It Starts With Food: Part 1

I'm going to be brutally honest here. I have avoided anything to do with the paleo lifestyle for as long as I can remember knowing it was a thing. My mother in law, Susan, took up the paleo lifestyle (which she has dubbed Pretty Much Paleo) since the day Harper was born (over 2 years ago). I'm not gonna lie, I basically didn't want to know anything about it. You know the saying do the best you can, until you know better, and then do better? Basically what I was trying to avoid. I really thought that the idea of cutting out complete food groups was stupid, and unsustainable. And maybe it is, but I've never tried it. 

Anyway, after seeing Heather and Erin's success with the Whole30 challenge, I got pretty skeptical. I've seen the Whole30 hashtag on Instagram, and I've followed Illana, one of the co founders of Applecheeks Cloth Diapers who has gone paleo quite a while ago as well. I did see some of it, but it didn't resound with me. I was totally uninterested. Until now. On Thursday evening, I went to Indigo (my favourite book store, also my happy place). I wandered around, actually not looking for a book but just browsing. I found It Starts With Food. I thought what the heck, and picked it up and started reading it. Well, I was hooked and had to buy it. 

Can I just say, I hate books like this? I'm more of a suspense or thriller girl. I'm working my way thought Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series, which is a big job. This genera of book is just NOT my thing. I was hooked anyway. 

In the first few pages, the authors, Dallas and Melissa Hartwig, said that they did this as a science experiment. They are by no means the first book about the paleo lifestyle on the market, and they acknowledge that. They will tell you where they got their research, which is nice because I'm a nurse and appreciate peer reviewed research. 

A science experiment, eh? That sounded intriguing to me. Seeing as I have been having a few health problems recently, I thought maybe I could do one on myself. If it works, great! If not, it's only 30 days and the only thing I have to lose is pounds. I have the ability to do a really detailed experiment too! 

The first few chapters of the book give you all the dirty details about how your hormones play a HUGE role in the way you feel, as well as the way you behave. And that what you eat majorly effects your hormones. I believe that. The saying 'every bite you take either heals your or harms you' has been in my mind lately. 

Basically, carbs/sugar make you crave carbs/sugar and it's a gigantic vicious hormonal cycle that is difficult to break. What hit home with me was the list of questions in the hormone chapter and every one of them are things that happen to me! Why Do I crave sweets late at night? Why can't I lose weight, even when I eat less? Why do I get the 3 o'clock slump? Why do I wake up at 2-3 am every night? Why do I get cranky if I don't eat every 2 hours? Where did this spare tire come from? 

Apparently all of these things are majorly attributed to hormones. The book says there is good news though: Change the food you put on your plate. 

It's pretty interesting, if you ask me. I find myself doing all the things that the book talks about. Wandering around at 8 pm like a sweet crazed zombie, stuffing food down my throat, unable to stop even though I know I shouldn't. Eating that I believe is generally healthy, but I've been stick at this weight for MONTHS.

The next chapters address a healthy gut and a the inflammation response. I can tell you now, I don't have a healthy gut. I never have. I've always had gastrointestinal issues, not that anyone wants to know in detail but it's true. I always related it to stress, especially while I was in university. Maybe it wasn't. Maybe it was my seriously poor food choices. 

As for the inflammatory response, well I don't have a ton of the issues that are related, but I can tell you what I do have going on. 

Chronic/frequent headaches or possibly migraines (for around 6 months). 
Hypoglycaemia?? (since university, not diagnosed but it's the best description of how I feel at times). 
Dizziness (6 months). 
Irregularity (forever). 
High Cholesterol (5 years - yes I know, I'm 26, yes I've tried to lower it through diet and exercise, no, it didn't resolve after losing 50 pounds). 
Generalized anxiety (6 months). 
Palpitations (around 2 months). 
TMJ (high school?) 
Insomnia (high school). 
Chronic unitary tract infections (5 years). 
I'm 26, I should have none of these. 

