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A couple of weeks ago, I started writing a book for Camp NANOWRIMO. Man! I had no idea how difficult it was to maintain a storyline for more than a few thousand words without A) losing your way in the story or B) not knowing what the Heck to write next or C) giving up completely because your kids won’t stop pestering you every 3-1/2 seconds to use the computer. In short, I do not have enough time in the day to write at least 2,000 words unless I give up sleep. But I can find time for 100-500 words a day.
So, I haven’t given up writing the story but I’m working on it in smaller chunks. You can read the story from the beginning here and I’ll do an update here as I post new parts.
Also, we started a new diet.
I have a skin disease called Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS). It’s a nasty condition that causes extremely painful lesions anywhere you have sweat glands. I will have to go into more detail in another post but suffice it to say, it does not make for a Happy Girl. I have had flare-ups off and on since I was a teenager but about 4-1/2 years ago, I got a flare-up that has NEVER gone away. My dermatologist injects them with steroids and puts me on antibiotics and they get a little better but have never gone COMPLETELY away since right before Phoebe was born. During my pregnancy with Griffin, they went on overdrive and I had the worst flare-up of my life and was taking meds during pregnancy to help combat infection.
No, I’ve never talked about it in this blog because it’s embarrassing. The lesions are gross and sometimes ooze stinky stuff. When I have a bad flare-up, I don’t leave the house unless I have to because they are extremely painful AND smelly. Furthermore, the medicine I put on them is a sulfur based ointment so I smell like rotten eggs.
So I was reading a thread from an HS forum and someone mentioned Primal Girl and her battle and subsequent remission from HS and my mind was BLOWN. She went on a Paleo/Primal type diet – which basically means she abstained from dairy, wheat, legumes, and refined sugars – and not only did she lose a crap ton of weight but had major improvements in PCOS (which I also have) and HS.
I read about it and then mentioned it to John. He said he’d recently read about the Paleo diet but thought I would think he was crazy for even considering it.
I mean the Standard American Diet and the recommendations from the FDA, ADA, and the American Heart Association all say you need grains and dairy for optimum health. My gastroenterologist told me I needed fiber in the form of whole grains, fresh fruit and veggies and particularly, legumes, like pinto beans and peas to prevent flare-ups in my diverticulosis. It would be crazy to go against all this expert advice and do something different wouldn’t it?
But as I read story after story of people healing themselves of diabetes, obesity, and numerous gastrointestinal and autoimmune issues by simply avoiding these substances, I began to have a different opinion.
I read two books, which I will detail in later posts, and then jumped on the Paleo bandwagon. We decided to stick to the 28 day menu in one of the books but found that there were so many things that we just did NOT like and this past week, we’ve struck out on our own but are using the menu as a guideline.
For the last few days, we have been completely dairy, wheat, legume, and refined sugar free. The first couple of days I felt like absolute crap. John and I both had a bad headache that wouldn’t go away with sleep or ibuprofen.
We were jones’n for Cokes and ice cream. I wanted cheese more than I have ever wanted it in my life. But on day 4 something happened: the headache went away for the most part and by day 10 (yesterday) were gone. My head cleared. My stomach didn’t hurt anymore. I had more energy. I felt good. And I wasn’t hungry.
I have been taking 4-8 ibuprofen a day for the last few years just to get through the day and it just dulled the pain enough that I could keep going. My arms and shoulders, legs and back, have ached every single day for the last 10 years. On day 5, I took 2 ibuprofen to deal with some menstrual cramps and that was it until this morning.
Yesterday, while the kids were having a snack (they aren’t Paleo – yet), I was handing Griffin some Honey Nut Cheerios and while I wasn’t paying attention, popped a handful in my own mouth. A few days ago, this would have been completely normal: hand the kid a handful of cereal to snack on and then pop some into my mouth. Now? Ugh. Within 2 hours, I felt spacy. This morning, I woke up feeling like someone beat me. The aches and pains that have been largely absent the last few days are back with a vengeance.
Could one handful (about 12 Cheerios) cause so much anguish? I’m praying that tomorrow I feel like I did on day 10.
Every time that I have gone on a diet (usually the Watchers of Weight), I have been instantly hungry and hated counting every single grape that went into my mouth. It never felt sustainable. I imagined that if I was on it for several months that I’d get used to it and it would feel more natural to count everything. But it never did and that’s usually when I’d give up. AGAIN.
I always hate that person leading the group who says things like “When you get thin, you can just smell food and get full.” That is crap. Complete and utter bullshit. We need food to live. Our brains do not function without food. Our brains NEED carbohydrates for fuel.
But on these plans, you’re steered away from fresh fruit because it’s “so high in points to get enough!” but “here, eat this prepackaged brand name grain based snack mix! It’s only a point for this WHOLE bag!” Well you know what? That snack mix has little nutritional value whereas that fruit is perfectly packaged to provide nutrients. Yes, it has sugar but God wrapped it in a fiber package so that the sugar is absorbed better by my body.
Right now, I am 4 hours since breakfast and it’s time for a snack but I’m not really hungry. Additionally, my blood sugar is in good shape.
And also? On Monday, I weighed in and I’d lost 9 pounds.