Phew! We made it! My wife and I finished the Whole 30 (actually closer to 43 but who’s counting?) and while I am relieved and happy to not be as restricted, I’m really happy and grateful that my wife suggested this (and shopped for this, and cooked for this, and researched for this…) and can tell the difference in my overall health. Whole 30 really does help!

The biggest difference I noticed was the regression in stomach issues and trips to the bathroom. It wasn’t completely perfect mind you, but I had a good two week stretch after the first week and before the last where I had little to no issues and was enjoying having more energy! Some of my stomach issues did come back near the end, but they didn’t last for too long and started going away during the reintroduction phase. I even lost about 25 lbs!!

Ahh…the reintroduction phase…this is where 30 becomes more like 43, but this step is well worth it and very beneficial! This is where you introduce foods that you had taken out for 30 days one day at a time with two days of restrictive diet in between. This way you can really tell what is causing you the most issues or what your stomach has a hard time with. I found that, oddly enough, stevia was something my stomach struggled digesting along with more typical sensitivities like corn and a little bit of dairy, but only in hot chocolate strangely enough…cheese was mostly fine! Of course gluten, which is what I thought was the initial trigger for all of these issues and research over a year ago is still a trigger as well. It started out ok and made me think perhaps I was avoiding it all this time for nothing, but it eventually gave me issues…just slower than the others.

In addition to the reintroduction phase my wife found me a reasonably priced food sensitivity kit from Everlywell that has also helped me identify (with just a few drops of blood!) the foods that give me the most trouble. It turns out I may have moderate reactions to 22 different foods (including apples…one of my favorites…so sad!), and mild reactions to 70 more! This doesn’t mean that I can’t eat all of these foods, but that these ones could be causing me some issues and may be ones that I want to avoid. If you would like to try out an Everlywell test for yourself and get 15% off and help me out too…please click this link:

As I mentioned in my previous blog I was diagnosed with SIBO. So it was really important for me to do the food sensitivity test in addition to the Whole 30 in order to find out what was the root cause of my digestive issues. I found it interesting to learn that often SIBO can be caused by food poisoning, and is more common amongst people who have had any type of abdominal procedure or surgery (like my appendectomy a year and a half ago!).

My favorite resources through all of this were SIBO Made Simple and the podcast of Phoebe Lapine, a chef, author and blogger who also has been a SIBO sufferer. SIBO Made Simple is an entertaining and easy read that has a ton of great recipe ideas that are perfect for those with sensitive guts. Her podcast, although sadly now finished, has some great summary episodes and interviews that are full or manageable recommendations that allow you to take control of your journey.

In addition to my new biking hobby and trying to go to bed on time (yeah…this doesn’t happen much at all) I am happy to say that I’m feeling much better about my overall health and wellness and feel like I’m on a long-term and sustainable path rather than just a quick fix. I would be happy to talk with any of you more about this journey or answer any questions you might have (as best I can!) about SIBO, Whole 30 and more. I hope you’ve found my story helpful to your journey and wish you the best of health as you navigate your health and wellness.

This is…feeling better!

This is fatherhood…