Food and Life: The Ups and Downs

Farmers market haul

So I love food.Like. LOVE food.
I equate food to superpowers. It’s the closest thing will ever get to become Superman.

I love thinking about it, reading about it, talking about it, everything. I swear food talk probably make up about 70% of my personality if we’re being honest. I’m the snobby one at the grocery store analyzing ingredient labels and giving the side eye to the kid with the slushy.

But I really can’t judge people too harshly, though. I myself am a self-proclaimed carboholic who has relapsed more than a few times into bread world. More recently though I’ve hopped on board the popularizing paleo train and cut my carb habit by cutting out all grains (and nuts, seeds, dairy, soy, nightshades, eggs, high glycemic fruits, legumes, refined sugar, and processed oils a la the Auto-Immune Protocol).

It all started when I saw a paleo-inclined natural doctor 3ish months ago. I cut out gluten 3 years ago after I got the Celiac diagnosis, but still felt pretty awful 98% of the time: gut problems, fatigue, severe PMS issues, brain fog, constant colds and feeling run down, etc. I had been considering going complete grain free (or slow carb) for awhile, especially after reading The Gluten Free Lie article by Jordan Resoner, but still my carb and sugar cravings were out of control (re: literally breaking down and crying because I didn’t have any gluten free bread in my house). I had begun reading more about grains, listening to podcasts, plunging head first into the ancestral, science-backed nutrition waters.

Upon seeing the doctor, he quickly diagnosed me with leaky gut and subsequently put me on the AIP in conjunction with some supplements to help with gut healing. I followed the diet and supplement plan *almost* to a T (I did eat a quinoa muffin that was put in my face 4 days in). The 1st few weeks were HARD. The cravings and symptoms intensified and I struggled to finish my final semester of college and farm work with all of the changes.

But after the initial first few weeks, things started getting easier. I was craving a lot less, symptoms were improving, my mood had stabilized, my energy levels were beginning to return… it was MAGICAL. And then, as always, life happened.

I finish school. My boyfriend broke up with me (in the same day, I might add). Work had started to get crazy (tourist town summers). The farm was picking up. Family issue were getting intense. I had no post-college plans. Every constant I had had seemingly disappeared. But even so, I moved on.

Boozin’ and cruisin’

I was upset, stressed, and anxious all the time. My diet was still pretty clean up until the Obligatory Family Vacation: Cruisin’ 2013. 7 days on a ship, no control over how things are cooked, no control over access to anything I wanted. I didn’t go super crazy, but I drank everyday (1-2/day), ate rice everyday, and ate gluten bread everyday, and general stuffed my face every chance I got.

I felt terrible. And ever since then I’ve been struggling to stay grain-free. My adrenals are fatigued and the cravings have reappeared. My skin which had been clearing has become blemished again. My mood swings and fatigue have returned. And some of the gut problems have come back as well. I wouldn’t say I’m at square one, but the regression has definitely put a damper on things.

I think some in a paleo community see it as a sliver bullet. And while it’s been the most effective diet for me (and I remain committed to it), I know it can’t solve all of my physical and emotional issues. Our bodies are truly unique, truly dynamic entities, with quirks and oddities. It takes holistic, customized methods of healing that are right for YOU to find your optimal health.

And although I haven’t quite found these things just yet, I feel like I’m definitely on the road towards a more stable mind and body. I accept the road bumps for what they are and move forward. I’ve decided not to kick myself for not being ~straight edge~ all the time, but accept it as a part of my journey with food and happiness….

Anyways, enough of the sappy, existential shenanigans. I’ve got some pork sausage in my refrigerator calling my name!

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