Am I Paleo?

Prior to starting this blog, I would use Facebook to follow other bloggers, doctors, health enthusiasts, etc. and share the information that I found valid for me. For me. That is the key. I am not anything. Meaning, I do not label my way of eating. I am not 100% anything. Probably because I have my demons when it comes to food and struggle to give up certain things. Remember my first post? This is a journey. A very long journey!

Why are most of the recipes I share Paleo? Well, there are a number of reasons, but they all start with my daughter. When we began looking into ways to treat her symptoms holistically, we started with Lindy Ford, RD, LDN. Lindy, a dear, sweet, Jesus lovin’ friend of ours is also a Functional & Integrative Nutritionist & Registered Dietician. This was SO important to us! Why? Because Functional Medicine is all about getting to the root of the problem rather than treating the symptoms of the problem, something our current healthcare system does not do.

A few years ago, after battling migraines most of my life, my migraines reached epic proportions, debilitating me. Not only was I vomiting, unable to open my eyes, get out of bed, or process a thought, and missing tons of work, I was unable to meet the needs of my family more often than not. The women in my family all suffer with migraines. But similar treatment plans were not working for me. That was the first time I started seeking “alternative therapies” for myself. For years, I saw a Chiropractor. While it did help, it wasn’t the answer. Then I began to get regular, deep tissue massages. When I say regular, it was about every other week, sometimes weekly. Unfortunately, because most health insurances do not cover this type of treatment in lieu of drugs, it is very expensive to maintain. However, I have reached a point now where I have been seeing some relief and getting massages less frequently. I still have my episodes, some worse than others. But relief comes with a pretty standard response of ice, massage, stretches, and essential oils. The medicine only treats the pain, which actually doesn’t work for me. I want to remove the problem so I don’t have to worry about the pain.

So, when we went to see Lindy about our daughter, we wanted to get to the root causes of her issues. We learned one of her issues was that she had gluten sensitivity. This is not Celiac. We have a family member with Celiac and this is not her issue. Without getting into specifics about my daughter’s diagnosis, Dr. Hyman explains, “Gluten sensitivity is actually an autoimmune disease that creates inflammation throughout the body, with wide-ranging effects across all organ systems including your brain, heart, joints, digestive tract, and more. It can be the single cause behind many different “diseases.” To correct these diseases, you need to treat the cause–which is often gluten sensitivity–not just the symptoms.” She is also casein sensitive, a dairy protein that, Dr. Hyman explains, “can cause irritation and inflammation in your gut.”

So, a little side note about me… I do not like to cook. I mean, REALLY do not like to cook. Like…going in the kitchen to cook immediately stresses me out. So, when I go in there, I love you but no, I do not want your help. I love you but please do not talk to me because I cannot hold a conversation and cook at the same time! Yes, it is that bad. Yes, it has improved over the last two years as I have been forced to cook more often but it still is NOT my favorite thing to do. So, this was a HUGE transition for our family who went out to eat most of the time because my husband, who loves to cook, does not work hours that allow him to come home a cook everyday.

Now that I was armed with knowing the foods my daughter needed to stay away from, I did what I always do and started researching like a crazy woman! You’ve heard the quote, “A worried mother does better research than the FBI.” Yea, that was definitely the case. I went into crazy person research mode. It completely consumed me. One thing I learned very, very quickly…because I am ALL ABOUT EASY in the kitchen…if a recipe was Paleo; it was gluten and casein free. There was no need to substitute and I didn’t have to think about it. So, friends who are close to me and follow my FB page, no, we are not Paleo. And, yes, you will see us eating things with gluten and casein because, well, I love pizza and getting a 13-year-old girl to only eat what you tell her to is, well, you can only imagine. Especially because her favorite food is ice cream and, at Nana’s house, ice cream for breakfast is acceptable since it is no different than milk for your cereal. Funny thing is, I don’t quite remember it that way before she was a Nana!

So, no, we are not Paleo or anything else in particular. We are just aspiring to eat our way to nutritional wholeness (with some occasional pizza and ice cream)! It is a journey, my friend! We do have some daily nutritional goals…that conversation we can save for another day.

However, researching Paleo has provided some amazing insight to many things about our health, especially learning about the Autoimmune Protocol, which is why we do incorporate a lot of it into our diet. Actually, reading Wheat Belly by Dr. William Davis was our first step after our consultation with Lindy and it really helped me to understand the issue with our wheat today. But for now, just know that I believe that the way you eat has to be right for YOUR body because no two are the same. You have been fearfully and wonderfully made. Your body will tell you what it needs and what is doesn’t want. You just have to listen to it!