5 Reasons Why I've Decided To Do Another Whole30

Well, I am dusting off the old blog!!

I remember the days where I used to blog every day...the days when I only had one kid. Haha! And I literally couldn't imagine a time where I wouldn't have the time to blog.

Well, as you have all probably noticed...that day has come. I no longer MAKE the time to write on this poor blog but I always think about it!

Thank goodness for Instagram...THAT is a pace I can keep up with as a busy mama. However, I do want to write here more. Let's call it a New Year Resolution...maybe.

Anyways. So, over the years, I have written extensively about my health journey - both here on this blog and on my Instagram.

Most of you know how much I have struggled with depression over the years. Well, once more, perhaps because of the winter season, I am fighting a bit of depression. Mostly very low energy and NO motivation to be healthy. That sucks! Especially as a health coach and as someone who is extremely conscientious about their health and loves to share that passion with others!

But it's true. I'm having a hard time eating healthy. I always feel best mentally, emotionally, and physically when I am eating really well - and I tend to feel awesome when I'm eating a Whole30 type diet, so it's been on my mind the past few months to do another one.

However, I've had to be gentle with myself because I knew I just couldn't take on that type of task yet with my depression. I am feeling well enough now that I *might* be able to handle it, which is why I am contemplating it more seriously. So I thought I'd share what that journey looks like for me and why I have decided to do yet another round of the good old Whole30.

  1. I feel REALLY good when I am on Whole30. More energy than normal. Amazing sleep. A happier mood. A clearer mind and complexion.
  2. When I have mentally committed to something, it is much easier for me to stick with it. For me, the strictness of a program like Whole30 is helpful. I am a lot less likely to fall off the bandwagon if I have a clear goal in mind.
  3. I do better when it's ALL OR NOTHING. Meaning, if I say I am going to go off of sugar but I don't really mean it and I still allow all sorts of cheats, I always end up failing. When I make a conscious decision to go off of ALL sugar, I just do better. Period.
  4. With a program like Whole30, I can commit to taking better care of myself for 30 days. My self-care goes way downhill during depressive episodes (including not even feeding myself for hours and hours at a time), so this is sort of a way to say to myself "I love you and I am willing to work hard for you." It feels like a huge sacrifice and it's actually super scary to commit to, though.
  5. I have been eating emotionally to cope with depression and I need to kick that habit...and lose the pounds I've gained in the meantime. Whole30 isn't about weight loss, but that's a nice side effect that comes with better health. I would be lying if I said I wasn't interested in losing a few pounds.

So, there you have it. Those are my thoughts - and I am sure I'll think of more the second I hit publish. I mostly just feel like I need to do this. It feels intuitive and that's what I think is most important.

Whatever you do in life, make sure it feels good and intuitive for you.

I'd like to quickly share my thoughts on some of the criticisms of Whole30:

Often times, people have a hard time transitioning back to a regular diet without guilt. I totally get this because I've been there. I think it's a journey we've all taken. I am grateful to say I have mostly been able to overcome those feelings of guilt and shame that come with eating things that are "bad' or labeled as "unhealthy." If I do a round of Whole30, and then eat some sugar or something that is not Whole30 approved, I am not for a minute going to feel bad about myself (and I'd argue, that is not what the creators of Whole30 intended)! I have worked so hard over the past few years to really approach life from a place of love and that is how I am approaching this. I am doing it because I love myself and every action I take is to show myself more love. So whether I am eating a donut or a bowl of salad, I am loveable and enough...exactly as I am in that moment.

Whole30 is not for everyone but it is something that helps me! I personally cannot stick to it for months and months at a time like some people do but once more that doesn't mean I am not enough or not doing "healthy" right. We all have to find our balance - and I am still trying to find mine. This round is part of it!

What are your thoughts? Have you done Whole30? Are you totally turned off by the idea? If you have depression, do you feel better when eating healthy too? I'd love to hear from you!


PS, I am updating my Cleanse Your Life Healing Program - so if you want to get Whole30 approved recipes, this e-book would be perfect for you! Don't buy it yet though...I am doing a sale just as soon as I get it updated and would love for you to wait for the deal <3 Stay tuned.

