These are my Whole30 results from this past 30 day reset I did to help with my autoimmune Hashimoto's flare.
And just like that… poof! Whole30 is over.
Well, at least the official 30 days is over. As you'll read or watch below, I'm going to try to stick to it as much as possible over the next 30 days, then actually go onto the Autoimmune Paleo Protocol (AIP) for at least 30 days after that.
First though, if you haven't seen the rest of my Whole30 experience, check out the rest of the series:
The Whole30 Series
- How I'm Using Diet for my Hashimoto's Flare
- Whole30 Prep – How I'm Meal Planning and Getting Ready
- My Whole30 Experience Week 1
- What I Eat in A Day on Whole30 Week 2
- Whole30 Daily Meals and Experience Week 3
- Vacation on Whole30 – Week 4
Why I Did This Whole30
I used this particular Whole30 as a way to try to quell an autoimmune Hashimoto's flare. I have Hashimoto's Thyroiditis and while I've successfully put it into remission in the past (and gotten rid of all my symptoms) using the Autoimmune Paleo Protocol (AIP) and then have done pretty well using the standard Paleo diet as my baseline, sometimes I stray a bit too far. My body lets me know when I have though!
Straying for me looks like this: eating gluten-free grains like corn and rice (I also have Celiac disease, so I'm ALWAYS gluten-free), eating cheese and ice cream, and eating some legumes like chickpeas.
I decided to use the Whole30 reset as a way to put my disease back into remission first over AIP, mainly because it's easier (less restrictions than AIP), and because I know that I was eating WAAAY too much sugar (even in forms like honey and maple syrup). Whole30 removes all sweeteners and really is a quick and effective tool to get blood sugar levels back to normal and to get off the HANGRY train.
I also knew that if Whole30 didn't completely put my disease back in remission that I could then go to AIP.
You can see more about why I chose Whole30 first in this video about Whole30 vs AIP for Hashimoto's.
My Pre-Whole30 Hashimoto's Symptoms
On Whole30 Day 1 wrote down all the symptoms that I was experiencing at the time. This is one of my favorite exercises to do before embarking on a restricted diet/reset because it's magical to look back and see what you got rid of. No symptom is too small to put on the list.
Some of these things, like getting my cycle back on track, I knew would take longer than 30 days. But some I knew should be quick wins.
I also took my starting weight, which was 171.8 lbs.
I had some goals for this Whole30 too, which were:
- try to get rid of as many symptoms as possible
- meditate every day for at least 10 min
- move every day (my exercise is a lot of walking, Barre classes, yoga, pilates, sometimes skiing, etc – usually gentle movement as post-autoimmune disease I can't get away with too much exercise or else I immediately experience bad symptoms like illness or Hashi's flares)
- sleep at least 8.5 hours every night (optimal for me is 8.5 – 9.5 hrs)
My Whole30 Results
I have to say I'm super pleased with how well this Whole30 went. I did not fix everything, but again, I didn't think 30 days was going to be enough to do some things, like get my menstrual cycle back in order.
Here's the vlog about how the Whole30 went:
(Can't see the video? Watch it on YouTube)
You can watch the video to get all the details, but basically, I got rid of a huge amount of symptoms on my list like:
- acne got a LOT better – only one pimple this month
- adrenal fatigue symptoms have mainly gone away (no sore throat, even energy all day, no 3 pm crash)
- no “hangry” hypoglycemic episodes anymore (blood sugar crashes)
- brain fog gone
- major sugar cravings gone
- not pulling my hair out anymore
- sleep is better (not perfect yet)
- persistent cold symptoms are gone (still have allergies)
- waking up is getting easier, but not quite jumping out of bed yet
However, because I'm still not feeling completely energetic (I'm at an 8 out of 10 and I want to be at a 10), and there are some lingering symptoms I want to get rid of, I'm going to do the Autoimmune Paleo Protocol (AIP) in May to really clean everything up. Read more about that below.
I didn't do Whole30 for weight loss, so I wasn't surprised when I only lost 1.8 lbs (so I finished at 170 lbs). Not really a lot, but my pants did fit better, and I felt like I had a lot less bloating.
I do feel the side view shows the lack of bloating a bit better.
