I gave the paleo diet a try back in 2012. I had been unemployed for a while and had gained close to 40 pounds in four years. It is surprising what stress can do to your body.
I did pretty well and lost 30 pounds in about six weeks. After a few weeks, though, things started going downhill.
Migraines and muscle pain plagued me. I quit paleo and made my diet focus about getting nutrition over losing weight. I started to feel much better after a year of reintroducing grains and beans, but I started packing on the pounds again. *sigh*
I had been the first of my friends to try the diet out. Nowadays, I check Facebook and Twitter these days and friends are posting paleo recipes and talking about how much better they feel being off of gluten and dairy. My ex-boyfriend who became a vegetarian when we were in high school (who subsequently lost a crapload of weight by being vegetarian), suddenly was on paleo, and feeling better than ever! Another friend who swore she would never go paleo finally caved and begged me for gluten free recipes. I’m happy they’ve found what works for them but I’m also kind of jealous because I’ve struggled for years for a diet that will make me feel good.
A couple of months ago, a good friend of mine asked me to join her at a book signing for Chris Kresser at the kitchen of Shauna Ahern (a.k.a. Gluten Free Girl). I’ve been a fan of Shauna’s for years so I agreed to go. It would be a fun trip to Vashon Island, which is like the Midwest compared to Seattle proper. So many farms, so many farm animals!
I got to meet Shauna! And I finally had the chance to ask one of the paleo “experts” about my conundrum. If we aren’t supposed to eat grains and beans, I asked, why do I feel so much better on them. His answer? Histamine.
After the talk, after eating a bunch of really fantastic food and schmoozing, my friend and I went back home.
I started looking more at things that give me headaches and make me miserable, and it all pointed to histamine. As Oprah would say, I had an “a ha!” moment. So I was I’m thinking of giving the whole paleo thing another try. But then, Chris posted this about beans.
(HA! I was just bitching about how cruciferous veggies have been cultivated for less time than most grains.)
The point of this post is that now that I know to watch out for histamine, and I can still feel good about eating legumes, I think I’m going to give the whole paleo thing a try again. And I’ll stop if I feel like I’m getting sick again. But how about I call it something other than paleo. Maybe “ancestral eating”. Or something.