I only have 2 days left on my Whole30 and it’s a good thing because I don’t know if my body can take much more. I’ve had some successes with this plan and some shocking breakthroughs. This 30 days has been an eye-opening experience.
If you are just tuning in and wondering what I’m talking about you can get caught up:
- Week 1: Whole30 – A Plan for Torture
- Week 2: Whole30 and Hating it
- Week 3: Whole30 – Weight Report, Bathroom Issues and My Tongue Hurts
What is a Whole30?
Get your copy of the book here. It’s a great book. The book thoroughly outlines the program, how it works, what it does and what to eat. It also gives you shopping lists and a week-long meal plan and is filled with recipes. My favorite recipes in this book were the sauces, dips, and dressings.
The writers of Whole30 say that it takes 30 days to reset your health and change your relationship with food. This program removes grains, dairy, sugar, soy, legumes, and all processed foods from your diet for 30 days.
During the 30 days, there is no calorie counting, no fat gram counting, no weighing, and no measuring. You can eat as much as you want of the approved foods as long as you follow the rules.
There are lots of rules, by the way.
After you complete the Whole30 you add foods back into your diet slowly and see if there are any reactions to foods.
This is a great program if you are trying to find any food sensitivities or intolerances.
Why Did I Do it?
If you are wondering why the fresh milled-guru (that’s me) went on a grain-free, paleo Whole30……
Food fascinates me and I am always in awe of the amazing things God gave us to eat. I have never counted a calorie or measured food in my life. I don’t ever want to. I live in the world of food freedom. This alone made the Whole30 interesting to me. No counting anything – eat whatever you want.
The truth is that when I agreed to do a Whole30 with 2 of my besties I didn’t fully understand the rules. I thought “Whole” meant “Whole” as in- whole wheat, whole milk. etc. Live and learn.
So, I said, “Yes.” and then learned that a “whole” 30 does not allow “whole” grains. Groan.
I am a trooper & stuck with my girlfriends & I’m glad I did it.
Why I’m Glad I did a Whole30:
Paleo is pretty popular in some circles & I think it was a good thing for me to visit their world for 30 days.
I got to see what they eat. How they live. How they feel. and….. that their tongues probably hurt. (go here for more on that)
The writers of the Whole30 mention many benefits. I can’t cover them all. To get the book go here. I think the best part was the food freedom and that it breaks any food addictions or habits you may have.
My biggest “takeaways” from the Whoe30 were:
- It clearly revealed my habits and food patterns. If you happen to have an unhealthy relationship with food, this will bring to light anything that has been in darkness. You may not even have any clue that you have a food-related problem but this 30 days will surely reveal it if you do.
- It opened my eyes to how good fresh milled bread products are for me and how critical they are to my overall health. More on that in just a minute.
To recap, I’ll say that the Whole30 is healthy, it is adventurous, it is eye-opening BUT, it is not a way I would want to live.
Why I (Probably) Won’t Do It Again
Reason ONE- It’s very restrictive
Baking is not just a hobby for me, it is a way of life. My home-milled, baked goods are practically my signature here at the farm. They are the star of meals. They are the staff of life. They give us health, regularity, satisfaction and quite frankly, are sometimes the best part of the day (Yeah, I like food.).
We enjoy fresh baked goods immensely and they are packed with nutrition. Why would I deprive myself (or my family) from these delicious foods that are so good for us?
Reason TWO – My tongue hurts
I mentioned this during my week 2 review.
Turns out that tongue pain can be caused by several nutritional deficiencies. Tongue pain can be caused by:
- anemia (an iron deficiency)
- vitamin B deficiency
- or folate deficiency
I began taking a multivitamin faithfully and my tongue got a little better, but here I sit on day 28 at 7:30 in the morning and it still hurts.
Reason THREE – Warts
This is a bit of an embarrassment, but we are all friends, right?
Well, I had warts on my feet for years. There are 7 of them I think. I had them for a long time. I suppose growing up swimming in the Ohio River has it’s drawbacks.
Anyhow, they were harmless little warts. They didn’t cause me any pain. They didn’t seem to spread or grow. I have had them for as long as I could remember.
When I started milling my own wheat and making bread my warts went away. I haven’t even thought about them for more than a decade. They were a thing of my past.
Guess who came back the last week of the Whole30?
Yup. They are back. AND they are red.
Turns out these little harmless warts are cured by vitamin E.
