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  • Writer's pictureDawn Neufeld

We Tackled Whole30

A couple months ago I started treating my out-of-control thyroid again. After meeting with my new doc, we decided I'd go back on methimazole. This scared me - the last time I was on methimazole two years ago I started having massive migraine headaches and I gained weight. Lots of weight. So deciding to go back on the meds was difficult for me.

A friend suggested I give Whole30 a try. Whole30 is a 30-day diet that emphasizes whole foods while eliminating sugar, alcohol, grains, legumes, soy and dairy. And if you know me, I don't voluntarily give up sugar. But I hoped Whole30 would reset my metabolism and help me lose a little of this thyroid weight, so I decided to give it a try. I mean... the website says the diet, "will change my life," so why not give it a try? Maybe it would even help with inflammation. I was really, really hoping for some change. So I bought the book The Whole30: The 30-Day Guide to Total Health and Food Freedom and got to work.

Lucky for me, Ryan decided to give the diet a try also so I didn't have to do it alone. It was tough. Really tough. Luckily the book prepares you and explains almost day-by-day how you're going to feel. Sure enough on day-2 I woke up feeling like I'd been hit by a truck. My sugar detox manifested in flu-like symptoms. I had chills and extreme fatigue and couldn't get out of the bed that day. Ryan felt the same way. It took a good 4-5 days to start feeling somewhat normal again.

For 30 days, we spent a lot of time in the kitchen cooking and cleaning dishes (there was lots of cleaning). We found some recipes we really liked, like stuffed portobello mushrooms and peppered sea bass. And bacon... we ate lots of Whole30-compliant bacon. We managed two holidays on the diet - Father's Day and the 4th of July - with lobster tails, filet mignon and crab claws. And we discovered our go-to we-don't-feel-like-cooking meal - hamburger patties with avocado or guacomole. The plan is a lot like the paleo diet, so it was easy to find recipes online. We never felt hungry but still had cravings. We missed dessert, and I totally missed my Diet Pepsi. But we made it through.

So here we are - the day after we wrapped up our Whole30. Ryan lost 15 lbs. I gained 2. That's right... on a 30-day diet where I cut out sugar, gluten, dairy and all of the other bad crap that makes up my usual diet, I gained weight. Even worse, I still struggled with insomnia and never really felt better. There was no tiger blood for me. My thyroid is still raging, but I knew going into this that it would take a heck of a lot longer for my diet to really have an effect on me. But the weight gain was super disappointing, especially after Ryan had such good results. It's super clear to me that my Whole30 needs to be a Whole60 or Whole90 or maybe even longer before I see actual results. I will say this - I learned a lot. I can tell if a food item is compliant by reading the label and I know what "bad" ingredients to look for. Unfortunately for me, Whole30 was not life-changing (yet) but I'll give it another try in the future.

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