Long time, No post

Hello long lost friends!

Life has swept me up and carried me away the past few months.  Family events, school, and now work have all combined to keep me away from blogging.  However, you will be happy to know that I’ve stayed Paleo in the midst of everything!

It has been over four months since I began the Paleo diet to find a way to manage my Fibromyalgia.  The first couple of months were a real struggle.  I threatened to pull my hair out, and my family was not too happy with me or the diet.  However, by month three things started to click.  I stay within the 80-95% range of the Whole 30 plan.  Restaurant food is the biggest reason that I break any rules.  I’m still learning about all the crazy stuff they put in food at restaurants. I went to Chuy’s (Mexican restaurant) the other day and learned that they put gluten in the spice packet they use on their fajita meat. What on earth???

Anyways, so far there are several awesome results of sticking to this diet:

  • I can eat any paleo-approved vegetable out there with almost zero side effects.  Occasionally, too much cabbage will upset my stomach, or other things like that. However, it’s nothing compared to what I experienced before.  The rest of my family is also doing better with vegetables.
  • I rarely crave the unhealthy junk food I used to eat, and I really enjoy the various flavors of real, whole food.  My taste buds have adapted nicely to this way of life.  I feel so much more satisfied at the end of a meal, and I don’t feel the need to eat all day like I used to. I’ve also noticed an increase in my energy levels.
  • I’ve lost about 12 pounds and I’m still losing! I didn’t set out to lose weight and I’ve been more sedentary than I’ve ever been in my entire life in these past few months, yet the weight just keeps coming off.  The rest of my family is losing weight as well. We all needed to.  This is such a relief, because I don’t have the ability to exercise right now.  Before going paleo, I was gaining weight rapidly and had no idea what to do about it.

All of these reasons have convinced me to stay paleo as a way of life, at least for the foreseeable future. Unfortunately, though, there has been no improvement in my pain levels.  The diet has made no difference in this area.  The next step, perhaps at the end of the summer, is to look at autoimmune versions of paleo, or other diets designed specifically for people with chronic pain.

I feel that going paleo was completely worth it, and there may yet be some improvement.  We will see, I suppose.

 

Whole lot of trouble!

I’ve been checking out the Whole30’s eight steps to becoming paleo.  It’s pretty intense!  They don’t allow any sweeteners, even natural ones like honey. No white potatoes, and worst of all- NO PALEO BAKED GOODS! Aahhh!  I understand their reasoning for this rule. They want people to break bad habits of eating sweets and unhealthy junk foods.

I guess I would be willing to give up everything but meat, veggies, and fruit for 30 days. The problem is that I can’t eat most veggies, even cooked.  It’s part of my IBS symptoms. I love veggies, but they really hate me. I may not be able to manage the Whole30 version of the paleo diet. I like having the info as a baseline, though, and keeping as close to that line as I can.

Why Paleo?

Why not?

Do I agree with the theories behind the diet? Let’s just say I’m skeptical. Incredibly. Skeptical.  Even if I wasn’t, my friend who majored in anthropology would be happy to be skeptical for me.

Here’s what I’m thinking:

  • The Paleo diet is incredibly limiting.  Which means I can rule out a bunch of foods at once. As I slowly add them back into my diet (after 3 months without any of them), I will have a better chance of figuring out what, if any, foods or types of foods have an adverse affect on me.
  • Most of the foods on the off-limits list are known to cause digestion problems: gluten, legumes, refined sugar, dairy, etc.  All of these have been proven to cause problems in some people.  Like many people with Fibromyalgia, I have symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome. I’m also Lactose Intolerant.  Solving digestive problems seems like a great place to start.
  • I’ve run into too many people who have improved their health by changing their diet.  I’ve heard so many stories about how limiting intake of gluten or processed sugars have reduced people’s pain and increased their energy.  I had one friend who even reduced his symptoms of dyslexia by getting off sugar!! I’ve always been a skeptic of holistic methods.  I’ve run into enough quacks who have “the cure” for my Fibro to become a cynic.  However, I can’t argue with people I know, love, and trust who have seen real improvements in their life.  All of the foods they’ve mentioned taking out of their diets are foods that aren’t allowed in the Paleo plan.