Friday, July 8, 2016
It’s Friday, everyone! And that means another Primal Blueprint Real Life Story from a Mark’s Daily Apple reader. If you have your own success story and would like to share it with me and the Mark’s Daily Apple community please contact me here. I’ll continue to publish these each Friday as long as they keep coming in. Thank you for reading!
It’s been almost two years now since I said goodbye to the symptoms of my Crohn’s Disease.
I sometimes reflect on how I suffered day to day and cannot believe the changes in my life.
I had constant day-to-day diarrhea and suffered from extreme urgency. I could be speaking to you and mid-conversation I would suddenly have to run off. I could be anywhere. I remember that for the two years that my illness was at it’s worst, I barely listened to anyone. When they were talking I was always thinking about where the nearest toilet was.
This happened up to fifteen times a day. Anti-diarrhea medication barely touched it. And once I was on the toilet I was often dragged back a second or third time in quick succession.
This meant I had great difficulty traveling anywhere as I needed to know where the toilet bowls were on my journey. There was no way I could fly. I just didn’t have the luxury of being able to ‘queue for the loo’ once that seat belt sign went off.
I became a bathroom expert. I knew where every toilet was and when they closed. It was an even worse problem at my job since my work dictated I be out of the office. I had to be smart and plan my routes.
I even thought once that I should start a competition for the best-kept bathrooms; we could have an evening gala prize giving event, like The Brownlows, and people could get prizes for the quality of their toilet paper or handwash. I certainly knew them all.
I also suffered from Reflux Disease and without medication, Nexium, a PPI (or Proton Pump Inhibitor), I simply couldn’t function or sleep.
I rattled with medication.
On top of that, I suffered joint pain, especially my knees and neck and shoulders and used to pop painkillers like lollies to get through the day.
When I finally took the dive, driven by my wife, to look into changing my lifestyle, I had hit rock bottom.
I was the heaviest I had ever been, 5’8” with a 40” waist and I looked and felt terrible. Some of this was diet and some was caused by the medication I was taking. I looked old. I looked frumpy. I looked ill.
Obviously, being romantic when you feel like this was never on the top of the agenda. I was also always tired, moody and probably clinically depressed. I felt like a social leper and like a millstone around my family’s necks.
I had been told that diet did not affect Crohn’s and with my medication, I could basically eat what I like as it would not change my symptoms. So I did eat what I liked.
I liked fast food. Lots of it. I liked chocolate. Oh and pies and sausage rolls. I also liked alcohol and wasn’t fussy about what I drank. After all, it wouldn’t change my symptoms. It numbed me and allowed me to sleep. Sometimes.
When I finally got on board my Paleo lifestyle I was staggered about just how quickly my poor little body fought back. Cutting out wheat and sugar at first, the weight simply dropped off me. Within two weeks my symptoms just stopped. I started to sleep well and started to feel so much better.
At first, I was still taking all the same meds. I felt well enough to start to exercise and this spurred me on to do more. I lost two trouser sizes very quickly. Then I lost two more. I was always buying new clothes.
I then went hard and did a ten-week detox program and cut out all alcohol, caffeine, wheat, sugar, dairy, legumes and processed food. My wife didn’t think I’d be able to lose the alcohol (neither did I). But I did it. And this ten-week plan saw me lose even more body fat and come off all my medication.
The reflux had simply gone. Diarrhea had gone and the aches and pains had gone. Completely.
I began to exercise to a much higher standard and started to really research nutrition. I bought every book on the subject and stopped watching tv and started to read. And read.
My bibles were Nora Gedgaudes’ Primal Body, Primal Mind and Mark Sisson’s The Primal Blueprint. These books have been read back to front and back again several times and they just clicked with me. I loved the whole idea of “Grok.”
I tried to replicate his lifestyle in this modern world we live in and it just all made sense.
I exercise like a child nowadays, playing tag, swinging on monkey bars and I do high-intensity workouts using just body weight and do occasional sprint sets too, which I love.
I realized that Crohn’s WAS affected massively by diet despite what the so-called experts thought. I realized that PPI’s suppress the body’s ability to make acid to digest food. How wrong was this? We need the acid to be strong enough to digest our food and not cause digestive stress! But for so long I’d just been prescribed a “safe” drug so I could just carry on eating what I liked!
Then I found out the side effects of PPI’s were headaches, nausea, diarrhea, abdominal pain, fatigue, and dizziness! So they were potentially making the Crohn’s symptoms worse!
I have now been totally med-free for approaching two years. I mean totally med-free. Not even a paracetamol has passed my lips.
I had my 50th birthday not long ago and I am fitter, stronger, healthier and feel better than I did when I was 25. My 40” waist is now 28” and the same size I was at 19.
I have boundless energy and sleep really well.
Some people recently pointed out to me that in the photos of me when I was sick (I didn’t like my fat self being photographed, so there aren’t many…), I was always looking sad.
Now I am always smiling. I’m not surprised.
The moral of all this?
