In March of 2011 I damaged my knee and was living with continual pain. In early May I was told by the specialist that there was nothing that could be done, to live with it and realize I’d never be able to dance, wear high heels, downhill bike ride, etc, etc without intense pain so take some cortisone shots and learn to live with it. I was devastated! I was sharing this with a friend who told me about Paleo and how many people with joint pain had much less pain. In looking at the meal plan I figured I couldn’t live that way, it would be way too hard and no way, I loved my carbs and simply couldn’t live without them. I’m a foodie, food is simply super important to me. That was early June. In late June I saw a second specialist who said he may be able to help although I did have arthritis in the knee and that due to my excess weight I had knees of a 70year old. He put me on his surgery list.
In July I travelled to Disney with my daughter for a 5 day all expenses paid incentive trip with my company. Everyday my knee pain started the second I stepped out of bed (which is how I’d been living for months). I could walk only short ways without crippling pain so spent most of my time in a wheelchair and got out to walk onto the rides. It was not how I was willing to spend the rest of my life so I decided I could survive anything for a month and decided to try eating Paleo.
I started the day I returned from Disney. Within 4 days I didn’t think about or crave carbs anymore. I was full all the time and my world didn’t revolve around getting up and looking in the fridge or cupboards continually to find my next snack. The most amazing part… 5 days after going Paleo I was climbing up and down a step ladder painting rooms in my home. In the following week I painted 3 big rooms and 1 ceiling and was painting for 6-8hrs a day. At the end of the day would I have knee pain and swelling similar to the pain I’d start the day with prior to eating Paleo. I was ASTOUNDED!
Within the month I realized that in addition to my dramatic decrease in my knee pain: my mind was clear, I had incredible energy, my perpetually stuffed up nose from my allergies cleared up, my sensitivity to perfumes/scents dramatically decreased (no more inhaler needed simply from being around someone with perfume), my gassiness and bloating was gone and my fibromyalgia symptoms of pain and tenderness everywhere had disappeared, my kids said I was more even tempered and nicer, carrots tasted extraordinary and I’d lost 15lbs with no exercise. WOW! I felt like an entirely new person! I was ‘healed’.
“Great, I’m all better, my knee has healed I can go back to my regular life”. I ate like I’d normally haven eaten, pre-paleo, for about 4 days. I felt awful. Bloated. Quick to snap. I was limping again. I was tender. I was a gas producing machine. My nose was stuffy (I eventually tracked this to Dairy). I gained 5lbs. That’s when I got that I felt better BECAUSE of eating Paleo, not because I was ‘cured’. My pain and other symptoms were linked to food and Paleo/Primal was to be a lifestyle for me. I went back to ‘mostly paleo’ lifestyle although would occasionally fall off the wagon for a day or so and then get right back on.
I find Paleo hardest when I travel. Have you ever tried to eat out, especially in airports etc, without eating grains or diary? I have learned to plan. I take baggies of veggies, little containers of nuts and soft boiled eggs with me on the road. I carry small containers of nuts in my car (if I had big containers I’d eat the whole container!). I use a lot of seasonings, chicken and eggs taste differently everyday and I don’t know if I could have survived Paleo in my super busy life with Epicure spices to dash onto my food so that I could produce quick meals
As I write this in January of 2012, I’m currently down 40lbs. I spent two weeks in Haiti in December and I had little control over what was available. The food was delicious although lower in protein and high in grains/beans. I ate it simply because it what was available. I enjoyed the flavours. I returned home limping and tender everywhere. I was home 5 days and gone on another trip living in a hotel and eating buffet meals with 130 others for a week. The food was great, although not Paleo/Primal. I took my team to supper at a Pasta joint. The meals start with this amazing Foccacia bread. I indulged and by the time my amazing pasta was delivered I felt ill and bloated and couldn’t even eat it. I wasted $15 (not wasted actually since I packed it up and found a homeless person who was thrilled to get a tasty gourmet meal) and felt like crap and wanted to go back to my hotel to lie down. I had a huge “OMG! Why did I do that to myself!” moment. From the time I left for Haiti to the time I am now back home to my routine I’ve been gone 3.5 weeks (and I leave on another week long trip in 2 weeks). I’ve gained 8 lbs from my lowest and I’m not feeling fabulous. I am though SUPER excited to be getting home and ready to put my Paleo lifestyle back into action!
Great Paleo Resources
Below is a list of my favourite Paleo resources!
(http://www NULL.robbwolf NULL.com)Author of The Paleo Solution (http://www NULL.amazon NULL.com/Paleo-Solution-Original-Human-Diet/dp/0982565844/)
www.marksdailyapple.com (http://www NULL.marksdailyapple NULL.com/#axzz28Y4n5qRq)
Primal Blueprint by Mark Sisson
Balanced Bites (http://balancedbites NULL.com/)
Diane also wrote an amazing book, Practical Paleo which you and find at Costco. This is the bible if you have any medical conditions as it gives you a menu plan for each one.
(http://www NULL.primal-palate NULL.com)Bill & Hayley have written my favorite Paleo Cookbook, Make it Paleo (http://www NULL.amazon NULL.com/Make-Paleo-Grain-Recipes-Occasion/dp/1936608863/)
www.everydaypaleo.com (http://www NULL.everydaypaleo NULL.com)
Sarah has a great cookbook also, called Everyday Paleo (http://www NULL.amazon NULL.com/Everyday-Paleo-Sarah-Fragoso/dp/098256581X)
My Paleo Blog Posts
- Banana Chai Strusel Donuts! (Grain Free)
- What the heck does Dana eat anyway? Paleo/Primal Overview
- Back to School... lunches! Save your sanity and money!
- Paleo Donuts - a light and fluffy sponge donut
- Fudgy Chewy Brownies!
- Sauteed Parsnips and Onions
- Montreal Chicken Spinach Salad
- Broccoli Flower Salad
- Easy Banana Pancakes
- Coconut Curry Stew