"Discover the Whole30 and Change your life in unexpected ways" -It Starts With Food, Melissa and Dallas HartwigI am embarking on a new journey. Tomorrow I will begin a program of food elimination to determine if any of the foods I consume on a regular basis cause inflammation leading to pain in my joints and general body. For the last year I have been suffering mysterious pains that many a doctor have not been able to diagnose. I have had diagnoses ranging from Rheumatoid Arthritis to Fibromyalgia to Bursitis to something as simple as having over flexible joints. None of these diagnoses seem to fit and yet I am exhibiting symptoms that would fit all of them.
There is a firm belief within the nourishing foods community that what you eat can affect your body in ways that go beyond weight and general health. I truly believe that what I am eating has short and long term core effects on my immune system and the health of my joints. Some of you may be saying "Duh" some may be dismissing me and changing the page. Hopefully, most of you are intrigued and want to know more.
I picked up the book "It Starts With Food" by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig on recommendation from a friend of mine. I figured it would be another self help, nutrition read that I would store some of the information in my reserves of food knowledge but, something about it seemed different. Something made me want to read it cover to cover rather than skipping through to the "good" parts. What was different about this book as opposed to the many, many others that sit on my book shelf? It made sense, really made sense. The description of the program, the science behind it, the engaging prose, it drew me in and clicked.
Sitting here on my bed, writing this, I glance at my bedside table littered with prescription bottles of anti-inflammatories, pain killers, muscle relaxers, and anti-depressants. The spoils of many a doctor's attempt to medicate me and alleviate the mysterious pain just long enough to let me get my 8 hours of sleep. My heating pad is never far and my freezer has ice packs of all shapes and sizes. I spent 2 days at the beginning of this week immobilized and resting due to the pain I felt after enjoying a short nature hike. This has become my journey of the last year. A journey of waking up each morning wondering what or if I am going to hurt, second guessing whether my knees or ankles will support me. Always waiting for the tingling and swelling in my hands to dictate how I will spend my day.
The Whole30 is an elimination program where inflammatory foods are removed for a month then slowly re-introduced to examine their effects on your body. During the 30 days you eliminate soy, sugar, dairy, gluten, grains, legumes, and alcohol from your diet. The program is based on the Paleo lifestyle however, it also eliminates items that are allowed when eating Paleo. The focus is on eating foods that make you healthier such as, grass-fed and pastured meats, seafood, eggs, fruits and vegetables, healthy fats like coconut, avocado and olive oil, nuts and seeds (in moderation). These are all foods I enjoy and eat regularly. Please read this page for more on the philosophy behind the Whole30.
Over the next month I will be sharing with you my experiences, menus, and musings about my Whole30 journey. I have prepped well for this and mentally am ready to embark. Please reach out to me if you have any questions or are interested in doing a Whole30 for yourself. Below I have included a few links that have helped me prepare as well as my Whole30 pinterest page so you can see some of my inspirations and recipes that will keep me going for the next 30 days. Enjoy!
Whole30 Learn about the program and book "It Starts With Food"
Whole30 -Facebook Connect with others
Pinterest -Whole30, it's happening My inspirations
Free Downloads Shopping lists, quick start etc
The Foodee Project An extensive compilation of Whole30 approved recipes
The Clothes Make The Girl -I am highly enamoured of this site and can't say enough about the book "Well Fed" by the same author
Balanced Bites -Another wonderful blog resource but the book by the same author "Practical Paleo" is one I could not recommend more highly. Even if you don't do a Whole30, get. this. book.