Whole30 is Over… Now What?
I’ve said this before, but my first time doing Whole30 was life changing. Months leading up to it I wasn’t feeling great, even though I follow a strict gluten free diet, and after researching I decided to eliminate a few other things. The thought of giving up more and restricting my diet (and life) seemed overwhelming, so that’s why I decided to start with Whole30. I did this because I knew there would be a clear end date… that’s what got me through it! If you’re considering changing your diet more, but don’t know where to start or feel overwhelmed, I recommend starting with Whole30.
When your 30 days is up, you slowly introduce one group at a time back (while keeping the rest of your diet Whole30) to see how you feel and determine if you should eliminate anything from your diet long term. This is a slow process, so be patient and really focus on how you feel. You can read a detailed plan about reintroducing foods here!
During my Whole30 I felt incredible… the best I had felt in a very long time! This is when I realized I needed to adjust my diet more than just gluten free. However, sticking to a Whole30 type of diet permanently isn’t realistic for me.
My Personal Food Philosophy
The Stress Factor
Living with an autoimmune disease is stressful at times. Some days not feeling well, the ever-changing symptoms, the unknown future of our health… these are our reality. Then you add in the celiac factor… worrying about getting sick when you eat out, learning to become a label-reading detective, the stress of navigating travel or social situations… I’ll be honest… sometimes it’s a lot to handle. I feel like I have a great grasp on celiac and I’ve learned to live a normal (or my new “normal”) life, but to say I don’t still stress about it would be a lie.
If I’ve learned anything over the past few years, even more so over the past few months it’s that stress can negatively impact your health tremendously. Since I’ve always been open and honest with you all, I will say that I’ve been faced with some other health issues over the past few months but since I’m still trying to grasp it all, I’m going to hold off on any details for now.
When I first received some lab results, I was convinced I had to change my diet in an extreme way for my health, based on things I was reading online and hearing from other bloggers. This didn’t last long, because not only was I getting obsessed with nutritional values/anti-inflammatory food/labels… blah blah blah… but suddenly it felt like it was consuming my life and making cooking a chore. If you know me, you know I love food and I love cooking, baking, trying new recipes, etc. This is when I stepped back and realized that those of us with celiac have it hard enough and I don’t need the added stress or pressure to make my diet more restrictive and “perfect”.
One Size Doesn’t Fit All
If you follow me on Instagram (or even my recipes here!) then you may have noticed I’m sharing more products and recipes that fall into the “Paleo” category. I don’t want to put that label on me, so at this point I need to listen to my body (which is why I focus most of the time on eating whole foods) BUT I also need to live my life (and eat some gluten free cookies!)!
What may work for me, might not work for you and that’s okay! I believe strongly in listening to your own body and doing what’s best for you. We all have different genetics, health issues, bodies, and lifestyles.
I’ve learned that legumes and dairy products send my tummy for a loop, so those are things I now avoid. I focus on eating foods that are healthy and nourish my body but, if I want a margarita when I’m at a Mexican restaurant or a gluten free cupcake… I’m going to have it because life’s too short to be constantly worrying about having the “perfect” diet and I believe strongly that stress plays a HUGE role!
One thing I absolutely am not changing is my 100% gluten free diet. Since I have celiac disease, I will follow a strict gluten free diet for the rest of my life.
I say, let’s focus more on eating healthy foods (and have our other favorites in moderation), exercising regularly, finding a hobby that we enjoy, spending time with those that make us happy, laughing more, worrying less and not feeling pressure to fit into a certain box when it comes to our diets!
Thank you so much for making me feel comfortable to open up and share my feelings. You’ve always expressed support and shown transparency with your own lives/experiences and for that, I’m grateful for you and am proud to be a part of this community!