Monthly Archives: May 2013

Days 14 through 21

I have battled with cystic acne for nearly my entire life.  My breakouts started when I was 8 or 9 years old (4th grade).  At that age, they were mainly just little pimples that started at my hairline and then eventually moved down my forehead.  As I got older and into puberty, they developed on the rest of my face and became cystic.  This type of acne tends to be hereditary and I inherited mine from my father’s side of the family.  I have gone to dermatologists and used over-the-counter or specialty products like Artistry, Mary Kay, Proactiv and Acne Free throughout the years.  With each new treatment I would get temporary relief and then eventually my skin would grow used to it and the acne would return.

As you may already know from reading my blog, three years ago I found Jillian Michael’s book, Master Your Metabolism, and I began following her recommendations for dietary changes.  One of the most astounding things that occurred during that transition was my face cleared up.  I mean CLEARED UP!  I would go weeks sometimes without even a small blemish.  It has continued to stay clear with very few breakouts.  That is, until the Whole30.

Going into it my skin was completely clear and it stayed that way until around Day 14.  Imagine my surprise when suddenly I began having a bad breakout.  I’m not talking just a few small pimples either.  They were very large, cystic blemishes and there were as many as 8 of them all at the same time.  This has not happened in YEARS!!  I am distraught over it, to say the least.  For several days my skin was sore and sensitive, as though it was going to erupt at that very moment with a new one.  The fresh eruptions seem to have subsided now but I still have 3 livid blemishes on my face.

I reached out to the Whole30 community on Facebook and I read some of the blog posts on Whole9life.com.  Unfortunately, I didn’t get any clear answers but I did find some suggestions as to what might be causing it.  I have been eating a lot of cashews since I started the Whole30.  I love cashews and they are one of the nuts on the diet that you don’t have to limit.  I have decided that I am not going to eat another one until I am done with the Whole30.  Hopefully, that does the trick.

Another bummer is my digestive distress is back again.  It seemed to return to normal around the time my face started breaking out, but not any more.

At this point, I’m not sure the good outweighs the bad for me and my Whole30.  I am anxious to measure and get on the scale at the end and see what the numbers look like.  I can tell by how my clothes fit that there has been improvement but at this point I really just can’t wait for it to be over.  Nine more days…

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Day 8 through 13

Ok…remember when I said I overdid it on Day 5 with the macadamia nuts and raisins? Well, it turns out my stomach problems didn’t have anything to do with what I ate that day at all. In fact, the problem persisted and got worse on Day 10 and I hadn’t even so much as sniffed a macadamia or a raisin.

I posted a question about it on the Whole30 Facebook page and then I remembered something I had read in It Starts With Food. In Chapter 18 there is a timeline that gives you an idea of what to expect (I think I mentioned this in a previous post). On days 8 through 14 people often have digestive distress. The book explains that the distress is happening because my intestinal lining is healing and during this time some gut bacteria die off and the protective layer that has formed as a result of all the inflammatory foods I’ve been eating begins to leave. I am very glad to know that while this has not been a pleasant experience, it is a good sign that my gut is beginning to heal. Who knew digestive distress could ever be a good thing?

This week I began to experiment a little bit with some other Whole30-friendly recipes because I’m already getting tired of the ground beef, turkey and pork. I did some searching on a Pinterest board from a blogger called ChowStalker. I found lots of great-looking recipes on there and decided to try one called Slow Simmered Spaghetti Sauce http://chowstalker.com/2013/01/slow-simmered-spaghetti-sauce/. My only complaint was that the recipe wasn’t specific about the size of the cans of tomatoes to use. I put in 2 14.5 oz cans of diced tomatoes and that did not look like near enough. So I added 2 more thinking perhaps the recipe really called for 2 28 oz cans of tomatoes. However, after it fully cooked it had way too much fluid in it so I’m thinking it probably was 2 of the smaller cans. Even with the extra tomatoes, it was still very tasty. I would make it again but probably not with so many tomatoes.

I was also inspired by another recipe for shrimp that I found on Chowstalker and I decided to make some alterations to it and had it for Meal 3 on Day 8. I sauteed the shrimp in clarified butter with salt, pepper and paprika. Then I added a clove of crushed garlic near the end. The shrimp was starting to stick a little bit so I used a small amount of chicken broth to deglaze the pan just before I took the shrimp out. All I can say is YUM! I don’t usually do very well with food experimentation but I have to say this one was really, really good. In fact, it was so good, I made it again for Meal 3 on Day 10 and added scallops to it. I didn’t end up needing to deglaze the pan this time so I didn’t use any chicken broth. It was still fantastic. My daughter said she would eat it again so I know it really was good 🙂

During the first week I made the recipe for Classic Pantry Vinaigrette dressing in the book. It was ok but it didn’t really do anything for me. I also didn’t care for all the fresh parsley in it. This week I decided to do an online search and I found a recipe on Food.com that didn’t call for any sugar http://www.food.com/recipe/garlic-red-wine-vinegar-salad-dressing-37183 . This one tasted better to me and was very easy to make. I will likely continue to make it for the rest of my Whole30.

I definitely feel like I have more energy this week. I haven’t been feeling extreme fatigue at small exertions like last week. I have been able to get through the day without hitting the wall around 2 or 3 PM. I am very encouraged by that. It gives me motivation to keep going. I am also starting to notice that my clothes are fitting better, especially around my abdomen which is a HUGE encouragement 🙂 I can also visibly see a difference in that area but I am attributing most of that to the reduction of inflammation as opposed to fat loss at this point.

Sunday will mark the half-way point. In a way it seems like it went by really fast but in another way I can’t wait for it to be over. I have been without a full-time job since early February and today I had my very first face-to-face interview and I was offered the job. I am very happy and excited about this change of events and I would have loved to have a celebratory dinner with a decadent dessert but that will have to wait a bit longer.

This also means I will have to be much more diligent in my prep work and shopping because I will have to make sure I bring enough food with me to get me through the work day. I can already feel the added stress this will cause but I am not going to quit in the middle of my Whole30. One way or another I will make it work. I want the best results I can possibly achieve. There’s no turning back.

Here is a picture of the shrimp and scallops:

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