First off, I’d like to state that I’m not a doctor. Please do not substitute your doctors advice without consulting with your doctor first. It was my personal decision to try dietary changes when the medical advice I received only relieved my symptoms and did nothing to correct the root cause of those symptoms. I would encourage you to do your own research to find what works best for yourself. That being said, I would like to share my wellness journey with you, in hopes that it can inspire you to try paleo, if you have already tried many different things that have not helped you in the past.
I’ve been hearing about the paleo diet for a long time, but I was never interested in trying it. It sounded like another fad.
Then last year, I started to develop burning, itchy welts on my skin from head to toe. I was obviously having an extreme allergic reaction to something, but I couldn’t pin point it. At first, I thought it was something topical. As I waited for my HMO to approve a visit to an allergist, I systematically tried to stop using different beauty products and cleaners. Nothing worked. I didn’t believe that it could be food, because I’ve never been allergic to any kind of food in my entire life.
After the allergist sent me in for a blood test, I was surprised to discover that it was indeed food allergies. I was further surprised to learn that I had developed not one, but several new allergies. I learned that I was allergic to gluten, all grains; wheat, rye, barley, oats, rice and corn. Also all legumes; peas, peanuts and soy.
I had no idea that years into adulthood, a person can develop new allergies. I believed that you were either born with them or you weren’t. My allergist told me that there was nothing I could do to change it and to just take benadryl for the rest of my life.
I decided to try to avoid consuming any of my allergens, but the next time I was at the store, I found it nearly impossible to find food products which did not contain at least one of my allergens. Even the “gluten free” types of food would always have some combination of oatmeal, soy, rice, etc.
I started to do a lot of online research on food allergies. My searches started to bring up information about intestinal permeability also known charmingly as “leaky gut syndrome” or “LGS” as I’ll refer to it. It is responsible for a wide range of food and chemical sensitivities, arthritis, asthma, headaches, digestive problems of varying seriousness and chronic fatigue and several skin conditions. It is now also believed to have a connection to autism, which is still being researched.
The more I researched LGS and gluten free recipes, I kept seeing posts about the paleo diet pop up. The types of food groups I like the most, bread and dairy are not allowed on the paleo diet and also no caffeine! These restrictions were not very attractive to me, as I was a full on coffee lover and couldn’t begin to imagine my mornings without caffeine.
At first, it feels like there are so many restrictions on the paleo diet. If I hadn’t had the extreme allergic reactions I was having, I probably would never have tried it. It takes a long time to heal LGS, but I started to notice a big difference my very first day. I had an amazing amount of non-jittery natural energy without caffeine! And even though I wasn’t doing this to lose weight, the pounds just started to melt off. My skin looked so much better and I started to also sleep better.
I’ve started to collect recipes which I’m going to be sharing with you, along with more information on the paleo diet, gut health and clean eating. I have found that if I’m willing to make all of my food from scratch using clean, quality ingredients, that I can have a wider range to my paleo diet which includes pancakes with real butter and real maple syrup, paleo breads and paleo desserts. All of it tastes delicious! I have been eating paleo now for five months and I’m in this paleo lifestyle for the long haul and never want to go back to eating things that food manufacturers try to pass off on consumers as “healthy”.