For many people, the hardest part of the Paleo diet is actually starting. A new diet – scratch that, a new LIFESTYLE – can seem intimidating, overwhelming, and may leave you feeling a bit helpless.
I promise, we’ve all been there. Every person who has embarked on their Paleo journey has felt that way at one time or another. For me, it’s always inspiring to hear the stories of others. Normal people, like you and me, who have taken the jump into Paleo and have experienced incredible things because of it.
To kick off our series of testimonials, we bring you the story of Katherine – one of our Ultimate Paleo Guide readers. After experiencing painful digestive issues and allergic reactions, due in part to IBS, she decided to forgo a pill and try diet modification instead. Needless to say, she saw amazing results!
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Below is Katherine’s story – told in her own words. Enjoy!
“I have had such a huge change in my life since I became Paleo. Prior to becoming Paleo, I was experiencing horrible stomach pains and the doctors could not figure out what was wrong. I was unable to run long distances without being doubled over in pain. Not only was the stomach pain and issue but, then I started having these crazy allergic reactions to foods I ate plenty of times before.
My diet prior to becoming paleo, I was a carb queen. I loved pasta, bread along with cheese and other dairy products. Also, you could not trust your candy around me because it would vanish. I loved my candy, my sweet tea and my special ordered lattes from the coffee houses that were load with dairy and sugar.
A Proactive Patient
Once my doctor diagnosed me with irritable bowel syndrome, I started to do research on lifestyle changes that could improve it. I am not one to just want to take a pill to mask the problem and I felt that was all the medication did. I found the paleo diet and read multiple blogs about how people felt so much better after trying it. So, I then decided to try it just for a month and see how I felt. I decided to start it after my birthday that was coming up, because I was going to have my birthday cake!
The Paleo Transition
The first few days I was going through the “sugar detox” I absolutely hated life. I felt drained, bitchy and would kill for a soda and M&Ms.
Then one morning I woke up and I felt great. The first time that I ran after starting the paleo diet, I was amazed. It was the farthest I ran in a long time and I was pain free.
After a week of being paleo I felt like a different person and I loved it.
Not only was I pain free but the allergic reactions stopped, until I started “cheating” on the paleo diet. I went through a spell when I would not follow the diet very well. The allergic reactions came on and it was so bad that I was in the emergency room three times in six days.
She Kept Testing Things
I would test the situation to see if it was the paleo diet that were keeping the reactions away, or just coincidence.
Sure enough, I wander off the paleo diet and the allergic reactions would come.
So, I went strictly paleo all in full force no cheats for me. Come to find out after extensive testing and allergy testing multiple times, I have an allergy to casein, oat, soy and I cannot tolerate canola oil. This explains why the paleo diet worked so well with me.
Support Is Important
My husband does not follow the paleo lifestyle, but he is hugely supportive with it. How I make our meals is the main course is paleo friendly and the side dish if I don’t think he will like it I make him something he would like. One year for Valentine’s Day, he made paleo peppermint patties for me (I loved peppermint patties and missed them), they were amazing.
The hardest part of the transition into paleo was not having the non-paleo things others had, for example cakes and cookies at parties. I wanted to snatch them out of little kids and devour them. After learning about my allergy, it bothers me less, because I know that I would get sick from them.
It Takes Practice But It’s Empowering
I remember the first few weeks of my paleo lifestyle looking at recipes and getting overwhelmed with all the work that was involved. Gone were the days of just taking something out of a box and warming it up.
Now it’s pretty empowering knowing that I can create these nourishing dishes without the added “crap” that goes into prepackaged foods that have been linked to many diseases.
I look at recipes now and think it’s not that bad. After a while, you get a routine going when making meals. It still takes time and can be an all-day task or it can be really simple things that are quick that you can make.
One of my favorite meals is a banana with almond butter. Another one is salmon and egg and add a little apple cider vinegar is rather yummy. Wrapping a burger in lettuce wraps instead of using a burger bun means you can have another burger for what you are saving in calories from not having a bun.
Just Go For It
For those that are considering becoming paleo I say go for it.
It has been one of the best lifestyle changes I have made. Just try it for a month and you will be able to see and feel the difference.” – Katherine
Make Your Own Story
Are you inspired yet? I know I am! Katherine’s story shows how perseverance and a commitment to a whole foods based lifestyle can make dramatic improvements in your health. Not to mention, making food that is nourishing and delicious is incredibly empowering.
If you’re feeling stuck, overwhelmed, or intimidated by the Paleo lifestyle, let Katherine’s story guide your way. With commitment, patience, and support from your own community and the UPG community, you, too, can have your own success story!
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