About Me

My photo
I'm Beth. I'm married to my best friend, and he's pretty awesome. We have two equally awesome kids, Gavin and Sophie.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Satan invented gluten, you know.

Want to hear me gush about the benefits of eating paleo some more? I bet you do!
Sorry if you don't...I'm not that interesting so we'll stick with stuff I'm excited about.

There have been a ridiculous amount of positive changes and benefits to us switching to a paleo lifestyle.  More than I thought.  Quite a while ago we decided we'd try it, because what could it hurt, right?  Most people who care enough to take the time to read my blog posts also know that over the past year I had a lot of health problems and scary things go on that were sort of a mystery to doctors.  Enough that we really would try anything to improve my health and reverse the things that were going on. 
So anyway, we went back and forth with paleo.  We ate a good portion of our food 'paleo friendly' but we also ate non-paleo stuff.  Or sometimes we'd stick to it then get off track.  But I got sick of that.  Literally, SICK.  And I was tired of always being sick.  Sick, and fat...and no matter what I tried, I couldn't feel better, and I couldn't lose weight.  I wasn't a closet binge-er or anything, either.  It wasn't like I was only being good in public and then doing stuff to sabotage my success.  I couldn't figure it out and that kind of thing is so frustrating it makes me want to scream and cry.  I decided to just suck it up. 
The beginning of switching to a totally paleo lifestyle is, I won't lie, hard.  Really tough.  You realize what you are really addicted to, and you want those things you've given up more than you want anything!  Food is scarier than an addiction to crack. Because, you know, you have to eat!  May as well eat pasta and cookies and chips, right??  Okay so we ate pretty 'healthy' in the first place.  But becoming really strict about it takes quite the adjustment period.  I have no will power.  I'm very impressed with myself that I finally reached the point where I could give everything up and do it semi-easily.  I guess maybe 3 hospital visits in one year and multiple doctors visits with different doctors with no real answers is my final straw.  I'm 29 for crying out loud. Not 70. 
So a benefit I have is that I love to cook, and I'm a stay at home mom.  That is a hard job, don't get me wrong, but it also puts me here, in the house, more than I would be if I had a job outside the home, and  that helps me have the ability to find good recipes and make a variety of paleo meals and snacks for us.  If I wasn't here as my job, I would probably have found that to be an overwhelming thing to start.  However, now that I know how to eat/cook/shop paleo, I can tell you: it is really easy.  If you don't have any idea what to make for dinner one night, there's no reason to panic.  Cook some meat.  Cook some veggies.  Bam. Dinner's done.  You can get fancy, which is nice to add some variety, but you can also do it that basic and you'll have a satisfying meal.
What was my point...? Oh yeah.  Okay so I finally made up my mind and stuck to it.  Amazing.  I had no idea I felt SO BAD before.  Yeah I felt bad enough a few times to make my way to the hospital (I even took my first ever ambulance ride...scary), but I didn't realize how bad I felt on a daily basis.  Every single day, I felt some sort of aches and pains.  Did I find that troubling? NO (which is even scarier). I just had lived like that so long, that it was normal. It was life.  Everyone must have that right? No, wrong.  My aches and pains went away.  My constant stomach/intestinal issues/pains/discomfort...GONE.  The crippling chest pain I had been having that made me feel, honestly, that I was going to die (but doctors couldn't figure out) has been gone for months, with no indications of returning.  That is the biggest thing.  To make *that* pain go away, I'd really do almost anything.  I have enough energy to exercise regularly, and on top of that, I *want* to.  When I don't, I notice a difference in the way I feel, emotionally.
Aside from my health problems prompting me to this change, a big...no, HUGE factor in my success was reading Robb Wolf's book, The Paleo Solution, which you can buy here (and I highly recommend doing so...even if you're skeptical about this "paleo" thing.)
I was reading this book and he asked a list of questions, and as I read them, I thought..."oh my gosh. He wrote this book for ME." Because:
Yes, I sleep less than 9 hours per night.  YES, I have problems falling asleep/staying asleep.  I wake up more exhausted than when I went to bed...I really only get to feeling fully awake in the evening, when its almost time for sleep again!  YES, i'm tired and achy all the time!  I DO have frequent upper-respiratory infections.  I DO live and die by stimulants (COFFEE)...I have definitely gained fat in the midsection, even carefully watching my food intake.  I HAVE SO experience memory problems (which has caused much wailing and gnashing of teeth. Why can't I just freaking REMEMBER stuff?!) And I definitely have problems with depression.
These were the answers to almost every single question on his list.  What is the solution to all of these things?  Eat paleo. And get sleep.
I've been doing those things and you cannot truly understand the difference its made unless you live with me.  Seriously.  Night and day.  I still have a significant amount of weight to lose.  And while that's really troubling to me, its a slow process and I just have to accept that.  The most important part is the difference it has made in my health and well-being. 
Another sign of this is recently, I had something by mistake that had gluten in it.  If I was skeptical before that eating paleo was causing all the beneficial changes, this would have made me a believer.  I felt SO SICK.  My stomach cramped up.  I got a headache. I got itchy.  Oh man I felt terrible.  From ONE thing.  I had never realized before how food was making me feel...but going back to the 'old ways' showed me just how awful I was always feeling, and I was just so used to it I didn't even notice. That was kinda scary. 
Another thing I realized, as I thought more about it and paid attention to the effects that slip up had on me, was how much my mood is effected by the things I put in my body.  That one incident made me feel a little crazy.  Like I was on a roller coaster. So I went back through my brain and looked at the calender and I could actually pin point the roller coaster emotions as being times when we were eating only 'sorta' paleo.  Artificial, processed things and gluten actually do, in fact, make me crazy.  You get sort of a euphoric feeling at the moment you are eating those things, and then a huge crash.  I felt overly emotional (which for me, is saying something) the next few days.  Stupid little things made me cry.  This last time, I felt like my world was honestly coming to an end, over stuff that really wasn't that big of a deal.  I cried, felt so overly depressed I couldn't go about my normal daily business...and why would I ever want to feel that way??
Isn't that ridiculous?!  It helped, though, in a major way, to reinforce in my mind that we are doing the absolute right thing.  Eating paleo has changed my life.  I'm not where I want to be, physically, but everything else has made such a huge turn around.  And its awesome!  If you need me, I'll be standing on the corner with a pro-paleo sandwich board on, ringing a bell.


  1. This is so great! I'm so happy to hear how your mystery illnesses have cleared up! I know how you feel with the slip-up recheck...I don't have severe autoimmune reactions to gluten, but I'm fairly sensitive to lactose and grains in the tummy. Eating them for a while seems to bring about some balance, but if I've been quite strict and then go out to socialize and eat some thing stupid [last time was stuffed mushrooms] I'm in misery. Good food and good sleep work wonders...keep up the great work :)

  2. yeah, the stuff that tastes 'so good' doesn't really seem that appealing anymore now that you know how they make you feel, huh? :)