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Dr. Mike’s Whole30 Experiment

Wednesday 03/01/17  Dr. Mike’s Whole30 Experiment

Hi everyone! Today is day 1 of a 30 dietary experiment called “The Whole30”.  It’s a dietary plan originated and designed by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig. It’s gaining in popularity and is helping a lot of people with chronic health problem.

It’s similar to the diet I tried for 21 days in 2015, but more strict. Essentially, it’s a means of “re-setting” the body by eliminating completely: all starches including grains, breads, pastas, etc.; no exceptions at all, all dairy including butter, ice cream, milk, cheese, etc., and all processed sugars meaning, nothing processed at all, no desserts, no candy, etc.  What is allowed are any meat, eggs, loads of vegetables, some fruit (in moderation), nuts, seeds and healthy oils.  The last diet I was on was similar, but I allowed grass-fed butter and some raw, organic cheese (also in moderation).

My brother-in-law and his family were the first ones I knew that went on the Whole30 and raved about how good they felt at the end of it. So, after giving it some thought and reading many articles and testimonials, I decided to try it. I expect to experience detox and cravings initially, but I’m determined to see it through.

My plan is to give you a video and written report at the end of each week to let you know how I’m progressing (or digressing as the case may, but hopefully won’t, be)! 🙂

Starting weight: 162 lbs (sans clothing).

Waist: 33”

Goals: lose body fat without losing too much overall weight – staying between 150 and 160 if possible. I’d like to get my waist down to 31 or even 30″. I have a very high metabolism so if I skip a meal, I can lose 2 lbs! At the same time, I don’t like to eat a lot so…my meals will be very nutrient dense. In fact, most people eat so many empty calories that a man or woman consuming 3,000 calories of ordinary food, could get the same nutrition or better by eating half that amount of EXCELLENT, nutrient-dense foods.

I’d like to increase my muscularity, strength and endurance. Symptom-wise, I’d like to decrease or eliminate some lingering symptoms including joint pain, systemic inflammation, mild dizziness and simply feel much better.

I’d also like my elimination to improve from where it currently is as it did on my 21 day experiment. I anticipate quite a bit of loose stools as my body detoxes as that is a major avenue of detox.

I’d also like to see an improvement in my hormones and get off the only prescription I’m on: Nature-Throid – a natural desiccated thyroid extraction from healthy pigs (unlike the synthetic thyroid medications created in a lab). I truly believe diet is the key to all this.

Finally, I’d like to feel good enough and get disciplined enough to stay mostly on this regimen while allowing some indulgences from time to time. I’ll probably slowly add back in some of the healthy foods that I know are good for me but currently not allowed on the diet as I’m resetting.

Also involved in this are some coffee enemas and liver/gallbladder flushes (if necessary) for health.  Supplementation will be light, but will include intraMAX, intraMIN and a handful of supplements for my chronic Lyme (to keep it in check) and some digestive enzymes/probiotics.

Week 1 – Day 7

 

The past 7 days was essentially an intro week, getting me ready for the next three weeks. I had to get over the initial hump of cravings and detox. Although I know I’m still going to experience detox symptoms, hopefully it won’t be as bad as days 2-5. I felt incredibly light-headed, weak, fatigued and dizzy, but stuck with it. Thankfully, I started to come out of it some halfway through day 6 and then into day 7 which brought some relief from the initial symptoms. I started to lose some of my sweets cravings which was helpful. In fact, my wife and I went shopping at Fresh Market and walking by all the breads, baked goods and sweets didn’t temp me much at all. I’ve also started to have more energy and my 1.6 mile walk/jog today was easier than it had been in quite a while. I’ve still got plenty of aches and pains and my elimination is not quite where I want it to be, but I’m determined to stick with it. I may start taking a probiotic which I haven’t taken in some time. All in all, I feel like I’ve made some, albeit small, progress and will continue on! And, I am starting to crave my salads every day! That’s new!!

I did want to mention that I went to the eye doctor on day 7 and to my surprise, my vision is improving. Before the diet, I could tell that I needed to change my prescription and made an appointment, but I seem to be seeing better lately. To my delight, my glasses prescription has decreased from -2.5 down to -2.0! I hope it continues. I’m trying to use my glasses less and less to strengthen my eyes.

Update: I mentioned in the video that I don’t have problems with eggs. However, I remembered the other night, when I have them for lunch or breakfast and then have water in the afternoon or evening, I can get heartburn, which did happen pretty intensely for about an hour, exacerbating my healing rib fractures from my motorcycle accident in October 2016. Eggs are also very acidic so…for the next week or so, I’m eliminating them from my diet and may only have 1 or two for breakfast occasionally.

