You’ve got to admire someone who takes charge of their own health care. She put her needs first and examined what she was eating in order to help other things going on. And, somehow she managed to turn the clock back and look younger! Great job, Gina!
How many times have you done Whole 30? When was your first round?
I think I am on my 6th round. First one was fall 2015.
How did you hear about Whole 30 and what made you decide to it?
I was researching clean eating as a way to help my autoimmune thyroid disorder. I had been struggling with doctors who wouldn’t pay attention to my lingering symptoms and I was ready to take matters into my own hands. I knew that due to the connection with autoimmune disease and gut health, that going gluten free was probably a good way to start. I tried several times and couldn’t get further than a few days. When I found Whole 30 online the structure and the challenge nature of it really appealed to me. I felt like I needed to dive head first into clean eating and commit to it to make it work for me.
What scale and non-scale victories have you had as a result of Whole 30?
I lost about 15 pounds my first round, and my weight has basically stayed the same since then because I eat 80% Whole 30 between rounds. But, what I am happiest about is the management of my thyroid disease. Even though by the time I did my first Whole 30 my blood work looked basically good and I was on natural thyroid replacement, I still didn’t feel “great.” And I didn’t want to settle for feeling okay. Whole 30 completely changed that. Fatigue? Gone. Menstrual migraines? Gone. Upset stomach several days a week? Totally gone. And lastly, my thyroid antibodies started to really drop. After the first 14 months and 3 rounds of Whole 30, my TPO antibodies had dropped from almost 350 to 150. I found a photo of me at 30 at the beginning of my thyroid journey and compared it to a photo of 40-year old me after Whole 30. The difference was shocking. I looked younger, more vibrant and far less puffy at age 40 than i did at 30.
What helped you to succeed the most on Whole 30?
The Whole 30 Daily Emails were a huge motivation for me the first time around. I was doing it on my own in a rural area and my family thought I was crazy. Those emails gave me some accountability and really felt like I had a daily coach. And once I felt the results that was all the motivation I needed for future rounds
What’s your favorite Whole 30 recipe or go-to meal?
I have a beanless chili I love to eat with avocado. Another is a chicken thigh recipe baked with artichoke and onions and served with salad. And anything with cauliflower, lol.
How has your life changed since Whole 30?
I drink far less even when I’m not on a round and I think that’s great. It made me realize I didn’t need that second drink or sometimes even the first. I’m so much more aware of what I’m consuming and it’s affect on me. And I’ve been able to help a few others conquer health problems as well. That feels good.
In addition to Whole 30, did you make any other healthy lifestyle changes (such as incorporating fitness, smoking cessation, etc) at the same time?
Whole 30 has really been my focus, although I do practice yoga as well.
What message/inspiration do you have for those just starting the program?
You can do anything for 30 days, even go without red wine, I promise! You owe it to yourself to learn more about your body’s (and mind’s) relationship with food. After the 30 days and reintroduction you can choose the long term eating plan that works for you. Would you rather keep complaining about your migraines or fatigue or indigestion? Or is 30 days a worthwhile gamble to come out the other side feeling amazing?