Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Lessons learned

Almost any vegetable can be roasted.
Just coat them in a little olive oil, and
give them a little shake of seasoning.
Spread them on baking parchment and pop
them in the oven at 400 degrees. These kale
chips roast in about 5-6 minutes. Delicious!

Thirty days without dairy, sugar, grains, or alcohol—those foods one gives up on a Whole30 diet—was a good experience for me. Turns out, I didn’t lose a significant amount of weight, but my pants certainly fit better after thirty days of avoiding those foods. (I wasn’t dieting to lose weight, but rather to find out what things might be causing ongoing food issues; I didn’t really feel disappointed that the scales remained steady. Many people do testify to losing lots of weight on the diet, though.)

What the Whole30 did teach me was the following:
  • I am allergic to blueberries. And I’m not alone. Allergic reaction to blueberries—mine was a very obvious case of hives—is a Thing. Who knew? My theory is that I was eating so many blueberries and other fruits and vegetables high in salicylates that my system was saturated—and I reacted.
  • I also discovered that bell peppers cause me to spend a lot of time in the restroom. The same is true with an overload of leafy greens.
  • I don’t need sugar. Sugar cravings go away in a few days. In fact, my first taste of sugar after the diet was unpleasant. It felt like that time I overindulged on glazed donuts at an early-morning faculty meeting and to this day can no longer smell or look at them without becoming a little queasy. I’m not giving up sugar forever, but I will definitely be cutting back on it.
  • Besides being naturally gluten-free, whole foods taste wonderful! (My best tip: Roast your veggies.  All of them. It’s easy. It’s delicious. Just cut the vegetables to a uniform size, drizzle them with a little olive oil, sprinkle on some salt or other seasoning, and roast them on the top shelf of your oven at about 400 degrees. When they begin to blacken a bit, they're ready to eat! The time varies according to the vegetable.)
  • I will never again make processed food a staple of my diet.

The most important lesson I learned, which relates to celiac disease, is that there can be multiple causes for celiac-type symptoms. When you have celiac disease, you tend to believe that every little digestive issue is a result of being “glutenized.” (Consequently, you play the blame game every time you have an upset.) For me, accidental ingestion of gluten isn’t always the cause of my problems—and the Whole30 revealed that to me.

Whether or not you have celiac disease, you might want to give the Whole30 a try. You are guaranteed to learn lessons about your relationship with food--and you might even make some lasting positive changes.