Ever wanted to just hit the "reset" button? I've felt that way many times about my weight and body. A few months ago a friend of mine, she just might be your friend too, by the name of Vicki Miller told me about an eating plan she and her family had tried. The Whole 30 Diet. Sounded like it made good sense, sounded restrictive, and 30 days is a really long time. Right? But when you are desperately trying to get off the merry-go-round, why not? Well...Vicki and I have had our 30 days and we thought we'd share some thoughts with you.
LISA: I decided to take the plunge and try this 30-day thing because 1) I was so tired of my weight being an issue all the time and looking like I was 6-months pregnant, 2) I wanted to get off Sweet n 'Low which I have used for years and to see if dairy was really upsetting my digestive system, and 3) I wouldn't have to go into this alone - I had a friend for support.
VICKI: My interest in The Whole 30 was piqued when my daughter did the Whole 30 with her husband to determine if certain foods were causing her digestive issues. Once completing thirty days of the diet, she began introducing "no-no" foods back into her diet and discovered that she was definitely gluten intolerant. Because she was successful in establishing healthy eating habits that made her physically feel better, our family decided to take on the challenge. Discovering that it is a great way to detox the body and determine foods that may be upsetting the system, it seemed like a no-brainer. Besides, I needed to lose some pounds that I had put on and this seemed like a great side benefit. I was so excited when Lisa chose to join me my second time around.
LISA: The hardest part for me was convincing my husband to do it with me. But he was a good sport and ate what I served most of the time...the baked kale was definitely not a hit. I thought giving up sweeteners would be tough, but I was very determined this was one bad habit I was going to conquer. I already love vegetables and fruit so it was just a matter of eating more of them. I also love bread, potatoes and desserts, so I had to remind myself to "just say no" a lot. All in all, it wasn't as bad an experience as I anticipated. In fact, after the first week I started to feel physically better, and then the bloating and indigestion started going away. Awesome!
VICKI: Well, we LOVED the kale! The most difficult part for me was eliminating sweets and bread from my diet but, with each day, the cravings lessened. Making healthy choices made me feel more in control of my physical wellbeing. While eating healthy foods has never been a problem for me (I love lean meats, fish, fruits and vegetables), being unable to eat the other not-so-good-for-you stuff was a biggie. Sticking with the plan yielded great results. Not only did I lose 12 pounds, but on Day 17, I had an energy burst like you wouldn't believe!
LISA: It's been three months since our 30-day experiment. The intentional restriction was well worth the time and effort. I have lost some weight, and since I'm still using some of my new-found eating habits, I am continuing t slowly lose more. I'm still wearing my same clothes but they feel very comfortably loose. I did find out that dairy is definitely a no-no for me and I actually like unsweetened tea. Oh, and that svelte, long, lean body I always wished I had? Well, I am finally finding my comfort zone in the short, curvy body God created especially for me. Imagine that after all these years!This diet may not be for everyone, but it worked for me and I couldn't be more pleased.
VICKI: We've done two rounds of this plan. In all honesty, I fall off the bandwagon often. I'm human and old habits are hard to break. But more than ever before, with any diet I've tried, I find that this has proven to be the best for me. Can I still eat things that are not good for me? Sure. Will I pay the consequences. Probably. Do I want to have the energy and stamina to do the things in life that bring joy to me and those around me? Most certainly! For me, that's a good reason to continue making good choices. So, Lisa....keep me accountable.
The Whole 30 website says, "Certain food groups (like sugar, grains, dairy and legumes) could be having a negative impact on your health and fitness without you even realizing it. Strip them from your diet completely. Cut out all the psychologically unhealthy, hormone-unbalancing, gut-disrupting, inflammatory food groups for a full 30 days. Let your body heal and recover from whatever effects those foods may be causing. Push the “reset” button with your metabolism, systemic inflammation, and the downstream effects of the food choices you’ve been making. Learn once and for all how the foods you’ve been eating are actually affecting your day to day life, and your long term health. It will change the way you think about food, it will change your tastes, it will change your habits and your cravings. It could, quite possibly, change the emotional relationship you have with food, and with your body. It has the potential to change the way you eat for the rest of your life."
It's never too late to start a healthy habit. What's your reset button?
Lisa Harris helps in the office of the Refresh Ministry Women Department of the SoMo District Council AG. She is a pastor's wife, mother and grandma, and a new transplant to Springfield MO. She is actively pursuing new friendships and welcomes any opportunities to connect with the pastor's wives of SoMo District AG.
