Whole 30 Week 3: Fuck you rice bran!

I realized this week that the cashews I’ve been eating, oh, EVERY DAY have rice bran in them. Even Ollie couldn’t stop crying when we figured this out. So that was just the perfect soundtrack to go along with my failure: screaming baby.

I don’t know how I missed this. I’ve been so hyper vigilant, reading labels like they’re my Twitter feed. I even emailed my friend to ask about the ingredients in the hamburgers they will be grilling at her son’s birthday party.

Friends, I’ve read the Whole30 Q&A. I saw the answer to that question about, “Do I need to start over if I accidentally eat something off plan?” The Hartwigs may say yes, but do you know what I say?

Fuck you rice bran! No! I am not starting over!

Thanks, and sorry Mom. I needed to get that off my chest.

Things have been going alright, aside from the rice bran catastrophe. My gut is still lining out, but I have not had a c diff reoccurrence. My mood is still on a bit of a roller coaster, but hey, this is me we’re talking about. 

I can tell I’ve lost weight. I don’t know how much since, per the Whole30 rules, I have not weighed myself. But enough that I was able to swap my jean inventory. My skinny jeans are now in the closet and my maternity wear and fat pants are in the probably giveaway because I’ll never get around to organizing that garage sale box. My skinny jeans are not especially comfortable yet, but I can stuff my thighs in and button all but one pair.

The other sort of notable thing happening is the throwing up. On Ollie’s part. Throw up, spit up. It’s hard to tell the difference at the wee age of 3 months. Mainly the volume has increased dramatically. Also I seem unable to completely drain a breast. Which means my letdown is pretty forceful and Ollie’s having a hard time with this. She almost won’t nurse on the left side.

So I’m left pondering… Is she sick and not eating as much? She seems otherwise quite well, in good spirits, feverless and excreting waste on schedule. Is she allergic to something I ate? I can’t think of anything new I added in the last week.  Is she just gagging herself? This is partially to blame I think; she’s always chewing on her fingers. But it doesn’t explain why my breasts are so full.

OR, has my milk supply increased now that I’m off antibiotics and eating a nutrient rich diet. I suspect/hope this is it. Ruby did spit up SO MUCH more than Ollie has until now. I thought the girls were just different, but perhaps I didn’t even realize my milk supply was down while sick. It kind of makes sense, right?

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Whole30 to include antibiotics as food group

Whole30

I’m doing this. Starting next Monday. And now I’m going to blog about it in five paragraph essay format. First, I’ll go over what it is. Then I’ll explain why I’m doing it. Then I’ll wrap up with my feelings of excitement and fear.

The Whole30 program is a,  “…short-term nutritional reset, designed to help you put an end to unhealthy cravings and habits, restore a healthy metabolism, heal your digestive tract, and balance your immune system.” Their words. They suggest emphasizing the foods you can eat when describing the program to others: protein, lots of veggies, some fruit and plenty of good fats.

I will also tell you, because you know I’m all about full disclosure, what you can’t eat: added sugar (real or artificial), alcohol, grains, legumes (which includes peanuts) and some other additives found  in processed foods. You’re also told not to recreate foods you may have an unhealthy relationship with (for example: a friend of mine has a thing with chocolate cake) using approved ingredients. This is because the program aims to change your eating habits, and I respect that.

So why am I doing this? There was a time when I would have looked at that list and judged it as way too extreme, at best unnecessary and potentially unhealthy. But right now my gut is, in clinical terms, all fucked up. The tummy troubles I mentioned here and here are from clostridium difficile colitis. Street name: c diff. I’ll let you do your own Googling if you’re interested. I’m working on a 28 day course of antibiotics that will lead straight to more antibiotics of an unknown duration. But… Put on your party hats folks! …at a reduced dose! Hip hip hooray!

So I’ve been doing some reading. And the more reading I do the more I’m beginning to believe things like, “Maybe gluten-free isn’t just trendy…” So I’m going to give this a go and hope that it helps. That I won’t have to take antibiotics for the rest of my life.* I’m at least convinced it won’t make things worse.

After the 30 days you’re to methodically reintroduce food groups into your diet and come up with a sustainable plan based on your own food sensitivities or lack thereof. This doesn’t seem extreme at all. It actually seems really reasonable and like a sound, data-based approach to healthy eating.

In addition to getting my shit straight, I’m also curious to see if/how it will affect some other stuff:

  • Food cravings (especially sugar)
  • Emotional eating
  • Overall mood
  • Anxiety
  • Energy
  • Athletic performance
  • Headaches
  • Skin ailments like eczema
  • Seasonal allergies
  • Ollie (from the breastfeeding)

Of course I also hope to lose some weight. That said, the Whole30 program clearly states that its about health, not weight loss, and I’m going to embrace that. Really, my primary goal is to regain my health. I can build exercise on top of health. If I also continue to eat my own, personal healthy, I will eventually reach the optimal weight for my body.

So I’m really going to focus on being kind to myself during these 30 days. This is a time to thank my body for all it’s hard work. Growing babies. Feeding babies. All the miles and miles of running. Fighting off sickness after sucky sickness. This is a time to be gentle with my body, feed it good food, let it rest and let it heal.

That brings me to my third paragraph. Right now I feel really excited about this. I’m optimistic that it will help and like I can totally do it. I’ve cut out or back on a lot of the off-limits food already so going all the way doesn’t sound that hard.

Yet I know it will be. Because it’s still a significant change to my diet. Because I still feel like I deserve a piece of chocolate cake and a glass of wine after the kids go to bed. Because eating still feels like a cure for boredom and stress. And because I can’t quite picture myself finding the time to cook. Like, at all. That’s what I fear most: chopping.

*No, that’s not an actual possibility. I’m exaggerating.