So this post is coming almost a week after I should have been wrapping up my January Whole 30, and I apologize for that. It’s partly because I’ve been busy, and partly because I wasn’t sure how to write it – it’s been a complicated month for me. My Whole 30 has definitely not been what I expected – but that has nothing to do with the plan itself. In fact, I went into this (my second) Whole 30 with a completely different mindset than the last time. I read It Starts With Food before this Whole 30, and it was amazing and definitely opened my eyes. I also benefited from the generous complimentary subscription to The Whole 30 Daily from Melissa Hartwig, and it was so much more than I expected! Not simply a motivational pep talk, the daily emails were chock full of articles, links, and all kinds of great stuff – it was like a little present every day. Definitely worth the .50 per day subscription price if you’re considering a Whole 30! I kept all of them in a folder so I can refer back to them any time – I can’t say enough how much I loved finding a new one in my inbox each morning!
[pullquote3 quotes=”true” align=”right” ]I went into this Whole 30 with a completely different mindset than the last time[/pullquote3] Armed with this great information and support, I started my Whole 30 loaded with optimism! I knew that I would face some detox symptoms, but also knew from experience that once I came out the other side, I’d feel great. I wasn’t wrong – and this time around the detox symptoms were much milder than my first Whole 30. Before I knew it, my eyes were super bright and clear, I had boundless energy, my tendonitis disappeared, and was sleeping like a baby every night. It was everything I hoped it would be.
But then the wheels fell off. All of them. Violently. I suddenly started having reactions to everything I ate or drank. And I mean everything. I’ve been to the ER, local urgent care, and an allergist where I finally got some epi-pens. To keep an incredibly long and Benadryl laden story short, I’m living on just a few vegetables that I can tolerate, and small amounts of lamb. What I can tolerate seems to change weekly. One week it was pineapple and chicken, then zucchini and avocados, right now I’m eating lamb, beets and carrots. The only seasoning I can use is kosher salt, and the only fat is olive oil. You can imagine that this makes writing a food blog difficult.
I made it to day 27 of my Whole 30 before I finally caved out of desperate hunger and experimented with some oatmeal, which I was able to tolerate in small amounts for almost a week, and now can’t eat at all. I also tested some tortilla chips (again, that lasted only a few days) and some mild cheddar cheese which I had an immediate reaction to. Now I’m pretty much back to eating Whole 30 (though not completely by choice) because the only foods I can tolerate are Whole 30 compliant. In fact if I could actually eat all of the foods “legal” on the Whole 30 right now, I would be in food paradise. I’m starving people. Literally. Since January 1st I’ve lost 17lbs. The hard way. I just can’t seem to consume enough calories – definitely NOT a problem I ever thought I’d have! I would kill for some chicken parmesan right now. Or at least maim… It’s all I can think about the last two days.
In spite of the depressing last few weeks though, I am hopeful. I’ve been doing a LOT of research and my symptoms seem to fit with a Histamine Intolerance (HIT) (thanks to Patty from Chowstalker for those links!) as well as a sulfite sensitivity. It was likely triggered by a warm spell that resulted in some crazy amounts of pollen around here. My symptoms started at the same time, and I had issues with Oral Allergy Syndrome last year (though it was nowhere near this bad) so it seems likely. There are supplements that I can take to hopefully boost my tolerance, and I’m following a low histamine and sulfite free elimination diet right now. I’m hoping that once the pollen count lowers, my body will even out and I’ll be able to get back to normal – or at least be able to eat more than 3 things in any given week.
[pullquote3 quotes=”true” align=”left”]I LOVED how I felt during this Whole 30![/pullquote3] I want to be SUPER CLEAR that this was not caused by doing The Whole 30, nor is it in any way related. It was just bad timing that the symptoms started during this month, and it took a few weeks to figure out what my triggers were. I LOVED how I felt during this Whole 30, and I’m just sorry that I wasn’t able to complete it. If you have been on the fence about it, are worried that it’s too hard, or too restrictive, but want to feel the benefits, then JUST GO FOR IT! It’s only 30 days and it really CAN change your life. You’ll be amazed at how great you can feel. Give it a chance and you won’t be sorry.
So anyway, going forward, now that I have a plan and will continue to seek medical advice/treatment as necessary, I’m looking forward to feeling better and increasing what I can eat over time. I’ll still be blogging and cooking for you guys, with my family and friends as my taste testers. And even though I won’t be eating some of the meals that you’re seeing here (for awhile at least) I can tolerate small tastes of most foods, enough to know if it’s good enough to post or not. And as always if you make something and think it needs work, I’m always open to your comments and feedback!
Lastly, if anybody else has dealt with something similar, I’d love to hear from you! What your symptoms were, what helped if anything, etc. Send me an email or comment here, because it would be great to know that others have dealt with this successfully (or not) so I can arm myself with as much information as possible, and your comments may help others who are struggling with the same symptoms and are as confused and frustrated as I was about what could be causing them.
More recipes in the queue for later this week so stay tuned. Somebody might as well enjoy them, even if I can’t! ;)
UPDATE: Since I wrote this post, I started taking Diatomaceous Earth and all of my food and chemical intolerances disappeared within a week! Read about my incredible experience with DE, and its many other health benefits here.1