So we are on the other side now.... of Lent and our Whole30. I can say that I'm glad.... and maybe not so glad(easier to resist temptation DURING it!!)
It was a wonderful (though sometimes excruciating) experience. And I think we've learned a lot. Since this topic today is really the Whole30 I'll try to stick to the food part of it... (though spiritually, it was the best Lent I've had in a while as well--- challenging but uplifting and the makings of much progress!)
We celebrated Pascha in our usual fashion after the Paschal services at 2:00 in the morning.... with white bread (Traditional Russian Sweet Bread - Pascha), ham (even baked with a little pineapple, cloves and a bit of brown sugar), pickled eggs and beets (yep, sugar there too), horseradish (for the ham), hrutka (egg cheese my husband makes - I skip on this tradition), salt, cheese (I at least stuck to only raw cheese this year and only had a small piece), Wilbur buds (super wonderful chocolate chunks), and a small glass of wine. My older kids had a little extra candy and sparkling apple cider.
In the morning we feasted on Easter Basket contents....though I must say, I did not have as much as usual! I did have a couple Wilbur buds, jelly beans and the ears of a chocolate bunny (hollow....I was so sad I couldn't find solid bunnies this year that we could eat 🙁 )
I also had some ham, Pascha, and fruit. AND a delightfully hot cup of black tea with 2 teaspoons of sugar. (I added the sugar a half teaspoon at a time...trying to use as little as possible...yes, I still went to 2 teaspoons for black tea...BUT...I still consider this a HUGE success as I use to literally put 2-3 heaping spoonfuls in every cup...even herbal teas which I now drink without any sugar at all.) Not necessarily a Paleo breakfast by any means...
For dinner we had a semi-traditional meal....though certainly not the "Easter" meal I grew up with. We had Ham, Mashed Potatoes, Mixed Vegetables, and corn. I meant to serve the pickled eggs and beets but totally forgot them as they were in our refrigerator out in the garage.... 🙁 Oh well.... more for me today! I also had a half glass of wine. Later we had cake....it was my daughter's birthday last week and she came home for the weekend. I actually made two cakes.... a chocolate cake with cream cheese frosting for her and a gluten-free cake with a semi- paleo chocolate glaze for us. Our cake was dry 🙁 but the glaze, though it did not whip up frosting like as I wanted it to was still yummy.
The results of this feast?
Well, I believe I experienced a few sugar spikes/highs through the day.... a bit strange... it was like every once in a while feeling this sort of woozy fuzzy feeling in my head... almost like having a full glass of wine which I hadn't... They occurred here and there for a few minutes at a time. Then they would go away and come back an hour or two later. Really strange. And of course, I've visited the bathroom a bit more often.... enough said. No one else seemed to experience the 'fuzziness' that I did....but there have been some extra bathroom experiences (again, enough said) and my son didn't want the cake that evening as he felt too full and not altogether right.... he said he didn't feel sick but sort of felt like he might be....
The results of the Whole30?
I feel transformed. Yesterday, though both cakes were still on the counter, I had no desire for more. I had no desire for chocolate through the day but felt soothed that it was there if I wanted it 😉 I did have one cup of black tea (with 2 teaspoons of sugar) and I have one this morning as I write this. But as I look around my kitchen with "Easter" baskets sitting about and items that haven't been in the house for the past 48 days, I do not feel the pull to consume them that I once had. I really feel being away from them that long, ESPECIALLY the sugar, has positively influenced my taste buds and assisted in curing a sugar addiction. I also lost about 7 pounds and have more energy than I have had in some time. I am getting better sleep. My digestive system is working better (whew! I will really have to learn to stay away from the dairy). I've had less severe PMS symptoms. Furthermore, I appreciate real food even more than I did before and find the delights in the natural sweetness of the foods God has provided to nourish our bodies!
My husband lost over 22 pounds and is feeling really positive and motivated. You can really see the difference as he goes around in clothes he hasn't worn in a while and they don't even look tight on him. He smiles more 🙂 And he's noticing the ill effects of the foods he once loved thus giving him all the more motivation to stay away from them.
My son, though he doesn't want to admit it, improved in his mood/temper. He seemed to have a more even temper through the month, more patient and wasn't as quick to over react to emotional upsets. He also seemed to be appreciating the natural foods more than he had. And he did seem to be better focused on his school work during the day. I'm not that positive that he will resist certain foods on his own accord at this time in his life, but I do think he has learned a lot and it may benefit him in his future when he has to make healthy choices on his own. He's a teen. He wants to fit in right now... I can't blame him for still wanting his processed snacks and sugar. He will not be consuming as much of those things as his peers, but I will allow him to indulge a bit.
My littlest guy is... well... going with the flow. He doesn't ask for the processed snacks we used to have around with the exception of occasionally asking for yogurt. (I just may have to experiment with coconut milk yogurt...) He enjoys his candy treats from his basket but easily accepts when I say, "No, that's enough candy for today".
And we are all healthy. 🙂 That's the bottom line. With our health we can focus on the other IMPORTANT things in life.... God, love, family..... without the hassle of medications, doctor appointments, etc. We'll be sticking to a more PALEO menu overall....still having a few things that are 'non-paleo' here and there - for several reasons - but allowing Paleo to be more our lifestyle than not.
So I think the Whole30 was worth it. I think it has set us on the right course for better health and better lives. I think it has broken some really nasty unhealthy habits. I hope that we will stay on this path... it's what I foresee. And I hope that it will lead others to a better path for good health as well.
Let Food Be Thy Medicine and Let Medicine be Thy Food ~Hippocrates