Proud members of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy. We strongly believe in personal freedom, responsibility, and gun rights. We also believe in the 90/10 theory. That means that 10% of the people have 90% of the talent. Unfortunately, we are not in the 10% category. However, the rest of us are still better than 90% of the politicians.
Serious Eats is the name of the featured blog this week and they mean it! Everything from Life Changing Pasta, to fabulous beer blends, to information about the mechanics of cooking such as smoke points of various frying and sauteing mediums to lessons in squash peeling. What else do ya really need??!
To start with try this simple fall mixing of some Pumpkin and Rauchbier they call the Smokin" Pumpkin...
First, I should explain what the Whole 30 is about. The Whole 30 is a dietary lifestyle change. Not a weight loss diet, a quality of life changing diet. Though, of course, eating healthy meals will have an effect on weight as well.
I started the Whole 30 in an effort to improve my health. As someone who holds down a more than full-time, fairly stressful job, with revolving hours and sucky sleep patterns I was a candidate to give it a try anyway, but I am also diabetic and have MS both of which are very affected by stress, and weather, and just about everything else. I was diagnosed with diabetes as a teenager and have been off and on good about monitoring my blood sugars for most of my life, so I'm very familiar with that part of eating well but I didn't have any idea what diet could/would really help with the MS. Though there is a lot of verbage out there, most of the actual research is centered on finding a medical solution not a dietary one.
I started the Whole 30 because my muscles were becoming so spastic I was having difficulty with everything, not to the point of giving up on work or hobbies or anything else yet, but I could see it coming. The Whole 30 posits that certain foods (dairy, grains, legumes, and sugar) can have an effect on how well you feel without your being aware of it. That your energy levels are affected by those foods in ways other than the obvious of using them as fuel. They also claim that food changes in modern methods of production affect healing, and everything else about your body. After reading "It Starts with Food", the book that delineates the program, I decided it couldn't hurt to try it.
I started on September 15th, so I did the Whole 30 without any deviation from the rules.
The first week was ok, just like starting any diet only without ever feeling hungry. The diabetes has improved to the point of being able to cut down on insulin and sometimes not even needing it. But I could do that just by giving up sugar and sugar derivatives and cutting back on carbs. I know, because I have managed it in the past. The wasn't my aim with the Whole 30, though it is very much an excellent side effect.
At about the middle of the second week I began to notice my energy levels increasing. They continued to increase steadily for several days before leveling off. Sometime during that change the constant pain in my neck from a prior whiplash injury began to taper off, improving enough to disappear completely some days. And that spasticity I mentioned earlier? Improved enough that the tremor in my left hand that had been there for months went away. Gone. Completely. Until the abrupt weather change and some additional stress, when it came back but not as bad. And it is getting better now that the weather and stress have improved and is almost gone again.
I'm not against modern food production, I don't think we should be burning up corn that could feed lots of the hungry in order to ruin our motors and make no change in the non-existent global warming. I don't wear patchouli and I don't think the world will be better off once we are again living in caves in the cold and dark.
That said, eating fresh, organic, food and pastured meats, giving up grains, dairy, legumes and sugar (yeah, I already knew that one) has made a difference in how I personally feel. I am fortunate enough to live in an area where lots of that type food is available and only slightly less affordable than the stuff I was eating before.
In the 30 days of eating Whole 30 my energy levels have increased, my pain levels have decreased, and I haven't fallen down since the second week. While everyone may not get the same results, and there is always the possibility that I am having a period of remission and it's not the food changes at all, I've improved so much in this month that I plan to continue eating this way for as a while longer before I try the reintroduction phase, just to consolidate my gains and prove to myself that they're real. In addition to feeling better, in one month I've lost 9 lbs and 3 inches off my waist. And I was never hungry! I'm sure I could have lost more had I not just stuffed my face regularly, but weight loss was not my goal, just a side effect. I wanted to feel better. And I do. I wanted this to be something I could live with if it made me feel better. And I can. I wanted to do this without feeling like I was losing anything, or taking medicine, or just generally feeling deprived or like I was being punished for being sick. And I don't.
Is my life now perfect? Not even close. I'm still diabetic and still have to check my glucose levels several times a day. I'm still giving myself shots, just not as often or as much. I still have MS and some not so good days. But I'm better. The not so good days aren't quite as bad and they're a little farther apart. The job is still stressful, the hours still suck and the rest of life's problems haven't gone away either. But...
after the Whole 30 days I feel better, look better, have improved energy and flexibility and skin. And it was easy. (I didn't get paid for this, I bought the book and all of my food with my own hard-earned cash and no one asked for my two cents worth of commentary.)