30 Day Paleo Challenge

On Instagram, @healthfest is hosting a 30 day Paleo challenge. I decided to join in! I like eating Paleo because although I greatly miss my rice, oats, and other gluten free grains, it just makes me feel SO much better. Most of my chronic fatigue symptoms greatly improve and my digestive issues all but resolve when I'm very mindful about how I eat. Lately, my skin has been absolutely horrible!! It is mostly hormonal acne - I am fairly sure it's not caused by food intolerances - but it is annoying nonetheless. Eventually, I will get bloodwork done to see how my hormone levels are doing, but since my insurance doesn't cover lab work, I am going to wait until I'm done breastfeeding and things have normalized a bit. Eating a Paleo/anti-inflammatory diet is actually very good for balancing hormones, so I am hopeful that this will at least help! I also wouldn't mind losing some stubborn belly fat since having baby number four. I'm going to be doing a better job at adding in exercise this month so between a stricter eating plan and some exercise, I'm hoping to tone up a little bit. This 30 days will not be as strict as my 2 Week Cleanse Your Life Healing Program or a Whole30 but will basically be a slightly looser version of those two programs. You can read about my last Whole30 HERE which had amazing effects!

 My no makeup selfie (ok, I AM wearing mascara)...

My no makeup selfie (ok, I AM wearing mascara)...

Today was my first day and below is what I ate! I am feeling good so far but tonight the sugar cravings definitely hit, so I had a little raw peach cobbler (my husband had a pizookie and that just about did me in!!). I love eating this way because I eat so many more vegetables than normal. I love vegetables, but they aren't usually the first thing I reach for. Making a commitment to myself to do a 30 day challenge definitely helps me make better choices! 

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I am the world's worst meal planner! I fly by the seat of my pants in all areas of my life so having a set schedule is very very hard for me! I sat down and listed out two week's worth of compliant meals for this challenge and decided to make it available in my shop for free! If you'd like to download it, click HERE. The recipes all come from my 2 Week Cleanse Your Life Program, Health Fest's ebook, or Against All Grain's Cookbooks

2weekpaleomealplan

1,100 of you are following me on my Instagram and Facebook accounts so if you'd like to follow along on this 30 day journey, come on over! They are super fun communities and I'd love to connect with you!

My 2 Week Cleanse Your Life Healing Program Is HERE!

Thank you for all of the support I've received with the launch of my new healing program! If you are sick of feeling sick and tired and want guidance on how to change your diet to help you feel vibrant energy, this healing program is meant for you!

Learn more HERE.

Are you ready to feel better? What are you waiting for? Give yourself the gift of self-care and healing foods.

Can't wait to work with you! 

Supplements for Gut Healing

My opinion on supplements has evolved over the years. When I first ventured into natural living, I thought supplements were okay. Then, I started feeling like you could get all the nutrition you need from food. Now, I feel like supplements are instrumental in healing and in many cases, needed. We did the GAPS diet for 9 months basically without any supplements at all and we did see healing. But I believe we can see optimal healing when we combine nutrition along with targeted supplements for whatever you may be dealing with. Basically, because of the way our food quality has diminished and the toxins which we are exposed to daily, our bodies often deficient in nutrients that are quickly remedied through a simple supplement. I do not think all supplements should be lifelong "prescriptions." Rather, I think that by eating a properly balanced diet, you can supplement until your body is back in balance and then cease supplementation. Supplements will help your body restore its natural levels and hopefully after a few months, you can rely on food for your nutritional needs. There may be some cases where supplementation needs to be on a long term basis. I also believe that there are some core supplements that everyone should consider taking.

Here are the supplements we are using at this time to help fight the overgrowth of yeast we are experiencing. 

Olive and Maude are taking this herbal supplement for their yeast. It's natural and gentle. They get three dropperfuls in the morning and three in the evening.

This is a powdered multivitamin/mineral supplement made specifically for children on the autistic spectrum. I got it from my doctor. All of the kids get this supplement daily in juice. Store bought juice is not the healthiest but it is the only way I can get this supplement down my kids, as it isn't very yummy tasting. I just put it in a small cup of juice, put a lid on, shake it, and add a straw. I tried adding it to applesauce and smoothies but that didn't go over well at all.

