285 Days Makes a Habit

GGG Copyright CulinaryCaveDad 2013

Was just ruminating (I do that from time to time) about the journey my life has taken this year.  It was 285 days or 24,624,000 seconds ago that I started Day 1 of a Whole30 challenge.  The challenge was my own but it was spurred on by diagnosis of painful arthritis and a set of very caring doctors trying to help me find relief and comfort; albeit with chemicals versus nutrition.  I decided there was a different path I had to try first and adopted food as my medicine and dove into the deep end on that cold January day.

Now to be sure, I didn’t go cold turkey and I really don’t recommend that as an approach for any major dietary change like 21 Day Sugar Detox or Whole30.  Ease into it.  Learn how to stay sane with it and how to make sure you and hopefully your loved ones can achieve with whatever program you try.  I do believe that a strict elimination diet is a great (only?) way to understand what your body is telling you.  They’re fine tuned works of art that break down when under attack but we often can’t recognize the attack as we’re remarkably adaptable creatures both in body and mind.  We marginalize how we feel as getting older, a part of life, just the way things are.  Guess what, for most of us, that’s total BS and I know it!  Remove the toxins, create a time to heal (it might take more than 30 days) and then see what happens when you add back those foods that could be harming you.  What you learn could shock you, it did me.

As those 285 days progressed my body has healed and has reshaped dramatically.  My family that went along with the journey has also seen some very positive benefits a clean eating way of living has provided us.  I think sometimes I am a little fanatical about what I don’t eat anymore but then find when I cross the line and try it again, I often feel like crap.  As for wheat, it’s much more than that, I feel sick so that is off the list for now.  So for the most part, I stay on the path (although a good ice cream will get me every time).  In this short amount of time I have lost 60 pounds, five pant sizes and four jacket sizes.  I have started running again.  My arthritis has all but vanished into the night.  Most importantly, my personal doctor has agreed to me weaning off of all remaining medications I was on which is now in progress.

For me, this has become a lifestyle, one which I can embrace and continue easily going forward.  There are critics out there that insist keeping a kind of food or foods out of our diet doesn’t make any sense, is not sustainable and we’re just depriving ourselves.  Those critics also say we should be happy with our body image regardless.  On that last point I heartily agree but not on the first one.  You can see my progress picture; I’ve always had a good self image, generally a happy kind of guy.  However, what this journey has taught me is that some foods just don’t play nice with my body.  In fact, some foods were significantly hurting it, robbing me of a quality of life I fully expected.  It has nothing to do with deprivation that I can’t (won’t) have a Triscuit; it has everything to do with eating that cracker will cause immediate and negative reactions within me.

Is this approach for everyone, 100% of the time?  No.  What??  Culinary Cave Dad said no?  That’s right; I don’t think this approach is for everyone, all the time.  What I do think is for everyone is to stop relying on highly processed foods as your source of fuel.  I think that reliance is killing you faster and you deserve to be here longer.  I think creating and eating most of your food yourself from sources you know will add years to your life.  I think doing an elimination protocol of some kind will benefit you greatly in understanding your body better than anything else can.  At the end of that though, you have to do what’s right for you.  Need help?  Just ask!

Copyright © 2013 “The Culinary Cave Dad”

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