Thursday, October 17, 2019

Intermittent Fasting and Whole30, continued discussion

My experiment with Intermittent Fasting (IF) and Whole30 ended last week (actually, it was a few weeks ago but I missed pushing the publish button on this post) and since then I have slowly reintroduced some food and I know some which are troublesome. If you haven’t read my reasons for this experiment, please refer to the previous post on this topic (here).

Here are some of the salient points from the last 30 days and then at the end is the day to day progression of thoughts as I adapted to the Whole30 approach of eating.
  • If I were to do this combination of IF and whole 30 again, I’ll like eliminate dinner and push the eating window towards the early part of the day to better match my circadian rhythm.
  •  I’ll eliminate nuts and seeds from the meal as well since they caused bloating and I relied too much on them for snack likely upping my caloric intake
  •  Whole30 is a western approach to elimination diet and doesn’t truly match the understanding of eastern eating philosophies and were often in conflict. For e.g. in Indian eating patterns/culture, moong khichadi is Ayurveda approved and is considered a safe food that even folks recovering from a disease can eat but according to Whole30, all legumes and grains are restricted irrespective of their innate nature.
  • The diet didn’t tell me anything new about my diet that I didn’t already knew, e.g., sensitivity to gluten, processed food or extracted sugar. I Need more digestive power/ enzymes (herbs and spices) to process high to digest foods.
  • After these 30 days, I might just have given up artificial sweetener for life, I drink coffee black without sugar but now I drink tea without sugar or stevia and I’m okay with that.
  • I’ll never go back to buying large quantities of processed food for my pantry, there is rare times when I have to lean of these shelf stable foods and if I don’t have them on hand I can definitely do without them.
  • I’ll repeat this kind of elimination diet and instead of Whole30 recommended elimination, might remove red meat, all meat but include pulses and such. I think my gut biome favors the eastern style of eating more than the western foods. I think seasonal eating is a better approach for my body type.
  • I’m sensitive to gluten but I’ll permit myself to eat gluten once a week and continue to work on my digestion to be stronger rather than give up homemade food that I grew up with.
  • Whole30 is a diet approach for awareness but it doesn’t fix any health issues. I’m still dealing with my health issues with digestion, parasite infection and liver toxicity and need to continue practicing alternative medicine to find optimum health.
  • I was hoping to lose 5 lbs. (weight that I gained over summer travels) but I only lost about 2 pounds. But in my friend’s case, she lost 12 pounds. I think it speaks more about my digestive health and less about the merits of the diet.
  • I didn’t lose any inches that I can notice, still wearing same clothes with about same fit. The flat belly doesn’t last either, even on day when I just eat fruits and no grains or legumes.


Day-to-day break down

Day 1 - Just another day, feeling peachy
Day 2 - No sugar craving, just habitual reaching out to sweets and retracting my hands
Day 3 - A packets of spicy Cheetos with its guts laid bare tempted me but I reminded myself that I will not feel as light and happy if I ate that stuff.
Day 4 - Krishna Janamashtami fasting, many other food restrictions to even worry about Whole 30 approved food.
Day 5 - Good energy, clarity of thoughts. But at one time I had a strong craving for white rice, sesame seeds, avocado and salt. I tried to diagnose what deficiency in my body is making me crave it and if there is a whole 30 approved substitute for the nutrients my body is craving. I drooled thinking about it and then the moment passed.
Day 6 - I was eating a banana and I really wanted some cold milk with it, but instead I chose almond butter and I was over the hump. I'm realizing I need more sleep because I'm still feeling the late afternoon slump.
Day 7 - No particular food cravings, good energy in the morning but afternoon slump is a reality even today.
Day 8 - It’s hard to maintain Whole 30 when you are at your friends. A little bit of goat cheese sneaked in my otherwise kosher salad dressing and I found out after I had already eaten it. No, I'm not planning to restart the 30-day countdown.
Guess what, that afternoon slump was may be caused by too much fruit and not enough protein for lunch/ afternoon snack. Forgot my fruits at home today and no afternoon slump.
Day 9 - It’s hard to maintain whole 30 when going to a restaurant. Today a little bit of mayo sneaked in my coconut and wasabi dressing with my poke salad. Also, if there was a parasite that was responsible for my sugar cravings, it is dormant or perhaps its muscle memory to forego sugar at this time.
Day 10 - I feel some body re-composition happening, not necessarily better fitting clothes but just different. I'm tempted to jump on the scale but trying to resist, afraid that the transformation might not be reflected on a weighing machine number.
Day 11 – Saturday is hard with all the sports activities and not being able to eat with the rest of the family on the go.
Day 12 – Ate a protein style no cheese burger, that didn’t satiate my hunger.
Day 13 - Long weekend on Whole 30 when the rest of the family is not is very tough
Day 14 – We are vegetarians on Tuesday and rely on legumes and beans for dinner protein, needless to reiterate, it’s hard to adhere to a lot of limitations. Ate a couple boiled eggs.
Day 15 - I weighed myself, I know it’s against the rule, but I was looking for a quick reinforcement that I’m on the right path. It was not a good idea, I have gained a pound after 15 days on this elimination diet.
Day 16 - I wanna give up this restricted way of life so bad. I'm fatigued, I just wanna have some spicy miso soup with udon noodles and pork katsu.
Day 17 – Went to my friend’s son’s birthday party and had no issues saying no to chocolate cake. Just drank water and it didn’t even once occur to me that I was depriving myself. Small victory!
Day 18 – Just another day, so used to saying no to the snacks that the rest of the family is eating and going for a fruit instead
Day 19 – My fruit consumption has sky rocketed, I always eat a ton of veggies but so much fruit is new for my body. My body has lost its insulin sensitivity, so this amount of fruit might not be good in the long run.
Day 20 – Today is a turning point, I have energy and I burst into a jog when I was only out for a walk
Day 21 – Afternoon slump after lunch is still an ongoing issue, carbs/sugar from the fruit could be adding to the sugar crash
Day 22 – Eating too much of Almond butter, especially in the afternoon. Don’t need any chocolate with it or any extracted/artificial sugar for that matter.
Day 23 – My friend told me that she lost 12 pounds in 30 days on Whole30. It is giving me cautious hope but there’s an end in sight to this restricted eating.
Day 24 – I’m feeling very light and not bloated at all but not sure if this feeling would last if I deviate from the plan even for a single day.
Day 25 – Very indifferent to the food choices now. My body and ‘mind’ have adapted to this new way of eating and I can go on like this forever
Day 26 – The rest of the family is very excited that I’ll be off this plan soon. They are planning for me which food should they introduce back in my diet first
Day 27 – My half marathon training is suffering since I don’t have the endurance to go past 5-6 miles on my long runs
Day 28 – If I don’t have to push myself too hard physically, days go on like a breeze and I don’t even notice the passage of time
Day 29 – Didn’t realize that its already day 29th, I didn’t consider the 31st day of August and assumed I still have a little longer to go.
Day 30 – Tomorrow I eat yogurt whether I have lost a pound or not

I'll talk about some of the holistic approach that I'm pursuing for my health and wellness in upcoming posts. Post a comment to share your interest or experience.

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