This is the B vitamin supplement I take. You can find a great price on Amazon. I like that it is made from whole foods. I take two per day and feel like it is helping my energy. I am also going to continue getting B complex shots from my doctor as I really feel like the first shot I got made a big difference in my energy.

These are the digestive enzymes we take. Max gets a chewable before meals and I take a capsule before meals (the girls don't get them). This helps the body break down foods and helps the nutrition absorb better.

We take one of these per day to help with immune function. 

This is the current natural antifungal I am using to help kill my yeast overgrowth. Since yeast adapts well and is hard to kill, it's important to rotate supplements. I will use this until it's gone (it's about a 3 week supply), then switch to another supplement.

This is the yeast control pack that I'm using for Max. Each of these is a natural antifungal which you rotate through every five days. 

These are the various probiotics we take. We take them before bed, preferably a couple of hours after eating. We just started the Body Biotics for the kids because I have heard they have worked well with children with autism. So far I haven't noticed anything positive or negative about them. 

Biotin is supposed to be helpful in killing yeast so we also take one of these per day when I remember. We already had this supplement so I figured if it's helpful, we may as well try it.

We are not currently using this, but it's great for killing yeast. I am going to use this next for myself.

This has probably been the best supplement so far! Max started taking these A&I chewables about a week ago and I have noticed that his hives have DRAMATICALLY improved. His skin has been practically clear since beginning this supplement which is an absolute miracle. It contains natural elements to help inflammation and histamine release. I have the capsules for myself and am going to start taking them (but haven't gotten around to it yet). 

This is Medium Chain Triglyceride oil. It is the same fatty oil found in coconut oil, only this is more concentrated. We got this from a naturopath who told us it is really soothing and healing to the gut. I don't remember to use this every day but we try to use it when we remember.

Many kids with autism or similar delays have trouble converting their B vitamins. This is a folate supplement that helps with that because it's in a more easily assimilated form. I haven't started Max on this yet but plan to soon. (I am giving time between starting different supplements so I can see what is and what isn't working).

For awhile we did so well at taking our cod liver oil, then we got lazy. Then, we were testing sensitive to fish so I haven't reintroduced it yet. However, this is so good for everyone and is something every single person should be taking. I plan to start this supplement again soon (in fact, I took my capsules today - I am a wimp when it comes to the liquid). This is so great especially for neurological function.

This is an herbal supplement to help with urinary incontinence. Max, at age 5, has a lot of trouble staying dry at night. I don't remember to use this supplement consistently but I try to use it to see if it will help. Has anyone had success with ways to keep your child dry at night? I know it can be hereditary and I know that I had problems too as a child (it runs in my family, as well). I've heard that it can be linked to constipation but I don't think that's a problem for Max. I have also heard it can be associated with yeast overgrowth so perhaps in treating the yeast, we will see this resolve as well. I'd love any tips that anyone has in this area!

Since we are on a restricted diet, we are also taking this calcium/magnesium supplement. Maude is the only one who takes this well. It has a chalky texture which is difficult for Max.

There are times when we use Melatonin at night to help with sleep issues. This is liquid and the kids take it orally straight into their mouth. 

And ta-da. It sure looks like a lot of supplements! We don't use these all every single day but the most important ones that we never miss are our antifungals, our probiotics, the kids' multivitamin, and Max's allergy chewable. The rest we try to do well with but obviously there are times when I am not as on top of things. So far I have noticed a lot of improvement due to supplementation. 

 I recently found this summary of biomedical treatments for autism that I thought was great. It is really comprehensive. I have said it before but I  know that because of the diet changes we have made and the supplements we've used, our little boy has seen dramatic improvements over the years. I can only hope that we will continue to see more improvements as time goes on!

In fact, I just scheduled an early intervention screening for little Olive because she is showing some potentially significant developmental delays. At nearly 19 months old, she isn't walking and only has one clear word (dada). She also doesn't babble. Her screening is next week and I am just hoping that we can get some therapy services for her to help her develop appropriately (I am confident that she'll receive services, per my phone conversation, if a child is not walking by 18 months they typically qualify). Add it to the list of my worries! Although I am trying not to over-worry, I do get worried when I really let myself think about it. However, because of what we've already faced and the knowledge I've gained, I feel empowered and I know that we can tackle whatever will come along.