Working out: Since my ribs, lung and shoulder are still recovering from the accident, AND I’m on an intense detox diet, I’ve decided to reduce my workout load and duration; doing less weight and fewer sets, but trying to do something everyday: strength (M,F), endurance (T,TH) and a combination of both on Wednesdays.

Things I Miss: Hot chocolate! My wife and I got into the habit of having a mug of Dagoba organic chocolate in grass-fed milk. But, as delicious as it was, the dairy (and cocoa) wreaked havoc on my digestive system. So…it’s gone for now. Champagne! Other than an occasional beer, I’d given that up in exchange for a glass or two of champagne once or twice a month. My wife and I have frequent date nights and drinking a glass of Prosecco from Italy was welcome. Since alcohol is forbidden for the next 30 days, I’m abstaining, but will add it back in after it’s over. Pizza! Once or Twice a month, my wife and I would have a pizza delivered on Friday nights and watch a blu-ray concert or movie. It’s an indulgence that I may have once or twice a YEAR after this is over, but I’m definitely going to cut out the amount I eat. Dinning Out. Not so much really. We went out from time to time, but got discouraged often with the quality of the food served at restaurants. My thought is, if a restaurant isn’t concerned about serving organic food, they’re not concerned about your health either and are essentially poisoning you! I know that’s drastic, but 200 years ago, one could eat anywhere and it was ALWAYS organic. There are healthy choice at most restaurants, but it’s a bit of a hassle. 90% of our eating will continue to be at home with an occasional trip out, but we’ll be much more careful about our selections and I’ll probably wind up bringing my own organic dressing for salads, etc., while staying away from the bread, dessert and anything else that’s not healthy. Sandwiches! Actually, I’ve been wanting to get away from most breads anyway, so my wife made and showed me how to make a “paleo” bread that was grain free, gluten free and used only organic ingredients using eggs, almond butter, coconut, etc.  While it’s healthy, it’s still considered a “bread” for the Whole30, so I’m avoiding it for the 30 days, but will definitely add it back in next month so I can enjoy my favorite: a lettuce, tomato and avocado sandwich with approved organic mayo. And finally, Desserts! This list is not comprehensive, but I miss certain desserts that we used to enjoy: cookies, ice cream, etc. Actually, I am losing my cravings for these things. However, after this regimen is over, I’m going to avoid desserts as much as possible with an occasional indulgence from time to time.

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Here’s a light, but very healthy dinner: organic cole slaw, organic cauliflower and organic sweet potatoes, flavored with organic spices: sea salt, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, pepper, garlic powder and oregano, Yum!

 

 

 

Stay tuned for week 2! Thank you for reading. Dr. Mike

Week 2 – Day 15

Video 37_x264_mpeg1video

(click on the above link to access the 10 minute video)

 

Hello everyone! It’s day 15 of my whole30 experiment and I’m halfway through! At this point, it’s honestly no longer a chore or difficult – it’s actually fun, delicious and I’m noticing changes.

Last night I had a delicious greens and veggie salad (below) topped with a small piece of Alaskan Wild Caught Salmon. Wonderful! I’m eating super salads just about every day and enjoying them more and more. In fact, I’m craving them!

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I’ve been intermittent fasting nearly every day – and then having a fruit and/or vegetable smoothie for a late breakfast. Sometimes I’ll have a little something for lunch (small), but for the most part I’m only eating 2x a day and loving it. I may have a small snack between the big meals, but this is so much easier than trying to figure out what I’m going to eat several times a day.

One of my goals has been to become more nutrient efficient – in other words to eat less food per day/less calories, but more nutrient dense foods. I believe I’m achieving that. I’m probably eating between 1,000 and 1,500 calories per day. I’m satisfied, even get pretty full most days. I’m not going around hungry all the time and really don’t feel like I need to eat all that much or often at all.

Supplements I’m taking: intraMAX, intraMIN, aloe vera juice, teasel root, oregano oil and colloidal silver to keep my Lyme in check. I do take a handful of others to help with gut and hormones, but I’m decreasing the amount of supplements I’m taking altogether.

