For years, I’ve had a definitive idea in my mind of what healthy food is. In my mind, those foods are things like whole wheat bread (if it’s homemade, all the better), beans, hearty soups, vegetables, and fruits.
The problem is that when I ate those foods, I was obese and physically sick.
I went on a Paleo diet three and a half years ago and promptly lost 80 pounds. However, I think deep in my mind, I didn’t plan to stay on a Paleo diet forever. I just planned to use it until I felt better.
After a two years, I did feel better–much better.
Rejecting Paleo for “Healthier”, Cheaper Foods
Almost all of my symptoms were gone, so I decided, about a year and a half ago, that it was time to go back to “healthy” eating. It helped that eating “healthy” was cheaper than eating Paleo.
I should clarify that during this return to “healthy” eating, I remained gluten and dairy free. I have a very strong dairy intolerance that never went away. I know that I will not be able to eat dairy for the rest of my life. Besides, after five years off dairy, I don’t miss it at all. Gluten also causes problems for both me and the kids, so we’ve been off that for nearly three years now and know that we’ll never eat it again, even though I do miss making my homemade bread.
So, a year and a half ago, I started making the recipes I missed when I was Paleo:
Ham Hock and Pea Soup
Vegetable and Bean Soup
Ah, how I enjoyed eating these foods again. I also believed that I was eating as I should for my body.
But, I was wrong.
How “Healthy” Food Made Me Sick Again
In the last year and a half, I’ve slowly watched my health slip.
- I gained back 40 of the 80 pounds I had previously lost.
- The more I ate carbs, the more I craved carbs, and my sweet tooth became uncontrollable.
- I could feel my heart beating strongly after some meals, though I couldn’t figure out what food was causing it.
- My knee joints started to hurt.
- I couldn’t sleep at night, and when I did fall asleep, my sleep was fitful.
My physician expressed concern at my rapid weight gain. She had me take another food intolerance panel, my first one in 18 months. It was no surprise to me to discover that I’m intolerant to many of the dry beans I had been consuming as well as gluten, dairy, and many grains that are used in gluten free flours in addition to most nuts.
My physician told me to return to a Paleo diet because clearly my body does better on that.
So, back to a Paleo diet. This time I know I’ll have to stay Paleo for the rest of my life. I feel better on it.
What is healthy food for most people is clearly not food that is good for me. Rather than relying on what the professionals say is good for my body, I have to follow what my body tells me.