Don’t trust everyone. Some shout loud but they might not know what they’re talking about. Research, research, research. Believe in yourself. Live like Grok as much as you can.
And don’t accept that aches and pains and limitations are part of growing old. They are not. We should be fit and well until we die. Food is medicine, medicine is food.
I’m aiming to drop dead healthy.
P.S. My wife and I have our own website now, Paleonutter.com and arrange lifestyle seminars and Paleo “nights out” similar to PaleoFX on a smaller scale. This whole thing has been life-changing for us.
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Oh, no! No more dough?
Eating a furtive spoonful (or three) of raw cookie dough before you pop the baking sheet in the oven or letting your kids lick the bowl is one of life’s great pleasures, but alas, the killjoys at the FDA are strongly warning against it. “Eating raw dough or batter — whether it’s for bread, cookies, pizza or tortillas — could make you, and your kids, sick,” the FDA warned in a recent blog post, noting that the uncooked flour in the dough — no matter what brand it is — “can contain bacteria that cause disease.” Apparently there’s been an outbreak of a strain of E. coli linked to the flour in raw dough or batter. In fact, the FDA says, even letting kids play with raw dough or clay made with flour “could be a problem.” Sheesh. On the bright side: Less raw-cookie-dough sneaking means more actual cookies!
The skinny on pasta
We don’t necessarily think of pasta as a diet food, but a new study out of Italy (where else?) suggests it might be. A team of researchers at the IRCCS Istituto Neurologico Mediterraneo Neuromed analyzed data from more than 23,000 men and women and concluded that eating pasta correlated with a lower body mass index, helped people stick to a healthy diet and was associated with a lower risk of being overweight or obese. “Both in women and men, the obese population was older and at lower socioeconomic status, had higher waist and hip circumferences and waist-to-hip ratio, and consumed more pasta (grams per day) than normal or overweight participants,” the researchers wrote. The study didn’t suggest how much pasta consumption is ideal (you probably don’t want to overdo it), but at least, now that you have to give up cookie dough, you get noodles back!
Coffee is either good for you or bad for you, depending on which study you’re paying attention to. The contradictory findings can be utterly confusing, but a new research review — looking at 1,277 studies about coffee, dating from today all the way back to 1970 — has concluded that the potential health benefits of moderate coffee drinking (about three to four cups per day) for adults outweigh the health risks. The researchers at Ulster University, who published their study results in the Institute of Food Technologists’ Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety, concluded that, on the whole, moderate coffee drinking is either neutral or “mildly beneficial” to your health. Another cup?
Amy Reiter is a writer and editor based in New York. A regular contributor to The Los Angeles Times, she has also written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, Glamour, Marie Claire, The Daily Beast and Wine Spectator, among others, as well as for Salon, where she was a longtime editor and senior writer. In addition to contributing to Healthy Eats, she blogs for Food Network’s FN Dish.
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It’s hard to believe it’s Friday already! Short weeks are the best, especially in the summertime. I can’t wait to see my little Cutie Bean again! Matt has been sending me snaps from the lake, and Mazen’s hair is a shade blonder.
The above pizzas are from Belmont Pizza here in Cville, and boy, are they good! I ordered these bad boys after a soccer game that was near my house, and hosted my team on the patio. Only a few teammates joined me, but it was still fun to hang out and talk about our game strategy. The top pizza is my favorite. It’s called the Rialto and has an olive oil and garlic base that is topped with sausage, feta, spinach, apples, and a sticky-sweet balsamic drizzle. So good!
^^Spotted on a run, this deer nearly scared me to death! He wasn’t scared of me in the slightest and was about two feet away, right off the path. Creeper! Also seen on that run: another deer, the carcass of something that looked like a miniature horse (I am scared it was a dog) and a SNAKE. Ugh.
^^I love that wine in a can is a thing now!! Especially now that I’m the only adult in the house, I don’t always want to have to open a whole bottle for myself. And boxes of wine, no matter how much I heart them, are downright dangerous. (“I’ll just have a little two-ounce glass!” – she said, 10 times.) So these single-serving cans are perrrrrrfect for me when I just want one glass of vino. I’m glad we have single serving options beyond the pink stuff in the mini bottle. Now, a warning: I tried the middle guy a few weeks ago and it was NOT ridiculous good wine, as it claims. First it was a bit effervescent, which was not what I was hoping to find as a red wine, but also it just tasted bad, almost like the cork had leaked, except there was no cork! Of the West Side flavors (which I found at Whole Foods), I liked the Chardonnay a lot (I’m not that picky about my Chards) but I haven’t had the Cab yet.
^^The above was dinner at Mezza, our new tapas restaurant on West Main St. Dinner was delicious, and the bread is fantastic! I loved everything we ate!
^^I am obsessed with marble and love this Macbook skin! I’m debating whether to order it, and wondering how difficult the installation is. (I’d probably end up with bubbles and tears in mine!)
^^After. (Deer ate the bald spot in the middle!)
These PB&J Muffins.
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