Today was the last day of my Paleo style 30 day elimination diet called Whole30. I decided to do this Whole30 because I was suffering with an increasingly bloated and sensitive stomach despite my long standing healthy eating habits. As a life long allergy sufferer I was already familiar with elimination diets which work by eliminating common “trigger foods”, so the body has a chance to calm, heal and reset.
I knew nothing about the Paleo lifestyle prior to starting the diet, but in my research about what to do for my symptoms I kept finding references to Paleo eating and 30 day trial periods. I read everything I could find about the subject both online and in books, and then decided that the protocol of natural, pastured meats, wild seafood and lots of veggies and fruits would certainly not be risky or potentially bad for my health so I jumped in to my first Whole30.
After 10 years of mostly vegetarian eating it was a big adjustment for me to start including meats in my meals, but with the availability of good quality pastured meats, it was an adjustment I was willing to make. As it turns out, once I started eating meat again I found I was really enjoying it! The other big adjustment was the absence of grains and legumes of every sort from my plate. As a vegetarian, they were a staple in my diet and it took me a little longer to do my weekly menu planning because I had to figure out how to fill that hole in my diet.
In the end, I found that I love the way I feel when I eat Paleo. My stomach symptoms resolved pretty quickly and I tried lots of foods and recipes that I absolutely love. I don’t get those “I’m so hungry I could eat my own arm off” episodes that I used to have, instead I find myself very satisfied with the regular 3 meals per day – no snacking necessary. I eat just as many (or maybe even more) of the delicious and nutritious vegetables that I have always loved and, for the most part, I do not miss the items I eliminated. Actually, I do miss my homemade sourdough bread at breakfast!
So now that the “hard part” is over, I think the really hard part is about to begin. Once you finish the 30 days, you begin to slowly test yourself with the foods that were eliminated. Tomorrow I will try some dairy to see if/how it affects me. After a few days it will be bread, a few days later it will be legumes and so on. I need to very carefully observe my physical and emotional state after each trial to determine if I react and if so to what degree. Once I complete all of the trials, I will know what foods were causing my symptoms so I can avoid them.
Whatever the final results are, I think that I will stick with the Paleo eating lifestyle because it is delicious and because I just like how I feel when I eat this way. I will post a follow up to share the food re-introduction results.
This post is participating in Real Food Wednesday, Allergy Free Wednesdays, Works for Me Wednesday, Healthy 2day Wednesday, Keep it Real Thursday, Tastetastic Thursday, Whole Foods Wednesday, Freaky Friday, Fight Back Friday, Fresh Bites Friday, Foodie Friday, Inspire Me Fridays, The Gallery of Favorites, Monday Mania, Melt in Your Mouth Monday, Fat Tuesday, Heart and Soul