How I got Started With A Paleo Diet
To give you a little background, I’ve suffered from Crohn’s disease for half of my lifetime. I was diagnosed with it when I was 18 years old. You can read more about my story here. In a nutshell, I went gluten and grain free about 5 years go. I went onto a strict paleo diet and the symptoms of my disease started to go away. Fast forward to today my Crohn’s disease is in remission and still don’t ever eat gluten. As long as I avoid gluten, my Crohn’s symptoms stay away. I also have to be careful with managing stress and emotions because they can trigger a stress response in my body and cause multiple issue with my disease. Living with an autoimmune disease is a pretty complex thing. Add a family, children, work and activities to the mix and it can become a challenge at times to manage it all. I stopped following a strict paleo diet couple of years ago and this is why.
Paleo Diet Is Too Restrictive
I personally find paleo diet too restrictive. I love potatoes and I love rice. I also like beans and think that they offer many health benefits and are a great vegan protein source. And who can resist Mexican food?? I love Mexican food and missed it the most when I was doing strict Paleo. I started adding each of the foods not allowed on paleo, slowly into my diet, and to my surprise my body actually reacted favorable. I started to feel better than before. Maybe it was that I needed to extra carbs that were easy to get from rice, potatoes and beans. I do recommend the Paleo diet to anyone who is looking to help their body return to its natural state. It worked wonders for me. I’ve just learned over the past years to find what foods work for my body and what don’t. It takes a lot of practice and tuning in with your body to recognize how different foods make you feel. It can feel overwhelming but so worth it. I would never go back to the daily pains I had with my Crohn’s disease prior to overhauling my lifestyle and diet. Now changing your diet might not work for everyone but it’s always worth the try. I was lucky to find what was causing my body not feel the best and now I know to make the right choices.
My Diet & Lifestyle Today
I try and avoid junk foods as much as possible. I eat pretty much anything nature provides and as close it it’s natural state as possible. For example I only choose full fat dairy products, I eat lots of vegetables and some fruit. I also eat rice, beans and corn in moderation. I eat meat, chicken and fish and try and choose organic options whenever possible to avoid added hormones and antibiotics. I don’t ever eat gluten. I also avoid junk, gluten free foods, because just because they don’t have gluten, doesn’t mean they are healthy for you. I eat treats sometimes too such as dark chocolate etc but in moderation. I don’t believe in denying a whole food group or item. I figure that people have been consuming rice and other grains for several hundreds of years without serious health consequences. It’s only in the recent years that people are starting to have an issue with gluten. Gluten intolerance is a very complex issue and many times one of the root causes can be a damaged gut lining. Also the structure of wheat used in products today has dramatically changed in the last 50-100 years. The wheat and gluten used today is not the same as what our grandparents consumed. The gluten today is higher in protein than it ever used to be because it has been altered to have a different structure.
I don’t believe in dieting with watching calories etc. The Paleo community is big on this. You don’t need count calories as long as you are eating Paleo foods. If you eat healthy foods and stay away from processed foods, your body can do what it’s designed to do naturally and counting calories is unnecessary. I do believe in portion control though but everything in moderation is ok in my opinion. I try and balance out my meals over a few days or a week. If I eat a bigger dinner one day, I eat less the following day etc. I shoot for a balance diet with no restrictions other than staying away from gluten and junk food as much as possible. If I do feel like I want to eat some chips, which is only occasionally, I will eat them and not feel guilty. I don’t categorize any food as bad or good. I eat it if my body is craving it and I move on. I don’t eat a huge portion of it anyhow so it works out. It took a very long time for me to get to this point with eating though. I used to diet all the time and consider food good or bad. I learned a lot about French way of eating a few years ago, which is high quality foods, but in small amounts. That is pretty much the principle I follow today still. If I accidentally get glutenated when eating out, I utilize essential oils to manage my symptoms. The doTERRA Digestzen is a life savor. I just apply a few drops of it mixed with a little bit of fractionated coconut oil and massage it over the tummy. Peppermint is another great one. I also like to use essential oils to help manage stress. I like to use uplifting and calming blends depending on the situation. Essential oils are amazing for mood support. My favorites are frankincense and serenity for calming, wild orange and cheer for uplifting. The doTERRA Aromatherapy roller kit is an amazing kit to have on hand for overall emotional support and so is the Aromatherapy Diffused kit.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This post and the products/links mentioned are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.* Always check with your doctor if you have health concerns.