Whole30 Days 12 & 13 — Living social again

My friend Jesse MacIntosh pipes a lively tune at ArtPrize in 2010. Today, I was jigging a lively tune in my spirit (!!!!!!) thanks to a huge turnaround that I'm sure is because I've removed grains, dairy, and sugars from my diet.

My friend Jesse MacIntosh pipes a lively tune at ArtPrize in 2010. Today, I was jigging a lively tune in my spirit (!!!!!!) thanks to a huge turnaround that I’m sure is because I’ve removed grains, dairy, and sugars from my diet.

I’m starting to think I could be a walking miracle. In the past four months, I’ve gone from being nearly a recluse who didn’t want to see anyone outside of my home, to this weekend when I was out and about with lots of other people and enjoyed every minute.

I went shopping with The Hub, met my sister for lunch at a busy restaurant then went with her to a jam-packed stage presentation. I left there and came home to cook dinner for The Hub and my artist friend Sarah Haas who was visiting from out of town and spent the night. Then today I went to church and then visited a friend in the hospital. I haven’t had a weekend that social in months, and that was months after the time before.

I’m starting to think that living social could be my norm again. Ridding my diet (my body) of grains, dairy, and sugars is undoubtedly the biggest factor for this uplifting change. I’m so thankful!

I’ve been grain-free, dairy-free, sugar-free and legume-free for 14 weeks, and while I haven’t lost a lot of weight (yet), I feel great. (I’m almost afraid to say that because I might jinx it.) But seriously, I not only feel the best I’ve felt in 14 weeks, I feel the best I’ve felt in years.

I’m counting my blessings!

  • My energy has returned and lasts all day
  • I’m sleeping better.
  • My body aches are gone, and thanks to the diet and to physical therapy, I’ve been pain-free (foot, back) for the last week.
  • I haven’t had a headache in I don’t know how long! I used to have intense headaches 3 or 4 days a week. I got those under control through chiropractic care and lots of ibuprofen. Even so, I still had horrid sinus headaches about 3 days a week that sapped my energy. Can’t remember the last headache I had. Or when I had it.
  • My anxiety is GREATLY decreased, and my chronic depression has lifted immeasurably (although not gone).
  • I have an overall sense of well-being.
  • I’m singing again, and listening to music again. I find myself singing when I’m loading the dishwasher or vacuuming.
  • My house is cleaner, less chaotic (because I have more energy and am less depressed).
  • I feel hopeful about the future. Huh. So THIS is what it feels like!

Do I still have down days and days of fatigue? Yup. But I have fewer of them and the time between them keeps getting longer. And, yes, I’ve had chiropractic adjustments, physical therapy, massage, and have increased the exercise I get. I’m still taking medication for the depression and anxiety. All those have contributed to the recovery and healing I’m experiencing. I know I couldn’t have walked this path without my doctors, massage therapists, and physical therapists. They’re wonder-workers.

But the healing began in earnest on November 23, 2012 — the day I began my first Whole30. The Whole30 and Paleo lifestyles have changed my life. I’m a walking miracle. I’m living social again.

Whole30 Days 6 and 7 — White potatoes and The Blues

Me in 2009. Apparently I'm playing the blues!

Me in 2009. Apparently I’m playing the blues!

It took me several hours today to figure out what had gone wrong. I white-knuckled it through church — my anxiety got worse and worse as the service went on, and it had nothing to do with what was being said or the people or anything. I started out with basically no anxiety, but by the time I was 45 minutes into the service, it was all I could do to mentally glue myself to the pew and not bolt for the hills or the nearest snow bank! I just kept thinking what is wrong with me, what is wrong with me? 

I left church, went to the drug store and then to the hardware store, and by the time I got home an hour later I was not only into full-fledged, unexplainable, crazy-in-the-head anxiety, I was on the slippery slope to Bluesville.

To make it worse, when I woke up that morning, my fingers were so stiff and painful (they are sometimes, especially if I’ve been typing a lot, and I typed a LOT yesterday) that I couldn’t even pinch the blanket enough to pull it up to my shoulders. I was finally able to bend them, but every knuckle had twinges of pain and then ached. They ached all day and still do, 10 hours later as I type this. After carrying in my bags from the stores, they really hurt and I struggled to unzip my boots and change my clothes. Aleve time!

And then I figured it out.

The Hub and I had gone out for dinner last night with some longtime friends. We went to a new place near us that has a fabulous farm-to-fork menu. I knew we could eat Paleo there, and with a little work I could eat Whole30, too. Except I didn’t.

My meal came — the most fabulous pork belly I’ve ever had — and it was on top of a root veggie hash. The hash had white potatoes in it. I saw them there, looking delicious and enticing. I’m not supposed to have white potatoes on Whole30 because they cause glycemic spikes and cause inflammation. But I’ve had white potatoes occasionally on the Paleo diet and have had few side effects. And I was crazy hungry, and talking, and laughing, and having a great I’m-not-thinking-about-taking-care-of-myself time, AND I had, apparently, left my brain in the car. So I ate those lovely white potatoes. Scarfed them down quick like a bunny.

And they tasted sooooo good! But man, they must have done a number on my blood sugar. I know that would have been an immediate reaction, and I didn’t notice anything then, but I sure suffered the effects today. It was an eye-opener for sure.

But The Hub pointed out the most eye-opening part of it: I used to feel this bad every day when I was eating not only white potatoes, but candy, donuts, pastries, bread-bread-bread, bagels, cake, Twinkies, croissants, donuts, candy, cookies, and candy. I was depressed all the time, high-anxiety and mood swings all the time, and extremely fatigues with aches and pains in all my joints back when all those foods that I haven’t had for months were not only part of my regular diet, they WERE my regular diet.

So. Okay. I can handle one day of it. I sure can. Not a big deal at all.

I’m finally coming out of my funk. I see Bluesville in my rear-view mirror. I’m sitting here hoping it’s nearly time for the timed-release Aleve to kick in so my hands stop hurting. I’ve done nothing all day after I got home but brush my dogs and watch the Swedish version of Wallander with the English subtitles. The Hub wanted me to get out and go for a drive to enjoy one of the rare Michigan winter days that actually had some sunshine, but I sat in the living room and let the sunlight pour in on me through the picture window, instead. Kind of a wasted day, but hey, it’s only one day. And I know what’s wrong. And I have fixed it by being Whole30 all day. It’s really not a big deal.

A few minutes ago I put some supper in the oven. I’m getting a spring back in my step and I know I’ll be okay tomorrow.

So tell me, have you had similar experiences with white potatoes? Do they drive up your anxiety? Do they drive you straight to Bluesville at high speed? Do your joints ache after you eat them, and what do you do to relieve the inflammation? I’d like to hear your story. Thanks for reading mine.