This post is a continuation of my last post. And before I continue I want to first state plainly, neither Jeff nor I have Type 1 Diabetes. This experiment is being done on two adults with fully functioning pancreases.
Now back to my story.
I took a few more days, but I did finish my last glass of wine and I also
finished reading It Starts with Food.
The basic premise of the book is that all the food you eat either makes you more healthy or less healthy. The book covers in detail the effects on our bodies
of unhealthy eating. They break it down into three categories: the effects of
sugar on our brain, the hormonal imbalance including insulin levels (every T1
mom's favorite topic), and lastly leaky gut.
The chapter on hormones and insulin honestly gave me a headache. They explain a
complicated dance between your digestive system, pancreas, liver and brain.
They suggest as we eat all the wrong things we mess with this dance and our
hormones are out of balance. Now this chapter is specifically addressing the
effects on a healthy adult, not someone with T1. But it did make think that
maybe I am really on to something. If this is true, and a healthy adult can't
properly handle our over processed-carbohydrate-rich diet then how can someone
with a broken pancreas?
All this imbalance leads to overall systemic inflammation. They spend pages
detailing why this happens and why it's very bad. And as I read I started to
realize how bloated I felt, I always felt. By the time I finished reading I was
certain I was as bloated and inflamed as Violet Beauregarde when she stole the gum from
Willy Wonka and became a human blueberry.
In addition to a healthier (less bloated) life the book promises life changing
benefits. They suggest if you follow their food plan for 30 days your life will
be transformed: you will have a healthier relationship with food, you will
sleep better (a T1 mom's dream come true), you will have improved energy levels
and self-esteem, and you will just be happier.
While I read the book, I doubted the authors and thought maybe they were just
simply bonkers. They detailed their science, but it still seemed like mad
science. But they promised a good night's sleep and happiness. And who doesn't
want to be a little happier?
It was now time to start the experiment. Now if I remember my high school
science classes properly, every good experiment starts with a hypothesis. I did
a quick Google search and found this definition,
"Most of the time a hypothesis is written like this: if _____(I do
this)_____ then _____(this)____ will happen."
Filling in these blanks I am starting my experiment with this hypothesis:
If I follow the Whole 30 diet plan, then I will most likely starve and end up
shoving my face in a bag of potato chips.
Despite my cynical attitude, I convinced Jeff to try the diet too and I
promised him his own bag of chips if we failed. Jeff then printed out a
suggested Whole30 grocery list. And off I went to the supermarket. Now this
grocery list includes vegetables, vegetables, more vegetables, fruit, meat,
eggs and fancy (expensive) oils. What is not on this list is anything with
sugar, also no grains, no legumes, no milk, and absolutely no processed food.
Within a few minutes at the local supermarket I quickly realized I was going to
have to find a new place to shop. The food revolution had begun ...
It's now time to fast forward this story 30 days. At the end of our Whole30
there were NO potato chips. My hypothesis was completely wrong. But like any
great (or high school) scientist knows there are no failed experiments, only
I no longer felt like Violet from Willy Wonka. The Oompa Loompas had magically
deflated me. I felt light and energized. Jeff and I were sleeping through the
night! Now this was a significant improvement. We still check Ben every night
at 2am. And over the past couple of years we no longer even needed to set the
nightly alarm because I was always wide awake. I would get up check Ben and
then hope I would fall asleep again. But now, after our Whole30, we both sleep
soundly through the night. We have even slept straight through the 2am alarm.
Not necessarily ideal for the parents of a T1 child, but a problem easily
solved with a louder alarm.
I ended this experiment with a new resolve. I was now certain what you eat
matters! And it matters in more ways than I had expected.
Which leads me to Step 3 ... Analyze the Data