Ok, so what is happening on this diet:

  1. First, what’s the same:
    1. daily dizziness (I’ve gone through a couple of days of moderate dizziness, but I do believe it was detox). It does seem slightly better but is still there.
    2. Rib/scapula pain from motorcycle accident
  2. What’s worse:
    1. My weight. For most people, they would be thrilled at losing weight, but I’m already slightly underweight and have lost a few lbs even though I’m not permitted to weigh myself until the end. I did expect to lose some weight and I can tell that I have , but I’m positive it’s almost all fat and toxins. I hope that my gut health is restored and once I add back some healthy foods not allowed right now, my cells will soak it up like a sponge and I’ll gain back healthy, lean, muscle weight.
    2. The first week, I really detoxed, but that’s better, although I am experiencing detox some as time goes on, but not as severe. It’s improving.
    3. Elimination – don’t want to gross anyone out, but after having some pretty loose bowels the first week, I’ve gone the opposite direction and am experiencing some bloating, constipation and gas – from what I’ve read this is very common when switching over to this kind of diet with so much fiber from fruits and vegetables. That may last another week or so before stabilizing.
  3. Now, what’s better: This is the really neat part.
    1. Sleep – I’m sleeping more soundly without waking up as much, and dreaming!
    2. I’m able to wake up early and am not as groggy as I was.
    3. I’m also not as sore when I wake up.
    4. Strength is starting to increase again.
    5. Unbelievably, I had an eye exam last week and my vision is improving; from -2.50 in glasses to -2.0!
    6. My tongue isn’t as coated when I wake up.
    7. I don’t crave breads, pastas, dairy anymore. Although from time to time, I still would like something sweet – so I grab a piece of fruit.
    8. My overall pain is improving – the aches and pains in my joints.
    9. I’m not getting headaches every day like I had been. I believe they were mostly toxic headaches and also related to muscle pain and spasm.
    10. My gut seems to be slightly better.
    11. Shoulder pain from the accident has decreased and my ROM has improved.
    12. The heart palpitations from my Lyme that I was having every day have all but disappeared!
    13. I’m calmer, more relaxed – I don’t get upset as much over little things.
    14. I’ve lost an inch on my waist and can see my abs again (goal is another inch or more).
    15. I’m more defined and lean.
    16. My energy has definitely improved. I don’t feel the need to nap anymore during the day.
    17. My taste has actually improved!

Wow! I didn’t really realize how much I’ve progressed until I thought about it and wrote it down.

I’m looking forward to reporting to you in another week.

Thank you for reading! God bless you.

Kindly,

Dr. Mike

 

Week 3 – Day 21

 

Welcome to the end of week 3 of the Whole30 Experiment!

I’m still hanging in there and just recently finished the Whole30 book. I’ve decided to eliminate a few more known “trouble-makers” from the diet.

 

For those with autoimmune issues such as Lyme, Lupus and many others, the authors recommend abstaining from certain foods that are actually included in the Whole30’s “ok” list: such as clarified butter or ghee, nightshades, eggs and  nuts/seeds. At least for the next 10 days, I won’t be eating those.

Detox: the last few days have been kind of rough and I believe I’m still detoxing. In fact, this past Sunday was pretty horrible.  Depending on your toxicity level, you can experience die-off for several weeks to a month or longer until your body really cleans out.

And, for those who have the MTHFR mutation, such as myself, our ability to detox properly is hampered. Personally, I’m heterozygous for both and my ability to detox is reduced by 60-70%. So, when I do begin to detox, it can affect me pretty badly. Plus it takes longer to detox than most.

A big part of the problem right now for me is most likely the result of my hospital stay after our motorcycle accident in October of last year.

In one week, I think I had more medications put in my body than I’ve had my entire life! I was on two different pain meds – oral and IV, anti-inflammatories, laxatives, blood thinners and even morphine. Not to mention all the radiation from cat scans and numerous x-rays.  All these things, while helpful at the time, are toxic and get stored up in the cells and interstitial spaces in the body and must be detoxed out.

Some of the detox symptoms I experienced hard the last 4 or 5 days have been low blood pressure, extreme weakness and unsteadiness, dizziness, neck pain, brain fog, flu-like symptoms, bad headaches, shakiness and sleepiness. These are classic detox symptoms. But no matter how bad I feel, I’m sticking with it. I’ve come too far to turn back now and I believe the end results will definitely be worth it. So stick around to find out how I feel in another week.

Most of the things I mentioned in my improvement list are still there including some new ones.

In addition to sleeping more soundly, dreaming more, improved vision, continuing to lose body fat and several others, I’m eliminating better and, to my surprise, I’ve gained some height!

When I graduated high school, I was about 6’, ½ inch. Over the last 30 years or so, with the degeneration in my knees, low back and neck, I had lost more than 1 inch of height.  I’ve been drinking a lot more water, doing inversion therapy on a more regular basis and paying more attention to my posture and I’ve gained back nearly ¾ of an inch! Is it from the Whole30? Maybe, but I think it’s a combination of many things. However, I’m still pleased with the results.

Anyway, thanks for reading and watching and I look forward to reporting to you at the end of my Whole30 experiment!

God bless!

