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Me Jane, you Tarzan.

I have been eagerly awaiting the chance to write this blog entry for the last few days. Though I know I will be tiring myself out greatly, I just cant wait any longer it is just too exciting!

Today has been day six of what I hope to be a major victory in our search for better health. Over the last month, Jeremy and I have been slowly implementing a massive dietary change. Based on some of the test findings at our last doctor appointment in October, we found out several things that could use changing in what we were eating on a daily basis. Various foods that changed our hormone and vitamin balance, promoted fatigue, spikes in blood sugar with later crashes, and were contributing to Jeremys large Candida yeast problem in his gut.

After a lot of research largely on how to cure the Candida outbreak that Jeremy has, my path led me to what is known as the Paleo diet. Long story short, it is the diet our ancient human ancestors used to eat prior to refined grains and legumes being cultivated. Sounds like a fad diet right? True, I was skeptical as well when I first came across it. I had only read further about it because most of it was formed around the same sort of foods of a typical diet to help with Candida problems but sounded a little better balanced for nutrition.

<img src="http://img695.imageshack.us/img695/1769/lascauxcave.jpg" alt="Lascaux, France cave painting" />
<strong>Cave painting at Lascaux, France</strong>

Thing is, there is just something about this diet that grabbed the little scientific researcher that still thrives in me and made it take notice. Another long story short, there is lots of solid research to show that grains and legumes have low levels of toxins designed to do various things for the seeds but that are not healthy to be ingested by humans. It is not as much of a concern for an average person, but for me and Jeremy who have very sluggish toxin removal systems as one of our dominant health problems, those minor amounts of toxins just add to the overall body burden.

The basis of this diet is that you eat a phenomenal amount of vegetables and a bit of fruit, about a matching amount of lean animal sourced protein, and then fill in the gaps with healthy oils and fats. Nothing made from grains, dairy, legumes, or potatoes is eaten. It is not one of those protein only diets, the vegetables and fruit are a huge portion of what is eaten in a day and provide ample carbohydrates. Preferably everything is organic produce or range and grass fed animal products.

The general idea is that we evolved burning fats and proteins for fuel instead of starchy carbohydrates like pasta and bread. People who have made the change to the Paleo diet, or some variation thereof which they can do on a regular basis, have reported huge increases in energy and feeling considerably healthier.

Not trusting to anything that might be a fad diet, we have spent the last month slowly trying to ingrate it into our lives with the intention of for sure staying on it till Jeremys Candida problem was cleared up and then seeing how we felt after that. But even during this last month when we were only eating about half paleo we were noticing some substantial increases in energy and stamina. Then Christmas came and with it too many goodies to eat. The change in how we felt after a couple of days less paleo and more average western diet was extremely noticeable and we felt awful!

Six days ago we woke up and decided it was the day to begin the Paleo diet 100%, while the Christmas goodies hangover from the carbohydrates was still lurking to help with motivation.

<img src="http://img694.imageshack.us/img694/9159/rainbowbaobabtreejouber.jpg" alt="Nat Geo baobob tree" />
<strong>A brighter day on the way.</strong>

I will write more tomorrow (hopefully) on what will then have been the first week on this new diet. It is a very interesting process our bodies are going through while relearning how to be more like our caveman ancestors. As this process of adjustment is going on, I have wanted to write about these changes and many of the things we are learning to help ourselves adjust.

I do know one thing for sure and this is where all my excitement is coming from. Over the last six days there have been brief bits of time when suddenly everything just clicked right for anywhere from 5 minutes to an hour. Despite some intense brain fog that has plagued me since day two of this change, during these moments I would feel incredibly better than at almost any other time in the last several years.

It is these moments that have spurred me to write this long article tonight, knowing with a certainty that cant be explained that these brief moments of improved health will not be the only ones this diet change brings. I want to be able to write about this amazing process as it occurs because it might, just might, prove to be something very huge and beneficial in our lives.

Comments

Hi Lisa,

Just two cents to add for you. I went on the Paleo and had immediate digestive issues, so much more meat, etc. I am not advertizing anything, my husband is an amazing 50 and works out on a regimen. He explores supplements for body building etc., all the time. There is a store he goes to near us and they bought a system to filter water, it is alkalized, ionized water, pure and simple. I started drinking it (for free given to us), this is my 5th week. I am astounded and so I thought you might want to explore this to add to your plan.
It is called KANGEN water, you can search on google for info.


I have been sick since 1997, now housebound for two years, have moderate/severe, between 20-30 on scale, am in wheelchair mostly, but the water is making me stronger and changing my digestive system.

There's my two cents, especially if you guys are doing Paleo...it is hard on the system.

Best wishes and let me know how things go. If you want me to keep you informed about my progress on the water, I sure will.
Jackie in Sacramento CA
 
Hi Jackie :)

Interestingly enough, I've been finding the Paleo to be easier on my digestive track than what I had been eating before. I do however take enzymes with each meal so perhaps that is what makes the difference.

That is interesting what you are saying about the water. I am very interested to know more about the sort of changes you have seen with it so far, I hope it keeps helping you a lot more too. :)

The alkaline/acid ph balance in the body is a subject I have been wanting to look into more sometime this next year. I have had some surprising things happen when it seems to get shifted in me, can really notice it. Not sure alkaline would be good for me, seems when I eat things that would shift me to being considerably more alkaline that I feel just horrible!! :eek: But it might have been just too much of a shift at the time, though I will admit I have no plans on eating that dish again anytime soon. lol

I would enjoy hearing from you about how your progress continues. Do you have a thread you are writing on it here? Or through the pm system is ok too. :)

Have a beautiful day, Lisa :)
 
Lisa, the toxins from "bad" foods are one part of it, but the gut dysbiosis, leaky gut issues leading to unbroken down proteins in the bloodstream causing immune and inflammatory responses, malabsorbtion of nutrients, etc, etc, are some of the other related issues.

Some people develop a mild case of Celiac disease or gluten intolerance with the gut dysbiosis - so cutting out grains may be making you feel better that way.

While eating more Alkaline is beneficial, what is counterintuitive is that we are often have hypochloremia - not enough stomach acid to aid in digestion. Probably why you have issues eating alkaline food. So taking Betaine HCL helps.

You want Acid in the stomach for that part of the digestion and to kill pathogens sensitive to acid, but in the intestines you want it Alkaline, in part to kill alkaline sensitive pathogens.

Besides Betaine HCL, Lemon juice starts as acid, helps digestion in the stomach, but has an Alkaline "ash" - so it helps alkalize you. Apple Cider Vinegar does much the same thing and should be cheaper (organic of course) - you are suppose to take it before meals. You can Google "Betaine HCL Challenge" to see how you start low and up the dose to your tolerance and check if it helps.

The enzymes can be useful too, but if your still hypochloremic, you can still have digestive issues. Of couse the getting the intestinal flora in balance with probiotics, prebiotics etc.
So diet will help but if your digestive system is out of whack you probably need to tweak it a bit with these other tools.

Regarding diet and health I recall the Scientific American Frontiers episode with Dr. Roy Walford interviewed by Alan Alda who talked of his low calorie nutrient dense longevity diet and how he feels so much more energy and hasn't been sick in decades. You can watch and read about it here: http://www.pbs.org/saf/1110/segments/1110-4.htm
http://www.walford.com/
 

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