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Getting healthy, Amber's primal journal.



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  • Getting healthy, Amber's primal journal.

    I am on day 4 of PB, and I wanted to start this journal to track my progress, keep myself accountable, and figure out which foods do and don't work for me. I am 20 years old and in my junior year of college. I'm currently a bit heavier than I've ever been because I've been eating more processed junk lately and I don't want to do it anymore!

    I was diagnosed with Celiac two years ago, but it took 8 years for the doctors to finally figure out what was wrong with me, this wreaked havoc on both my stomach and my immune system. I'm generally sick with some kind of cold at least a week out of every month. In addition I have developed thyroid issues and endometriosis which also keep me from feeling good. I still have trouble absorbing nutrients from my food so I am anemic and have been for years and lacking in vitamins and minerals. Last year I had mono, which knocked me out for a month and wrecked my immune system even more. After that I was hospitalized with a kidney infection for a week and down for another month. Last spring I had another kidney infection that kept me down for a week as well as chronic bronchitis, strep or tonsilitis 3-4x, and a ton of colds and sinus infections. I also had every test under the sun as the doctors tried to figure out what was wrong with me (at one point they even through Chron's) and they finally arrived at Endometriosis and told me that I should try to have kids now because I might not ever have them.

    At 20, all of this hit me hard. I lost friends because people my age don't understand sickness, much less lifelong illness. I got lonely, I wallowed, I worried that I wouldn't ever be able to have a great career or a family. Then, finally, I realized that I want to go to law school. I finally decided that I was going to take control of my health, refuse to let my body beat me, and reach my goals. I also realized that the path I was going down only seemed to be making me sicker, and if I want to continue going to school full time, working part time, and start applying to law school I was going to have to find a way to get healthy. I've found a naturopath who has really helped a lot of my symptoms with natural medicine, and now I've decided its time for a new diet, one free of processed junk and stuff that upsets my stomach on a daily basis.

    Here are a few goals:

    5'2" 127ish Size 6
    Goal: 118, or at least a size 4

    Exercise: pretty much none
    Goal: Pilates 3x per week and Ab Lab class on Wednesday (my foot is currently sprained though so I have to wait for that to heal)

    Health: lots of stomach problems, endometriosis is getting progressively better with meds, thyroid is out of whack, immune system is slightly improving since I've only been sick collectively 2 weeks out of this semester, lots of headaches and sinus issues.
    Goal: Rehab immune system, STOP GETTING SICK, heal my stomach, take all of my meds 2x a day every day, heal endometriosis symptoms.

    I'm really looking forward to the rest of this journey!

  • #2
    Welcome, Amber! I think you will be amazed at how your body heals itself when you give it what it needs. Good luck and enjoy the journey!


    • #3
      Primal University

      Check out this website for some great ideas.

      My sinuses improved dramatically when I cut out grains and corn.
      Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt.


      • #4
        Well, yesterday didn't go as well as planned because I didn't eat breakfast, had class till 5, and then agreed last minute to babysit at 5:30 so what I ate was mostly made up of what I could find on campus and while babysitting. Hopefully I'll prepare better next time.

        Snack: Cheese stick (I eat cheese so not cheating for me)
        Lunch: Lara bar (upset my stomach, pretty sure nuts don't agree with me)
        Dinner: Two scrambled eggs plus 1/2 cup of plain yogurt with a little honey and strawberries (yogurt did not sit well, I won't be doing it again)
        I got hungry again around 10 and ate a second dinner: beef fajitas with poblano, onion, and guacamole, I even successfully avoided the tortilla and chips!

        Hopefully today will be better, though I woke up an hour before my alarm with a terrible sinus headache, and I think I'm taking an impromptu trip home this weekend. I'm thinking of making some primal goodies because even though they are a cheat it might keep my mom from making me something!


        • #5
          Update: I just noticed that my stomach has been working on it's own all week, I haven't had to take anything but heartburn medicine (which I'm hoping will resolve itself soon). This is a HUGE improvement for me, hopefully it will stay this way and I won't have to keep switching between taking Pepto Bismol one day and downing a gallon of prune juice the next!

          Hopefully in the coming weeks I'll see some improvement in my sinuses, but its time for Cedar Fever here (cedar allergies) and it always gets me. I also decided I'll make a batch of my favorite brownies tonight too, and probably sub coconut sugar for the agave. Its better than cheating with something else, and I know if I stick to honey and coconut sugar I stop craving the refined stuff.

          Brownie recipe for anyone who's interested: Gluten Free Double Chocolate Walnut Brownies Recipe

          I'm not hungry yet today, but I don't have to be somewhere all day so there's no pressure to eat right now. I am excited for the eggs and beef chorizo I have waiting in the fridge! I missed that breakfast so much when I was doing low fat.


          • #6
            Okay, well yesterday started off well enough, but didn't go as well as planned. Breakfast was bacon and eggs, which for some reason had me feeling really nauseous for a few hours. I ended up going to jamba juice and got a carrot-orange smoothie and made sure they didn't add sugar or dairy to it. I ate about half of that. Then I came home and had some steak and a bit of a potato for dinner. I know the potato wasn't legal but I didn't eat that much. The downfall was when I went to a party last night, I meant to grab a vitamin water zero (sweetened with stevia) for a mixer but grabbed a regular one without noticing until it was too late. So much for beating those sugar cravings! I had 2 drinks but got far more drunk than I was intending, I think I may not have eaten enough yesterday, I'm really paying for it right now.

