the beginning my love affair with frosting
- thanks to my Grandma
I get asked quite often how I can stay on a diet that can be as restricted as paleo. It’s not as hard as you would think – especially when you have good incentive.
A warning: there’s a lot of talk about stomach issues in this post. If you’re sensitive, you might want to skip it.
I had colic.
I had reflux.
The sort that meant projectile vomiting…across the room…for months.
I was not a popular baby, to say the least. I still find it amazing that my parents went on to have three more children.
It was just the beginning.
with my brother – we’d recreate this photo, but he’s now about 6’5″
and I’m lucky to be 5’6″
By the time I started school, I would throw up most mornings for no apparent reason. I hated going to slumber parties because I never knew when my stomach pains would start and whether or not I’d making it through the night without losing it. I caught every bug that came around, and usually worse than anyone else in the family.
Did you know you could get chicken pox down your throat, in your ear canal or under your toenails? I do.
On Christmas Eve the year I was 18, I had my first gallbladder attack. I thought I had food-poisoning. My grandmother had tried something different for Christmas dinner and it seemed the most likely culprit.
But the attacks kept happening.
our wedding – of which I remember very little because of the heavy drugs
I was on to stop the mystery attacks
For five years, out of nowhere I would start having cramps in my abdomen and back. I’d vomit (seriously, if I could have back all of the time I’ve spent doing that particular thing it would probably add up to years!). And it would last for anywhere from a few hours to a week. The week before finals my sophomore year in college. Three days before my wedding. It’s even how I went into labor with The Girl, after a pregnancy that was 39 weeks of morning, noon and night sickness.
I saw doctor after doctor, begging for answers and was told repeatedly that I had IBS and GERD, and to stay away from fats and eat lots of whole grains. I asked specifically to have my gallbladder checked and was told I was too young to have that particular issue. I tracked foods and stressors and anything else I could think of, and there was no rhyme or reason to it.
Finally, five years after my first attack, I went to the emergency room one night and just happened to get the right doctor…who sent me to the right GE…who put me straight into the hospital and removed by diseased gallbladder and one gallstone.
I thought that would be it. I followed the diet (mostly) that the doctor gave me, but I continued to struggle.
I started reading about nutrition shortly after my son was born, not wanting to resign myself to a life of always knowing where the bathroom was or being afraid of food. I couldn’t control my weight or my emotions. I had no energy, and I developed what my doctor finally decided was fibromyalgia (that’s a post in itself). The issues that had always seemed so stomach related exploded – joint pain, swelling, tingling and numbness, and mental fog and within a few months I spent most of my days in bed or on the couch.
I went through a Weight Watcher’s phase – and lost weight, but still felt horrible. I gained that weight back – all 70 pounds of it – when the fibro hit.
I went through a Weston Price/Nourishing Traditions phase – and felt a little better, but still had a lot of those same stomach issues.
at the Lincoln Memorial in DC – somewhere I’ve always wanted
to visit, but so sick from gluten I could barely make it up the steps
I finally went gluten-free – and it made a huge difference.
I went vegeterian and vegan for six months – and got almost as sick as I’d been when eating gluten. I developed gastritis and knew it was time to admit that grains of any sort just weren’t working for my body.
In September 2012, I went paleo.
For the first time in my life, my stomach doesn’t dictate how I live.
I eat a restricted diet because I don’t want to live a restricted life.
today – happy and healthy
It’s as simple as that.