Fast forward to February. A friend sent me a copy of “It Starts With Food” by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig, and in the book, they talk at length about systemic inflammation, and how it is the root cause of so many ailments. They go on to say this inflammation is reversible, just by changing the food you put on your plate.
So, I thought about it. I realized that all that sugar was playing with my emotions, giving me a quick high that didn’t last. I then realized that bread was a food I could not stop eating, even in moderate amounts, so I had to make a change. I read the book again, talked to some friends, did research on the Paleo way of eating, and made a commitment (along with Karen) to start the whole30 in the end of April.
The whole30 is a challenge wherein you do not eat grains, dairy, legumes (including peanuts and soy), seed oils, all kinds of sugar, artificial sweeteners, alcohol (including cooking with it), and no white potatoes. But you do get to eat organic meats, seafood, eggs, fruits, and vegetables (except corn and white potatoes).
Shopping for this was its own puzzle. It felt very weird not buying yogurt, cereal, pasta, spuds, etc. And instead, I’m stocking up on canned coconut milk, sweet potatoes, root vegetables, bananas, apples… essentially spending most of my time in the produce section. I am ordering more from Creswick Farms, The Fish Monger’s Wife, and Visser Farms.
I also find I’m not dining out as much, because it is a pain. I go out, and I have to order salads without cheese and croutons. If I’m with my dad, I end up passing my dinner rolls to him. As much as I love Fatty Lumpkins, sandwiches are a no-no at this point.
But this has been so rewarding. For starters, I am losing weight, which is just a bonus. Two, I have more energy. Saturday night, I went for a 13 mile run and I didn’t need a gel or sports drink to get me through. And third, my mood, which has been known to be up one day and down the next, is finally leveling out. I’m not deliriously happy, but I’m not Captain Grumpy-pants either. It’s finally in the middle.
As for what my dad thinks? He’s been griping about eating sweet potatoes, but I’ve told him that I will not cook two dishes each night just to satisfy him.
At the end of the thirty days, I have the option of reintroducing grains (gluten or not), dairy, and legumes, but to be honest, I’m not missing some of this stuff. I will probably reintroduce dairy (at least full-fat yogurt and cheese), and grains will be an occasional treat, but I don’t miss legumes. And if I wanted to, I could do an old fashioned bean soak and cook em with a ham-hock, but I just don’t know.
And the way this is going, I might turn this into a whole60, whole90, or keep it for life.