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My journey to health, and hopefully a baby, through Primal and GAPS

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  • My journey to health, and hopefully a baby, through Primal and GAPS

    I have been here about a month, I guess it's time to start one of these.

    My journey started about 10 years ago, when I was first told I might have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. I went on a low carb diet, and had a single menstrual cycle, then nothing. Another doctor I saw said I didn't have PCOS, so the low carb diet went by the wayside. Fast forward a few years, got married, went on the pill for birth control and to regulate my cycles, not happy to be medicating a symptom without a diagnosis though. I went off for a year at one point, no cycles. December of 08, decided to try for a baby, went off the pill and were inexplicably, miraculously pregnant the next month. After a somewhat eventful pregnancy full of preterm labor and complications, I gave birth to a healthy, full-term baby boy in September 09.

    Fast forward to a couple months ago, when my cycles still hadn't returned postpartum. I went to a doctor with a great reputation of being more naturally minded, and she did a full fertility workup. My hormone levels are WAY off, I have cysts on my ovaries, but she's not willing to make a PCOS diagnosis official until I'm done breastfeeding, since my levels of Prolactin are still suppressing some of my hormones. After doing some of my own research, PCOS is about the only thing that makes sense, I am a perfect example of the "lean" form of PCOS.

    So, I started looking into natural treatments for PCOS that wouldn't interfere with breastfeeding, and found Paleo. It made so much sense, and I started my Whole30 the next day (well, I ate hummus that first day, but other than that I was strictly Whole30). I also started taking Vitamin D since my levels were low, and 2 herbs that help fertility and are safe while nursing, Vitex and Maca.

    Since starting Paleo, I have seen some truly amazing changes in myself. My skin, which has been mildly acne prone since getting pregnant, is just about clear now, and the dark circles under my eyes have lightened considerably. I have lost about 10 lbs, which isn't much but on my 5'2" frame going from 125 to 115 is definitely a big deal. Every bit of that weight loss seems to have been fat loss, all from my lower abdomen, thighs, and my rib cage is smaller. My hair seems to be growing faster. I have more energy, and more patience when I'm not low on sleep.

    My big unresolved issue was my food allergies/IBS. It seemed like even when I truly avoided the things I knew I couldn't tolerate, my body still randomly started malfunctioning. I kept researching, and MamaGrok told me about the GAPS diet. Everything started to make sense, and now I'm starting GAPS to try to heal my gut and get things back in a proper balance of good/bad bacteria. I am really excited about what is to come, and hopeful that the next couple years will bring healing, and ultimately, let me have the second child I am desperately wanting!

  • #2
    Welcome! Here's to improved health and a baby

    Zone diet on and off for several years....worked, but too much focus on exact meal composition
    Primal since July 2010...skinniest I've ever been and the least stressed about food


    • #3
      Welcome and good luck!
      Ancestral Health Info

      I design websites and blogs for a living. If you would like a blog or website designed by someone who understands Primal, see my web page.

      Primal Blueprint Explorer My blog for people who are not into the Grok thing. Since starting the blog, I have moved close to being Archevore instead of Primal. But Mark's Daily Apple is still the best source of information about living an ancestral lifestyle.


      • #4
        Thanks for the welcomes!

        Today is day 3 of GAPS for me, starting to get some die-off symptoms, so I'm slowing down a little. Right now I have a sore throat, feel a bit tired, and my keratosis pilaris (those little bumps on your arms) is much worse than normal. So, instead of having my regular bone broth/chicken/veggie soup, I had some bacon and eggs (acceptable on full GAPS, but a little further than I've progressed on intro). I'll have some bone broth with probiotics too, but I really felt like I needed the extra fat from the eggs and bacon today.

        Ugh, just splashed a bit of boiling beef stock onto my leg. Ouch. That's gonna leave a mark.

        Other than all that, it's been a pretty good day, I bought a ton of meat at Kroger (they do great markdowns on things like steaks and pork chops, it's not grass fed, but it's what I can afford), and shopped at Costco and Target too, so I'd say I got my "move slowly" time in for the day. I also had some weight bearing exercise in the form of babywearing, I wear my 27 lb son on my back fairly often. I consider that pretty primal, we have records of societies wrapping up their babies for centuries. I just started Primal Blueprint fitness this week, and I'm already seeing some increased upper body strength. I can't do the chin ups yet, I need to get a bar.


