Cause over Applause

That’s Amandatory: Work for a cause, not for applause.

As we walked through Animal Kingdom Orlando last week, a guy passed in front of us. He wore a tee from a conference filled with sayings but the one that called out to me said, “Work for a cause, not for applause.” That really struck me. Check out Chick-fil-A’s current cause. I’m lovin’ it! Wait…that’s a different company. 🙂

Kids workbook Homophones example
Kids workbook example of homophones

I’m someone who has always been a “test taker”…probably because I worked so many puzzles and kids’ workbooks for fun — the ones that practice identifying homophones (a type of homonym) or math problems. Did I mention that I was a weird kid?

Malcolm Gladwell's Book David and Goliath
Malcolm Gladwell’s Book David and Goliath

BTW have you read the book David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants by Malcolm Gladwell? Yes, I still read business books for fun. P.S. Check out these great quotes from it.  His research shows that many successful entrepreneurs were fueled by a desire to overcome learning disabilities. If knowing that a disability could statistically make your child more successful because they would gain valuable entrepreneurial skills in learning to compensate, Gladwell asks readers, (start video at 2:36 or 4:30) “Would you wish a learning disability on your child?”

Interesting question…For me, I can see how having to study at a younger age would have prepared me for when I needed to study and didn’t know how. I figured it out after my college GPA flat lined. But the twist for me now relates to my health and food. Will my recently identified food allergies force me to make better choices now that positively impact me for the rest of my life? Can I and will I use my food allergies and intolerances as a push to innovate and succeed?

Generation X
Generation X

When it comes to our bodies, I feel that my generation (Gen X) was the subject of a food experiment. We were the first generation to arrive with most Americans on the thin side. When I look at photos of my childhood the large majority of people were thin. I’m talking Keri Russell on “The Americans” thin. What happened? When did it all change?

Yes, there were people who watched their weight long before our generation but when you compare their weights and measurements to ours, the definition of overweight has increased (get it?) through the years. I have tried a few fad diets myself – Atkins, Blood Type, Leek Soup, South Beach, etc. — some more successful than others.

I’m not going to get into everything I’ve read regarding GMOs and preservatives today. I won’t even dive into removing fats and increasing sugars to improve taste once fats were removed. You can read one of the Whole30 books for a concise lesson on that. Let’s work on the assumption (I can say that because it’s my blog) that our food did change and Americans have been struggling with weight loss and diets ever since. The point is that like my GPA, until my body really began to suffer, I didn’t know or care about how my body reacted to food. Then what?

Inflammation and the Human Body
Inflammation and the Human Body

After a complete thyroidectomy in 2009, I began to notice big changes in my body. I told my parents that although I knew I had gained weight, I really felt, well, PUFFY. My clothes didn’t fit. My hands and feet swelled constantly. I developed a double chin for the first time in my life. Oh, and did I mention I was single when all of this was happening? It didn’t inspire great confidence in me. It did force me to start asking questions.

The basis of my initial resources sprang from the lovely Casa de Luz restaurant patrons (more like a family) in Austin. Hippies and their love of nature are a family of my heart. Many regulars there have suffered from life threatening or long-term illnesses that they have overcome and/or controlled by changing to a macrobiotic and vegan diet. I loved the idea of that but not the reality. I would frequent the restaurant a few times per week gathering enough information to know I did not want to work that hard to make the changes for which my intuition cried out.


The Whole30 was my opportunity to act differently. Recently my friend, Max, explained that he was trying something new. After he explained the program in very basic terms, I began my own online research. I figured that even though it sounded like a massive amount of food prep, I could do anything for 30 days. Before I knew too much, I explained it to my husband who agreed to try it with me. PTL because I cannot imagine having done it alone in a house with others who were eating “normally”.

Describe it? The Whole30 is an eating plan that eliminates all potential food allergens so that your body can reset. Once that reset is complete, you reintroduce each potential allergen to see how your body reacts. That education represents a long-term, life-changing side benefit for many people in that you begin to relate differently to your food by listening to what your body really wants.

My results: My body did not like the reintroduction of dairy. Woo. My body was happy to cut back on sugar and grains (beyond gluten). I lost 8 pounds and probably a fair share of inches here and there. I especially noticed the difference in our faces and bellies and in my arms. Would I do it again? You bet. We have continued to incorporate the basic principles, adding a cheat day once per week. You have to live, right? Either way, our bodies are happier and healthier and yours can be, too. That’s what it’s all about.