Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Whole30 Update

I wrote this a few weeks ago:

"I'm on Day 10.  It's interesting.  I think I went into this whole thing with simultaneous beliefs of, "This will fix EVERYTHING," and "It is impossible for diet changes like these to fix ANYTHING."  I am so far wrong on both counts.  My favorite things so far, in no particular order:

1.  My food is delicious.  It's tasty, and I feel good eating it because I know how wholesome it is.
2.  I am not hungry in between meals.  This is huge for me.  I used to get so cranky and hungry in between meals during my epically long school days that I would often develop migraines and/or resort to eating crackers or trail mix or whatever I could find in the vending machine.  Now, I make it to my next meal, with maybe a small snack (packed and planned) if it's a really crazy day.
3.  I get hungry before meals, but not "hangry."  I am not the first person to discover this while eating Whole30/paleo, and I'm sure I won't be the last.  It's a very liberating feeling, to not ever feel like If I don't find a food item to put in my mouth this very instant I will either melt into tears or just DIE OF STARVATION."

So!  All of those things were true and awesome and I felt a lot better for the two-ish weeks that I made it without messing up on the Whole30.  Then the fact that my other half moved to a different city and we spent two frantic weeks finding an apartment in said city, packing up all his stuff, and moving him to said city - yeah, I got a little distracted and found it impossible to pack and eat paleo/Whole30 food all the time.  While I was doing it, though, I noticed improvements in my skin, my GI system, and I lost about 6 pounds.  But over the last few months I've been feeling more and more run down, and that didn't improve, even as everything else did.  I chalked it up to me not lasting the whole 30 days.  Until it got worse.  And worse.  And then I went to donate blood and got turned away for the second time in six months because my hemoglobin was too low.

A doctor's appointment and several vials of blood later, there appears to be something wrong - which is both a relief to not think I'm making up how crappy I feel, but also anxiety-provoking in that I'd really like to know what it is, please, so I can do something about it.  Some of my key vitamin levels were quite low, as was my hemoglobin, hematocrit, and most especially iron (after some serious meat-chowing, no less).  For the next couple of weeks, I'm under doctor's orders to eat as much gluten as I can stand, because she wants to see if I have celiac disease, and that's only accurate if you've been eating gluten for at least three weeks.  Even after I stopped attempting the Whole30, I was still eating substantially less gluten than I had before, and the difference now is marked.  My face is breaking out, my chronic skin stuff has flared up and is the worst it's ever been, I'm nauseas and bloated pretty much 24/7, and I seem to have misplaced my waist.

As much as I love baking and all things flour, I can't wait to be given the all-clear to go back to no gluten (even if I don't have celiac).  And then maybe I'll give this Whole30 thing another shot.

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