My story. Grew up in Eastern Europe where traditionally was eating a very Weston Price type of diet ? home cooking, lots of fermented rye breads, raw dairy, seafood, all parts of animals, pristine seasonal produce, kind of a ?Sally Fallon’s dream? diet. Never had any major issues with health then ? except for seborrheic dermatitis which I developed at the age of 15 (my brother had it too) and some digestive bloating occasionally around my period.
At the age of 35, however, I was diagnosed with celiac disease and my skin and digestion started getting considerably worse, so I got on a quest to figure out what to eat to cure my problems. It was also the year I immigrated to Canada, got separated from my great traditional diet and got introduced to the world of tasteless industrial foods (the hardest ?cultural shock? to overcome).
That was 10 years ago. I settled on a high-fat, very low-carb version of paleo incorporating lots of raw foods, and was doing that, by and large, for about 9 years. That included periods of Kwasniewski’s Optimal diet, AV, Maker’s Diet, Specific Carbohydrate diet, your basic Primal Blueprint, etc.
First couple of years were amazing. My skin completely cleared up, for the first time in my adult life. I thought I was cured. I felt great, lots of energy, kind of a maniac state all the time, digestion improved. Then I started running into trouble. First came periods of shortness of breath, heart palpitations, pains in my chest, and truly horrid constipation. All that followed by frightening low sugar episodes and panic attacks. Then my energy plummeted. My dermatitis returned with vengeance. I started having stomach pains and almost daily uncomfortable bloating. Then depression came. Years of no drive, lethargy, complete absence of energy, you name it. That was the time I started experimenting with AV-inspired diet and also tried Specific Carbohydrate diet. No matter what the diet was, it never exceeded about 30 – 50 grams of carbs a day, since I was so orthorexic that the mere thought of eating more of those killer carbs would make my palms sweat.
Finally, last fall I developed symptoms which I was not able to ignore any longer. On top of everything else, I developed extremely dry throat and mouth and the sensation of a hard lump in my throat. Felt like I couldn’t swallow and was chocking all the time – a truly terrible feeling. That came together with constant burping and heartburn which I never had in my life! All I read about heartburn before was that it is caused by sugar, processed foods and starches, which I ate NONE! My panic attacks and debilitating anxiety episodes became a daily occurrence. It became obvious that something was seriously wrong, and my ‘super-healthy diet? was not just useless but was probably the one to blame. ?????
That was the turning point, from which I started my slow healing journey back to ?normal?. Cut most of the salads, fruits and veggies out. Stopped eating ridiculous amounts of meats, fats, broths, etc. Slowly returned starches, white grains, easy to digest fruits like bananas and oranges. The lump in my throat started disappearing, so did burping, heartburn and panic attacks. Slowly but steadily, within about 6 months, my energy returned back, depression and constipation were gone, all other symptoms were gone! I basically went back to normal and that felt almost like a miracle.
I am now very diligent about eating enough carbs and have potatoes, rice, taro etc. at every meal. Not to forget honey, bananas and oranges. Gluten-free pizzas, pies and breads are back to my menu as well. That is supplemented with butter, cheeses, eggs, seafood and meats if I want them.
My seborrheic dermatitis is still here ? but I just made peace and learned to live with it.
And I gave myself a word that I will never be back on any type of a ?diet? again ? especially ?paleo? – ever.