Moving on from Whole 30
This might be a little premature, and given how quickly nutritional sciences change, I could regret it later, but my mind has been blown by what Dr. Steven Gundry is preaching about in his new book, The Plant Paradox. I have yet to digest all of the information, but so far, everything this man is talking about makes all sorts of sense to me. I feel like I've stumbled upon the holy grail of food protocols for my body, and I can't wait to start it.
Some of you already know I've been doing the Whole 30 Challenge for 3 weeks now, but I haven't given an update in quite a while because, well, it hasn't been going great.
Don't get me wrong, there have been a few good outcomes: I've re-learned how to meal plan, prep and cook regularly again (something I had forgotten after having baby), and I don't really get "hangry" anymore. Those crazy cravings and emotional ties to food that seem to run on autopilot are gone for the most part.
But I've developed what I had thought was a "gluten rash" along certain lymph node areas - at least, it's the same crazy itchy rash that develops whenever I eat too much gluten. But the Whole 30 challenge doesn't include grains or gluten at all, so I've been stumped and annoyed that it's developed in an aggressively persistent manner and chocked it up to the idea (rationalizing it in my monkey mind) that I must still be detoxing. That my after-baby fat held onto so many toxins, that they're now being released as I "lose weight" on this challenge (I haven't even weighed myself 😒). This is my conclusion after searching endlessly on the internet for "itchy skin Whole 30". Well, detoxing and stress.
I did consider it might be an allergy, but I had already cut out grains, dairy, sugar, alcohol, and caffeine, and the very idea it could be nuts, eggs, or fruit made me feel ill. So y'know... head in the sand like an ostrich and let's chalk it up to detoxing.
But on my drive to work this morning I heard this amazing man speak on a podcast I listen to regularly, and proceeded to mutter profanities to myself as everything unfolded in perfect unison, and I discovered what I had been doing wrong all along. Then, searching him up, I saw he had created his own version of the food pyramid, and in all honesty, it aligns perfectly to what I've experienced in my own life. That intermittent fasting and eating fats and plants are the bedrock to a clear and energized mind and body. That the European union's standards of raising animals and farming in general are way better than ours/North America's (I don't get "gluten" rashes when I eat their pastries) and that grass-fed, pasture-raised red meat should be an occasional treat, not an everyday luxury. Plus, wine is on the list, so... come on.
Anyway, so this podcast episode basically revealed to me that no, I’m not sensitive to gluten. I’m sensitive to lectins. And the only reason I have this rash is because the Whole 30 places cashews in their Best: Eating Fats category, right between Avocado and Coconut butter, which meant, as a fat-loving fiend, I loaded up on cashews and cashew butter like no tomorrow. And then this morning, I listened intently, and with horror, as Dr. Steven Gundry illuminated that Cashews are not a nut, but a legume, and therefore irritate our digestive tracts with the lectin proteins found within.
So… starting tomorrow, I’ll be doing a revised Whole 30 challenge. A lectin-free Whole 30 challenge. Heck, a Dr. Steven Gundry approved challenge. Another 30 days to try and recalibrate my body, following this guideline instead. And this time, I’m definitely having sex with my pants on.