Stepping Out of my Zone: trying the Whole30 plan with Type 1 Diabetes
Trying the Whole30 plan with Type 1 Diabetes
I talk, read, hear and educate about so many different types of eating styles. Literally hundreds of plans to fuel the body with essential nutrients are now available.
This month, instead of providing education or tips, I wanted to actually take a step out of my own personal eating style and try something different that would lead to providing information to help down the road. To be able to educate fully, you have to live the experience. Thus the reason a lot of people seem to do well with their own management once they find a team to work with or at least a clinician who also gets it on a personal level.
In talking to a lot of people – both clients as well as friends, one plan I’ve toyed with trying myself is the Whole30 plan.
Since 2009 a lot (millions) of people have chosen to follow this plan. In a nutshell, the premise is to follow the plan which strips the typical diet of food groups that are deemed inflammatory for the body.
These groups include:
The idea is that foods in these groups COULD be impacting your health in a negative way. So for conditions or issues such as inconsistent energy levels, aches and pains unrelated to over-use or injury, inability to lose weight no matter what you try, skin issues, digestive problems, seasonal allergies, or chronic pain, stripping away the foods that could be problematic should help to clear inflammation and make a noticeable difference.
It is meant to be a sort of “reset button” after which at the end of 30 days you can try to add back some of these foods and pay attention to how your body feels. If inflammation returns or symptoms come back, you can expect it is related to a food you added back and try to avoid it (long term would be the best option). Since inflammation can relate to the sensitivity to insulin, I’m also curious overall if/how things will change for me. I have already eliminated a lot from my diet by my own choice over the years, so it will be interesting to see what further limitation will provide for management.
It is an all or none type of plan for 30 days.
The best thing I can see across the board is that it eliminates processed foods and additives (even Stevia is eliminated). See here for the general rules. Encouraging good intake of food that is as natural as possible – veggies, most fruits and healthy fats and protein sources. Slipping up means you start over at day 1, but as I tell people, you can do anything on a deadline basis. Most people find if there is an “expected end date” it is easier to commit to. When you get to the end of 30 days on this plan, from what I’ve read and heard, most people stick with it because of how good they feel. I am interested in how it will affect my BG and overall feeling of wellness. In general I’m interested in knowing first hand so that I can educate with experience to those who ask about it.
My Labor Day plans include binge reading the resource book – It Starts with Food (by Melissa and Dallas Hartwig). I got it at the library and it is due back in a month – so perfect time to use it to the full 30 day advantage! I might have to have some coconut flour pancakes while reading it since I won’t be making those in the next month ahead! Starting this plan on Tuesday, September 4th in full force.
Want to try the Whole30 plan with me?
Pick up the book, do a power read and get started. At the end of September I’ll log my findings and write another article for our Bites newsletter. I’d love to hear from those of you doing it along with me, or perhaps from anyone who has tried it and found success! Please feel free to email me and let me know how it is going! For those who email their progress, I’ll comment in my article next month so I can include more feedback rather than just my n=1 experience!!
Integrated Diabetes Services, Director of Lifestyle and Nutrition.
Jennifer holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Nutrition and Biology from the University of Wisconsin. She is a Registered (and Licensed) Dietitian, Certified Diabetes Educator, and Certified Trainer on most makes/models of insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitoring systems.