Featured Author:

Bethany Boggs
Author of:  New Age Dream Chick

Guest Blogger Intro

Not your typical mommy blogger 

When I came across Bethany’s About page on her blog, New Age Dream Chick, I realized that she already stole my heart by being a 30-something mom who was on her own path.  I love all my friends who are figuring out their own style of parenting and throwing all the social norms out the window to devise a new plan for parenting the next generation. When I reached out to Bethany, she had oodles of ideas for collaboration, so hopefully you’ll hear her voice on her wellness recipe and finds again.  

For now, we’ve settled on dishing on the Whole30 diet.  Living the Wellness Grind isn’t easy when you’re into healthy noms and want to avoid temptation everywhere.  My friends who have survived Whole30 swear it kick started their metabolism and weight loss. While, of course, allowing them to eat all the meat they craved. 

Dieting can be a black hole of information and web searches, you only hope for light at the end of the tunnel.

I’m all too familiar with the stomach issues Bethany describes. I’ve had my own share of elimination diets and it can feel like a rabbit hole of information, stomach pains, random diseases, and not knowing what to eat. Luckily I’ve found balance and had some vast improvements since making dietary changes of my own. For my health issues, that Whole30 isn’t possible given the amount of meat I would have to eat to sustain it. So I need to rely on others who tested the waters for me to tell me exactly what happened in their experience on this 30 day meal plan.

Here’s Bethany with the low-down on Whole30, health issues and more, in her non-traditional mommy-blogger way! Enjoy!

My First Attempt At Doing the Whole30

How I Began 

I have been studying Whole30 for a few years. Three years ago, I was diagnosed with Hashimotos when my OB found a lump in my neck during my pregnancy confirmation appointment. I went through the pregnancy bouncing between hyperthyroid and normal. 

While I was dealing with the diagnosis of Hyperthryroid and toxic cyst, I had a cousin suggest Hashimotos. She had it and my symptoms fit. 

They gave me six months after my baby was born before they put me on anti-thyroid medication so I could breastfeed her for a short time. After the surgery, they tested me for the autoimmune antibodies and gave me the official diagnosis of Hashimotos. By that time, I was now bouncing to low thyroid function. I had recently started a new job and was lucky they were understanding. I explained the issue and why I had the surgery about a month after I started and they excused my absences  because they knew I was actually sick. Little by little, I got used to living with the sickness and it got easier to push through the fatigue, mood swings and all the other fun little symptoms I had to go through. I wanted more, so I started looking into more holistic and dietary ways of dealing. 

Since the time I was a very young adult, I had grown used to feeling nauseated and having diarrhea nearly every day. I had my gallbladder removed and it didn’t help, although my gallbladder almost quit working. I was eventually diagnosed with IBS. After my Hashimotos diagnosis, I was talking to my older daughter’s specialist who suggested I try a gluten free diet. I had mentioned it before and had been studying it for a few years. So I went to my doctor, had the test done for Celiac, then started a 4 month gluten elimination diet- and it changed my life. I had symptoms I didn’t realize were related to my diet clear up, I no longer had to time my day around diarrhea and I stopped bloating as much. I actually dropped 20lbs that I had been having trouble losing. At one point I added it back in for two months. I went back to being as sick as I had been before the elimination diet, so I went back off gluten for good. It’s been a year and a half (2 years next month since I started the elimination diet) and I know almost immediately if I get glutened or cross contamination. My symptoms are so severe now, my doctor thinks my Celiac test may have been a false negative and told me to treat myself like I am a Celiac. I started noticing my reactions to dairy got slightly worse and could see changes with certain other foods and drinks. 

Throughout the years in support groups and researching how to self treat Hashimotos, I kept running across the Whole30. I tried to start it a few times over the years but never lasted longer than a few days. 

Around Easter, I looked at my stomach and noticed I actually was starting to look pregnant. I thought about doing a 30 day sugar fast the way a friend of mine did occasionally but then Whole30 popped into my head and I decided to wait until the day after Easter and start the Whole30. I had been considering doing it for a while but putting it off. I decided to set a date and just do it. 

What is the Whole30?

Whole30 is a 30 day elimination diet. It’s strict in the rules and if you “slip,” you have to reset. They eliminate all potential common triggers- grains (more than gluten), dairy (except clarified butter- which can be problematic if you’re lactose intolerant and go days without any dairy. I made some by the Whole30 cookbook because I try to consume small amounts of dairy on a regular basis to continue being able to eat some without much issue but the clarified butter kept giving me problems so I had to quit using it), legumes (including soy and peas), all sugar except moderate fruits. 

Whole 30 includes lots of types of fruits, vegetables, and legumes.
Fresh fruits and vegetables are a huge part of Whole30.

In the Whole30 you can eat meats, fruits, vegetables, starches like potatoes, seeds, nuts (except peanuts) and fats like avocados. 

