Most of you know that I started eating mostly Paleo around the time that I got pregnant. I did a Whole30 and loved it, and then found out I was pregnant, and then had some mild repercussions from eating dairy and wheat, and basically cut most non-Paleo foods from my diet for the majority of my pregnancy. And I believe that’s why I had such a good pregnancy– as long as I was eating Paleo, I had no heartburn, no trouble sleeping, no grogginess in the morning, no back problems, no constipation, no queasiness, no stomach aches, no headaches, no swelling… none of those pesky issues that I’ve always heard are “just because you’re pregnant.” But if I did eat wheat, dairy, legumes, or sugar, I had many combinations of those (minus the swelling) and it was miserable.
So from pregnancy, I was convinced that Paleo was the way for me. But, as it happens, the further away I got from the high of feeling awesome after the Whole30 and the immediate consequences of being pregnant and consuming food you shouldn’t eat, the less I remembered how good it felt to be 100% Paleo. The more tempting things like Twix and buttered popcorn and hamburgers with buns were. How easy it was to pop Rice a Roni on the stove for dinner. How “harmless” a handful of chocolate chips was.
And then slowly, over the eight months after having the baby, going through getting a period again (hello, emotions!), going through some stress with moving out of our rental house, moving in with my parents whose fridge is somehow always good for at least one treat, taking a month off of work, and then moving into another house where we’ll be until at least February whose cupboards already held a few stashes of easy-fix dinners… I forgot what it was like to eat clean. I kidded myself that I was doing okay, that I was only “cheating” every once in a while, that just one dinner of mac-and-cheese wouldn’t be so bad, that the pizza every week wasn’t really hurting me.
Every month I decided I would do a Whole30, but I failed. Sometimes it was two weeks in, sometimes it was seven days in, and sometimes, sadly, it was after one day. Weekends crashed me. Going out for dinner because it was easy killed my intentions. Even if I knew I could order something altered to be Paleo, I didn’t. Just this once was my argument. We’re on a date, I would tell myself. It’s special. I’m tired. I’m on my period. I didn’t sleep last night. I’ve been really good this week, I deserve a treat. If I get something Paleo, my husband will feel bad and then he won’t get himself the treat he wants.
But then, it happened. On two separate occasions, both after a good solid week of everyday cheats, sometimes every-meal cheats. And some of you might be grossed out by this, so if you get queasy over somewhat TMI situations, just know: it was a very not good thing, health wise, and skip the next few paragraphs.
I had blood in my bowel movements.
The first time it happened, it wasn’t much, and I shrugged it off. I figured it just happens every once in a while; I’d read that having a baby or going through pregnancy can do that to you and whatnot. It briefly crossed my mind that maybe it was what I was eating (oh, pizza… you’re so bad for me) but I dismissed that thought. Because I was lazy. Because I wanted to eat what I wanted to eat. Because Twix.
But the second time, it was very clear: I’d just had a two-week run of basically every meal being full of dairy, wheat, beans, and sugar. Especially lots of dairy, and the second time… there was a lot of blood. And it really scared me. And I knew it was because of my diet.
I’ve gotten the impression that some people think I do Paleo because it’s a fad, because I’m a health nut (HA!) , because I’m trying to lose weight, because I’m holier-than-thou, or… whatever other reason there is. But now you know the real reason. I don’t do this just because I think it’s the next best diet. I do this because my body needs it. And while I do think anyone would benefit from the way I eat, it’s up to you to decide what’s best for your life and your body.
I have tried and failed to do a strict Whole30 (and talked about it many times on the blog and on Instagram), but here’s the thing: right now, where I am in life(hello, teething baby, housekeeping, getting-back-to-work-soon, cooking all the time, and still having some free time to spend with the husband), and where we are in our budget(having a month off work… well… it does things to your bank account), doing a Whole30 just isn’t feasible. It’s not budget-friendly to be that strict, and it’s time-consuming. Besides which, I’ve grown fond of having almond milk in my coffee (which probably has some small non-whole30 ingredient in it) and I want the option of an occasional Paleo treat (hello, Coconut Bliss ice cream, I love you). Especially after having gone to a family gathering where there was pizza, pie, cake, candy, and ice cream, and I couldn’t – and didn’t- have any of it.
Dress, Target | cape, c/o Oasap | heels and ring, Forever21 (old) | sunglasses, vintage |
But I am doing Paleo, 98% of the time (because even if I order Paleo and cook all of our meals, I can’t always account for everything in the ingredients… and I’ll admit I didn’t say no to a few chocolate covered almonds last night) because I do not want to repeat what’s been going on for the last few months. I don’t want to eat myself into an expensive and scary trip to the doctor.
I’ve been doing Paleo again for a week now, and I am feeling it. I mentioned that already, I know. But I have to say it again: I feel so good. I wake up with so much less grogginess. Those headaches I didn’t notice until they left haven’t been back. My shoulder, which flared up because I fell down the stairs and jerked it trying to save myself, is back to normal. And, bonus, I’ve already lost a few pounds. Permanent ones, not those pesky pounds that I would lose, then they’d come back after the weekend because I ate badly, and then went away again because I had a few days of being “good.”
So that’s a little update on why I’m eating Paleo, if you didn’t know and were curious, if you’re thinking about doing it yourself, or if you just wanted to know more about why I do what I do. I’m hoping to bring more Paleo into the blog — recipes, how to Paleo on a budget (which I’m trying to do right now), Q&A’s, general tips — and I have a recipe to share already!
In other news, I have worn this dress almost every day since I got it. Why? Because it’s comfortable, stylish, and really easy to wear. Plus, I can breastfeed in it, and that’s kind of a must for style right now.
I hope you’ve all had a good weekend! Happy Monday!