Lets talk bottoms... And Whole30
Last month I was introduced to the world of Whole 30 by an incredibly inspiring friend. She was starting the full month cycle with the aim of removing toxins, become better acquainted with the right fuel for her body and giving herself an almighty challenge. I have to admit when she first told, me I had the same reaction as people have given me in the past week: ' you're mad', 'why would you put yourself through that?', 'what's the point?'. The more she explained it though the more I understood. Food is fuel and we need it to survive. Ironically though, we have become a society who eat often mindlessly without much care for what our foods actually contain. A big thing in the Whole30 programme is educating yourself properly on what you are actually putting into your body and working out what foods work for you, and almost more importantly, what work against you! It's worth me reminding you that the aim of all this is to be kind to yourself, not force yourself down a strict path laid out in a book if it doesn't feel right. This being said, as a lover of all baked goods, i'm intrigued to see how different I feel after my 'stint'.
So here goes; bare with me now as this needs some context. In October 2014 I contracted EColi 0157, the most severe strain of the bacterial infection. We still don't know where I picked it up from, the options are unwashed salad, a private water source or raw mince... You are welcome to ask the audience or phone a friend at this point, I'm still struggling to knuckle it down. What ensued was almost 4 months being bed/ house bound, with my family & Steve doing pretty much everything for me from helping me bathe and wash my hair, to (at probably the lowest point) keeping me upright on a 5 minute jaunt outside the front door. If you know me, you will know that I am a pretty small human at the best of times but during this onslaught in which my body failed to intake and keep hold of any food or liquids I lost nearly 2 stone, taking me down to 6st 7. I don't really talk about this very much, its all fairly grim and to be honest until I started writing about it I had blocked it out of my head. But as Chris Brown and Busta Rhymes once said, 'look at me now'.
Fast forward 18 months, I managed to return to uni and complete my degree the same year. I'm not sure how I managed this but it makes me realise I'm a lot tougher than I give myself credit for! Due to the damage done to my internal organs during the EColi bout, the recovery process has been a pretty long road. I am almost there but still not quite 100% hence the decision to begin my first Whole30. I haven't been diagnosed with any intolerance and I am still waiting for tests (referred in October) but almost without fail, every day I end up with a painful stomach and resemble a woman on the precipice of childbirth, so I am taking matters into my own hands. I should mention at this point that I am actually only doing a 14 day stint. I have naturally low blood sugar levels, low blood pressure and borderline iron deficiency so I think this is the kind of thing I need to ease my body into and see how it reacts.
It's Sunday, day 5, and I am currently sitting in the car finishing this post while Steve is in Benjamin Barbers in Stockbridge getting his hair cut. Yes, I have chosen blog writing over spending time with their resident canine Ozzy. I have changed. Over the past few days I have been on a bit of an emotional and physical rollercoaster. Day one met me with, 'this will be easy', day 2 followed that with 'oh shit, actually... I made a mistake'. On Day 3 I started work at 6.45am and this was pretty tricky, particularly during breakfast. This was the 'kill everything and get me to bed' phase. I felt absolutely exhausted and just wanted to ( as I realise now), comfort eat all the carbs. On whole30 you cut out sugar, dairy, grains and legumes so this wasn't an option. Instead I opted for a Nakd bar and some fruit. Friday was a big day in self discipline and I ended up getting home at 5pm, getting under a blanket on the sofa and not moving for the rest of the day. .I have been realising over the past few months the importance of giving myself a break and allowing myself resting time. I always feel like I need to be going 100 miles a minute but actually sometimes you just need to allow yourself to switch off and take a break, even if its just a couple of hours a week.
I have been discovering the joys of healthy cooking. I'm consuming a LOT of eggs (in many forms), vegetables and meat with the occasional addition of coconut yogurt and fruit. I am hoping that this process will help my body to settle and allow me to find out what, if any, intolerance I have been left with since being ill (I unfortunately suspect gluten). The aim is to come out of this better than ever! Expect more posts including some tasty whole30 recipes and a check in on how I get on with week 2. Twelve Triangles doughnuts are calling but they will have to wait another couple weeks, for now it's kale!