I'm 26, and I'm scared my cholesterol is going to cause a stoke. My mom had one at 48, fancy that? 

I'm 26, and I carry anti anxiety meds around with me because I'm afraid I'm going to have a panic attack. Which happens at the most random times, sometimes for no reason at all. 

I'm 26, and my head feels like it's detached from my shoulders, when it doesn't throb like I've got an ice pick in my left eye. 

I'm 26, and if I lay on my couch the wrong way, my heart beats so strangely I can feel it in my neck. 

I'm 26, and I take a sleeping pill every night of life. 

Wow. Just writing that out made my heart a little sad. I know the saying that were all digging our own graves with our fork and knife. It's just a little more real with it's all on a screen in front of you. 

Wanna know what else is scary? My family health history. 

Bowel Cancer. 
Bone Cancer. 
Uterine Cancer. 
High Cholesterol. 

The list is probably much longer than that. These are just the ones I know about. 

I'm a nurse. I know there are things I can do to help lower my risk of these things. 

I have worked really hard over the last year to try and change my health, but really, not much has changed, other than I count calories like a pro and exercise regularly. My mind has not changed. My habits, generally, have not changed. I still empty the cupboard of any and all chocolate or carbs at 8pm. I still reward myself with ice cream. 

Yikes. Seems like I need to make a real change.


Those are my thoughts on the first part of It Starts With Food. I will post about what I think about the second part soon. I'm reading it as fast as I can, because I don't want to put it down (as if my life depended on it, or something)...

Moving on to Weigh in Wednesday!
Pretty Strong Medicine

Last weeks post was a quickie, as I was working and didn't have any time to write a post. This week is a super long post. Haha. Sorry about that. Anyway, this week I lost 1.2 pounds. Somehow. I have no idea. I ate horribly this weekend, and even continued on in to this week. I haven't got my water in, and I haven't slept (until last night, horray!). I'll take it though, knowing that next week will probably not be kind to me.

Last Week: 163.8 pounds
This Week: 162.6 pounds
Change: -1.2 pounds
Total Change: -47.4 pounds


  1. The book and Whole30 in general spoke directly to me because I have SO many of the issues they discussed relating directly to inflammation. I thought I knew how to eat healthy, I thought I knew how to lose weight... I didn't, not at all. Doing the Whole30, I felt better than I've felt in YEARS... I had forgotten how it felt to feel good... feeling crappy had become my new normal. I get that people are skeptical but hopefully, with good results, the changes will become second nature! I can't see what you think if you decide to give the Whole30 a try! I'm on vacation next week and as soon as I'm back, I'm just right back into at least another Whole30, maybe 60, because I want to keep feeling that good!

  2. It Starts with Food is a game changer! I've got 9 full days of my Whole30 under my belt and I can already tell a difference. My clothes, my weight, my mind, my pain. Everything. Good job on the loss! I love lucky losses like that haha.

    1. I'm glad you're doing well on the Whole30!

  3. I'm in the middle of reading this right now and am on Day 3 of the Whole 30. I'm generally not big on elimination diets, but I like the foundation of this one. Plus, it recommends reintroduction of non-compliant foods that are still healthy at the end. It's not supposed to be an everyday thing. More think a general guideline.

    1. I'm not big on elimination diets. I thought I agreed with this book, but turns out I don't. I guess I should probably post the rest of my thoughts on it soon!

  4. Thank you for sharing detailed thoughts and relating them to your situation. I found your more post very interesting and it does make me a little more curious.

  5. This resonates so strong with me. I feel the EXACT same way about Whole30. I'm just skeptical of it. Maybe I should also pick this book up....

    1. I learned a few things from the book. Am I adopting a new lifestyle? Probably not.

  6. It starts with food is a really good read. I couldn't put it down either, and I hate books like that.

    1. I had no issues with the book until later on. I'll post more about it soon.

  7. I'm focusing on my body image and loving my new body this year but this may be a future read for me.

    1. Those are super important! Good for you! :)


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