        • #5
          Hey! It's great that paleo/primal has already led to so many improvements in your health... here's to hoping that your cycle will come back!

          Interesting that you are a case of "lean PCOS." Have you ever had your fasting insulin levels checked?

          Baby-wearing is totally primal


          • #6
            Originally posted by imasin View Post
            Hey! It's great that paleo/primal has already led to so many improvements in your health... here's to hoping that your cycle will come back!

            Interesting that you are a case of "lean PCOS." Have you ever had your fasting insulin levels checked?

            Baby-wearing is totally primal
            I'm definitely excited about how much better my health is already! No, I haven't had my insulin levels checked, although I'm pretty sure I've asked a couple different times Doctors can be a bit myopic at times, and since I don't LOOK insulin resistant, and my glucose levels are always normal (borderline low even), they don't bother. My body definitely responds to low carb as if I'm insulin resistant though. Lean PCOS can be so tricky, even doctors who know PCOS don't usually know lean PCOS, and it's not like I can just "lose the weight and be ok" if there's not much weight to lose. My doctor definitely supported a healthy low-carb WOE and said it can't hurt, although I believe the term "whole grains" was tossed out there at least once


            • #7
              Well, I'm throwing the GAPS intro by the wayside, and going straight into full GAPS. The intro was just too intense for me to deal with, the die-off symptoms were getting bad, and I didn't want my baby getting the same die-off symptoms. So, I added bacon, meat cooked however, olive oil, all that good stuff. I'll still be doing lots of broth and soup, just not starting so slowly.

              I also had my first grass-fed beef tonight. It is FANTASTIC. It's just flank steak, because that's all I could really afford, but it was totally delicious. Maybe for my birthday I'll splurge on some grass-fed Ribeyes or something. I'll still be buying mainly grocery store meat, because that's all our budget can handle, but the occasional grass fed steak will feel like an extra special treat this way!


              • #8
                Oh, also noteworthy: I was outside for 45-ish minutes today, at peak sunlight, and I didn't sunburn!! This is AMAZING for me, I'm practically a vampire and burn in like 10 minutes most of the time. I really think the Vitamin D supplementation I've been doing is helping!


                • #9
                  Hmmm, well I was off fruit for the first few days of intro, and was totally fine, but now that I've added them back on, I'm craving fruit like nobody's business. Does that mean I had/have candida issues that still need to be dealt with?

                  My food intake today was still totally primal/GAPS, but still not great.

                  Breakfast: Larabar, Apple pie flavor, and some freeze dried fruit
                  Lunch/Dinner (I tend to just graze for a couple hours around dinnertime): Bowl of butternut squash soup (just homemade broth and squash), one very large pork chop with lots of fresh garlic, a pear, handful of walnuts, some dried coconut, and a few green olives.

                  I'm sure I'll still have a nighttime snack, maybe eggs and bacon. I got some absolutely colossal eggs from my local co-op, they are so exciting and huge! I'll post a comparison with a Costco organic egg later. Just realized my previous list is sorely lacking in veggies, I'll add a salad to my snack later.


                  • #10
                    As promised, a picture.

                    In order, I have a brown egg from costco, a gigantic white egg from a local farmer, a granny smith apple, and under them a regular sized spoon.


                    • #11
                      Here are some pre-PB pics of me. You can see that I was definitely thin, but had a tummy anyway. I was always so upset if I saw a pic of myself and realized I looked about 3 months pregnant, even before I had my son I don't have any current pictures, but when I do I'll post in the before & after thread.

                      Pic of me and the hubby in 2008, he doesn't like his pic up on the internet, but take my word for it

                      Pic of me sitting this past January. I was NOT happy when I got tagged in this one:

                      Even without a pic, I can tell you that tummy is basically gone, and well on its way to being actual abs now!


                      • #12
                        ODM - nice pictures! I look forward to seeing the 'afters'!


                        • #13
                          Here is the "after"/during pic. Pardon the dirty mirror, it's all I have at the moment


                          • #14
                            Wow!! Look at you ! You look amazinggg!!
                            "If you don't go after what you want, you'll never have it. If you don't ask, the answer is always no. If you don't step forward, you're always in the same place." Nora Roberts

                            Start December 20th 2010: 177 lbs
                            Currant: 136 lbs
                            Goal: 125 lbs
                            11 more lbs to go

                            Follow My Journey :-)


                            • #15
                              Aw thanks MCW! I feel amazing, I'm so glad it's showing