Two or three years before starting the Whole 30 program, my daughter introduced me to the Paleo way of eating. Since Ed had been eating gluten free, the Paleo program seemed easy enough to follow. Giving up sweets was the hard part. We still indulged various gluten-free crackers, cookies, and the like. I can’t say we really felt better physically, but we felt better about at least trying to be on a healthier path.
And then came Whole 30. Wow, I thought it was “Paleo on steroids!” It took a full year after buying the book before I could wrap my head around giving up dairy, alcohol, and sugar. Then I decided it was time to do something radical. We targeting October 1st 2016, but my kitchen wasn’t ready. We had too many offending products on the shelves to start the program properly. Being somewhat OCD, it seemed I couldn’t start unless it was the 1st of the month. So November 1st it was. I took the next several weeks to box up the offending products and hauled them off to a friend’s house. (Not that I didn’t care about her health, but I knew she’d welcome the free groceries!) I allowed myself to cheat a little bit before D-day, but when November 1st rolled around, we were ready, willing, and determined! (Well, actually Ed was scared.)
Black coffee. hmmmm. My father used to drink his coffee black, and I never understood how he could do it. Since using coconut or almond milk was allowed, I tried that for a while. Really did not like almond milk in a cappuccino. (It didn’t froth well, either.) I settled for coconut milk in regular coffee. In my mind, it was better than black. Then one day, I went to a networking meeting where someone had brought in coffee for the group. (The only creamer, was that stuff in the little containers which are full of chemicals.) So I decided to bite the bullet, and drink it black. Wow, was I surprised. It wasn’t bad! (For the record, it was actually the Dunkin Donuts brand.) Believe it or not, from that day forward, I (almost) only drink it black. I say it that way because, every now and then, I’ll have a Frappuccino from Starbucks. (A girl has to cheat some time, right???)
The great thing about the internet is that you can find thousands of recipes for whatever diet program you’re following. So between the Whole 30 book, Whole 30 cookbook, books from the library, and the internet,–I was preparing a lot of wonderful dishes. We kept a strict diary of what we ate, and how we felt. I was surprised that, even though I didn’t have any real health issues, I started to feel better in ways I hadn’t expected. Ed was definitely noticing less heartburn, and he was thrilled. (He went from experiencing heartburn almost every day, to hardly ever having heartburn after being on the Whole 30 program a short time.) After the first 30 days on Whole 30, he refused to reintroduce the offending foods into his diet. For him there was no going back. (I would experiment with various foods, just to see how different I’d feel.)
Despite Ed’s feeling better, we decided to continue on our quest for the best health possible. Ed was on a roll. Based on recommendations from Dr. Tom O’Bryan’s book (the Autoimmune Fix), he decided to give up nightshade vegetables. The results of giving up nightshade vegetable seemed inconclusive.
And then came the Plant Paradox (by Dr. Steven Gundry).