This is a really hard post for me to write. Seriously. In the history of Our Fifth House not a single post has taken me as long to write as this one. It’s not easy to open up about your personal life on the internet. I mean, sure, I virtually invite you all in to my home almost daily, but this feels different. I went back and forth for a good long while trying to decide if I wanted to share this here. Ultimately, I decided that while this blog is and always will be about creating a home, it’s also about sharing the stories of the people that live in this home. And if this post inspires and encourages anyone to take control of their own health than the uneasiness I feel about hitting that publish button will have been worthwhile.
I’ve already shared with you all that my family and I have embarked on a paleo adventure this year. It’s a new way of living for us all, and for me, it’s a new 365 challenge. In the same way that I tackled the photography challenge I set for myself last year, I’m making 2013 the year of reclaiming my health. Though, I don’t ever plan to ditch the paleo life – it’s been way too good!
This is about to get personal – yikes, someone hold me.
I was tired……………. of feeling tired………….of not being able to remember when my last bowel movement was…….of being on a road trip, eating junk food and then blowing up a nasty gas station bathroom………..of burping after almost every meal………….of feeling full and bloated after every meal…………..of not being able to lose weight despite working out and “eating healthy”………….of walking into a room and forgetting why I walked in there………………of getting sick every time my kids got sick……………and most importantly, once again, of feeling tired all. the. time!
I have an under active thyroid. It was diagnosed almost 10 years ago, and a few of the symptoms I mentioned above are related to hypothyroidism. Despite taking medication, I continued to deal with the tiredness, brain fog and inability to lose even just a few pounds.
Until, a friend mentioned that gluten intolerance is highly related to thyroid issues. I’m no health professional, but I did a bunch of research and decided to give it a go. I cut out gluten last August (2012), and after 2 months I felt a little better. I felt more energetic, but I hadn’t lost any weight and was still dealing with some digestive issues. I decided to see what would happen if I had something with gluten in it – a little test – just to see how I would feel. Ummmm…….wow…….like, I’m majorly intolerant to gluten. We’ll just leave it at that. It’s not pretty.
The same friend that mentioned the gluten-thyroid connection is a paleo chick, so I asked her some questions. She sent me links to all kinds of blogs to check out and I did a bunch of my own research. On January 8th (2013), I decided to take my health into my own hands.
I don’t believe, and again I’m not a professional anything, that nutrition is a one size fits all kind of thing. But I do whole-heartedly believe that much of what is ailing us today can be healed with proper nutrition. What I’ve learned on my first 90 days of the journey is that food is God’s medicine for us.
I’m not an eat to live person. I mean, if food was only about fueling our bodies, than why did God give us taste buds? I live to eat. I love food. Whenever people find out that I’m a paleo person they usually focus is on asking me what I can’t eat. While there are restrictions – no gluten ever, no grains, no legumes, no dairy, no refined sugar – there’s a huge list of what you can eat and enjoy – meat -glorious meat – sorry to my vegan friends, but I really love me some meat……
……….. vegetables – nuts – fruits. Do you know what happens when you cut out refined sugar and all that packaged crap from the middle of the grocery store?
You can actually taste your food! Do you have any idea just how crazy sweet a banana actually is?! I’m not kidding – eating one is like eating candy now! The paleo life has retrained my taste buds – it’s like pushing the restart button and all of a sudden you don’t just eat but you really taste your food. That has been a total revelation to me. I thought for sure there was no way I could live without sugar, but it turns out natural forms of sugar are way better! Who knew?
Living without dairy – okay – this is hard. But, while I can handle real grass-fed butter, any other form of dairy does not bode well for me.
It’s funny, how cutting something out and then testing your body with it after a while helps you to better understand your digestion. I can tolerate gluten free grains, although I don’t feel as good when I have them. I’ve had gf pizza minus the cheese on a couple of occasions in the past 90 days and have felt okay but not great after.
The first 90 days has been a time to really learn about what my body needs to feel strong and energetic. I don’t feel tired. I only drink one cup of coffee a day and it’s only out of habit because I don’t need the caffeine. I’m regular – if you know what I mean. I’m never worried about using a public restroom. I have not had any brain fogginess. I’m way more focused now. I feel good after I eat, not like I need to take a nap, like I’m ready to tackle the world. And…………
I have lost weight while continuing my regular workout routine – exercise 3 to 4 times a week. I mentioned the weight loss last because this is not the main goal of this lifestyle, while many people do experience weight loss. The real benefit of this lifestyle is in the way you feel!