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Friday, July 26, 2013

Health Transparency

In a moment of transparency and a need for clarity, I'm divulging that I'm about to embark on a journey of sorts.  I met with my doctors on Wednesday and after an evaluation, discussion and a few prescriptions, I was advised to do a Whole30 and then remain on a gluten free diet.  I wanted to document the journey not only for myself but so that in the event my journey could somehow help someone else possibly suffering the same symptoms and/or ailments.  

I tend to be much like a man in that I greatly dislike going to the doctor.  I am not one to run to the white coats at the sign of a sniffle.  I like to let my body heal itself.  I tend to lean much more towards a holistic approach than a pharmaceutical one.

However, in my attempts to avoid prescriptions, it is thought that I have somewhat eroded and/or damaged the lining to my stomach by overdoing it on the ibuprofen.  I get frequent cluster headaches.  A couple of times a month, they DO lead to migraines, but more often than not, I try everything I can to head them off at the pass.  The problem lies in that I'm a mom.  I don't have time to be shut down in a a dark, cool room in a fetal position wearing sunglasses in the house... even when I'm "down" with a migraine or cluster headaches, I am carpooling, cooking dinner, shopping, keeping my house running.  

Yet, I'm not supermom.  I have to take care of me first.  I have to take care of my body so that it allows me to take care of my family.  

I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease at a young age... something akin to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.  A couple of years back, a rheumatologist declared it was RA without the RA signal in my blood (my grandmother didn't have it either but had RA as well).  My bloodwork, however, showed inflammation.  Fun, right?

Couple this with the other plethora of symptoms (insomnia, IBS, headaches, migraines, swelling, boating, yadda, yadda, yadda), the PA smiled, laughed and said we have SO many similarities and so here is my suggestion.  Beyond the medical necessity for a baseline reading on my bloodwork, she suggested that I do a Whole30 diet and then remain gluten free.  

You see, she also has an auto immune disease with chronic inflammation.  She, too, has had bloating, etc.  She, too, has had migraines.  And, she, too, has done a Whole30 and remained gluten free... she no longer has any symptoms... or headaches... or bloating...or migraines.  

And, frankly, I totally love the idea of a diet change, body reset and a holistic approach rather than going for an upper and lower GI scope.  Not that I'm afraid of doing it, I just really don't want to be put "under."

So, I'm about to embark up on a Whole30.  What exactly IS a Whole30?  A whole 30 is an opportunity for your body to naturally reset itself.  You're removing dairy.  You're removing sugar (natural, chemical, all sweeteners -- no sugar, no honey, no agave, nothing).  You're removing grains (from their website: 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. Yes, we said corn… for the purposes of this program, corn is a grain! 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. ).  You're removing alcohol (this will be REALLY easy for me.)  You're removing beans and peanuts (THIS... THIS will be hard!)

You're also removing the scale.  You're not to step on the scale during the thirty days of the system nor are you to take measurements.  BOO!

Once you remain gluten free, it's kind of like what they call a "Paleo" diet.  I really was quite skeptic about "Paleo" because I am NOT a fan of ANY fad diet.  I've never done Adkins.  I didn't do the cabbage soup diet.  I never bought into any of that nonsense.  And I wasn't "sold" on this, that was UNTIL I started to read and watch the testimonials of people who ARE gluten free or who have done the Whole30 (people that I KNOW).  There has to be some truth in what they're saying.  Especially becuase they weren't doing this in an effort to lose weight, they were doing this in an effort to gain HEALTH.  The testimonials also really makes me keenly suspicious of the whole GMO issue.  Saving Dinner (one of my go-to sites for meal planning) gives a Paleo plan for her subscribers, because she too went Paleo to gain health.  Here is her testimonial.

So, I will be posting my meal plans.  I will be posting my thoughts on the process.  I will be posting my struggles.  I will be posting my daily journey.  It all starts Monday.  I'm really ready to take back my health.

4 comments:

Mary Cody said...

I went plant based for health, not trends. I have eliminated everything except my estrogen patch and allergy pill for meds. I use herbs and homeopathic treatments now.
If you are eating meat, please go organic, grass fed, otherwise you are still consuming grains (GMO's) and the drugs they give cattle.
I support anything someone does to be healthy in a natural way. Go you!

Mary Cody said...

I went plant based for health, not trends. I have eliminated everything except my estrogen patch and allergy pill for meds. I use herbs and homeopathic treatments now.
If you are eating meat, please go organic, grass fed, otherwise you are still consuming grains (GMO's) and the drugs they give cattle.
I support anything someone does to be healthy in a natural way. Go you!

Cristy S said...

I am like you (wow, how many times have we said that); I dislike going to doctors. I prefer to let my body self heal (my husband hates that). I hope this helps with all of your inflammations. Those have got to suck with three kids. I could do everything on the Whole30 except giving up sugar. Well I guess I could, but it would be extremely hard and I would probably be cranky. Text me if you need to vent. How's the poochie doing? I hope she is more comfortable and in less pain.

Paula said...

Good luck with this. It sounds like it would be hard. I hope that it helps and I will follow along with you reading all about it!