Monday, July 25, 2011

My New Paleo Lifestyle

If you know me at all, you know I've spent a generous amount of time in the doctor's office, specifically my gastroenterologist's office. Dr. Wong is great, but I'd rather not ever have to see him (except for those darn colonoscopies I have to do every 1-3 years now thanks to a tiny polyp. Boo.) I have suffered from IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) for least 15 years. In the last year or more it has become increasingly worse. I've tried just about everything medication-wise, and they would work for a little while, and then stop working.

Last week I got so fed up with my stomach dictating my life that I decided I had to do something. My real-life friend, Erin, posted on her blog in January about Paleo. I read the posts and thought to myself, "I'll never give up grains and dairy. That's too hard and ridiculous. I love bread! And ice cream! And yogurt! And..." Well. I bought a book, The Paleo Solution, by Robb Wolf when we were home in February, and it has been sitting on my shelf ever since we returned. I picked it up last Monday and read almost the whole thing (I skipped a bunch of science-y stuff because I just wanted to know what I needed to do). I decided this could work for me, and I made the decision to give it a try.

Since last Tuesday morning, I have not eaten any grains (no rice, pasta, bread, gluten, etc. of any kind), dairy, beans, or sugar (processed/refined/artificial...nothing). I have eaten fruits, vegetables, lean meats, eggs and nuts. I've also had LOTS of water (80-100 ounces a day). And you know what?


Seriously. I have not felt this good in, well..., I don't remember if I ever felt this good. Monday and Tuesday of last week were epic days in regards to how my stomach was doing (horrible), but after two days of eating Paleo, my stomach problems were gone.

And I've lost 6 pounds.

I have energy, which is something I greatly lacked when my stomach was so messed up all the time. When you're living in the bathroom, the last thing you want to do is exercise, but now I exercise almost every day. Feeling good really does something for a person. :-)

Being healthy and having energy are definitely worth all the things I've given up. I really haven't even missed the things I used to enjoy (like Dr. Pepper and chocolate), which is a miracle all in itself. I never thought I could eat this way, but now I know that I can. And I will continue because of how I feel.

I've only been doing this for ONE WEEK, and already see huge results! I have yet to go out to eat, but some girls and I are going to dinner on Wednesday night, so I looked up the menu online to see what I could eat. Now I'm prepared!

And if you, like my mother, are wondering how in the world I'm going to get enough calcium without eating dairy (a valid question seeing as how I fractured 3 ankle bones last year), did you know that these foods are high in calcium: broccoli, almonds, salmon, apricots, spinach, kale, and walnuts? There are quite a few more...all things I can eat! 15 almonds contains about 40mg of calcium.

Another question I've been asked is how do I do this and still feed my family. Well, Justin really has no choice. ;-) He's on board with getting me healthier, and in his words, "I'm still going to cheat when you're not around." It's fine with me. I honestly don't crave sweets and things anymore. I will allow myself some cheats after a month or so, but for now I'm going pretty strict. Everyone in my family is still allowed to eat cereal with milk for breakfast, and my kids still eat bread and yogurt. Caleb is a lot easier in the eating department than Levi. Last night we had pork chops, salad (with homemade dressing, no sugar), and steamed broccoli. Caleb ate everything he was served. And then he ate an apple, and a banana, and a fruit leather strip later in the night. Levi opted not to even try the pork chops (not a surprise), and ate an apple instead. He didn't starve to death, and ate breakfast this morning. :-) My kids already eat a lot of fresh fruit, and Caleb loves raw carrots, lettuce and spinach, and broccoli. We're all benefiting from the amount of fruits and vegetables in the house.

You can google "Paleo" and come up with tons of information and recipes. I haven't eaten anything I didn't like. (And if you suffer from IBS and want more details on how things have changed for me, you can email me privately at justinandjennifer {at} gmail {dot} com.)

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