Whole30… holy hell!

Last weekend in a moment of brilliance stupidity and curiosity, I decided it would be a good idea to try out the Whole30 program.  For those not familiar with the Whole30 program, it is a form of elimination diet in which the participant cuts all refined sugars, grains, wheats, legumes, alcohol (eeekk!) and dairy (what??) out of their diet.  The premise of the diet is to cut foods that increase inflammation in the body for 30 days, and then to slowly introduce foods back into your diet rotation once the 30 days are up to see how your body reacts.  Sounds interesting enough.

I read some reviews of the program and there were overwhelmingly positive reivews of the plan.  Most people state that the plan is difficult, both physically and emotionally (supposedly sugar detox is rough), for the first couple of weeks, but after that participants experience “boundless energy”, “the best sleep they have ever had”, “relief of chronic inflammation symptoms”, and “feel like they have Tiger Blood running through their veins.”  Tiger Blood, eh?  I’m intrigued.

The diet plan didn’t look too disimilar to what I was already eating (or trying to eat), as I generally try to steer clear of grains and sugary foods.  Admittedly, I’d been a lot more lax with my diet choices recently, which was part of the motivation to try a more extreme program to get back on  track.  Whole 30 focuses on meats, veggies, and fruits and is not considered low carbs, as they encourage plenty of carbs in the form of sweet potatoes, squash, and root vegetables.  Sounds easy enough.  Cutting dairy would be a new step for me, but it can’t be that hard, right?  30 days without cheese…. I can do that!

So I decided to go for it.  No time like the present!  I started earlier this week and am now on day 5.  Here is my experience so far:

Day 1:  Smooth sailing.  I had a ham and veggie omelete for breakfast; tuna ,avacado and smoked salmon for lunch; and braised short ribs with veggies for dinner.  I was eating like a queen!  I felt great, I drank tons of water (with lemon), and I was having fun prepping more Whole meals for the week.  I went for a jog with Pepper and did some yoga (so I can be hot AND bendy when this is all over).  I was OWNING this diet!

Day 2: Woke up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed after a restful night’s sleep.  I had mashed sweet potato, eggs, and avocado for breakfast; left over short ribs for lunch, and seaweed salad with salmon for dinner.  However, mid-morning I started to feel kind of “blah”.  I had a headache, my brain was foggy, and all I wanted to do was sleep.  I chaulked this up to being residually tired from the weekend and a full day of work.

Day 3:  Back at work for 12 hours and I’m dying.  I’ve feel like I’ve been run over by a large vehicle and the only thing that will made things better is cheese.  Cheddar cheese, brie, string cheese, blue cheese, cream cheese, velveta, I don’t care but I NEED cheese.  It’s all I can think about, all I can focus on.  I don’t even know what I ate that day, all I know is it was cheese-less and I was sad.  I had a headache, fatigue, and I had body aches all over.  I had read reports of “sugar withdrawl” but I assumed that was only for very unhealthy people, not someone like me who ate pretty well.  I was wrong.  It really made me realize how much refined sugar is hidden in seemingly healthy foods (read your labels, people, you’ll be shocked!).  I really felt terrible.  Finally, around 5 pm, I felt so bad that I drank my first cup of black coffee ever, and it helped a little bit.  Desperate times call for desperate measures.  I did go for a quick jog with Pepper after work and all in all felt better by the end of the day.

Day 4:  Yesterday I flew to Houston to make an Ikea run and drove back to New Orleans from there with Mr. Big.  I knew this would be a challenging day because finding foods that adhere to the Whole30 on the road isn’t easy.  However, I managed with breakfast at home, a coconut milk latte at Starbucks,  sauce-less meatballs and veggies at Ikea, and a salad from Subway.  I determined that the girl at the Subway was a direct agent of the Devil as she tempted me with cheese on my salad no less than three times during the ordering process, but I suffered though.   Mr. Big also opted for a Subway sandwich instead of walking over to Wendy’s, which I think was his way of showing solidarity (as he enjoyed his bread, cheese, and delicious mayo).  I still had a headache and felt tired, and now I was coming out with some congestion (dairy withdrawl maybe?) and swollen lymph nodes.  My body hates me.

So far, day 5 is much of the same.  Headache, fatigue, and body ache.  There is a slight chance that I might actually be fighting off some kind of sickness, but the timing of everything and the symptoms involved really make me think this is some kind of sugar detox.  I’m sticking with everything, though, and hopefully I’ll turn the corner in a few days.  Although I feel pretty crappy, I am finding this process very interesting.  I am always interested to see how my body reacts to different situations (like training for an Ironman, for example), and this is definitely a new experience in that regard.

I will keep posting updates so you can follow me in my misery… and until then, I’ll continue to dream of cheese!

 

 

 

 

 

Morning Run

Pepper and I went for a nice, quick run this morning at the end of a our normal work.  I’m still trying to take it easy with the exercise, but an easy two miles can’t hurt, right? 

