Sunday, December 9, 2012

Going Paleo and Gluten Intolerance

“Tomorrow I’m going to go paleo and never look back.”

“Hello, my name is Katie, and I eat Paleo.”

That’s my husband’s favorite quote to taunt me with because he thinks it’s funny how I nerd out about eating Paleo. What’s Paleo you may ask? It is eating lean meats, eggs, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds, healthy oils and nothing more.

Why did I start eating this way you might also be wondering? Well changing my diet and lifestyle came about because of serious health problems I started developing a few years ago.

When some kids are little they love fries, corn dogs, and fried chicken. I was one of these kids, but my stomach and bowels didn’t seem to be able to take on the ‘fried’ food. Consuming anything that was battered and fried generally constituted that I would have a bout of a stomach ache or be in the bathroom in mild pain for hours.

A family history of IBS and GI issues preceded me, so everyone wrote symptoms off to the fact that I should just avoid fried foods because that’s what probably was causing issues.

Then came the sensitivity to richer dairy products like butter, cream cheese, cheese and ice cream. I would eat and eat and eat, knowing full well that my stomach was going to cramp, my plumbing would surely become backed up and I’d get the biggest wave of ‘brain fuzz’ sweeping over me momentarily. Again there was a family history of lactose intolerance.

Over this past spring and summer I began training at Crossfit (a gym) and discovered they were promoting the ‘Paleo Diet.’ The coaches said to try it for 30 days and see if I noticed a difference in training and other areas of my health. Wowee! Let me tell you! That 30 days in July had me feeling the best I’d felt since I could remember. My skin cleared up, no more IBS-like symptoms, no more GI problems, regular bowel movements, weight loss (and in my stomach no less!), energy that could rival five red bulls, no cravings for bread and cheese (two of my weaknesses).

Once the 30 days were up I went on a bender of having candies, cakes, bread, pizza, pasta and anything else non-Paleo I could lay my hands on. Cue IBS, GI issues, dizziness, nausea and a multitude of other unpleasant side effects. Normal souls may find this a time to reassess treating my stomach like a garbage pit, but it turns out there is a thing called gluten intolerance (also linked to gluten addiction) and lack of will power that seemed to be a major roadblock. I saw my doctor within the past two months and confirmed with her all the symptoms I was experiencing which mirrored (aside from vomiting) all of the symptoms for gluten intolerance. She recommended I infuse my diet with gluten  (equivalent of 4-6 slices of bread a day) to determine if that was what caused so many of my issues, and boy, was that the worst experience ever. Thanksgiving was a real drag with all of the gluten filled foods and major weight gain.

Starting this past Sunday 12/2/12 I committed to myself to go paleo for good since I had completed the allotted time recommended for a gluten rich diet. Thank goodness for eating paleo! Within this past week I have lost 11 pounds, my IBS/GI problems are fixed and my skin is clearing up. Makes me feel like the sun is shining and it’s shining on me. So read through what I’ve linked and if it sounds like something you’ve been experiencing don’t hesitate to ask your doctor about whether you may have a gluten or dairy intolerance.

1) Information about gluten intolerance:

2) Information about going Paleo:

Hi I am Katie, and here’s me in a nutshell. I love to eat, and used to live to eat. Now I eat to live. There is never a day that goes by that I am not reading a new scientific article about gluten intolerance and fitness or perusing a blog on gourmet paleo cooking ideas. I Crossfit and am on the Couch to 5k running series. Hit me up with your nutritional, health and fitness based questions.

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