I’m going Paleo. And I’m terrified.
I’ve already cut down on dairy because it gives me stomach and intestinal pain. If I do consume something with cheese or milk, I usually take a lactase pill to control it a bit.
I tried to go gluten-free out of sheer curiosity last year, but I barely lasted a week.
I mean, I love me some bread. And pizza. And Oreos.
But this “diet” has been suggested to me by people I know, as well as others whose stories I have only read online. And they seem pretty convincing to me.
The main reason for introducing this change to my lifestyle is for health reasons. I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease about a year and a half ago. Before the diagnosis was official, I had 2 major flare-ups during the two years prior to that. You can read my blog post about it, but basically, in order to maintain remission, I’m on meds for the rest of my life. So far, so good; I haven’t had a flare-up since my diagnosis in October 2012.
However, prescription costs add up. I’ve had to switch insurance plans (and therefore meds) 3 times due to moving downstate and enrolling in and graduating from graduate school. Monthly co-pays for my meds have ranged from really cheap (as in paying $1 when I was on Medicaid upstate) to now paying over $100 with Empire Bluecross Blueshield. Thanks a lot, Obamacare!
Plus, it’s a real pain in the ass having to take multiple pills multiple times per day. I was originally taking 6 pills twice per day with my first set of meds. When I went to the doctor near campus in NYC, he suggested I try another kind, in which I would only have to take 3 pills twice per day. Heck yes! Well, now on this new plan, my insurance won’t cover that medication, so I’m back to taking more pills – three pills, three times per day.
At this point, I’ve been taking so many darn pills for so long that it has just become routine. But that’s not to say I wouldn’t love it if I could simply get through the rest of my life without being a pill-head. One less thing to worry about.
Back in 2011, my now-fiancé Tom was the first person who told me about this Caveman/Neanderthal/Paleo Diet. He was convinced that it was a great idea; it’s based on what cavemen and women used to eat, so obviously it’s natural and healthy. Sure enough, he lost weight. But I think it’s mainly because he was sleeping during the day, working in his basement apartment at night, and mostly only consuming foods very high in fat like nuts. Oh, and cups upon cups of coffee. He didn’t stick with it very long as there were some, ahem, crappy side effects and he started looking very sickly.
Since then, it has become a popular diet. Many people partake in this and other “fad” diets to lose weight or to reap the health benefits. But still others do it just to say they are partaking in X, Y, and Z. Like I said, I’m more in it for the health benefits; losing weight and maintaining it would just be a bonus. I’ve got a wedding dress to fit into!
Personally, I think I’ve gotten too lazy and have started taking my health for granted now that I have it back (with the exception of those dang pills). So I’m making a commitment to start introducing Paleo meals and guidelines into my diet. I’m not going to just dive all-in all at once because I find that this is more difficult to stick with than making small efforts here and there. I would hope that in the near future I can be mostly Paleo. And maybe pill-free?
I’ve started looking into recipes, cookbooks, blogs, etc. on all things Paleo. One blog that I’ve come to love is called Against all Grain by Danielle Walker. Her story is similar to but even worse than mine – she dealt with crazy abdominal pain, lost tons of weight, and had multiple blood transfusions and iron infusions, before she was finally diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis (which is similar to Crohn’s).
She changed to a Paleo-style diet and has seen remarkable results. She posts Paleo recipes, has her own Paleo cookbooks, reviews of others’ books, and even writes about her struggles with not eating those comfort foods we all know and love. Definitely relatable and inspiring. And so dang gorgeous!
So the first step would be to pick out some Paleo meals to replace my typical ones, get the ingredients, and try this thing out! Suggestions, personal accounts (successes and failures), or favorite Paleo recipes would be greatly accepted and appreciated!