I’m now off to work for 12 hours in the ER, and Pepper has settled back into bed for the day.  What a life of luxury that dog leads…

Strep Throat is the Worst

So after the arrival of my new shoes last Thursday, training came to a screeching halt.  I’d been suffering from some low energy last week, but I chalked it up to exercising in Louisiana summer heat, and I’d developed some ear ache in the latter part of the week, but I blamed that on ears full of pool water.  However, on Friday everything came to a head and I realized that I was, in fact, feeling terrible and that my tonsils both looked like the petri dishes in some wierd science experiment.

Long story short, I had strep throat.  I never had strep throat as a kid, so I was surprised to find out at 31 years of age I was now suffering from it for the first time. 

I’m not impressed…

I was not happy.  But the cute doctor gave me a nice combo steroid and antibiotic shot, I bought myself some ice cream, and by the end of the weekend I was almost back to normal. Lesson learned though- I’ll never mock those little kids whining about sore throats anymore, because strep is no joke! 

My ice cream is claimed!

Summer Recap Part 2- Garth Brooks Concert

As I mentioned in my previous post, I celebrated my 30th birthday in July. ¬†I decided that bridging into a new decade of life meant that I could splurge on a decent present for myself so I bought myself tickets to see Garth Brooks in concert. ¬†I had never seen Garth in concert before so it was a bit of a bucket list item for me, and it certainly was not a disappointment. ¬†Everything I’d heard about Garth in concert was true- he was energetic, he was funny, he sang live, and he doesn’t hold anything back. ¬†It was awesome!

I went with my usual country concert partner in crime, Amelia, and then two of my other friends, Red and Diane (you may remember them from various triathlon posts).  None of us had seen him before so we were all very excited. His set list was awesome and he played all of his hits that we sang along to the whole time.  His wife, Trisha Yearwood, even came out and sang a few songs, and she was excellent as well.  He played 4 shows in New Orleans and we caught him on the last night he was in town, so it seemed like he gave it all he had!  Although I said I only wanted to see him once, I can definitely say that I would go and see him again- it was that good!

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Amelia and I before the show

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Hey Trisha!

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Summer Recap 1- My 30th Birthday

Summer seemed to fly by this year, more so than usual. ¬†I had what seemed like a ton of time off school (just over 3 months!), but now that I’m kicking off my final semester I have no idea where my summer went. ¬†I worked a lot, took a couple of classes, and hung out with Pepper. ¬†I tried to soak up as much “lazy summer” as I could because once I graduate in December I have to rejoin the grown up working world and get a “real” job, ¬†However, there were a few major events that I never got around to blogging about that deserve some recognition so I decided to do a summer recap series. ¬†First item on that list- my 30th Birthday!

Yes, I finally turned 30. ¬†I was so done with my 20’s, I couldn’t wait to turn 30. ¬†Don’t get me wrong, there was some good times in my 20’s, but I’m ready to move onwards and upwards and really get my life and career going in the direction I’m heading in now. ¬†Time to stop playing around and get down to business!

My birthday is on July 4th, so naturally (in the US) there are lots of festivities happening around that time and therefore I tend do my party either a day or two before or after the actual 4th. ¬†For the past 5 years I have had a joint birthday party with the owner of my local pub. ¬†His birthday is the 6th so we team up and have a big joint celebration, usually with some kind of British theme. ¬†This year’s theme was Last Night of the Proms that we then sort of combined with an American Prom theme (so the Americans would understand it). ¬†Basically everyone got dressed up with suits and gowns and we drank a lot. ¬†It was awesome.

My parents came down from Ohio to help me celebrate (and Mom loves an excuse to attend a good party), and my brother and his (brand new) wife Jessica came over from Texas to visit too. ¬†It was tons of fun!! ¬†All my girlfriends came out in full form, donning their finest gowns and jewels, and we partied the night away. ¬†Of course the Marine was there as well, and although he keeps threatening to trade me in for a newer model now that I’d hit my 30’s, he still hasn’t followed through yet ūüėČ

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Mommy and I before the party

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Me, Dad, and Mom

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Jessica, Mom, and I

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(Most of) the girls!

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Even Norm wore a dress!

On July 4th (my actual birthday) we house-hopped between a few friends houses. ¬†We went to Scot and Stephanie’s for lunch and awesome cocktails made by Scot, the El Guapo¬†Cocktail Mastermind. ¬†From there we wandered to our other neighbors’ house, ate my delicious food, drank more good booze, and then watched fireworks. ¬†After the fireworks, I cashed out. ¬†I can’t party like I used to in my 20’s apparently… I must be getting old ūüėČ

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Steph, Shane, and Mom sporting their patriotic gear

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Ramos Gin Fizz made by the amazing Scot Maddox

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Birthday flowers from the Marine