Sunday, December 18, 2016

Whole Family Whole30 - What We Learned

I feel like we started the Whole30 a lifetime ago.

We decided to do it because Liza had several skin issues. I had taken her to the doctor and found that the thing on her inner elbow was eczema. She also had molluscum, a virus that you can't do anything about and can take 1 1/2 to 2 years to clear up... and it spreads if you itch it... and it's itchy. And she also had what was looking like the beginnings of psoriasis on her elbows.

Our hope with the Whole30 was that the skin issues would clear up as we got her body healthier.

While we didn't see as much of a change as we had hoped for, I believe we have definitely seen some progress!

The most surprising is that the molluscum has completely cleared up! She had several spots of it on her arms and legs and it's all gone. Except two spots in the middle of her eczema... if they are even actually molluscum.

The eczema hasn't completely cleared up, but I believe it is looking much better than it did a month and a half ago. Here are some pictures that I took throughout the Whole30. The first is two days in when we were still using the prescribed cream. When we started using the cream it flared up real red. We stopped using it. The second picture is midway through. The last picture is from the last day of the reintroduction phase. I think the eczema doesn't look as deep, if that makes sense. The little bumps in the middle of it are getting smaller. And actually, it appears that the entire thing is getting smaller.

The psoriasis (or whatever it was) on her elbows also seemed to go away.

The bad news is that we ended up dealing with a completely new rash. It was all over her face and arms. (Maybe it's still psoriasis?) The doctor didn't know what it was. It seems to come in waves... she gets really red and the skin gets dry and tough. Then it fades and the dry skin peels off. A week later, it comes back. This has happened three times now. We are clueless.

So that's what happened with Liza's skin issues.

The question I have been asked the most is "was it worth it?"

Was it worth it to make the whole family do a whole30? To do all that thinking and prepping and cooking? Was it worth it?

Absolutely yes!

Sure, there were days where I wanted to collapse on the kitchen floor, curl up in fetal position, and never face the dishes ever again. (I really need a dishwasher!) But it was worth it.

We learned so much.

Liza and Jason learned what a healthy stomach feels like.
They learned that they feel more awake when they eat healthy.
We tried lots of new foods.
The kids learned that they actually do like several foods that they thought they didn't like.
They also learned that they can do something really hard if they make the decision to do it, and then stick with it.

Liza and Jason learned how good it feels to follow through, to not cheat, to do it right. There were so many times that they were faced with tough situations... birthday treats at school, pop at church, birthday parties... and I could just see on their faces how proud they were of themselves.

I think they learned just how strong they are.

So yes... even if we didn't see any improvement in Liza's skin issues... it would still be worth it... simply for the invaluable lessons my kids were able to learn at 8 and 10 years old.

We have all been enjoying being able to eat a variety of foods again... maybe a little too much. Between the kids' Christmas parties at school on Friday and two Christmas parties yesterday... we all feel gross. But since we have done the Whole30 and we all were able to recognize how good our stomachs felt... we are now able to recognize just how gross too much of the wrong foods make us feel, and we don't like it! Hopefully this will help us as we move forward with making healthier choices more often.

And that's the end of our Whole Family Whole30!

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