I’m going to eat according to the book „It starts with food“ which is perfect for my 30-Day-Challenge!
That means I will eat 3 meals with:
– 1-2 tbsp healthy fats
– 1-2 palm-size servings of healthy protein
– a lot of vegetables
– 1-2 servings of fruit per day (optional)
I’m a sugarholic and binge eater so I have to be extremely careful about eating too much fruit just because I can’t have my other sweets. That means I’ll skip the fruit servings most of the time.
The amount of food to eat with each meal is the minimum – more is always an option!
– sugar and stuff with sugar aka delicious and deadly sweets
– nuts (just for me because I tend to overeat on nuts when deprived of sweets)
– dairy (except Ghee)
– all artificial stuff (sweeteners, colouring, MSG, …)
Does seem like a boring diet? In the Whole30-book are a lot of recipes you can cook so that you won’t have to eat the same meal over and over again! You can also search for recipes on the internet – just type in “Whole30 recipe” and you’re good to go!
Why the Whole30?
1. According to the book the elimination of certain food types helps to get rid of a variety of symptoms, diseases and conditions (the bold ones are mine):
diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity, acne, eczema, psoriasis, chronic fatigue, asthma (don’t have it anymore), sinus infections, allergies, migraines, acid reflux, Chron’s disease, celiac disease, IBS, bipolar disorder, depression, Lyme disease, endometriosis, PCOS, autism, fibromyalgia, ADHD, hypothyroidism, arthritis, multiple sclerosis
2. Eating this way helps restoring gut health and therefore serotonin production ( 90 % of serotonin is manufactured in the gut!).
3. I’m a binge eater for about 15 years. When I’m depressed I eat all kinds of sweets just to starve the feeling of nothingness and worthlessness. That does help relieving my frustrations about life and forgetting my problems for a while but the depression doesn’t leave. My body just gets heavier, pimples start showing up all over my face and after about 2 weeks it just feels like the beginning of the end.
I did the Whole30 before and it helped me eating clean for about 4 months which is much longer than my usual 2-weeks-healthy-food-and-then-bingeing-like-there-is-no-tomorrow-cycle. The strict routine seems to help me overcome the constant need for sweets and in-between meals.
Obviously it didn’t eliminate all of my depressive symptoms or my need to binge but it helped a lot and I’m willing to try it again just because it was the best I’ve felt in years!
4. Good gut health also is linked to coping better emotionally and often I wake up stressed with negative thoughts and it takes a long time before I can calm my mind. I ‘m also getting stressed over tiny little things in a way that feels unhealthy to my heart. It’s sheer panic – cortisol at it’s best! Anti-anxiety-food is a welcome help to relieve this feeling.
5. Hello? They recommend to eat like this exactly for 30 days! 😉
What could hinder my efforts to eat this way and what can I do to prevail?
1. Depressive thoughts, anxiety and the wish to stuff my feelings with food:
– drinking anti-anxiety-tea
– writing about my thoughts and feelings
– reading something motivating
– taking a long, hot shower
– watching an episode or two of a comedy series
– dancing (sometimes you have to force yourself 😉 )
– practicing yoga
When nothing helps and I still want all the food of the world to be in my mouth right now:
– eating allowed food until I don’t want to eat anything anymore
2. Lack of energy:
– eating a bit more with each meal
When this doesn’t help:
– searching for other ways to fight the energy deprivation
3. Restaurant visits:
– ordering only food I’m allowed to eat
– switching the side dish for a healthier option
– skipping dessert obviously
4. Family visits with a lot of food and sweets to be pushed upon me:
– tell them beforehand what I shouldn’t eat (it’s just for a month!)
– just eat allowed things
– when pushed to eat more just pick the allowed ones and eat slowly
– stay away from the dessert
5. Drinking friends
– drink a lot of water and leave the alcohol be (it’s healthier anyway)
Mid-week-4 I fell off the waggon and gave in to my mood which was down once more. I binged to stuff my negative feelings and that lasted a couple of weeks.
I decided to try another eating protocol especially designed for people with eating disorder/depression/anxiety: GAPS! The introduction Diet is a much harder protocol than the Whole30 and a bit stressful if you’re on your own with cooking (and have no affinity for that) but right now I’m on week 5 and haven’t had bad cravings I couldn’t handle! After a few weeks I should be able to switch to the Full GAPS Diet which basically is Paleo.
I think the Whole30 is the way to go for everyone who doesn’t get too gassy when eating lots of vegetables and who has nightshade, egg or other allergies and needs to find out which one causes problems. Perhaps taking some enzymes with meals would help stomaching the vegetables better. Before switching to GAPS I didn’t experiment with that because I didn’t know the enzymes could actually help me. My eczema wasn’t cured in the 3 1/2 weeks and the nearly 3 months I tested before (the bloating wasn’t better then either) so I had to try a harsher eating style.
I personally will choose the Whole30 again after switching to the Full GAPS Diet because it’s very similar but with detailed guidelines about how much to eat with each meal. I totally LOVE this because there is no calorie counting involved but you have a bit of control if you feel like loosing or gaining weight (in healthy ranges 😉 )!