Hormones are being spoken of more often and openly these days as the Western medical model shifts it’s attention to this somewhat overlooked area of health and wellness more than ever before. Women, thankfully, are now realizing that hormonal imbalance IS worth investigation and evaluation in their quest to live, look, and feel better. Today, even Church Women’s Groups are bringing this relevant topic to the forefront as a part of their program subject matter to engage and resource women in a unique way. This is a great thing to see happening, because hormones can wreak havoc on a woman’s body as she goes through the reproductive years, through the aging process, and as she simply adapts physiologically to life’s stress and unexpected difficulties. To leave out this critical aspect of health and concern in trying to be relevant to the needs of women would be a tremendous oversight. I hope this short blog will bring enough insight and interest, even with limited content, to encourage each reader to seek help in this area if personally struggling with suspected hormonal imbalance.
Menstrual irregularities, endometriosis, infertility, miscarriage, polycystic ovaries, and early-aged hysterectomy can describe some of the reasons that a young woman might consider hormones as a contributing problem and then seek helpful restorative therapy. For those women in other stages of aging; anxiety, insomnia, depression, sexual difficulties, irritability, pelvic floor pain, weight gain, foggy thinking, incontinence, mood swings, hot flashes, rapid aging, high blood pressure, social withdrawal, palpitations, night sweats, and fatigue can definitely be linked to hormonal imbalance as well. Truly there are some women that seem to have very little trouble with hormone changes as they pass through various stages of aging. Even then, it is still important to know that hormone balance is now being studied as a benefit in the prevention of diseases such as osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, cancer, heart disease, thyroid disease, and more with compelling results. Family history alone can be a reason to monitor hormones, especially if there exists a strong family risk for certain diseases.
Stress also must be considered when discussing the topic of hormones. The body is designed to release adrenal hormones such as cortisol or DHEA, during heightened states of stress or injury. This response is intended to address inflammation and increase energy to the body. Sadly, our culture is moving so fast with the demands of life these days, that adrenal fatigue, a condition linked to altered or diminished stress hormones, is becoming more of a norm and a concern all it’s own. Women are carrying heavy personal demands as they juggle countless responsibilities and commitments. Even those women that seem to have it ‘all-together’, could truly be falling apart inside emotionally, mentally, and physically as they deal with stress and lifestyle demands.
Hormones can be connected in so many ways to good health and vitality in women. Furthermore, it’s probably safe to say that most women, at some point in life, will likely be affected by hormonal imbalance. If you or someone you care about is trudging along with no answers and no hope in what seems to be a hormone related problem, please take the initiative to connect with a provider that will give you the attention that you deserve….and that this issue needs.
This article was provided for Refresh Ministry Women by Dr. Sonja O'Bryan, Pharm.D, ABAAHP, who is a Board Certified Healthcare Practitioner Diplomat, American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine, Minister, Professional, Consultant, Author and Speaker. She has been married for over 22 years and has three beautiful children and lives in the Springfield MO area. Sonja received her Bachelors degree from St. Louis College of Pharmacy and her Doctorate from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. Dr. Sonja has 20+ years of experience professionally with practices in Administration, as an Advisory Board Member for various pharmaceutical companies, and has also served as an Adjunct Professor for colleges and universities. Other areas of experience for Dr. Sonja include retail, oncology, long term care/geriatric consulting, and compounding pharmacy. She currently practices at The Custom Compounding Center) Bolivar, MO as a specialized consultant dealing in anti-aging and integrative medicine along with providing Bio-identical hormone replacement therapy for men and women. She promotes and provides God-made therapies when possible and Man-made therapies only when necessary to help men and women achieve their health and wellness goals. She is a Board Certified member of the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine. Dr. Sonja is also a licensed minister, and often meshes the spiritual and physical aspects of better living in her presentations with the audience walking away feeling renewed and refreshed mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Her speaking events are known to be extremely relevant to the majority of "issues" that people face in their daily lives and Dr. Sonja enjoys seeing the excitement of renewed vision and hope in the eyes of her listeners as she explains what's going on inside the body with aging. This is her passion and it's how she lives "On Purpose." You will clearly see that if you ever get the opportunity to sit in on one of her presentations. Her goal is that YOU feel better, look better, and live better.
Dr. Sonja is also founder of "On Purpose Women" a ministry that is dedicated to equipping, educating and encouraging women in all aspects of their life-long journey. Visit http://www.onpurposewomen.com for details.