Wednesday, June 3, 2015


About three weeks back I made the decision to start following the Paleo Diet. In a (very quick) nutshell Paleo is high protein, low carb eating. Some of the biggest "no-no"s are grains and processed sugars. I decided to switch to Paleo because for the last few years I've had a plethora of health issues that seem to be linked to an auto-immune disorder. First, I had Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) which basically means that my stomach was generally a wreck for no real reason except that I was probably under a lot of stress. Then, I had Hashimoto's disease or hypothyroidism which is caused when the body attacks the thyroid and it's not able to function properly. Next, I developed hypersomnia which is pretty much just being tired all the dang time and, finally, my doctor decided that I also have low to moderate fibromyalgia (chronic pain and joint inflammation). Over the past year my doctor has told me several times that it seems like my issues are caused by my body basically turning on itself (i.e. an auto-immune disorder). This makes sense as I can look back over the last 15 years and see how my anxiety and stress issues have been building to the point where my body has started to break down (I cannot tell you how many times I've had tendonitis, stomach issues, and sleep problems). This chart pretty much explains what (I think) happened over the years:

I had already cut out lactose because I had discovered that this caused huge stomach issues for me. After the last pronouncement that I was still having issues due to an auto-immune disorder, I began to research ways to naturally treat auto-immune issues. Well, the Paleo diet was it. There is an auto-immune protocol (AIP) Paleo Diet that you can follow but it is super restrictive. The Paleo plan that I follow is "Paleo-ish"; I still drink a cup of sugary instant coffee in the morning and I have grains about once a day. I live with my parents who follow the standard American diet and I don't want to inconvenience them so I make it work around what we normally buy from week to week. Veggie chips (especially sweet potato chips) and salsa have become my go to snack. Larabars are also lifesavers. I don't think I'll ever be 100% Paleo but I shot for at least 75% each day. There are certain foods I may never be able to fully give up (pizza and ice cream are two big ones) and when I go out to eat or hang out with friends I don't want to feel like I'm "that guy" who makes a big deal out of food. This blog post by Paleo Mama is an excellent explanation of why I'm not 100% Paleo.

It's been almost around three weeks and I'm seeing some definite improvements. I'll be sure to update you on my progress as I go!

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