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Paleo Challenge: Day 1 - Portrait of a Young Man as The Artist — LiveJournal
Paleo Challenge: Day 1

In June of this year, I gave up wheat.

It was a rough breakup. We talked occasionally over pizza but we pretty much said our good byes. This was the next step in a long road giving up processed food, foods that my body digests essentially like sugar irrespective of content. This includes, but is not limited to, potatoes, wheat, beer, dried fruit and numerous similar foods that Americans would die to defend.

The change in my mood and energy levels has been inconceivable. I was, mostly, not moody or disthymic, and tended to be positive and much more resilient to life than I'd every really been before.

Come Julyish, I leave on a work trip where I forgot to pack enough allergy meds for the full week I'd be out. Now, I've been reading about the Paleo diet since last year because of the seemingly inevitable progression from barefoot running to eating like this. I'd read that many people with animal allergies and asthma are actually having a reaction to constant dairy exposure and that eating a stricter Paleo diet - one without milk or cheese - clears these issues up.

I figured what the hell? I'll be working 12-14 hour night shifts in an ED - in Fresno which is apparently the Blood-Gushing-From-Your-Head Capital of the USA- and likely wouldn't notice the decongestant withdrawal. So- I quit cold turkey.

When I got home I had no issues. I mean, normally walking into my house after a few days off meds meant an explosion of tears and snot. But.... Nothing. I found a cat and rubbed my face in her belly.


Ho. Lee. Shit.
I did a little experimenting over the next week, various cheeses and liquid dairy and, sure enough, a few hours after I ate cheese or drank milk, I'd start sniffing and sneezing - which, mind you, is really weird after a life time of not noticing this.

So, no more. Mostly.

I introduced some things back like dark chocolate and the occasional sweet treat, and I think these sort of become my gateway drug. I started slipping but had far more good days than bad.

Then Thanksgiving and I ATE ALL THE STUFFINGS.

No regrets. The pie was fucking awesome.

But now I'm doing a 30 day strict Paleo diet to detox and kick the sugar again.
This means no dairy, no sugar (including most fruit), no alcohol, no grain. Sugar will be the harder because of the weird-ass names this stuff has but I'm not terribly worried.

I will note a few exceptions:
Diet Coke

I'm also getting back on the exercise horse. The fun thing with eating like this is I gain muscle faster than light... gains muscle... Yeah. So, hopefully that will help with some weight loss which, I've been kind if Meh? on for a while. I've bee holding stead around 194 but I'm clearly still carrying excess fat. I suspect because of decades of obesity, it'll be hard to lose all of it. But, again, I'm still the thinnest and healthiest I have ever been so I'm not exactly concerned.

Felt great after today's workout for sure.

Boo grain!

Also: I want to reinvigorate my photography. It's fallen aside as work gets busier ( I'm now a group lead) and I try to exercise more. Thoughts on how to do more camera awesome?

Also also: debating utility if cross posting to this via Wordpress at blog.abmann.net. Thoughts?

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPad.

Current Location: underneath a cat
Current Mood: happy
Current Music: Men Who Stare At Goats

21 comments or Leave a comment
tyskkvinna From: tyskkvinna Date: November 29th, 2011 03:00 am (UTC) (Link)
I want to do something like this but it would be so traumatic. I've already cut out 90% of typical dairy- it's basically a little bit of cream cheese and maybe 2TBSP of cheese per week and no milk... and I have noticed that my allergies go from insufferable to very annoying when I'm good about that.

But man, wheat! Would be so hard. I've found that I can replace wheat with a lot of other things-- I more-or-less live mostly gluten-free. But a lot of them are higher in sugar than wheat. Grar. I do think I'd feel better if I cut it out completely.

I also really want to reintroduce more exercise but I've been so sick. :( It's a touch balance.

But I'll be your cheerleader! I can do that!
abmann From: abmann Date: November 29th, 2011 03:14 am (UTC) (Link)
Huzzah cheer!</p>

What's really stopping you from going totally gluten-free?

tyskkvinna From: tyskkvinna Date: November 29th, 2011 02:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
abmann From: abmann Date: November 29th, 2011 04:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
tyskkvinna From: tyskkvinna Date: November 29th, 2011 08:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
If I could find those locally, I'd certainly try. I am going to make a point to try and see if I can find any. The ones I eat presently are vegan and I'd like to keep it that way; the recipe for them was definitely not. I may try making it in a vegan version though.
nidea From: nidea Date: November 29th, 2011 03:35 am (UTC) (Link)
We've been getting pretty paleo. I still have cookies in the house for K (carbs are good for growing people, esp. since she doesn't eat much anyway) and the more I don't eat them, the easier it gets to not eat them.