Vitamin E is a super food.
Guess where you can find the RICHEST source of vitamin E? The germ of a wheat kernel. Guess what you aren’t allowed to eat on a Whole30 – wheat kernels.
Vitamin E has been touted as a cure for many things. It is an antioxidant. It helps PMS, cataracts, Alzheimer’s disease, and diabetes. High levels of vitamin E reduce the risk of sunstroke and coronary artery disorder or heart disease (source). It increases desirable HDL cholesterol. It protects against free radicals, protecting our bodies from toxic chemicals, Vitamin E is also used to treat claudication (more on that in a minute), and may even be helpful for fibrocystic breast disease. Source
The richest source of Vitamin E is found in a kernel of wheat (in the germ). But wait, don’t go to the store and expect to get a loaf of bread that is packed with Vitamin E… it is one of the quickest to oxidize. Oxidation is a chemical reaction (to air) that reduces the value of a substance. This means when the wheat kernel is ground into flour & the vitamins are exposed to oxygen (air) it begins to loose its value. Fast.
So bread made with store-bought flour isn’t going to have naturally sourced, fresh, vitamin E. You have to mill your wheat yourself to reap the rewards.
If you have your own grain mill your bread is fabulously rich in vitamin E.
Reason FOUR- Claudication
What is claudication? Cramps. Menstrual cramps, leg cramps, night cramps. When you aren’t getting enough vitamin E it does more than just break you out in warts…. it wakes you in the middle of the night with strikingly painful, leg cramps.
My daughter (doing it with me) and I have both been experiencing leg cramps on the Whole30. I kept feeding us bananas thinking we needed potassium. About the middle of the second week of the Whole30 my daughter pretty much bailed. She ditched the Whole30 and went back on the Homesteaders Food Challenge for the remainder of the sentence.
Her leg cramps are gone….
Reason FIVE – Whole Grains
Boy do I miss grains.
The amount of nutrition found in a grain of wheat is impressive to say the least.
What else is found in Fresh milled flour:
- Carotene, Protein, Vit B1 (thiamine), Vit B2 (Riboflavin), Niacin, carbohydrates (starch), fibre, lysine, fat, Phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, iron, Vit E. vitamin B6 or pyridoxine, pantothenic acid, biotin, and folic acid, vitamin C, and vitamin K. Other minerals are sodium, calcium, chlorine, manganese, zinc, copper, cobalt, nickel, chromium, molybdenum, fluoride, iodine, boron, selenium, lead, aluminum, and siliconioxide (Souci, 1981). The body is capable of converting the carotene to produce one sixth its amount as vitamin A (Health ~ Welfare, 1990). source
That’s a lot of vitamins, minerals and energy supplies…. this doesn’t include the nutritional benefits of the oils, honey, or other ingredients used in the making of your fresh bread.
Am I blowing your mind yet?
If you have an electric grain mill you are doing so many good things for your body. You may never know all the wonderful benefits you are truly reaping.
Whoever said bread is not healthy is simply unaware.
If you are thinking you should jump on this grain-grinding bandwagon & start baking bread with me here’s some stuff to know:
- Why You Should Grind Your Own Wheat
- Introduction to the electric grain mill
- How to Start Grinding Your Own Flour
- Make Your Own Bread – What You Need, Where to Buy, What it Costs
If nothing else, this Whole30 experience has opened my eyes to the health benefits of fresh milled wheat. I never would have believed that cutting all grain from my diet for just 30 days would have such an impact in my health.
I am more convinced than ever that grinding my own wheat is critical to my health and the health of my family.
I have always been a believer in home milling and this experience has just reconfirmed my dedication and conviction towards fresh milled grains.
I promise you….. there is a countdown going on in this house and it is a countdown to BREAD.
There are some major carbs in my future. What am I going to eat?
Pecan Sticky Buns for sure.
There is not a better way to go off a carb-restricted diet than this.
How about you? Have you done a Whole30? How did it go? Would you do it again?
Update: 5/23/2017: Some Paleo people have reached out to me and notified me of my folly…. Apparently, if you know what you are doing (which I do not- LOL) you know to take fish oil and eat liver on a regular basis while on a Whole30. I’m told this could have provided the missing vitamins. Ugh. It is very possible that this information was in the book & I just missed it. So – don’t be like me – take oils & eat liver if you do a Whole30. 🙂
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Happy (Bread) Eating!