Whole Foods September Challenge Week 1 – Over the headache hump

Celiac Disease, Health September 7, 2012

Week one of the Whole Foods September Challenge is almost done.  The beginning was rough, especially for Jeff.  He had a solid headache for the first three days.  We haven’t cut out caffeine (we’re still drinking coffee), so the headaches were coming from a lack of processed sugar.  His sweet tooth had finally caught up with him.  I wasn’t off the hook though, I’ve been making plenty of questionable snacking decisions lately, so I had a few headaches too although not nearly as bad.

Day three woke us both up with a stomach ache, and I had some nausea and fatigue in the afternoon.  Thankfully, this seemed to be the hump.

By day four, the headaches went away as did my afternoon body aches.

Jeff and I have started working out more, although not quite as much as we hope to once we get into a routine.  At the end of October, we plan to do Todd Durkin’s 10-week circuit training program.We both feel like our minds are clearer and the fog has lifted compared to before we started.  We are still feeling the afternoon slump a little bit, but that’s because we’ve been staying up too late at night.  We try to combat the sleepiness with lots of water and maybe a cup of coffee.  My bloating is gone other than that annoying once-a-month bloat that happens to most women.  The swelling in my fingers is gone, but my hot flashes are not.  Overall an improvement so far.

So what have we been eating?

For breakfast we eat scrambled eggs with veggies and fruit (one morning we added local sausage), or hard-boiled eggs with fruit, or a smoothie.

For lunch, we eat leftovers or sweet potato with avocado and some fruit.  One day I made this stir-fry and served it in lettuce cups.

For dinner, we eat chicken, pork, beef or fish with veggies and fruit.  Our favorite dinner so far has been this spaghetti squash carbonara.  Instead of parmesan, we used nutritional yeast.  This one will stay in the rotation for sure!  We also enjoyed this slow cooker roast chicken and gravy.  One night we wanted to have dinner with friends, so I cooked it all up and took it over to share.  No reason to isolate ourselves just because of our eating style this month!

We don’t snack between every meal, but if we’re hungry we grab raw nuts, coconut,a  Larabar, or some veggies dipped in almond butter.

I’ve had quite a few people tell me they wish they had the discipline to pull something like this off.  I tell them a) not to compare themselves to us and b) that this takes a lot of preparation and there is no reason to commit to it until you’re ready.  For me, I got to a point with my health where I just had to do something.  Anything.  And this is it.  You might never get to that point!  I still advise most people to make small changes over time.  Don’t stress about doing something drastic, just start with something.  As you run out of the unhealthy stuff, replace it with a healthier version.  Keep doing that and you will eventually be in a healthier place, and your family will be more likely to jump on board because it’s a gradual change.

If you are at a frustrating point in your health though, you might want to consider a food challenge like we’re doing.  A few of my friends are doing something similar including Gluten Dude and Sassy, although Gluten Dude is being brave and giving up coffee too.  I might get to that point, just not yet.

We’re trying to take control of the things doctors can’t seem to explain.  The bottom line is, we just want to feel better and going gluten-free is not enough.

What I want you to know is that if you want to make a change in your health, I’m all for it.  Just don’t do anything drastic for the wrong reasons.  And don’t feel guilty if you’re eating something I can’t eat.  We can still be friends.

Unless I catch you eating a maple donut, that might be unforgivable.


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  • Michelle @ Eat Move Balance September 7, 2012 at 9:37 am

    I think everything you described sounds delicious! Good for you–way to stick with it. Sometimes it’s a matter of concentrating on all the great foods you CAN eat, instead of focusing on what you can’t (or are trying to cut out). 🙂

  • teri@managedmacros September 8, 2012 at 5:52 am

    I admire your dedication. I am relating to this. In my own personal journey I am doing much the same thing, cleaning up my diet, eliminating known inflammatory foods; gluten, dairy. Your meals look delicious and clean and so yummy. I can’t give up the coffee either. I has to stay!!! 🙂 Good luck to you, look forward to ready more on your journey!

  • Kathleen @ KatsHealthCorner September 8, 2012 at 7:58 am

    I know when I did a type of “detox” for my body my skin really broke out. But now it’s better than ever! I hope you start feeling better soon and enjoy the experience! 🙂

  • Joy in Black and White September 9, 2012 at 2:52 pm

    […] posting about our success in week one of the whole foods challenge, my body has rebelled.  Painful bloating, upset stomach, heartburn, […]

  • Stephanie September 12, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    Isn’t it interesting how the kinds of food that we eat can change how we feel so much? I truly do believe that, “food is medicine.”

    • inspiredrd September 13, 2012 at 12:44 pm


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