My Whole 30 Journey


I’ve been unsuccessfully trying to transition to a Paleo diet for several years – and one of the biggest obstacles has been having a family who loves their pizza, rice and beans and Chinese food. I found myself trying to cook multiple things at the same time and wore myself out.

And then I started to get sick and tired of being sick and tired. One viral thing after another since December and I just couldn’t seem to get well.

And so with little advance warning I decided to just do it on March 5, upcoming birthdays and Easter/Passover notwithstanding. The long hot Florida summer is looming and in all seriousness, I hate being fat in a hot climate like Florida.

I’ve owned and loved the Well Fed cookbooks from The Clothes Make the Girl. So much so that I cook that way even when I’m not strictly following Paleo. And it was those books (which are mostly Whole30 compliant) that showed me that I could actually do this.

And so I began…dragging my 15 year old daughter along for the ride and ignoring the complaints and pleas from other family members.

Today I’m three weeks into this. What have I been doing differently this time?

  • I immediately started to Instagram my meals (just my way of finding some accountability) and sharing on Facebook. Surprisingly, people started to tell me that I was inspiring them.
  • Knowing that a blog post would probably be forthcoming, I actually took a “before” pic (but I’m not talking about my weight…)
  • I started reorganizing my kitchen. We have three (really!) refrigerators. One in the kitchen, two in a side room. I keep all my paleo fixings in one of them. I’ve learned how to throw a good meal together on the fly. I’m a “hot meal” kind of person and too many salads make me a little crazy.

So how am I doing three weeks in? Down six pounds (I wish it were more but am being realistic that being over 50 is going to make it that much harder.) My pants are all falling down (even my yoga pants) but I can’t move down a size yet. My skin is clear and energy levels are better. My blood pressure levels (while not terribly high to begin with) have noticeably dropped.

I wasn’t able to start exercising until this week because of an unexpectedly long recovery time after a procedure at the beginning of the month but I’ve been starting my days with 30 minutes of walking and 15 minutes rebounding. Then 30 minutes of yoga at night.

I’ve already decided that I’m going to do this for 60 days, and then continue with the Whole 9 protocol. Decades of dysfunctional eating patterns are not going to suddenly disappear. My sugar cravings have disappeared and I am completely ignoring the Trader Joe’s Dunkers lurking in the cabinets. (For some reason it’s easier to not eat the first than try to stop once I’ve started…wait..I’ve heard that somewhere before!)

I’m sure it’s  going to take the better part of the year to get where I’d like to be but I’m taking it one day at a time.

Have you tried a Whole 30 or Paleo diet? How has it worked for you?

Finally…here’s that before pic ;)

whole 30

When People Stare

when people stare

It was a difficult time when I gave birth to my son in 2001 with a somewhat unexpected diagnosis of Down Syndrome. It was suspected but not confirmed, just a couple of soft markers. Without doing an amnio, there was no way to know for sure until he was born.

The first thing I noticed was his eyes. And then he turned navy blue from his heart defect. The silence in OR was deafening and staff just looking on. The neonatologist confirmed the diagnosis as a “Down Syndrome situation.” There were no welcome packages or calls from Down Syndrome support groups back then.

As I learned to come to terms with everything, one of my biggest fears was people staring at him and saying mean things when he went out in public. I’m embarrassed to say that for a short time I kept the cover down on the infant seat when we went out. I was that fragile. I already had received a few unkind comments from supposed “friends” that “they couldn’t imagine” i.e. THAT.

I really only got through this time via the Internet and I began to see people with Down Syndrome as the gifts that they truly are. In time, I stopped caring about what people thought about him. And after awhile, I found that people were very gracious to him and he made everyone smile who he came into contact with. At the age of 13, his picture has been in the local news at least five times.

Now, I think there is a certain grace I’ve received as the mom of a child with Down Syndrome that children with other disabilities, such as autism, don’t get. This obviously because of the physical difference. I’ve watched the ugly stares and heard the snide comments from people as I’ve gone shopping and watched moms with non verbal kids who made some noise just try to do their food shopping. (They must do this because they probably have few respite options.)

And then in time people began to stare at me.

I have a movement disorder called cervical dystonia. It causes abnormal postures and head tremors. Thanks to the mega dose of Botox my posture is under control but often the head tremors aren’t. I’ve been diagnosed for four years now without much comment but over the past few weeks I’ve been getting comments from strangers in public.

“Are you shaking your head no at me?”

I smile and try to sweetly explain that I have a head tremor. One guy didn’t bother to listen.

Makes me wonder how people ride the subway if they have this condition. Shaking my head no and accidently looking at someone in the eye could cause a dangerous situation.

My immediate inclination of course is to respond with a snarky comment. But I know that’s not what God would have me do.

I try to think about people like Michael J. Fox and Maysoon Zayid who don’t let their movements or appearance stop them from getting out there and doing life.

They do inspire me but I’m just a regular person trying to do the regular mom stuff. And getting stared at is hard.

There aren’t good medications for this. Parkinson’s meds have not worked and make my asthma worse. I try different natural alternatives and while they help with the pain, have not touched the tremors.

Unless God chooses to heal me or advances are made in treatment, this is a thorn in the flesh that I will have to live with for the rest of my life. But God promises that His grace is sufficient to get me through it (even when my flesh doesn’t.)

What I’m Into (January 2015 Edition)

Like every other January I started out the month with grand plans and schemes to improve everything, only to be hit by reality a few weeks later. Here in Florida we don't have winter, the closest thing is a few days with "plunging" nighttime temps in … [Continue reading]

Looking Ahead to 2015


What is it about Christmas break that turns me into a slug? I haven’t updated here in a few weeks. This is the time of year many people start making plans and resolutions. I’ve learned that I don’t stick with rigid plans or resolutions very well … [Continue reading]

Finding Joy in Disability {A Link Round Up}

Finding Joy in disability

I'm starting this new feature today that I will plan to run on Fridays. I'll be scouring my blog feed for positive and encouraging blog posts from those whose lives are impacted by disability. Come Away to a Quiet Place - A post after my own … [Continue reading]

Minted {Review}

minted review

The more digitized our world becomes, the more I find myself appreciating fine paper products. These days we stay in touch with friends and family all year long via social media and don't get me can be fun and convenient. However, there's … [Continue reading]

Understanding the Basics of Health Care Reform

United Health Care

(This is a sponsored post from United Health Care, but opinions are my own.) Health Care Reform can be a volatile issue and I understand my readers have very differing opinions about it.  The purpose of this article to discuss some of the basics … [Continue reading]

Holiday Gift Guide for Special Needs Parents and Other Caregivers

holiday gift guide special needs

Have you been wondering how you can bless a special needs parent or other caregiver during the holidays? I asked a few special needs moms what they would most appreciate and compiled this post from their responses (plus a few suggestions of my … [Continue reading]

Part 6: A Peek Into the Lives of Two Work-At Home Moms

  This post is a continuation of the cross blog conversation that I’m having with Alicia Jay of newVAadvice. We’re talking about balancing our business, lives, children and everything else. If you missed the first post in the series, you … [Continue reading]

Stay At Home Yoga Review

stay at home yoga review

Yoga is one of the most beneficial ways to achieve physical, mental and spiritual wellness in our lives. But to achieve maximum benefit, it must become part of our daily routine. It can't be something we just run to the gym and do whenever we have … [Continue reading]