Saturday, May 14, 2011


I've been doing some reflecting lately on how much my health has changed in the past 8 months (since going Paleo).  It's amazing to me just how quickly I can forget all the ailments I used to deal with.  Looking back I am reminded of the constant abdominal pain,
bloating, gas etc., that I dealt with on a daily basis because I had Irritable Bowel Syndrome.  I had battled it for years, learning my "triggers", like chocolate, cabbage (which I can now eat with no problem), etc.  But even then I would have daily discomfort and have days of excruciating agony. There really was nothing that worked to treat it other than modifying my diet and exercising.  Then there was the chronic back pain or degenerative arthritis I had been diagnosed with at the ripe old age of 19 years old!  I had also suffered from pretty severe hypoglycemia most of my life.  Then there is the diagnosis for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome I received in high school and suffered from for years.  Even though it eventually went into remission, severe fatigue would still be on of my continuing battles.  Spring would bring horrible seasonal allergies, no energy and the feeling I constantly had a sore throat/cold not to mention the itchy eyes.
When I first decided to go Paleo I was a skeptic and was not at all convinced it would really make a difference.  Over the years there had been many a doctor or person who thought they could  "fix" my health problems.  But nothing ever worked, so I gave it a 30 day trial.  The first 2 weeks were hell for me, horrible sweats, hot flashes etc. and I felt like crap, while my body detoxed from all the carbs and sugar I'd been ingesting (I was a major "healthy" carb eater, whole grains, brown rice, you get the picture).  Then it took another 4 weeks before I really started feeling noticeably better, especially my digestive system took longer to heal.  I would say at the 30 day mark there were already visible benefits, like no more carb crashing in the afternoon, hypoglycemia decreasing, etc.  But I still wasn't sold, my husband talked me into sticking it out and giving it 2 additional weeks to really allow my digestive system more time to heal.  I now understand how important your digestive health is to the rest of our health, but at the time I had no idea.  Even then it took a little fine tuning to really get things to settle down in the digestive department.  I had to cut out nuts completely and then introduce them in small amounts.  So if you are still having issues, you may want to give that a try. 
I find myself taking it for granted now that I no longer deal with these health issues on a daily basis.  I still have days when I am wiped out, but now it's due to life and its stresses or lack of sleep.  And most days I can still push through and just got to bed early or if it's stress related do a workout, run, go for a walk, bike ride, hike, etc., and find renewed energy instead of needing a nap.
I am really enjoying the absence of seasonal allergies.  And now that I am getting healthier ( I had a bout with Adrenal Fatigue a few months ago), I am rarely sick either, which I attribute to the fact that my body is no longer in a constant state of inflammation.
On a quick side note, when I was going through recovery for the Adrenal Fatigue I found some supplements and herbs that were very helpful.  I am still taking them for the time being and notice that if I miss a day or especially if I miss 2 I start feeling the symptoms return.  I've found that taking these things in conjunction with some form of daily exercise is invaluable in lowering my cortisol levels, maintaining  a clear  mind and energy levels.  Paleo eating teamed with the supplements/herbs and exercise have helped me to make huge leaps towards complete health.  It's hard to believe its all occurred in just 8 months!  I am reminded to be grateful for the energy and health I am already enjoying in just 8 short months and look forward to regaining more and more of my health.  

If you are interested these are the vitamins and herbs I have found to be helpful:
Fish Oil
Vitamin B stress sustained release 
Vitamin D
Natural Calm Magnesium  drink

Yogi's Bedtime tea has become a tradition, and is very helpful because it contains, Valerian root, licorice root and passion flower, all things that are very helpful with Adrenal Fatigue ( I was originally taking them on a regular basis, but now just use the tea at night).

On occasions where nothing else is working and I find myself anxious, I take a Gaba Calm, it works almost instantly and allows my mind and body to relax.  It has been very helpful, and I usually only need one a couple of times a week.

I have also occasionally been taking the Now, Super Enzyme, but not so much recently. 

In the morning it's Tazo's Green Tea, Zen. In the middle of my most recent bout with adrenal fatigue I gave up coffee, which was one of the best things I did for my body!  Instead I start my morning with a huge mug of green tea, which is really good for your body.  Here are some quotes from Wikipedia on the benefits of green tea:

Theanine (which can be found in green tea) has been shown to reduce mental and physical stress,[6] and improves cognition and mood in a synergistic manner with caffeine.[7]

L-TheanineT cells. The study, published in 2003 by the Brigham and Women's Hospital, included a four-week trial with 11 coffee drinkers and 10 tea drinkers, who consumed 600 milliliters of coffee or black tea daily. Blood sample analysis found the production of antibacterial proteins was up to five times higher in the tea drinkers, an indicator of a stronger immune response.[18]

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1 comment:

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