Sundog –noun 1. parhelion. 2. a small or incomplete rainbow.

A Few Paleo Thoughts

Tuesday will be exactly four months since we made the switch to a Paleo lifestyle.

I can still hardly believe how much meat we consume each week because I have never in my life been a huge meat eater. The previous 12.5 years of vegetarianism, over a third of my life and nearly all of my adult years, has been thoroughly tossed out the window in favor of meat, meat, and meat! Combined with this is the greatly increased fat intake which is just as huge of a change from how I ate all those years.

Its really no wonder that it takes a body time to make such massive shifts in how it processes food. I think it is safe to say that our health is playing a key role in how we adapt to this new lifestyle. Provides some answers for why we have more ups and downs, even now four months in, than others who are healthy and make the change.

Overall impression of having shifted our diet this dramatically?

I think the long term benefits will be stellar. We are already seeing small improvements that are a little hard to define, largely because our memory has become so poor as to make any sort of quantitative analysis extremely difficult for minor changes. But in our world any improvement is a vast step forward after having been stalled out at such a low level of health these last several years. These improvements feel more solid and less likely to give us the house of cards effect we had last summer – one very bad thing causing us to crash and loose two years of improvements.

My pseudoscience guess is that the changes in us are slow because of how far down our health has fallen. I distinctly feel like my nutrition is greatly improved and my body feels calmer because of this. It just feels more ‘happy’ eating this way and I have the distinct impression that much healing is occurring behind the scenes and waiting to make a spectacular debut someday.

This has been a very life changing event for us and one which I am still awed by our ability to make it work so well from a tent, two burner hot plate, and a small refrigerator/freezer.

I can not speak highly enough of giving this diet a try if anyone has major health problems. As with us, the benefits might be slow in coming but in the long term will provide a huge increase to quality of life. It will likely seem daunting at first thought (I know it was for us!) but we started one step at a time and never gave up.

This change was six months in the making for us and most of that time was spent feeling very overwhelmed with the knowledge that we had to change our diet but not knowing in what way. I am incredibly grateful for Jeremy’s hard work and willingness to try something new.

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10 responses

  1. Meat eaters rock!

    Has it really been four months already? My grasp of time has obviously not gotten any better with the passage of … time.

    I am so pleased by all this. It’s what you were hoping for, to get more solid health beginning to move and grow.

    Wonderful!

    Pass the chicken. And butter.

    April 16, 2010 at 10:51 am

  2. Sorry Jody but no butter here! πŸ™‚

    I can share some chicken curry though – its become one of our staples. πŸ˜€

    And aye, I could hardly believe it was four months till I did the counting on the calendar. Why it seems just last month you were hearing of our grain and soy based diet and being dutifully horrified. lol

    hugs, Lisa

    April 16, 2010 at 11:15 am

  3. Marian Smartt

    I will take a look at this diet..anything to help our overall health. Dr. Black at Hunter Hopkins has me on some supplements that seem to be helping. But three days in the hospital having a cardiac cath and other nuclear medicine tests (plus worst diet ever!!!) have pushed me into another crash. UGH Resting in bed, thankful to be in a house in the woods…

    April 16, 2010 at 4:51 pm

  4. Marian Smartt

    Forgot to ask…any nutritional ideas for kidney failure. Yep, I have been diagnosed with kidney failure GRRRR

    April 16, 2010 at 4:53 pm

    • 😦 Very sorry to hear that Marian.

      If you do decide to go paleo, I’d take it slow. One week swap out breakfast. Next week breakfast and lunch, etc. Give your body a bit of time to get used to the switch. Also should wait till your daughter comes to stay so that if/when you get the major energy slump that comes for a few weeks with making the change, you’ll have some good help. This way she can keep an eye on your health too as big changes can be hard on the body (as I’ve found out these last few months).

      For your kidneys – they are one of the systems for clearing toxins in the body. I think it could probably do you a lot of good if you eliminated as many toxic things from around the house and in your diet as possible. At worst – it doesn’t hurt! πŸ˜€

      Even if you can’t go paleo soon/ever, go for as few prepackaged items as possible. Stay clear of additives, dyes, preservatives, alternative sweeteners and try to get rid of all gluten sources if possible. You can google ‘celiac disease’ and it should pop up some good resources of all the places gluten is found.

      Put in an out of the way place (garage or such) all perfume, air fresheners, probably most or all your cleaners and just get back to the basics. If you aren’t going out – skip the deodorant. Make-up and hair products are pretty toxic too (least when I’m downwind of someone wearing them.) Anything that says ‘anti-‘ whatever (anti-microbial, etc) toss that in the out of the way place too. If its meant to kill, it doesn’t care that you’re human or germ most of the time.

      You were interested in soap nuts, probably a great time to start washing with them. πŸ™‚

      Other than just simplifying what your body’s toxic burden is so your kidneys work less hard, I don’t really know. Not anything I’ve had to look into.

      If you think you may go paleo, try writing Robb Wolf (link on front page here) for suggestions/warnings on making the switch with your biggest health problems. He answers questions posted to his latest podcast very frequently. In fact I’m eagerly waiting to hear his answers to three of my own questions I asked about a week and a half ago. He said he’d cover it in the podcast so I shall be patient. πŸ™‚

      big and gentle kidney strengthening hugs, Lisa

      April 16, 2010 at 5:45 pm

  5. Snez

    Fantastic news… I rejoice with you that the paleo diet is slowly chipping away at your health problems. πŸ™‚

    I feel that a similar diet (15 months now) has helped my body to function a whole heap better. However I still am dealing with ongoing gallbladder issues which make meat and fat consumption tricky for days at a time. And of course there are times when I don’t want to eat meat at all and would prefer a bowl of creamy porridge instead or custard… πŸ™‚

    Looking forward to a whole heap more improvement with the passing of time. πŸ™‚

    hugs Snez

    PS Marian sorry to hear that you’ve been diagnosed with kidney disease. I second what Lisa said but I also wonder if there are specific supplements that help strengthen the kidneys?

    April 17, 2010 at 12:47 am

    • I hear ya Snez, sometimes I really miss a hot bowl of oatmeal. πŸ™‚

      April 18, 2010 at 3:52 pm

  6. I’ll have to google the diet, but I was a vegetarian in my pre CFS/ME years for about 2 years. I was skin and bones even though healthy. I feel better eating meat. That’s the bottom line.

    April 17, 2010 at 2:40 am

    • I have a couple good links to a page that offers an into to paleo and other peoples paleo blogs in my links area here.

      Its strange isn’t it Pris? How I thought I felt ok eating vegetarian, yet feel noticeably better eating meat too. The last two years I would sometimes have dreams of big feasts with BBQ chicken or roast beef. I should have listened to those dreams sooner! πŸ™‚

      April 18, 2010 at 3:54 pm

  7. Marian Smartt

    It is so great to find a blog/friends that don’t believe in deodorant(heehee) and TOXIC cleaning supplies etc. I am sooo with you all. No make-up either…ha Make all my own bath/body products so I know exactly what is in them.

    My kids think I am living in the 1800’s…ha

    I am just so against antimicrobial products and the teflon etc that can kill us!

    Still in bed…UGH Husband got me a chaise lounge so that I can sit outside some. Actually lie down and enjoy thetrees and sky. I am having great trouble sitting up lately. My body wants to be prone…UGH

    Waiting it out…reading. Having a hard time keeping up on the computer. Please bear with me.
    Love to you all,
    Marian

    April 28, 2010 at 1:48 pm

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