A couple weeks ago I mentioned the "paleo diet" in one of my blog posts, saying I wouldn't mind trying it. Well, I took the plunge and decided to go ahead and see how I liked it.
Verdict, as of two weeks later? I. LOVE. IT.
Now, first off I'll state here that I can't be a purist at this time, since I do still live with my family and they're not for this type of diet; so I've once or twice had to break rules when dinner was pasta, or something along that line. BUT, other than that, I've completely taken out all processed foods, sugar, caffeine, grains, and legumes; and meanwhile I've doubled my meat/protein intake. Some folks say that the true paleo diet should exclude dairy, and I think I agree with that idea if you don't have access to RAW milk. But if you've got raw milk handy, then I think a body should definitely have dairy and have a lot of it. :)
Biggest difference I've noticed since changing things up? Energy levels. I feel like the Energizer Bunny these days. Hehe. Gyp and I are doing an easy four miles a day now, on top of my barn chores and afternoon workouts, and I'm thinking about bumping it up to five miles a day. I feel awesome and that's something I haven't felt like in a long, long time. For years I've always been short on energy. I'd get tired quickly, despite the fact that I wasn't working that hard, wasn't running even a half mile a day, and was sleeping from 10:30pm to 8am. Nowadays I'm often awake by 5:30am and I'm going, going, going all day long.
Next biggest thing I've noticed is headaches. Or rather the lack of them. Headaches have been the bane of my existence and pretty much a daily thing. Not enough sleep? Headache. Not enough protein? Headache. Tried going for a run or tried working out for fifteen minutes? Killer headache. Couple hours in town? Headache. You getting the idea here? After years of the daily headaches, I got to the point where I automatically knew how many ibuprofen pills it would take to knock the pain out. If I felt a niggling one starting and I didn't want to deal with it, then I popped two pills. If I failed to catch it in time and I had a rousing good one, then I took three. A headache bad enough to make me feel sick called for four tablets. Four tablets is the same amount I would take to numb the pain of broken bones back when I was in a horse accident. It's a strong, strong dose.
I wondered how much ibuprofen I was going to have to take when I switched my diet and started running and working out like a madwoman. I dreaded what I figured I had coming to me, but did it anyway for the sake of my pup who needed (and still needs) to run every day.
And interesting thing happened though... The headache never came.
I'm on day 15 now and haven't had ONE SINGLE HEADACHE. Whoohoo!!! Increasing my protein intake probably had a big impact on that matter, but I think the main key was getting rid of all those "extras" like grain, legumes, sugar, tea, and refined foods. Granted, it's been hard to say 'no' to my beloved black currant tea, and to have yogurt or scrambled eggs for breakfast instead of Kellog's Honeycombs cereal. I've been surprised to find that I don't miss bread at all though... Haven't missed carbs in the least.
I do think there's balance to any diet though. In this household, we go by the rule of "everything in moderation". So I may still allow a little bit of legumes or grain in my diet every now and again; knowing that those things DO still have good stuff in them. But it'll be very sparingly, nevertheless.
I'm certainly not saying that the paleo diet is for everyone; we're all unique and what works for one person sure won't work for another.
But I do know one thing: It's working for me and I'm loving it. Goodbye ibuprofen; I don't think I'll miss you.