Finding balance through the Whole30


I was listening to Melissa Hartwig on a live IG story (personal or Whole30) and one of the questions she was answering was how do I stay on the Whole30 when stress enters my life?

And in that moment I had an aha! moment. It’s BALANCE! This is definitely something I need to hear. I find the hardest thing in my life is to keep my balance.

I listened to the answer and it seemed so obvious yet I have been struggling with this since I was 18 when I left home for college.  Living at home upnjntil then with my parents there was always healthy food, meals that were planned and prepared every night.  That kept me aligned.

I lose balance so easily, it could be as simple as a few missed hours of sleep the night before or anything new like a move or job and when stress enters my life. Any of these occur and I fall apart and everything goes to shit!

I finally figured it out. It’s as simple as food! The Whole30 program is not a diet.  It is learning how to meal plan, shop, cook and eat for your body. It’s also more than that, it’s a community, feeling positive about food freedom and figuring out how food fits into your life.

Taking this information in as Melissa was saying something like; even when stress enters your life keep food as a routine. Then I won’t lose balance. THAT’S IT!  I literally wanted to yell from the rooftops that I figured it out, point to my cell phone and say look….This is me! This is it! Right here!

The Whole30 has taught me a lot about food, myself and how food fits into my life. It’s been a process and I think everyone should know it’s within you to learn and figure out. It takes the amount of time it takes. There is no time limit or certain mile stones or markers.

The battle with food is personal and individual. AND it goes much deeper than food.  It reaches the inner most depths of the mind, of the soul.  It’s a learning experience of the past and sets you free!

For me it’s cravings when I start to become unbalanced. My unhealthy food relationship is controlling my food intake when the number in the scales says 5 pound gained.  The instant I notice this happening I stop eating properly and that spins me into a horrible cycle of little amounts of nutritional foods and small quantities. I’ve narrowed it down to being entirely stress related.

When I lose balance everything falls to pieces and then once that shift happens everything slides out of control. Once I let my food routine go out the window it affects every part of my life. My sleep, my health, my brain and gut function. All I want is balance but I dislike routine so that’s why I’ve struggled with this for so long. By not sticking to the routine of meal plans, shopping, eating and cooking I ultimately sabotage my health.

Its the worst feeling to go from cooking and eating healthy, feeling well and in balance, to my body shutting down and spiraling out of control.  When this happens I would feel terrible but didn’t know why. I would be craving chips and chocolate and eating little else. No wonder I just kept going down hill. And when I didn’t see it or realize what the answer was I wouldn’t know how to stop it from happening.

Keeping the meal plan simple and whole30 I feel my best and I don’t lose balance. This is seriously THE best aha moment I’ve had and I’m so glad I found the answer to the biggest issue in my life. Knowing how to keep my balance on a consistent basis is a tremendous relief. Now the work begins to keep this aligned until it becomes a habit!

Everything Whole30

I lose balance in the fall/winter transition but I like to do an overhaul in the winter/spring transition too.  (I also do a cleanse in March) I am planning on doing a WHOLE30 starting April 1st.  If you are interested in joining me follow my One Gutsy Lady Facebook page for support, advise and to have fun with the program.

Here are the links for the Whole30 program.

What is the Whole30?

Whole30 Program Rules

Have you tried or completed a Whole30? What was the outcome? I’d love to hear your experiences in the comments.

Let’s do the Whole30 together! It’s free! Join me on Facebook  @onegutsylady



Get to know the Clean Fifteen & Dirty Dozen!

4DD62057-8127-4612-9A61-6E15B1190419It’s important to clean your gut to avoid autoimmune disorders and if you have autoimmune disease(s) already.

Inflammation is the word for the movements that are all around us now. Eliminate inflammation for optimal health! A great way to start to clean your gut is to shop the dirty dozen and the clean 15 lists when buying fruits and vegetables.
Ultimately, growing our own would be the most healthiest knowing what environment these were grown in but not many of us can live with such a privilege.

Here are the (EWG) Environmental Working Group dirty dozen and clean 15 lists to assist in avoiding harmful chemicals in the produce aisles. A good way to think about these choices is the clean 15 have the lowest levels of pesticides used ~ thin skin organic, thick skin non-organic.


Note: Green beans and kale are moving up on the most sprayed list.


