When you hear the phrase “paleo diet”, do you picture cavemen running after a mammoth? Or do thoughts of eating nothing but meat fill your head? Maybe you have your doubts about cutting out whole food groups or being restrictive with your diet and figure the fad will pass.
To be honest, I had many of those same thoughts when I first heard of the Paleo Diet many years ago. To my fault, I did some cursory research and wrote it off as an unhealthy fad diet ONLY for weight loss. How could eating little more than meat be sustainable? What about all of the heart healthy, fiber rich grains we were told must be a part of a rounded diet? And dairy – I didn’t want to face the prospect of osteoporosis as I got older!
So, I wrote it off and continued to eat what I thought was a healthy diet….even though most of the time I was even fooling myself in that regard; shoveling in pizza, burritos, nachos, and pasta. And then, like many people, I wondered why my weight began to climb and my health to decline.
It wasn’t until recently that I was re-introduced to the Paleo Diet.
After a move from Arizona back to my home state of Pennsylvania in March 2019, my husband, Daniel, and I both adopted even worse dietary habits. How could you not with all of the wonderfully rich PA Dutch food everywhere?! For me, this included re-introducing dairy products, which I had previously cut out in an effort to control my perimenopause. By June 2019 I had developed chronic vestibular migraines, and I was becoming obsessively worried about when (not if) Daniel would experience a cardiac event. Our weight had ballooned and neither one of us was looking especially healthy. I found myself blessed to have discovered that CBD oil helped to control my migraines (but not eliminate them).
Immediately after the Christmas holiday, Daniel started feeling chronically sick. Not any one symptom that could be identified, but it just never really passed or “ran its course”. In an act of desperation, he decided to “eat clean” for a few days. To us, this meant eggs, proteins, and veggies. Within a day or two, he was already starting to feel better and we knew there was something to this (although, I hadn’t actually transitioned, yet). He continued eating clean for two weeks and continued to improve. We started learning all we could about inflammatory foods and anti-nutrients. I was fully on board and immersed, at this point and started my elimination journey.
That’s when this curious little phrase popped up….the Paleo Diet.
So, this was actually a thing and not just the fad diet I thought it was?
I became a sponge and started absorbing all information paleo. Through paleo, I was introduced to AIP, or autoimmune protocol. The web series The Paleo Way became my show of choice. And I rediscovered my enthusiasm for cooking again. There were new challenges to complete as I learned how to use cauliflower rice and spaghetti squash.
But while all of this was going on, another amazing thing was happening. Several weeks into my paleo way of eating, I realized that I wasn’t experiencing the little break through symptoms of my vestibular migraines that would happen with the CBD. As I previously said, while the CBD controlled the migraine, it hadn’t fully eliminated it. I would still experience aura symptoms or momentary dizziness. In fact, I had NO SYMPTOMS AT ALL. I decided to stop the CBD and see what happened.
No more migraines, is what happened.
I also noticed that my eczema was clearing up. Daniel had a small patch of psoriasis that was disappearing. Sinus allergies went away. Brain fog cleared. Bowel issues were no longer issues. Daniel’s complexion no longer looked as if I needed to worry about him. And most noticeably, weight was dropping without effort.
Since then, I have set myself on a new path of learning all that I can about the paleo way of life (because that’s what it truly is) and nutrition. It originally started as an effort to educate myself so that I could better take care of Daniel and myself, but as I’ve progressed I’ve learned how much I want to help others with this knowledge. I’m now enrolled to become a certified Nutritional Life Coach and invite you to join me as I navigate this new world!