Tuesday, September 11, 2012


I've been really bad about writing lately and I'm going to blame it on my keyboard.  Gremlins have gotten into it and it now only works intermittently.  Welcome to the wacky world of wireless comm. and yes I've replaced the batteries.  Several times in fact.  And moved the receiver.  Like I said this is an intermittent problem which means everything works.  Sort of.

Anyway, I'm going to write a post while I can.

Now, everything I've been reading for the last year had me convinced that Paleo was the way to go for some improvement in my symptoms.  I went hardcore Paleo (except my raw dairy) last September for one month.  Yup.  No grains or tubers for an entire month.  Drove my hubs nutty.  I reintroduced rice and then sprouted spelt in small amounts in October followed by white potatoes a short time later.  In addition to Paleo, I added fermented foods, bone broth, gelatin, grass fed cows, grass fed animal fats and lots of sea salt back into my diet in order to aid in gut healing and to add back in nutrients that I've probably been missing for years on my low fat, low salt, whole grain "healthy" diet I've been on for the last 20+ years.  Things went well.  By December I was walking around really well on my own for longer distances.  I was still hampered by significant brain fog but I was able to cook, do light house cleaning, tidy up a bit and occasionally read for short periods.  Woohoo!!

In January I relapsed.  I got steadily worse until I was stuck in bed for most of the day doing only the simplest of cooking.  I canceled all of my appointments for about two months.  It was just too much for me to go out of the house and it would make me worse so I saw no real benefit from it.

This year, I've been doing a so so job with my diet.  It is better than it was last summer but I was definitely more strict last fall.  I've slacked off with the vegetable and fruit consumption.  And I haven't had any ferments of any kind in several months.  I've also slacked off on juicing and making smoothies with whey protein.  Part of it is that I'm just not that hungry this year.  Now that I'm off the steroids my appetite has plummeted.  I have to remind myself to eat my third meal even though it usually consists of a piece of fruit, a bit of cheese and a few nuts.  I'm no longer snacking at all.

Then a few weeks ago I got sick.  It was a weird one and I'm not entirely sure if it was a virus or just a new incarnation of the CFS.  I had a severe headache for 7 days that escalated into an ice pick migraine on five of those days.  And plumbing issues that I'm not going into detail.  During that time I stopped all dairy and didn't have much of an appetite.  I was eating eggs for breakfast and whatever meat and side I made for dinner.  So for over a week I was essentially eating nothing but protein.  After the headaches and tummy issues resolved I still felt terrible.  Not unusual for me.  CFS usually means a crash during and after a viral illness.  But this just wasn't resolving.  A week then two weeks went by and I still felt like crap.  And when I feel like crap I don't cook full meals.  I was still eating eggs, meat and a side.  Maybe a piece of fruit now and again.

Now eating Paleo isn't about eating straight meat.  After lots of reading last year, I decided on a diet of 50% fat, 25% carbs and 25% protein.  I spent several weeks plugging all my food into an online tracker and found out I was hitting my target with my regular Primal diet.  I was consuming between 1600-2000 calories a day with the correct ratios of carbs to fats to proteins.  I discovered that the calorie heavy days occurred when I included rice which also skewed my ratios.  I found that I got all the carbs I needed from my fruits and vegetables and nuts that I was consuming and I really didn't need the rice or potatoes in my diet for the numbers to work out correctly.

Ah but reality doesn't always agree with the numbers does it....

During my illness I ended up with a protein heavy diet with a bit of fat and almost no carbs in it.  Then one day hubs wanted a pizza.  A real honest to god pizza.  And I went "f*** it", me too.  I haven't eaten a real one in years due to a wheat intolerance.  I love pizza.  I always have.  So I threw caution to the wind and we devoured a large mushroom and onion cheese pizza and a salad between us.  And it was good!

A few hours later when I expected the belly ache and heartburn to kick in quite the opposite happened.  I felt better.  I felt much better.  I felt better than I had since I had been sick.  I must have needed the carbs.  Even though they weren't organic.  Even though it was full of wheat (I even ate the crusts).  Even though it was the polar opposite of Paleo.  I felt better.  I needed the carbs.  Apparently I needed a lot of carbs.

So now I'm in a quandary.  Last year getting rid of grains made me feel better and now eating them made me feel better.  What is right?

I have to trust my body.  Things are changing.  I know I am no longer intolerant of wheat.  I ate the entire half of a pizza with only minor intestinal discomfort the next day.  Normally this would have caused heartburn, intestinal cramps, severe brain fog, severe fatigue and pretty bad IBS.  So my guts have healed.  Apparently a lot.  I love pizza, sandwiches and donuts but I know they are full of crappy chemicals and GMOs.  So I guess I'm compromising.  I'll do Primal most of the time but I can have the occasional sandwich or pizza or donut.  These will not be a regular part of my diet.

Also, I have to do a better job of balancing my diet when I feel bad.  I can't just eat protein and nothing else.  I need fruits.  I need vegetables.  And I need the occasional carb.  I also need to add ferments, cultures and raw dairy back in.  So I started my evening large glass of raw milk again.  I've bought some sprouted spelt bread to eat with one egg for breakfast.  And I've added a large tomato slice to my egg breakfast.  I'm going to go back to eating my fruit, cheese and nut plate for my third meal.  And I'm eating fruit for dessert after a smaller dinner.

I'm still not eating as much as before I was sick but at least it is back in balance again.  And what a shock about the pizza!!  Who knew pizza would make me feel better!!!  Maybe it isn't the total evil that the Paleo community makes it out to be.  Or maybe our bodies are just that wonderful that we can eat a wider range of foods than we think we can once we manage to heal ourselves.  What ever the reason it is a cause to celebrate!!   I can eat pizza again!  I've managed to heal my guts somewhat. I'm bummed about the CFS still being pretty crappy but I'm healing other parts of me and I am going to continue that journey.  As long as I eat more ferments, bone broths and vegetables, I will be able to enjoy a pizza once in a while and that is a wonderful thing!


  1. I struggle with this question too, Baffled. I've recently read some conflicting information about how much carbs the body needs and what happens when we go on a low carb diet...allegedly not all good things. But then again, every time I cheat on my low carb diet, I end up with Candida's tell-tale white film on my tongue the next morning. Without fail. So I'm thinking about backing off the low carb diet just slightly from where I'm at right now to see if I can find a better balance.

    I would kill to be able to eat pizza again. Very happy for you. Please let us know how it goes.

  2. Although I don't get any intestinal or neuro symptoms from eating wheat I still get zits the next day so I know it isn't good for me still. I'm going with the moderation route. Plus there is no real definition for "low carb". Mark's Daily Apple did a good piece on that and Cordain has written about it as well. I think where I went wrong is eating mostly protein for about two weeks. Bad things happen when protein is a high percentage of the diet. I got reset when I had the pizza and I'm doing much better now that my diet is more in balance.