whole 30 results

The results are in!  Several months ago, I had some blood work done for insurance purposes.  At that time, I was eating mostly primal/paleo, but had been seriously cheating…on a regular basis.  My results weren’t terrible, but they weren’t great either.  They were bad enough to make my insurance rates higher than they could have been.  Then I completed the Whole 30 so that I could get back on track with my primal way of eating.  I knew I would be having blood work done again for a wellness program at work and I was really curious to see if a month of eating whole, unprocessed foods would make a big difference.  I have read tons of success stories from others who have improved their health by going primal, but I really wanted to see it first hand.  Even after all the research and reading I’ve done about primal and paleo eating, it still feels counter-intuitive to eat so much fat, even though I know in my head that fat is good.  I guess the food and drug companies have really done their job in convincing me that fat is the enemy.  The low-fat, whole grain myth has seeped into my brain and I’ve internalized it to the point that I sometimes still doubt myself, especially when it comes to my husband.  He has a family history of high blood pressure and cholesterol and I sometimes worry that maybe our choices aren’t healthy after all and what if his conditions get worse.

BUT…these numbers don’t lie and I feel very confident now that we are doing what’s best for our health.  So, here are the results:

Cholesterol:  July-205, October (after Whole 30)-189  Less than 200 is optimal.

Triglycerides:  July-69, October-67  Less than 150 is normal.

HDL (Good) Cholesterol:  July-86, October- 83  More than 60 is optimal.

LDL (Bad) Cholesterol:  July-105, October-93  Less than 100 is optimal.

I find it interesting that my blood glucose was around 60 back in July, which is considered low, and it was 80 in October, which is within the normal range.

So, what have I learned here?  Avoiding grains and sugar is good.  Fat is good.  Even with moderate cheating, eating a paleo diet most of the time is so much better than not at all, but my bad cholesterol and overall cholesterol levels were slightly above normal.  Eating paleo all the time is even better.  Those slightly high levels returned to normal after 30 days without grains, sugar, artificial sweeteners, dairy, legumes, and alcohol.  No one will ever convince me again that a vegetarian diet or diet rich in whole grains and low in fat is healthy.

Do you think the Whole 30 is something you could try?  Which part would be most difficult for you?


whole 30 update and a quick rant

The last two weeks have been a little crazy, but I am happy to report that I’m still following the Whole 30.  The first week was rough.  By the end of the first day, I could feel the sugar/carb hangover setting in and it stayed around for about 3 days.  I had a blinding, pounding headache that actually sent me home early from work one day.  Once I made it through that, I was fine.  My energy was back, my mood was up, and I’ve been fine ever since.  Oh, and did I mention I lost 6 pounds in the first week?  Fortunately, I didn’t have to deal with the rage and tired phases that can sometimes be expected.  I am confident now that I will be able to make it through to the end.  My weight loss has slowed down in the second week, but when I think back on last year, when I originally started eating paleo/primal, I lost a bunch of weight the first week and then it slowed to about a pound a week.

So, while I am on the topic of diet, I just have to vent about the barrage of weight loss ads I keep seeing on facebook and on TV.  Ugh. Take this pill, drink this shake, inject yourself with this hormone, wrap your body, workout until you puke and you’ll lose inches!  It kind of makes me sad that so many people fall for this stuff.  I have to really bite my tongue when I see people posting about their weight loss efforts.  There are so many times that I want to send people a private massage that goes something like, “Hey, when you give up on that diet, let me know.  I know a way that’s easier and so much healthier…”  But I guess that would seem kind of condescending, no?  But seriously, some of these methods are so unhealthy.  I have a friend who is currently dieting with the help of nutritionists and she is starving herself and taking some kind of insane workout class and after a few weeks of that, she’s sick.  I’m so glad that I found this way of eating and I seriously wish I could get everyone on board, but it’s a really touchy subject I guess.  I try to inform people about it without being too pushy or annoying, and honestly, most people look at me like I am crazy when I tell them about it.  But, the proof is in the puddin’.  I’m losing weight and next month I will have a blood panel run as part of my participation in a wellness program at work.  I will be really curious to see those numbers after a month of eating whole, real food.  I guess we’ll see…

whole 30 challenge

Well, now that we’re back from vacation, it’s time to start the Whole 30 Challenge.  If you aren’t familiar with it, the challenge is 30 days of eating nothing but whole, clean foods, nothing processed, and no grains, sugar, dairy, legumes, alcohol, or sweeteners of any kind.  It follows the principles of the paleo diet, which you can read more about here.  Michael talked me into trying this a few months ago and I failed miserably.  Things were crazy at work, I was stressed, and I had been indulging in sugar a bit too often before we started.  The result was a very tired, angry, miserable me.  I found out later that the way I was feeling was totally normal, since my body was working through all the crap I had been eating before.  This handy little guide breaks it all down:

So, we went on vacation and since I knew we would be starting the Whole 30 when we got home, I probably indulged a little more than I should have.  French bread and ice cream made the top of my list.  I definitely feel more committed this time around.  I really NEED to get back on track.  When I first started eating a paleo diet, I was pretty hardcore about it and I felt amazing.  Then I got pregnant and I started slowly breaking the rules and, to be honest, I haven’t been 100% back on track ever since then.  So, this is a way to reset my body and recommit myself to my health.

One of the “rules” of the Whole 30 is that you are not allowed to weigh yourself for the duration of the challenge.  I haven’t decided if I am going to stick to that one or not.  I hopped on the scale this morning and I was so disappointed in myself.  145 pounds.  For me that’s pretty bad considering the fact that at 3 months postpartum, I weighed 15 pounds less than I do now.  I am at the end of day one and it went a lot easier than I thought, though I definitely feel the “hangover” setting in.  I started to feel a headache coming on this afternoon and now it’s full blown.  Ugh.  I’m hoping I’ll feel better tomorrow, but I’m not counting on it.  I’ll be posting with updates about once a week, so stay tuned to see if I’m still pushing through it.