Dr. Mike

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On the left: one of my many super salads I eat on a nightly basis. Nothing but organic, whole foods!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Week 4 – Day 30, Last Day of the Whole30 Experiment!

 

Here it is! Day 30! And, I made it without one cheat at all!

It was tough at first, but honestly, as time went on, it got easier. The things I thought I loved so much – junk food, bread, pasta, butter, ice cream, pizza…I found I could live without.

I weighed myself this morning and as expected I lost weight. But most of it was fat and waste. I lost a total of 8 lbs. so my finishing weight was 154 – down from 162. I reached my waist goal – 31” down from 33”. Now, for me, at 6’, 154lbs. is much too thin. Even though it’s pretty cool to see my abs :-), I still look too thin.

The plan now is to start adding back healthy grains such as beans, brown rice pasta, steel cut oatmeal, coconut bread – all healthy and organic. I may add a little bit of grass-fed butter and raw cheese as well, but have found I don’t really need it.  As time goes on and I add more foods, I’ll check my tolerance. I’ll probably give each addition a day or two to see if I have any negative reactions. If not, I’ll add another and try to rotate them.

As far as meat goes, I’ll probably eliminate chicken altogether and stick with pasture-raised turkey and wild caught Alaskan salmon for the time being, but will probably have each of those just a few times a month. I’m not sure yet if I’ll be going completely vegetarian.

One note about my weight. This past Tuesday, (March 28th), I did a liver/gallbladder flush since I had been having increasing pain in my liver/gallbladder area. I had also been diagnosed with gallbladder “disease” on the report from my CT scan in October of ’16 after my motorcycle accident. The medical doctors would simply want to cut it out if I complained to them about it. Instead I did the proven gall/bladder flush that I’ve done many times in the past – always with great results. Praise the Lord!

The flush is amazing – and it works. I flushed out at least 175 pea-sized to almond-sized soft stones and can tell the difference already. While the area is sore, it is not nearly as painful as it was. Because it is a flushing of the entire digestive tract, that alone probably cost me at least 2-3 lbs.  I plan to do a flush every month for the next several months to get all the stones out.

Alright, so here are the final results:

  1. First, what’s the same:
    1. Daily dizziness – I still have dizziness, but I believe it’s coming from my neck and I plan to address that later possibly with prolozone therapy.
    2. I’m also still having rib/scapula pain from motorcycle accident in October as well as neck pain, low back pain and inflammation. I think it’s a little better, but I’m still disappointed that’s not significantly better.
  2. What’s worse:
    1. Not too much other than being too skinny.
    2. I have felt a little weaker, tired, and my legs, while still strong, they “FEEL” weak, kind of shaky. I’m almost positive it’s because I haven’t been getting any carbs from grains and expect that to improve once I start back them.
  3. What’s better: Very much the same as I mentioned previously.
    1. Sleep – I’m sleeping more soundly without waking up as much, and dreaming!
    2. I’m able to wake up early and am not as groggy as I was.
    3. I’m also not as sore when I wake up.
    4. I can concentrate better, and am a little clearer mentally I think.
    5. As mentioned I don’t crave any of the unhealthy things that I use to.
    6. Some of my overall pain has improved, but again, not as much as I would have liked. It’s possible as I continue to eat this healthy, that may change. .
    7. Headaches are not as frequent.
    8. My gut is definitely better and the gallbladder pain has reduced significantly.
    9. Shoulder pain from the accident has decreased and my ROM has improved.
    10. The heart palpitations from my Lyme are practically gone. That’s amazing!
    11. I’m calmer, more relaxed – I don’t get upset as much over little things.
    12. Reduced body fat as mentioned.
    13. My energy has improved, but I have had a couple of naps here and there.
    14. My taste has continued to improve.

Ok, so was it worth it? Even though I still have some symptoms that I was trying to get rid of, I know my body is all the better for this cleansing and resetting diet. And the list of improvements, I think is impressive. I’ve had so many issues over the last 10 years that I’m sure I’ve still got a ways for my body to continue cleansing and healing and I don’t want to ruin what I’ve done by going back to my old way of eating. So, yes, I definitely think it was worth it and know I’m healthier because of it.

Well that’s it for the Whole30 experiment. Thank you so much for following along with me. It’s been a difficult, interesting and profitable experience health-wise.

Love to you all and may God bless you.

Bye-bye for now.

 

 

Comment (1)

  1. lady-wonderstruck.com July 16, 2017 at 1:08 am Reply

    That said, for type 2 diabetics wanting to get off insulin and reverse their diabetes and those with autoimmune disease, a grain- and bean-free diet could be a good experiment for a month or two to see how it impacts health.

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