Katherine is originally from Northern Ireland but she has been living in Australia for 8 years now. Australia is now her home. Her husband is Australian so it made the move a lot easier. She works as an Intensive Care Nurse and in her free time she loves to read, catch up with friends, catch a movie or swim.

Where/ when did you first hear about Whole30?

I am part of the Brisbane Paleo Group and a few of the members had talked about whole30. I was intrigued so I looked it up. Initially I thought no way is that for me, it is way too strict, however my health became such an issue that I was prepared to try anything.

Here’s a little snippet about why Catherine started Whole30:

For 7 years I have battled autoimmunity. I have been in ICU, I have had 70% muscle wastage, been fed via an IV with TPN for 7 weeks, spent 6 mths of 2007 in hospital over 8 admissions – 2 months straight one time, spent 9 months in a wheelchair and been pumped full of steroids like you couldn’t imagine. My weight has gone up and down. The only time I ever lost any weight was with excessive exercise and starvation which you guessed it made me sicker. Enter paleo which I flirted with for about a year and then a month ago my immunologist told me that my maxed out meds weren’t working any more. I was devastated at 32 my doctors couldn’t get me painfree or even walking semi normally. I had had enough so I decided to do whole30, it couldn’t hurt right! it was only 30 days!

When was your Whole30?

23rd June – 22nd July

What was the biggest challenge you overcame during Whole30?

I loved to snack and I would snack on anything, potato chips, chocolate, fruit, yoghurt…. I also had a 2 litre a day Coca-Cola habit which I relied on heavily for energy and a caffeine hit (I don’t drink coffee or tea). The sugar withdrawal was particularly nasty, I felt headachy and nauseated but I told myself that it meant the detox was working.

Whole30 Approved MealsWhat are some of the Non Scale Victories you experienced?

Prior to Whole30 I was having to sleep 10-12 hours a night because of a severe autoimmune flare. I would then need a 2-3 hour naps each afternoon. Throughout whole30 my need for that amount of sleep decreased rapidly, I no longer nap in the afternoons, I sleep 8-10 hours a night and I sleep much more deeply. My skin is so much clearer and people comment on it regularly. The inflammation in my arthritic joints has started to decrease. I can now walk down the stairs normally in the morning instead of crying out in pain and clinging to the banister for support. And I just feel happier and calmer.

I have been on sick leave for 4.5 months after a severe autoimmune flare, removal of impacted tooth in my sinus, pneumonia, viral meningitis, 3 x DVTs in my arm, scans for possible cancer which showed nothing (YAY for me) and cellulitis. Whole30 came post all of these and as a last resort to help my health. Monday 4th August, I put my nursing uniform back on and returned to the other side of the bed rail. I think Whole30 is what changed to help me get back to this point.

I also lost 8cm from my waist and 6cm from my bust.

What was your scale victory? 🙂

I lost 8kgs (17.6lbs) I had only exercised 1 x 20minute walk and 1 x 35 minute treadmill incline walk in the whole 30 days.

UPDATE: since we first chatted, her new results are in!! In 60 days of whole 30 I have now lost 14.1 kgs which is 31 lbs!

Whole30 Approved BreakfastDo you have any words of wisdom for anyone currently doing a Whole30?

Don’t over think it. Just do it! Yes it will be uncomfortable for the first few days but if I can go cold turkey on a 2 litre/day Coca-Cola habit then you can break whatever you are addicted to. When the tiger blood feeling hits you know it has all been worth while. Plan your meals, look for inspiration on line, you don’t have to eat steam veg and grilled chicken for 30 days! I did whole30 over my birthday, not having cake felt odd but the feeling of saying No to the cake was empowering. My husband put a candle in my dinner instead and sang Happy Birthday. Be inventive!

What is something you wished you had known before starting Whole30?

To be honest there isn’t really anything. I went into this with my eyes wide open. I had read a lot of blog articles, books etc about it and I knew I would feel a little bit worse before I felt a whole lot better. The detoxing phase is uncomfortable but I wouldn’t say it was hard. I kept a list of my goals close by and focused on those.

Whole30 Approved BreakfastAny other places we can find you?

I share a lot of my meals on instagram cat_keast, My husband is a chef so they are always tasty but also simple and quick to make as we are both shift workers. I loved whole30 so much that I am currently on day 42! yes I just kept going and my aim is to reach the end of August. That means I will also be on whole30 over my 9th wedding anniversary and I am not bothered. My husband is also whole 30, he started it for support and because he can’t take my pain away but this he could do to help make my journey easier and lost 8.4kgs and is so excited by what it has done for my health that he says that is the best anniversary present he could have (yes he really is that sweet!)

I also have a blog which is just starting out where I share how my health is going and a few basic recipes. www.keastydownunder.blogspot.com.au

Have you done a Whole30? What was it like for you? Comment below!