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Keep Calm and Whole30 On

Feeling lethargic? Lacking motivation? Craving your afternoon coffee? Binge eating? And binge Netflixing? Skipping workouts? Sleepless nights?

Can I get an AMEN? Ladies, let’s face it we have all felt the whirlwind of symptoms described above. And to be brutally honest, this was me exactly 3 weeks ago. I was perpetually exhausted, and I wasn’t motivated at work or at school (if you know me, this is unusual). I was craving sweets, and eating them throughout the day, and even stopping by the local coffee shop in the afternoon. Oh, and did I mention lots of red eye flights and eating out? This lead to a cycle of late nights, and late mornings which left little time to work out. My body was screaming STOP. If my body could actually scream it would have exclaimed “Feed me good food, water, and cut the crap Erinne.”

I bet if you are reading this blog, you might have felt or do feel the same way today. Dentistry is hard. Life is harder. Whole 30 is HARDEST!

18 days ago I decided to add another challenge and start the Whole 30. I can tell you now on Day 18 that this was one of the best decisions I have made in my entire life. I feel clean, light, focuses, energized, and I have not missed many workouts!

The Whole30 is a trendy “diet” if you will, that is focused on getting rid of the processed and inflammatory driven foods. In summary, you are going to cut out all refined carbohydrates and grains, dairy, legumes (except green beans), sugars (processed, artificial, natural and real – ALL SUGARS), no alcohol, and no tobacco. Your first response might be: “What am I going to eat?” “What about wine and cheese?” “I eat cereal for dinner… A LOT” “Greek yogurt, can I survive one month without Greek yogurt?” I hear ya sister. I thought the exact same thing. But you can cut out the junk, and feel great.

Truly, our bodies were just not meant for all the processed chemicals that are in in the food we eat today. We were not made to digest and filter through chemical after chemical just to get an ounce of the good stuff. The Whole 30 teaches you to filter out the chemicals before your stomach and small intestine have too, and they will thank you for that.

What have I learned?

  1. The best part about the Whole 30 is how many patients I have connected with through talking about the Whole 30. For people who are high caries risk, it is a great way to recommend decreasing the number of carbohydrates in their diet. You can offer them clear direction through the Whole 30 website. And trust me, after a few days of no latte’s you won’t feel any scum on your teeth midday! Also, I have found quite a few patients who are doing the Whole 30 as well, it is such a great trust builder and conversation piece. I love sharing my experience and struggles and hearing theirs as well.
  2. Second, you are going to learn a new definition of discipline. I work in a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) where the dental department is ALL WOMEN. In addition, we are less than half a block from Mike’s Pastry (a famous restaurant in Boston). EVERYDAY, and I am no exaggerating we have pastries delivered to our office. Now that I am on the Whole 30 I am realizing that I was eating that delicious junk EVERYDAY. And trust me, when the smell of warm chocolate fills my nostrils at 2:59 pm, I am tempted but I have also learned a new level of discipline. Simply, you do not need that sugar to survive, so don’t eat it.
  3. Sugar makes you more emotional. In fact, a diet that is high in sugar sends you on an emotional roller coaster daily. I think we all love the thrill of Demon Drop but perhaps not on a daily basis, especially when you are a work and are dealing with stressful situations. Since I started the Whole 30 I feel like I am more even keeled (I still need to check with my assistant to see if this is true!)
  4. Plan ahead. Working and traveling while on the Whole 30 is definitely challenging but doable. The key is planning all of your meals ahead. A major benefit of planning is that you are never starving because you have planned snacks and meals ahead of time. In addition, you save money. Airport snacks and eating out can be expensive, so learning to pack meals in advance saves some major dough.

If you are wondering how you can fit this into your day here is a sample day on my Whole 30. If you want recipes or tips, feel free to email me!

Typical Day :

Breakfast: 2 hard boiled eggs, banana, jasmine green tea

Snack: Lara Bar or Rx Bar + Fruit

Lunch: Protein + Veggie + ½ Sweet Potato OR Tuna Salad

Snack: Fruit or Veggie + Nuts jasmine green tea

Dinner: Sweet Potatoes Chili OR Salad with avocado, protein, veggies, and nuts

Great Travel Snacks:

  • Trader Joes Guacamole Packs
  • Trader Joe’s Plantain Chips
  • Sliced Veggies
  • Lara Bars / Rx Bars
  • Bananas / Apples / Oranges
  • Epic Jerky
  • Nuts (Cashews and Hazelnuts)

I hope you join me in changing your body and committing to cleansing your systems. It feels great and is a great way to jump start into summer. Just DEW it, ladies!

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Dr. Erinne Kennedy is an Ohio State University graduate and comes from Middleport, Ohio. She graduated from the Nova Southeastern University’s College of Dental Medicine in 2015. Dr. Kennedy loved everything about dental school, especially being involved in organized dentistry. While in dental school she was involved with ASDA (American Student Dental Association) as a local vice president and national contributing editor. After dental school Erinne attend a one-year general practice residency at the VA Hospital in Baltimore, MD. Erinne has a passion for giving back, and is currently working toward a dental public health specialty and a masters in dental education at Harvard University in Boston, MA. Her love for writing and communicating continued after dental school when she became a blogger for IgniteDDS, and alumnus writer for ASDA. Currently, she services as a contributing editor for Dental Product review and on the Junior Editorial board for DeW. In her free time, Dr. Kennedy enjoys exercise in all forms: yoga, weight lifting, group exercise classes, and running. Dr. Kennedy‘s professional affiliations include The American Dental Association, The Massachusetts’s Dental Association, and The Academy of General Dentistry. Contact: erinne.kennedy@ignitedds.com

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