            Today I'm going to try to be good, but since I'm in San Antonio I'm craving breakfast tacos so we will see how it goes...


            • #7
              Alright, it's Monday and I'm going to put all the cheating I did this weekend behind me. I thought my cheats were pretty minor (minus the TOTAL accidental sugar) but I feel like crap today. Here's a run-down of Saturday and Sunday's meals:

              Breakfast: 2 eggs with 1/4 potato
              Lunch: Sausage and Brisket (no bbq sauce) with maybe 2 bites of potato salad
              Dinner: Went to Saltgrass. Got a crab stack appetizer (crab, avocado, tomatoes, onions, and cilantro) which I added to a house salad (no croutons, oil and vinegar). Then I had a ribeye with green beans.
              Late night very bad snack: had a few nachos, I didn't go crazy or anything but they did a number on my stomach.

              Felt sick most of the day, finally got hungry around 2:30
              Lunch: Jason's Deli chicken club salad with no croutons and oil and vinegar dressing (they kept messing up my order, it took 3 times to get it right, and by the time I got to eat everyone else was done and I wound up only eating 1/3 of it)
              I wasn't very hungry for the rest of the day but by 11 my blood sugar dropped and I was starting to feel VERY sick so I had a little piece of steak (probably an ounce) and half a sweet potato, went to bed at 1.

              Still feeling like crap, so I'm planning not to cheat again until Thanksgiving.
              Breakfast: 2 eggs and chorizo, coffee with coconut milk.

              I was supposed to have left over roast beef for lunch but it turned out very badly. I'm hoping to salvage the veggies I put with it though (green beans, carrots, mushrooms, parsnips, and sweet potato) since that was what I was most excited about! I stopped at a place that makes paleo food to-go and got some almond crusted chicken with roasted carrots and zucchini and some raw coconut macaroons instead. I'm not hungry now but will hopefully eat later.

              In other news, I've gotten a lot of complements on my weight loss already. I think mostly because I've lost so much bloat weight. When I got endometriosis I started getting so bloated that I looked 6 months pregnant for a lot of days. Paleo is REALLY helping this so I can actually wear fitted clothing for the first time in a year! My boyfriend is so impressed with his results that he's going to start paleo today. I think his plan will be a bit different than mine though. I'm going to go ahead and let him have as much fruit as he needs right now until he's more comfortable with the diet, I might also make him some baked goods. About 75% of his diet right now consists of pizza, lean pockets (pepperoni), and kraft mac and cheese. So really any trend toward real food is a plus for him lol. I'm going to order some almond flour and kelp noodles so I can work on recreating pizza and chinese food so there's even less temptation to cheat!


              • #8
                Well I haven't updated in a while. This week was absolutely crazy trying to balance work and tests and papers. My boyfriend also decided to go Primal with me so it also meant having 3 meals prepared every day. This week wasn't as successful as last week, I've had some stomach issues which has had me eating less, and I'm starting to lose weight pretty rapidly. I'll probably gain it back next week though for thanksgiving! I cheated a little on Friday night, I went to a chocolate themed party and didn't plan to drink but people just started bringing me chocolate drinks and my cravings got the best of me. I've been good the rest of the week though! Yesterday was probably my worst day this week because I made wings and primal pumpkin pie, but it was SO good!

                Goals for this week:
                Keep up with this journal as it might help me figure out what food is triggering my stomach problems
                Try not to cheat too badly next week, but also not feel guilty about what I eat on Thanksgiving

                I'm also going to try to cook a few meals for the week tonight so that I'm not freaking out about cooking all the time!


                • #9
                  Ughhhhhhhhh.......... <--- that's the only way I can sum up how I feel after three days of indulging. Interestingly enough, my mom pointed out that I really haven't eaten that much since Thanksgiving, but a little seems to be enough to make me feel like total crap. This is day three of a swollen upset tummy and a headache that just won't quit. I am more excited than ever to get back on track with the PB. My naturopath also happens to be my Grandma's ex-husband, (but also my aunt and uncle's father) so he was at Thanksgiving and told me that cutting grains and refined sugar from my diet is definitely a step in the right direction for me, because my weak stomach doesn't need the extra intestinal stress that grains put on it. I'm also relatively certain that grains lead me to malnutrition, I finally got over a huge cluster of SIX canker sores on my tonsil yesterday. I usually get them as some sort of immune response.. so there you go.

                  Interestingly enough, I was reading about diet and nutrition for my Anthropology class, and my book said that the first signs of malnutrition found in fossils occurred when grains/agriculture were introduced into society. The book also said the main problem with the current American diet is high fat rather than high carb though, so I was disappointed to find that out. I think that if everyone would just limit their consumption of processed foods to one day a week we would have a much healthier society. I think I may have officially reformed my boyfriend, he's actually enjoying PB and finally wasn't experiencing his daily headaches anymore. He's been off the diet for about a week though and said he feels like crap too, upset stomach and headaches all the time as well. I really never thought he would like this kind of diet so I'm pretty pleasantly surprised!

                  I'm not driving back home till about 6 tonight, so I might end up eating something non PB before then, but I think it will be omelets for dinner. Then I will probably throw in a pork roast to eat for the week and maybe some chicken pot pie soup as well. I have finals this week so things are going to be pretty insane, but I'm hoping that with good nutrition I can keep myself from getting sick.