My First Whole30: The WHY.

Something to know about me: I am seriously Type-A, to the most extreme degree. I plan everything, organize it, and then overthink it all. So my decision to do my first Whole30 did not come lightly. But it’s one that I’m so extremely excited about, and truly feel that I am doing for the right reasons! So I wanted to do a post explaining why I chose to make this change, and help shed a little light on some information that not a lot of people may know.

If you are unfamiliar with the Whole30, the website is by far the best place to go for information, along with the book It Starts With Food. Both of these resources explain the program far better than I ever could, but in simple terms: It’s 30 days of strict paleo where you work to not only improve your digestion  and overall health, but relationship with food. People come out of it raving about skyrocketing energy levels, improved skin, disappearing digestive/bloating issues, and so much more! So, obviously, I had to get some of that for myself, right?

W9-ISWF-Sliding-Header-2

I mentioned earlier that I am in love with listening to the Nourished Podcast – so a ton of information comes from there! There were a lot of topics that Meg and Shawn talked about that sparked my interest, which I then researched further on my own, such as:

  • Autoimmune disease: My mom has ulcerative colitis, a form of irritable bowel disease. Dairy and gluten are two major foods that cause flares and inflammation (a HUGE FACTOR in autoimmune disease), and I’ve been noticing more and more intolerances to them over the past few months. I also am constantly bloated, and these could be a potential cause. Additionally, people have literally cured their Autoimmune disease through a combination of Paleo, Whole30, and the Autoimmune Protocol. I have another health situation that I’m not ready to blog about, but could very well be autoimmune and thus I want to try every possible remedy for it!
  • Hormone balance: my hormones are a big factor in this “mystery condition” as it is appearing. 😉 Grains, legumes, and dairy have all been known to disrupt female hormones, not to mention cause inflammation, disturbing cortisol levels.
  • Poor quality sleep: These factors are ALL interrelated. What happens when you have disrupted cortisol levels? Well, it’s not high when it should be (the morning), and you wake up feeling groggy and drag yourself out of bed. Then, as a result, it’s high at the wrong time (evening) and you feel like you can’t sleep even though you’re exhausted. I’m pretty sure a lot of you can relate to this! Additionally, eating too much / too much sugar close to falling asleep often results in waking up at 2-3am due to low blood sugar. I had never considered this cause, but it makes perfect sense! I always eat fruit / cookies / chocolate / whatever right before bed, and always wake up 2-3 times per night. More balanced blood sugar = more balanced sleep.
  • Thyroid issues: Some symptoms of hypothyroidism: constant fatigue, hormone imbalance, dry/brittle hair/skin/nails, brain fog, mood swings, and/or weight gain (and struggle to keep it off). Now, these aren’t all of the symptoms, just some very common ones, and I can relate to every single one! Guess what? Hypo OR hyperthyroidism is often an autoimmune disease, which inflammation is a HUGE trigger for. And our three major inflammatory foods: gluten, dairy, legumes.
  • Keratosis Pillaris & Nutrient Absorption: Here’s where I get all science-y on ya. Dairy, grains, and legumes (along with other foods, just picking on these 3 for simplicity’s sake!) all contain phytates, which bind to many the nutrients in the food, limiting our ability to digest them. So the nutrients are there, but not bioavailable and therefore of very limited benefit to us! There are, of course, many consequences of this occurrence, but the one I am focusing on here is keratosis pillaris. You know, those weird red bumps common on the back of arms and legs? I’ve had mine for over seven years, and nothing has helped get rid of them. So the hope is, along with dry-brushing and coconut oil lathering, my body properly absorbing a ton of nutrients will help these annoying little guys disappear for good.

Wow. That was a lot of information – and I could keep going! The truth is, there is an infinite amount of information available to us in this era, and it only makes sense to take full advantage of it! I can’t wait to start experiencing some of the major benefits of this experience, and will be sure to keep you updated along the way. I’m thinking of a “Whole30: The HOW” post, explaining some of the things I’m doing along with changing my diet, and of course a “THE FOOD” post, showing the delicious creations I’m eating. 🙂 I hope you all have a fantastic Monday!

The Best of October: Budgets, Burgers + Buble

Annnnd, just like that, it’s November. I wish I could skip the whole “OMG time is flying” cheesiness, but you guys. Does anyone please want to tell me when it stopped being August? Thanks.

Much to all of our disbelief, though, it is actually November, which means it’s the last month of first semester! Stress runs rampant, emotions run high, and Michael Buble runs with Emma. 🙂

michael-bubleYes, yes it is that time.

Anyway, it’s been so long since I’ve actually talked on here that I feel like there is so much to catch up on! So what better way than to let you guys know all the fab things that have been going on in these parts lately.

