The first day of spring is one thing and the first spring day is another. The difference between them is sometimes as great as a month.
~ Henry Van Dyke
Here it is, the first full day of spring, and yet, I sit at my window and watch the snow fall. The March lion is roaring today, but the day off provides me with some much needed time to sit and write…
Historically, January & February are not my favorite months. Long, dark and cold is how I would typically describe them in these parts. And I seem to have one setting: hibernation. In winter, all I often want to do is read and hang out in my flannel pajamas. But in recent years, giving myself a specific focus and purpose has helped to endure the cold. Last year, it was the Healthy Self Reset led by nutritionist. This year, I garnered the courage to take on the Whole30.
The Whole30 is a short-term nutrition 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. But before I go any further, a bit of a back story..
Therefore, the prospects of doing a Whole30 and giving up basically everything I was raised on, was simply out of the question. But I was intrigued… and often found myself perusing the website and learning all the parameters. Fast forward past my celiac diagnosis and my kissing gluten goodbye forever. Fast forward past my elimination diet where I learned the casein in dairy didn’t agree with me (Casein shares some structural similarities with components of gluten. This means that people with celiac are less likely to tolerate casein-containing dairy products. I happen to be one of them). So after 3 years of reading, reflecting and going 100% gluten free and 98% dairy free, slowly my anxiety turned to the kind of courage where I felt mobilized and excited rather than paralyzed by fear.
January 8th was a Monday, and it was the day. I had read It Starts With Food by the founders of the Whole30 program Dallas & Melissa Hartwig about a year prior, so I brought it out again for reference. On, Sunday evening, January 7th, I cracked my knuckles, rolled my neck in circles, folded up my sleeves and said: I can do this.
It was hard.
The first 6 days were the hardest.
It got easier as time went on.
I used this as a guide as to help me know what was within the realm of normal:
And most of my meals looked something like this (plus a protein):
And surprisingly, it was this that I missed the most:
But I did it. And it felt great. And yes, I will do it again sometime. There are countless testimonials out there, and honestly, mine is no different. As a person with an autoimmune disease, food really is either the safest and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison for me. And those 30 days put me more in tune with which is which. Citing directly from Chapter 1 of It Starts With Food: “There is no food neutral; there is no food Switzerland — every single thing you put in your mouth is either making you healthy or less healthy.” I strongly recommend anyone who is dealing with an autoimmune issue try a Whole30 just once.
As I anxiously await the lamb’s arrival to garner in the first spring day, I celebrate the victory of facing my fears and enduring the whole thirty days.