I didn't restrict calories at all, felt full the entire time, ate full meals, got rid of a ton of symptoms and still lost 1.8 lbs. Not a bad “diet” 🙂 Seriously though, I know my body well enough that it's not going to release any more weight until I get the inflammation under control, but I don't even really feel like I need to lose much. I think mentally I feel my best when I'm around 164 lbs, but to me, feeling better, with no symptoms, is worth FAR more than some appearance goal.
Whole30 Questions I've Received
A few people asked me some questions that I didn't address in the vlogs:
Q. I saw that you started eating fermented foods like sauerkraut and kimchi and even kombucha halfway through, but then you suddenly stopped. Why?
A. I actually noticed that I was having stomach pains after eating these, or some pretty bad bloating and gas. So I decided to take them out for a few more weeks and then gradually add them back in. It's been several weeks now and I seem to be ok with moderate amounts of sauerkraut (1-2 tbs) and about 1/2 cup of kombucha. Slowly working up!
Q. How come you didn't have Whole30-compliant RxBars after your Barre workout, even though you said you missed them?
A. One of the things I wanted to do in this Whole30 is get off the sugar rollercoaster, but also to stop my emotional addiction to some of these things that I am not sure are entirely healthy for me. Whole30 restricts you from having treats like pancakes, pizza, muffins, etc, so those were automatically out, but I noticed that pre-Whole30, at the end of my Barre class, I'd be excited to get in my car and have my RxBar as a treat. Almost like having a candy bar. So that right there told me I had a bit of an emotional “treat” like attachment to them, so I figured for 30 days I'd find other sources of post-workout nutrition.
Why I'm Going To Do AIP
AIP is extremely effective for quieting down any inflammation in the body caused by an overactive immune system (which I know I've got), and helping to heal leaky gut (also known as increased intestinal permeability). Getting these things under control and fixed helps your immune system to calm down, stop thinking everything is out to get it, and to help your digestive process work as it should. Instead of letting in tons of food, foreign invaders, etc and attacking your own bodily tissue, it removes the nutrients it needs and passes everything else on.
Could I get there by staying on Whole30?
Maybe… I'm not sure. There are certain foods that are allowed on Whole30 that aren't on AIP, and there's a good reason for that. The science and research shows that certain foods, like nightshades (tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, paprika, white potatoes), coffee, nuts, seeds, and eggs can cause an exaggerated immune response in individuals with autoimmune disease. For those of us that react to these, removing them is the quickest way to relief and reducing inflammation.
I know from my AIP experience last time (back in 2014), that I couldn't eat paprika for almost a year. AIP is an elimination diet, so you remove these extra-inflammatory foods for a period of time (usually 30-90 days) and then slowly reintroduce them back in, one at a time, to see if you get a reaction. Paprika was a food that literally made me depressed every time I tried eating it – for a year! Finally, though, I had enough gut healing that I could eat it without issue.
But now I wonder if including foods like that in my diet are just exacerbating the problem. So instead of suffering and wondering, I'll just remove them and do AIP. It's really not as bad as it might seem, and I'll be chronicling it just like I did with this Whole30 so you can see the abundance of food you can eat.
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One of my favorite bloggers, Mel Joulwan, is helping me celebrate doing this Whole30. If you watch the vlogs throughout this series, you'll see that I use her books (Well Fed, Well Fed 2, and Well Fed Weeknights) a TON throughout the Whole30. She has some quite tasty Whole30 recipes in these books, and using these books makes the process so much easier. Well Fed Weeknights, her third book, is such a helpful book for weeknights – she doesn't just give a recipe for a main dish, she gives a recipe on how to make an entire MEAL in under 45 minutes. Main dish AND side dish. And they really do take 45 min or less.
Mel has been uber generous and is donating the entire TRIO of books (Well Fed, Well Fed 2, and Well Fed Weeknights) to one lucky winner! Just enter below for a chance to win!
Contest rules: US Residents only, no purchase necessary to win. Entrant must have a valid entry using the Rafflecopter widget below and the winner will be chosen after Monday, April 16, 2018 at 11:59 PM MDT. If winner does not respond to email for address within 48 hours of notification, a new winner may be chosen.
Other Posts in this Series: