Sunday, August 03, 2014

Me Update: Work, Health, Going Paleo...

I haven't really written much lately, but loads of things have been going on.  We'll start with work...I'll keep it brief...

Our contract is up on1/31/2015.  So far the good new is our work duties for the next contract will stay the same.  We know nothing about funding yet, and we don't know if the contract will have to go out for rebid or not.  Those last two things are the semi-bad news (semi because it isn't really bad yet).  There is nothing I can do about any of it, so I'm not worrying about it.

On to health, the main thing I've been obsessing working with lately.

I was diagnosed with celiac back in April, and I've been eating a gluten-free diet since May.  I was expecting my overall health, which I think is actually pretty good, to improve.  I was hoping that by taking gluten out of my diet, I would improve my depression, fatigue, sleep problems, and anxiety.

It didn't happen.  Maybe I was expecting too much, but I didn't notice a change at all, except I started obsessing working to find really good non-gluten options for cookies, cupcakes, and especially bread.  I bought expensive products and expensive ingredients.  Some of them wound up in the trash.  It became frustrating and made me even more stressed and anxious than I already was.

Between the money, stress, and lack of any obvious symptoms whether I ate gluten or not, I really just got more stressed and anxious.  I was also hoping to lose weight, which didn't happen.  I actually gained a few pounds after going gluten free (I blame my trial-and-error gluten-free goodie quest for this).

Back in May, I attended the Gluten-Free Group of Gettysburg, which is sponsored by the Gettysburg Hospital.  An incredible group!  They had three tables of free gluten-free goodies and three local gluten-free bakeries selling their wares.  It was a great, friendly group of people, too.

The speaker was one of the hospital's registered dieticians, who talked about the Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) Paleo Diet, which is a more restricitve version of the Paleo diet specifically designed to get your autoimmune disease under control and heal your body from the damage that is (in part) feeding it.

It seemed hellish restrictive to me, and while I was facinated by it (people in wheelchairs from MS and Rheumatoid Arthritis have had their symptoms completely disappear!) I decided it wasn't for me.  Don't really have symptoms, do I?  Don't need it.

But I was curious, and I kept the paperwork.  I'd always thought Paleo was a fad diet with a catchy name.  Oooo, let's eat like a caveman!  Ha.  Seriously?  But in the couple months since the talk, I couldn't get it out of my head.  The man's father, who has parkinson's, went on this diet and his symptoms went away.  The moment he went off the diet (because he had to go in a nursing home) all the symtoms came back.  There was just something about the science behind this that one couldn't dismiss.

About a month ago, for some reason I decided to look up the general Paleo diet.  I found myself on a website called, which has extensive information on the science, why's, and how's of Paleo.

I was hooked.  I'm such a science geek, and I just devoured the nutrition info.  I couldn't believe how vegetable oils affect our bodies.  The BS I've been fed about what triglycerides are.  How bad beans and grains, ALL grains, are for the human body!

And this was part of what I needed!  That obsession with finding a wheat-alternative and acceptable, tasty baked goods was doing as much damage physically as it was mentally and emotionally, and I didn't realize it.  When I realized how stressed out I was trying to find pasta and bread I could choke down, added to the Paleo info, it was a no brainer.

So, I'm off ALL grains (including corn).  ALL legumes (including soy and peanuts).  ALL vegetable oils.  Paleo also doesn't allow dairy, but I'm doing limited dairy.  For now, I'm not following the AIP, but I might try it out in the future.

I'm going to stick with this for about 6 months and see what happens.  So far, the changes I'm seeing are minimal, but it's only been about 3 weeks.  I'm down 4lb.  I felt out of control when I was struggling to find a wheat-alternative; now I feel more in control by saying I don't eat grains, so it is now a non-issue.  That one step has greatly improved my outlook and taken a huge stressor off my back.

I'm going to update things here on a weekly basis (fingers-crossed)  I'll also add some really good Paleo blogs on the right bar when I get time.

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