I have been 100% Paleo AIP compliant for nine days now. I have some random thoughts and reflections to share:
1. The first thing I noticed was that my brain fog has begun to lift. For years, I have felt mentally sluggish and very foggy. That feeling is dissipating rapidly. When I asked Dr. G why he said, “Brain fog is a symptom of inflammation, of a brain on fire.” He then gave an eloquent explanation of how the brain is supposed to work as a symphony, but because of my central sensitization syndrome, it has been discordant. Now that the inflammation is starting to subside, the notes are starting to be played properly.
2. I thought that coming off the sugary, starchy diet I’d fallen into would leave me with intense cravings, as it had in the past. Subsisting on totally healthful, unprocessed, non-allergenic foods has blessedly left me with no food cravings.
3. I have a long way to go to calm my systemic inflammation. My C4A (complement factor 4A, a marker of inflammation when read by a reliable lab) is around 20,000, when it should be under 2830. However, I can tell that my body likes this way of eating. I do feel a little bit better, and Dr. G and I suspect that this trend will continue as my gut heals and my inflammation goes down.
4. My tummy is happier. I will not go into the details of how I know this.
5. To my surprise, I had an easy time eating out at a restaurant after I first checked the menu online. I enjoyed a large salad with avocado (of course!), topped with grilled fish and an olive oil and vinegar dressing. Yum! I am convinced we cavepeople are keeping the avocado industry thriving.
6. I am getting satisfied on much less food than before, probably because I am eating only real food for the first time since I was a baby.
7. My energy level is better than before, even without coffee. I have a long way to go before I’m even close to the energy level of a person my age without my health problems, but every little bit helps.
1. I am shocked at how much time I am spending grocery shopping and in the kitchen, although I shouldn’t be; my husband correctly noted that I am only eating foods that my great-grandparents would have eaten. I hope that as I get more used to this style of cooking and not relying on processed foods and easy grains, that I will find my rhythm and can cook less often. Part of this is me being me. If I were content with simpler foods, I could cook less often. I am trying to strike a balance between some days of very simple meals and some days of yummy, more energy-intensive ones.
2. It is very hard doing this with a partner who isn’t Paleo. I don’t believe in forcing my diets on my loved ones (ok, honestly, I kinda do, but am restraining myself). My husband eats what I cook for dinner, but his breakfasts and mine are polar opposites. He still grooves on cereal and milk, while I am eating huge salads and a side of grass-fed, free-range, home-made beef patties.
3. I made the very amateur mistake of weighing myself one week into this. First of all, I should only be weighing myself once a month. Secondly, Dr. Ballantyne warns in “The Paleo Approach” that people often will initially gain weight as their bodies adjust to this new way of eating, yet I fell into the trap. Luckily, my Paleo AIP Facebook group was there to pull me out of the funk, although some people still offered some dumbass advice. Yes, it’s still the Internet. Ironically, today I put on my jeans and they were a lot looser, so go figure. I have committed to going back to only weighing myself once a month.
Bumps aside, my body and brain feel good, so on I go.