Never Defined

I’ve never played the victim to my illnesses. My daughter said to me a couple of years ago `You are not defined by anyone or anything. “ I had two thoughts; one I had never thought about it before and wow that is a major statement coming from a 20 year old. Playing the victim to an illness is not helping your situation, in fact it is making it worse. Having that mentality is detrimental to your health. When I first started on social media about this last Crohns flare it was for one reason only, to let others know they are not the only one, that others are struggling and going through the grieving and healing process too.

As I posted and my followers grew I followed them too. But then I realized that almost everyone of them who was dealing with autoimmune disorders were sucky, poor me, look what happened to me now. This victim mindset was prevalent on more accounts than not. It was toxic. It disgusted me. I unfollowed every single one of them because it brought me down, it made me think this isn’t how this should go, why would you let others see you being weak and pathetic. I’m not like that I can’t watch this happen. I’m strong, I’m a fighter, I don’t back down. Never have!

So, for all you who have an autoimmune disease(s) I am a fact based person, here you will find my journey to figure out how to get from almost dying to healthy and beyond. And most importantly, to never ever let that happen again!

I think it is important for people to know the facts, to hear what happens to others so that we can learn and so that maybe I can help someone avoid what I’ve gone through. At 17 I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia in Toronto, Ontario by a specialist. At that time I was told to go on disability. I refused. I’m a fighter I’m not going to be labeled at such a young age. I am not giving in to disease, I’m not a quitter and I most definitely did not want people looking down at me. Wasn’t gonna happen! I’m still not on disability even as my diseases multiple but you know what I can see that I will have to at some point and there is nothing wrong with that. But at that young age all I could see was people would take over my life, that they would have control over me. And I’m glad I didn’t at that time.


We don’t have to be victims to our circumstances, to illness, to diseases. Speaking our truth is different, it’s telling the facts, educating and advocating. Advocacy for ourselves, for others, for disease, for healing and for strength. So, please don’t mistake the content in my posts as playing the victim or wanting sympathy or attention. If you knew me you would know that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Thoughts become words which become actions. Being a victim is hard for me to understand so I had to do a little research.

Victim: One who is harmed by or made to suffer under a circumstance or condition. Victim mentality is an acquired personality trait in which a person tends to recognize themselves as a victim of the negative actions of others, and to behave as if this were the case in the face of contrary evidence of such circumstances. Victim mentality depends on clear thought processes and attribution.

I think the worst part of playing the victim is not making changes to your life.  I have talked to many and they refuse to make changes.  If you have illness, your lifestyle is not working for you. You have to change your thinking, your lifestyle and your surroundings. We all struggle, there are far worse situations to be in that others are dealing with right now. Be a fighter, win back your life, DO THE WORK! You will get there. Don’t give up.

Tell your story! But for the right reasons. To educate, inform, advocate and to heal!

Light Love & Peace ~Andrea xo

The Importance of Eating Alkaline Foods

What are Alkaline Foods?

An alkaline diet emphasizes alkaline foods such as whole fruits and vegetables and certain whole grains, which are low in caloric density. Healthy Alkaline Diet Foods involve the ideal balance between acidifying and alkalizing foods.

The body includes a number of organ systems that are adept at neutralizing and eliminating excess acid, but there is a limit to how much acid even a healthy body can cope with effectively. The body is capable of maintaining an acid-alkaline balance provided that the organs are functioning properly, that a well-balanced alkaline diet is being consumed, and that other acid-producing factors are avoided.


Here is a list of high Alkaline Foods: Examples of Alkalining Vegetables: Beets, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Celery, Cucumber, Kale, Lettuce, Onions, Peas, Peppers, Spinach

Examples of Alkalizing Fruits: Apple, Banana, Berries, Cantaloupe, Grapes, Melon, Lemon, Orange, Peach, Pear, Watermelon

Alkalizing Protein: Almonds, Chestnuts, Tofu

Alkalizing Spices: Cinnamon, Curry, Ginger, Mustard, Sea Salt

Here is a link with a list of Alkaline Foods and important information to go along with each one.

Danielle Walker from Against All Grain has three cookbooks, an app, and tons of recipes on her website that are a great balance of alkaline and acidic foods. Majority are alkaline which is why she is having such success with her recipes. The whole30 is another great source for a balance lifestyle. I eat the way these two women cook and eat.