Why I eat this way
My friend Katja is an herbalist. When I found out she has multiple sclerosis and manages it entirely with diet and herbs, I was really intrigued. I have Crohn’s Disease and was taking Humira, a powerful immunosuppressant drug that has potential for long-term side effects… oh, and I needed to inject it into my stomach every other week. Not fun. She suggested I try doing a Whole30 to see if diet might help alleviate some of my symptoms. Initially I told her that I was happy taking my medication if it meant I could keep eating bagels. But a few months later I decided to try it. It was only 30 days, after all.
Within less than a week, I felt amazing. By the end of the Whole30, I knew I was never going to go back to my old way of eating. I’ve stayed on a Paleo diet ever since, allowing some unrefined sweeteners and “paleo-ified” baked goods, but otherwise staying very strict. After six months of eating this way, I stopped taking my medication. After a year, I felt better than I’ve felt in a very long time. My disease isn’t gone, but it’s almost always very quiet.
I’ve learned that food makes people sick without them ever realizing it. Medication might treat the symptoms, but it doesn’t fix what’s really causing the problems.
How to get started
Read “It Starts With Food” and commit to doing a Whole30. I promise it’s not as hard as you think. You’ll do a lot of cooking, yes, but you’ll learn a lot and it’s worth the investment of time, will power and groceries. This is how I got started, and while there are other, gentler ways to ease into this lifestyle, I think there’s tremendous value to committing to something for a finite amount of time. You can do ANYTHING for 30 days. And then you can figure out where you want to go from there.
Great online resources
The Whole30 forum – a great place to get support
You can sign up for a daily email from Whole30 (for a small fee) – I haven’t tried this, but I’ve heard great things.