The Nourished Podcast. Okay, this is #1 for good reason. You guys, I have nothing but amazing things to say about this podcast! It’s hosted by Meg and Shawn, who spend the hour chatting about healing and loving yourself from the inside out. I don’t currently follow the Paleo diet, but I have to say that nothing has inspired me to give it a try more. A podcast that I just listened to recently featured a girl with Crohn’s Disease, who had her entire large intestine removed and, since going Paleo, has never felt better. My gluten intolerance plus very-likely-crazy-out-of-whack-hormones have me strongly considering taking the plunge.  It’s hard not to be inspired by them, and they are just so fun to listen to! I’ve actually barely been listening to music on my walks around campus, just because I love what I learn from this podcast so much.

nourished-logoSubscribe here! 

Cooking dinner. This sounds absolutely ridiculous, but bear with me. When I moved away from home for the first time last year, I was living in the dorms with a meal plan – my food was prepared for me, and all I had to do was swipe a card. This year, however, is the first time in my life that I’ve been responsible for my own food and I have epicly failed at it. A busy college lifestyle and general cooking-phobia (I’ve always been that baker gal) means I have seriously struggled to balance budgeting, preparing healthy meals, and time management. At least one of those three always gets thrown out the window, and more often than not it’s been healthy meals.

Case in point: I told my mom a friend was coming over to cook dinner and hang out, and this is what she said to me:

“Don’t make her oatmeal…”

So yeah. Oatmeal for dinner was happening FAR too often, and more and more processed foods were making their way into my diet. But I was sick of feeling like crap, motivated by all my podcast-listening, and have been (slowly) getting it together. Yay me! I made these cranberry chickpea burgers from Ambitious Kitchen yesterday almost entirely out of the contents of my freezer, and they are to. die. for. The best part? The recipe made six, so thats dinner handled for the week. HOLLAH.

Sweet-Potato-Rice-Burgers[source.]

JĀSÖN® skincare products. In my efforts to get rid of ALL the negative things in my life (not possible entirely, but you get where I’m going with this), I am working on transitioning to more natural makeup and skincare. Now, I’m obviously not about to throw away everything I already have (college student budget heeeeey), BUT I am making better choices about what I replace the products I run out of. Lately I have been obsessed with the JĀSÖN® shampoo, conditioner, and deodorant.

jason-cosmetics

Straight from their website, they:

• Select safe, gentle and effective ingredients

• Rigorously test every formula to ensure safety and efficacy

• Never test on animals

• Constantly innovate and improve.

Yeah, it’s pretty darn good. And infinitely better than the chemicals I was spreading all over my skin beforehand.

Health articles backed by science. Do you want to know what drives me N.U.T.S? Seeing articles plastered all over the internet, in magazines, and the media ordering people do do “these 3 things” to get healthy. I don’t even buy magazines anymore for this reason. Articles telling girls how to “get toned” fall under the same umbrella. I’m sorry, but toning just flat out DOES NOT EXIST. Lift weights and build muscle. The end. Understanding the physiology behind things really gets me going these days. Like just the other day, my roommate was crying while chopping onions, and I just freaking had to know exactly why onions make you cry. So I read this article and was a happy camper. 🙂 My current favourite resource is Sports Fitness Advisor – they explain major concept in simple terms but in a scientific and proven way. LOVE.

(PORTABLE) Snickerdoodle ice cream. My favourite life hack to date:

1. mix a serving of PEScience Snickerdoodle protein with just enough water to make a pudding consistency.

2. freeze overnight.

3. remove from freezer the next morning and enjoy 100% ice cream perfection ~2 hours later.

pes-blondie

On Tuesdays and Thursdays I go to the gym at 6:30am, and then have class from 8-9:30am. I don’t have quite enough time to eat a meal before class / I’d rather pay attention that eat during lecture, so I’ve been looking for a portable snack with a solid amount of protein to help me recover from lifting. I’ve never been able to drink a protein shake (nasty), so when I saw Elle freeze her protein for 5ish minutes I had the lightbulb. And don’t worry, my overnight oats at 10ish are much enjoyed, so there are definitely enough carbs in my world. 🙂 Speaking of which…

CARBS. Yeah. They are 100% necessary. Last week I ran 7 miles, not really a long run for me but the longest I’ve gone in about a month, so a big deal for my legs. Anyway, I woke up so incredibly sore the next morning, which shocked me! I’ve been regularly running 5 miles with the occasional 6 thrown in there, so this shouldn’t been a big deal. And yet I felt like I had been beaten up for a solid 3 days. Later in the week, I realized that I had eaten dramatically less carbs than usual (less running + more lifting makes me crave fats and proteins), so it was clear that my muscles simply did not have enough fuel to recover. So eat them potatoes kids. 🙂

I hope you all have a fantastic week! They weekend may have flown by like it always does, but let’s ROCK THIS MONDAY.

Linking up with Katie for MIMM! 

MiMM