Fresh blueberries are a terrific food for Whole30.
Fresh blueberries are a terrific food for Whole30.

The diet itself is unsustainable on the long term but it’s doable for a month or two. 

Bethany Boggs, The New Age Dream Chick

The Whole30 has more rules outside of what you’re able to eat. You’re not supposed to step on a scale during the 30 days and you’re not supposed to eat many snacks. 

What are some of the Side Effects and Proposed Benefits of Doing Whole30?

Like all extreme diet changes, there will always be an adjustment period. The body becomes addicted to sugar and in our community, sugar is added to nearly everything. You are warned that for the first 1-2 weeks, you may feel common withdraw- stuff like headaches, fatigue and even flu like symptoms. I didn’t feel that bad, but my diet already had a large amount of the good so I was used to most. 

The benefits they promise range from losing a few inches, autoimmune disease symptoms calming, less fatigue and more energy. You can find a full list of Whole 30 foods and resources here 

What did I notice week by week?

I didn’t have extreme results in the 22 days I did Whole30. I didn’t get the feelings of withdraw, maybe because my diet was all over the place prior to doing it but I did find that once I started making the “clarified butter” Whole30 style, I started having digestive issues again. 

My first week was easier than I thought it would be. I went out the day before starting with a list and spent $100.00 to prepare. Unlike normal buying $100 in groceries, I ended up with a nearly full cart (and my first two weeks of grocery shopping). I felt a tiny bit lighter on my feet but other than that, no change. 

Fresh fish from the market is ok on the Whole30 diet.
Fresh fish and meat are Whole30 foods.

I felt a tiny bit lighter on my feet but other than that, no change. 

My second week, I was still eating some of the clarified butter so I did have an upset stomach and I dealt with some cravings. I was starting to crave things I hadn’t in a long time- gluten. I would feel bouts of anger at myself, but they were always short lived. I was reading the “Whole30 Day by Day” journal and it was helping to keep me on track. By the end of the week, it was noticeably easier but I didn’t like that I felt like I was having to constantly obsess over food. 

My third week, I was in the full swing. I was over the cravings and looking towards finishing. I was trying to plan out how I would reintroduce everything and was trying to think less about how I ate. I was eating less and feeling hungry less but then I went out to eat with my parents. I ate what I thought was safe on the salad bar and immediately noticed I could taste butter. According to the rules, I had to start over from scratch after that small amount of butter and since we had a vacation coming up less than a month later, I decided to put the restart on hold. 

What I learned

Butterflies working together to pollinate  flowers.
While 30 days won’t be enough to transform you completely, having some support can help!

Even though I only did 3 weeks (22 days) it was enough to show me that dairy, and to some degree sugar, were problems for me. I already knew gluten was an issue so I didn’t retest it, but dairy started giving me worse symptoms than it had in the past. I decided to retry the day after July 4th, and as of now, I’m still unsure if I am going to redo Whole30 or just put myself on a sugar fast for a month. 

The Whole30 never had me feeling very different. It did have me obsessing over what I was going to eat, thinking about food more since I had to carefully plan meals and I did notice an appetite control. I wasn’t nearly as hungry as I normally get during the day. My blood sugar didn’t have any major episodes but I felt burned out on cooking- which has always been something I enjoy doing. 

I’ll still recommend it as an elimination diet for people who are struggling with food intolerance but strictly because it’s an easy to follow, laid out plan. If you’re suffering autoimmunity, IBS or digestive issues, this diet should be some kind of benefit but it is not (and they say it isn’t) a weight loss diet. The guidelines are too strict to stick with forever for most people so it’s set as a one to two month program. 

If you test it out, you will need the support to get through it. Here are a few tips to help you out:

  • Read all the books they have on the topic.
  • Visit the site.
  • Shop the day before starting to stock up.
  • Join the online support groups on Facebook and their website.
Bethany Boggs shares her experience with the Whole30 diet.

Follow the New Age Dream Chick

Thank you Bethany  for your contribution to the Wellness Grind community and for your years of sharing on your own website- New Age Dream Chick.  Which I hope everyone who reads this will visit and follow as well.

Featured Blogger Bio: 

Bethany Boggs is a 30 something married mother of two girls, an angel and a cat. She is an aspiring fantasy author and has a few projects published on Lulu. She studies dreams and dream interpretation, tarot and astrology, works as a writer and has had work published on sites such as Babygaga, PregnantChicken and Yoga Digest (to name a few.)

She is currently working on designing and creating a home décor and home accessories line and is hoping to get into the decorations and sustainability markets. She also reaads Tarot and Astrological Natal charts professionally (https://www.etsy.com/shop/newagedreamchick).

In her free time, when she is not writing, you can find her sewing, reading the cards, making candles, cooking, baking or bowing down to the coffee gods.

She can be found at the local Starbucks, falling asleep standing up or chasing her energetic kids around.