We need to have more fresh veggies on hand, and other easy-to-eat-fast items. But it's getting there. I don't seem to have a problem with dairy, but I don't eat much of it anyway. Kicking sugar (aka ice cream) is harder.
abmann From: abmann Date: November 29th, 2011 03:39 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm trying to eat three salads a week at work since we have access to a great salad bar. Otherwise, I generally stick to the sandwich bar. The entrees will likely be impossible for the next 30 days.
lady_fox From: lady_fox Date: November 29th, 2011 03:42 am (UTC) (Link)
I will continue to read here, so staying here is happy.
abmann From: abmann Date: November 29th, 2011 05:12 am (UTC) (Link)
Did you ever read my Wordpress blog?
lady_fox From: lady_fox Date: November 29th, 2011 05:45 am (UTC) (Link)
I think so... Now though, unless you cross post, I'm less likely to see it. I check Twitter fairly regularly, and this... And email. Outside of that, I really am not online all that much anymore.
assfingers From: assfingers Date: November 29th, 2011 04:54 am (UTC) (Link)
I've already kicked espresso and diet coke. Winning
abmann From: abmann Date: November 29th, 2011 05:12 am (UTC) (Link)
I've already kicked Culvers and Code Red Mountain Dew.
lady_fox From: lady_fox Date: November 29th, 2011 05:46 am (UTC) (Link)
I've kicked the soda but will keep the others, thanks. :-)
alyska From: alyska Date: November 29th, 2011 05:34 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm mostly happy where I'm at diet-wise, though I know I could do better. (more veggies in general, and reign in the carbs/sugar some, though my intake is still pretty low by most measurements.) Care to help me find more new and interesting things? Jeanie's done a lovely job of getting that started.

I'm still in search of something exercise-wise that doesn't result in being clue-batted by Post-Exertional Malaise a few hours later. Yoga is nice for flexibility, so I still do that, but I pine for strength training/muscle-building of some sort. If I could afford a gym, I'd offer to join you. Though I guess I could still just randomly drag you out for walks when we're in the same place, as well. Forget that whole winter-in-Wisconsin part, though.

As for photography, aside from getting off our collective arses and reinstating photowalks, I have a few ideas if you'd like to collaborate.
abmann From: abmann Date: November 29th, 2011 01:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
Walks could also help the photography problem. :)

Besides yoga, have you found anything that doesn't come with the malaise? have you tried some low impact cardio machines - like the ellipticals or these strange bounce machines coming out? i wonder if it is just the exertion or the impact or what.
alyska From: alyska Date: November 30th, 2011 05:59 am (UTC) (Link)
I am always game for walks that would help solve the photography problem. =)

Even yoga is sometimes too much and causes malaise. Sometimes a walking a flight of stairs does it.

While the post-exertional malaise is specifically a chronic fatigue syndrome (me/cfs) symptom and can cause a host of issues on its own, my (and many others') issues are complicated by comorbid conditions.

For example, graded exercise therapy is a popular treatment for people who have been dx'd with fibromyalgia, but the exertion of said exercise will make me overheat/cold sweat and dizzy (autonomic disregulation from the POTS) and follow up with the post-exertional malaise due to the CFS. Trying to find something doable that doesn't trigger something is a pipe dream.

Insofar as CFS and exercise thresholds go in relation to post-exertional malaise, in addition to physical deconditioning, there are many partially understood aspects of CFS, well established in the literature, that might contribute to an exercise threshold. Exceeding this threshold (which is different for each sufferer, and can vary for that person on a daily/hourly basis) could result in pathologic injury, including:

* Defects of oxidative metabolism,
* Dysregulation of the autonomic nervous system and HPA-axis (CRH, cortisol and aldosterone),
* Presence of chronic or latent reactivating infection,
* Dysregulated immune or inflammatory systems (cytokine production, natural killer cell function, complement activation)

...and some other things.

I've got a couple of research papers on CFS and PEM somewhere if you'd like me to send them in your direction, and have been keeping an eye on a group researching the possibility of genetically sub-typing ME/CFS into seven separate sub-conditions, depending on symptoms and genetic markers presenting (Which would also give a causal basis for the illness, and it could be classified as a disease and not a syndrome.)

ellig123 From: ellig123 Date: November 29th, 2011 12:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
This photo made me smile :)
abmann From: abmann Date: November 29th, 2011 01:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
It's the tie, yes?
zesty_pinto From: zesty_pinto Date: November 29th, 2011 06:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
You're eating so much less now you're literally eating light!
From: thegelf Date: November 30th, 2011 03:27 am (UTC) (Link)
Even when not playing marry havoc with pre-existing allergies, dairy stimulates mucus production. I learned that back in middle school when I was pretty serious about theater. The directors would have us avoid dairy for the week of the performances, to keep our voices in the best shape possible. Damned if I know the mechanism though.
lipsoflove From: lipsoflove Date: December 3rd, 2011 10:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
Good luck Paleo! I would love to be that strong, but I love everything bread-related and dairy-esque. Ice cream is my lover!

As far as photography motivation, is it possible to have weekly photog challenges, a la photog_xp? Maybe it can be modified from a daily thing into a once-a-week muse?
21 comments or Leave a comment