Hey. I’m Alli, and I get the pleasure of talking about food! It’s something I think about constantly, and if you could drop in on my conversations at any given time, there’s probably about an 80% chance I’m talking about food in some capacity. I’m one of those people who finishes a meal and immediately starts thinking about what I want for the next one. And other than people I actually know, all of the people I follow on social media are food bloggers or restaurants (ok, and some fashion bloggers, because clothes… am I right, ladies?).
A couple of years ago, I did have to kind of shift gears as far as what I ate and how I thought about food. To make a long story less long, I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis after my second kiddo was born. I’d started having weird symptoms like lots of random fevers, CRAZY fatigue (like, ready for bed by mid afternoon everyday), and of course, pretty significant joint pain in my hands, feet, wrists, and ankles. Enough pain that my husband would come home to me crying most days because it hurt to pick up my kids, and with a newborn and another kid who was barely over a year and a half old, a lot of picking up was necessary. When the symptoms persisted, I went and saw my doctor, who ran some blood work to try to figure out what was going on. Most of my blood work was normal, except that I had some slightly elevated inflammatory markers and a positive ANA, which indicated that I might have an autoimmune disease (cue panic at the word “autoimmune”). So off to a specialist I went, where we did several more blood tests, all of which were inconclusive for a specific disease, so based on my symptoms we landed on rheumatoid arthritis, and that’s where I am today.
So at that point, I was started on a low dose anti-inflammatory medication, which made my joints feel a lot better, but it killed my stomach. So we switched to a different one, which had the same result. At this point I was obviously pretty desperate, and tired, and stressed about all of this and couldn’t possibly see a solution that was permanently sustainable. What does any of this have to do with food, you ask? Enter the Whole30. I’m sure some of you have heard of it before or have maybe done one yourself for whatever reason, and some of you are likely hearing about it for the first time. Basically, when you do a Whole30, you eliminate certain foods that are known to cause all kinds of problems (pain, anxiety, skin issues, diabetes… the list goes on and on and on), and after complete elimination for 30 days, you slowly reintroduce these foods back into your diet one by one to see how your body reacts. So while going through my first Whole30 almost two years ago and seeing pretty much complete improvement of my joint pain during that time (even though I wasn’t taking any meds), I learned during the reintro stage that gluten was heavily contributing to my joint pain and symptoms (talk about a major buzzkill… bye bye bread, pasta, beer… need I say more). There were many other unexpected improvements during that time, but I’ll save that for later.
So that began my conversion to becoming gluten free (something I used to mock because I only saw it as a trendy fad diet… insert several eye rolls at the mention of it). I do eat paleo a vast majority of the time, avoiding foods that are known to cause inflammation, but I also try to let loose with a couple of meals a week, because YOLO. This paleo-ish lifestyle has allowed me to stay off of prescription drugs for my RA symptoms, and has allowed me to see improvements in other areas of my life that NEVER occurred to me when I started.
With all that said, if you’re looking for a blog filled with carb-tastic pictures and recipes, you’re barking up the wrong tree. HOWEVER, I will try to include things that I eat on a regular basis, supplements I take and ones I stay away from, how I navigate eating out while trying to stay away from gluten, and how I sometimes splurge (hello, cheese!). I’m just a real-life mom trying to make the most of my real life and keep it healthy. If any of you crazy kids feel like starting off the new year in a SUPER crazy (and healthy) way, I’m doing my fourth Whole30 in January… come join me! Most of my posts for the first month will be all about my Whole30, why I’m doing it (again), and ways that I try to make it easier on myself. And no, I don't get paid by anything affiliated with the Whole30, but if someone wants to pay me, I'm ok with it. So let’s do this!
Here’s the official Whole30 website, if you want to check out the deets: