The doctor could not diagnose anything without testing, but suggested I cut out fast food, fried foods, & anything sugary – pretty much eat healthy! So I followed her directions, and haven’t felt the pain hit since. I had an ultrasound yesterday on my gallbladder – and the results came back no gallstones, which is good! But at the same time, I am still left without an explanation. After talking to my doctor’s office about my results (all normal), they left me with contacting them if the pain comes back. Which in all honesty, I do feel the pain now. Probably because I strayed away from my healthy eating streak last night after finding out that I don’t have gallstones! I didn’t eat incredibly unhealthy, but I’m sure the insane amount of mozzarella cheese in my salad wasn’t the most beneficial to my health! I’m starting to question if dairy products are giving me issues.
Or maybe it is caused by what I have consumed so far today: 1 small granny smith apple, 1 8oz cup of Van Houtte French Vanilla coffee with a taste of White Clover’s honey & 1 Mini Moo’s .28 fl oz half & half cup and 1 Nutrigrain Fruit & Oats Harvest bar (strawberry flavor). After eating the Nutrigrain bar is when the pain began, but I do not want to chalk it up to the bar, since I have actually been eating those since my doctor appointment last Tuesday – and no pain on those previous occasions. The doctor instructed I also keep a food diary, which I kept up with that day after leaving the office. I also continued to record my progress on the 4th, 5th and 6th – but stopped after that. Now, here I am trying to back track what I ate since the pain has popped up again. I do not want to make another trip to the doctor, since again – I’m pretty sure the pain is due to me going in on all that mozzarella cheese on my salad last night …
With all these unanswered questions to the source of my pain, I am 99% sure it has to do with eating unhealthy. So, on that note – I think I want to try this plan called the Whole30. Why? Well – why not! I did pretty well for 1 week cooking and shopping for a more healthy lifestyle, but that can get expensive trying to substitute ingredients for a healthier option. I kept seeing stuff pop up for the Paleo diet while on Pinterest, searching for diets with gallstones. I took a brief look at it – and after seeing all the restrictions I passed. Then, this morning while I was searching ways to save up for a vacation – I came across a blog that posted about Paleo Basics. I chose to click the link & read on. One link led to another and after reading over the 8 Steps to Get Started with the Whole30 – I felt more encouraged. After a few more clicks on different links, I came across the blogger’s Pinterest board for the Whole30 with tons of recipes that looked pretty good … and like food I could cook for my boyfriend & son! (While cooking healthy this past week, I could tell my boyfriend didn’t enjoy his dinners as much as when I cooked without any care – and for my son, well I actually fed him something else on some nights.)
I have reservations towards starting the Whole30 – mostly because a lot of the foods that you’re supposed to avoid are foods I just bought! Here is a list of the things to avoid:
• Do not consume added sugar of any kind, real or artificial. No maple syrup, honey, agave nectar, coconut sugar, Splenda, Equal, Nutrasweet, xylitol, stevia, etc. Read your labels, because companies sneak sugar into products in ways you might not recognize. WHAT! I just bought some stevia & all natural honey – and it wasn’t cheap!
• Do not consume alcohol, in any form, not even for cooking. (And it should go without saying, but no tobacco products of any sort, either.) Shouldn’t be a problem!
• Do not eat grains. This includes (but is not limited to) wheat, rye, barley, oats, corn, rice, millet, bulgur, sorghum, amaranth, buckwheat, sprouted grains and all of those gluten-free pseudo-grains like quinoa. This also includes all the ways we add wheat, corn and rice into our foods in the form of bran, germ, starch and so on. Again, read your labels. Guess what I just bought! A new box of QUINOA! And a bunch of other healthy grain stuff!
• Do not eat legumes. This includes beans of all kinds (black, red, pinto, navy, white, kidney, lima, fava, etc.), peas, chickpeas, lentils, and peanuts. No peanut butter, either. This also includes all forms of soy – soy sauce, miso, tofu, tempeh, edamame, and all the ways we sneak soy into foods (like lecithin). Why yes, I do have 2 newly purchased cans of black beans in my pantry!
• Do not eat dairy. This includes cow, goat or sheep’s milk products such as cream, cheese (hard or soft), kefir, yogurt (even Greek), and sour cream… with the exception of clarified butter or ghee. (See below for details.) This is what appeals to me – cutting out diary because I feel like that is a big root to all my digestive issues!
• Do not eat white potatoes. This is somewhat arbitrary, but if we are trying to change your habits (chips and fries) and improve the hormonal impact of your food choices, it’s best to leave white, red, purple, Yukon gold, and fingerling potatoes off your plate. I have a nice new bag of WHITE POTATOES sitting in my pantry!
• Do not consume carrageenan, MSG or sulfites. If these ingredients appear in any form on the label of your processed food or beverage, it’s out for the Whole30. Easy enough, right?
• In addition, no Paleo-ifying baked goods, treats, or junk foods. Trying to shove your old, unhealthy diet into a shiny new Whole30 mold will ruin your program faster than you can say “Paleo Pop-Tarts.” This means no desserts or junk food made with “approved” ingredients—no banana-egg pancakes, almond-flour muffins, flourless brownies, or coconut milk ice cream. Don’t try to replicate junk food during your 30 days! That misses the point of the Whole30 entirely. This will be a true challenge for me because I am a HUGE junk-food junky, as is my boyfriend! But in all honesty, if this Whole30 plan helps improve my health – then I can suck it up ;)
With all of that in the light, and knowing I do want to commit to the Whole30 – I question when to start. I know their site suggests starting as soon as possible – but I truly hate to have that expensive health food I JUST BOUGHT go to waste! I guess I could be nice and donate to another health conscious friend … I never was a huge fan of quinoa but it was a fairly popular ingredient in all my junk food replication recipes! There are also two birthdays coming up this month – so I know there will be eating out and cake … should I wait to start after that, then all my foods that are restricted from the Whole30 should be used up by then. April looks like a good month to start – no birthdays are in April! I think my only challenges will be when it comes to going out to eat or eating over at my boyfriend or my parents’ house. But again -for a better health, this sounds like a great plan with great benefits. Go Paleo!