Monday, July 30, 2012

Introduction: Sara

I'm a 32 year old married mother of three crazy boys - currently aged 5, 7 & 8. I've had issues with my joints off and on for my entire adult life.
At age 19, I came home from my freshman year of college for winter break and wound up at a rheumatologist's office because my hands and feet were inexplicably swollen. I was told I had arthritis!
I dealt with joint issues off and on for years. Then - roughly four years ago - my lower legs blew up to frightening proportions. My doctor ran every test he could think of and every one of them came back normal. I was diagnosed with "Idiopathic Peripheral Edema" - my doctor said, "That's medical jargon for 'I have no idea why your ankles are swelling.'"
I was prescribed diuretics and told to cut back on salt and lose some weight.
I've spent the subsequent years trying to figure out what sets off the swelling. Drinking, of course, causes issues. I noticed the swelling gets really bad when I eat out often. I'd assumed it was the high salt content usually found at restaurants and fast food joints. But sometimes even that didn't seem to be the case.
One day, Rachael told me about her adventures with something called the Paleo Diet.
No thanks, I thought. I've been eating better already and feeling pretty good. I didn't want to hear about some crazy restrictive diet. Rachael had mentioned how eating Paleo can help with inflammation, though, and that stuck in the back of my brain for weeks. I slowly read up on this way of eating. I found a few interesting recipes and websites with more information.
And then one day...I just got fed up with my joint pain. I became frustrated at how my ankles would swell to the point where I could hardly walk. I was tired of not getting to wear my wedding rings every day. I hated the way the meds made me feel and they didn't always work anyhow! Something had to give.
On Saturday, July 28th, I went to Sprouts to stock up on food items I'd need to help me make this transition.
On Sunday, July 29th, I started my Paleo journey. My first day left me feeling satisfied and I experienced almost no swelling in my ankles/hands. (I'm positive it will take quite some time to undo the damage that's been done - I do not expect this to miraculously cure me overnight.)
I'm going to miss my dairy, but I'm already finding substitutions...and giving up a few comfort foods is I small price to pay for actual comfort!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

So What is this Paleo anyway?

Most of you who are reading this are friends, and so probably know that I have been spouting off about this book I read (or that my husband suggested I read), called, The Paleo Solution by Robb Wolf.

This book was truly eye opening for me. The author is a former Biochemist who studied what happens when food goes through your system. And he explains it in great layman's terms, with just a bit of humor, so that you are able to understand why certain foods make your body react in ways that sometimes you feel, and sometimes you don't.

I highly recommend that anyone with an interest get and read this book.

However, if you are aren't of the mind to read the book, the interwebz has a plethora of sites that you can learn about Paleo, and why eating like a caveman might just be better for you than you think. is the author's website, and he's got tons of information there for your to peruse, including a weekly podcast avialable there, and on iTunes.

Once you have the basics as to what the Paleo Diet offers, I highly recommend Googling "Paleo Diet Recipes."  This will keep you busy for a long, long time, I promise.

Just remember to come back here occasionally, and catch up on the gang's journey, ok?

Welcome to our Paleo Journey

Hello, and welcome to our little experiment. We are a group of online (and offline) friends who have decided to try to convert our eating habits to the Paleo Lifestyle. This means meats and veggies. It also means giving up grains, legumes, dairy, and processed foods.

We come from all over the country, and have varied backgrounds, but one thing is true for us all:

Some of us have medical issues.
We are, or have been, overweight.
Most of us have joint issues, swelling or arthritis.

And we've either discovered that the food that we eat doesn't make us feel good anymore, or are looking to eat things that will make us feel better.

None of us expect it to be easy, but we sure intend to have some fun along the way.

We'll share our goals, our successes, and our challenges.

We hope you enjoy reading about our journey.