Hello! Well, we have almost made it to spring. AMEN!
In December, I presented a challenge to you all to join us for a January Whole 30—an elimination of all grains, sugar, legumes, dairy and soy. Essentially, it was a cleanse for our systems. Out with the sugar-filled, processed foods and in with whole, nutrient-dense foods. At the end of the month, you can choose to add foods in again, which allows you to determine which foods, if any, are doing you more harm than good. You can note weight gain, joint pain, mood swings, sleep issues, etc. When you know how foods affect your body and mood, you have the power to determine how you feel.
Some of you accepted this challenge. As most of you know, I have been blessed with the challenge of managing my rheumatoid arthritis, and one of the ways I do that is I eat a very clean diet. However, last fall, I had let more sugar and highly processed gluten free treats creep into my diet. I needed this challenge as well and noticed positive changes. The ache in my hands and feet each morning disappeared and my workouts seemed easier.
As for other participants, the results were fantastic! Seven people completed the post-program questionnaires. Prior to January, 73% of people reported morning stiffness. Post Whole 30, 100% of them reported NO morning stiffness! When asked about digestive issues, people reported less bloating and constipation.
Participants also reported that they slept better. Prior to the challenge, only 20% of people reported restful sleep—post challenge, 70% reported restful sleep. When you aren’t stuck on the rollercoaster of sugar highs and lows, your body gets into a steadier state of energy of awakening and resting during its normal cycle. This leads to another noticeable benefit—more steady energy and level mood throughout the day. When we sleep better, we naturally have more energy, which leads to a better state of mind.
Overall, the response to this challenge was very good. Everyone felt better on February 1, and some continue to eat cleaner 80-90% of the time!
So, was it all roses? Not really. It is hard to give up sugar. During the first two weeks when you’re craving it, it is hard to turn away and opt for fruit or nothing instead. But it’s worth it. There’s an energy boost, decreased pain and more level mood as a result.
I've continued to live without honey in my tea or the daily dark chocolate. It’s easier now that I am doing it by choice. I have felt how my joints feel and my erratic moods and energy get when I don’t stay clean. I now choose to eliminate those sugars from my life and feel the wonderful benefits.
So why am I telling you all this? Because I’d love for you all to join me in a healthier lifestyle journey. You don’t have to go full-on Whole 30 to get started. If that scares you, then take baby steps. Start adding in more vegetables and movement into your life. Commit to better sleep, relaxation techniques, building beautiful relationships or whatever YOU want to focus on. Whatever your challenge or goal, I’d love to help you! Contact me and we can meet up and get started on how YOU can make your health a priority.
Here's a testimonial from Barb, one of our Whole 30 success stories:
“I really did feel better after going on the 30-day challenge. I didn’t expect anything to get better, but my morning stiffness got better. I was really surprised that what I ate made a difference. I did become a believer. So, after the 30-day challenge was over, I went to a basketball game and had my favorite popcorn and a hot dog. It really didn’t taste as good as I thought it used to. But I was glad to be back on a little junk food. Unfortunately, the next morning I was stiff again. So I am a believer that what we eat does affect how we feel.”
You don't have to do this alone!
Learn more and contact us:
Angie McCormick is a Physical Therapist, Nutrition Consultant and Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist for Balanced Fitness and Health in Hiawatha, Iowa. Her professional expertise and personal experience with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) enrich her work helping clients with the exercise, nutrition and life skills required to conquer pain.