I've been lurking here for a month or so, and since I've learned so much I thought it was time to jump in, thank everyone, and put in what I've learned so far. I’m a corn-fed Midwestern female, 33 yo. I'm a long course triathlete, marathoner, etc. I know that's called chronic cardio here, but looking for better training is why I'm here-so chronic I will stay. My last 4 years have been about ~65% carbs, ~15% protein, and ~%10 fat. Meals were built around a carb: I have a bowl of grains that needs some veg and protein.
My training was great, the rest was not. By afternoon on most days, my belly felt like it had a hot lava rock in it. I would be hugely bloated and miserable, but no other symptoms of celiac or allergies. I used to think it was all the raw veggies I ate, and actually gave up raw veggies then all veggies! I ate 6 meals a day (thanks, CW) but since I was training 12 hrs/week I thought the training was making me hungry. By 10am I'd be hungry, have a snack. Hungry my 1pm, lunch. Starving by 3pm, potential binge. This was with 2500+ calories/day. And if I didn't eat every 3-4hrs, I would crash. Nasty mood, no energy, dizzy, an awful person. The fix was to eat a banana and fig bar, bread with honey, etc. I couldn't eat spicy or flavored foods, it would upset my stomach and make me nauseous. I wouldn't gain or lose weight, so I thought I had a nice balance going. Average height/weight, low heart rate, super-low cholesterol, high endurance. Heathly, yes. Happy? eh.
All this summer I started researching, and being a scientist I have lots of resources at my disposal. I couldn't find my answers in the medical library, but I did find help in forums. Similar stories, symptoms, and problems led me to the primal/paleo books. I read Paleo for Athletes and laughed. How would I live without grains?!? But I needed a change, and once racing season ended, I jumped in. No grains, some dairy. Carb intake timed around daily training, as in Paleo Diet for Athletes.
I never had the carb withdrawal I expected, but I'm eating 150-300g carbs/day. My numbers are now roughly 40% carbs, 30% prot, 30% fat. After a month, I’m not gaining or losing weight, but I don’t need to be. I've raced a few half marathons with great times. My tummy issues completely resolved. Yet I noticed some unexpected results. I used to always be cold, layered in clothing and avoiding AC. Now? Comfy in any temp. My energy swings and cravings? Gone. Flavored, spiced foods? No problem. And most surprisingly, my anxiety is gone. I used to be an anxious wreck some days, panic attacks, social anxiety, severe introversion. Gone. I actually ate in a restaurant last week!! And I ate sushi with that wasabi stuff!!
Like I said, I’m a scientist, an immunologist to be specific. CW and text books didn’t fix me. I’m a trained skeptic, but I’m also trained to have an open mind willing to test new ideas and put new data against CW and what we don’t know for sure yet. The way I see it, we are each individual experiments, likely ahead of the CW curve. One recommendation I have for those here is to be patient with science and scientists, we can move slowly in new directions (unfortunately, only faster when $$ is involved!) and need to see the data (that’s us) in big numbers before concluding anything in a publication. But we do move, give us time and share what you've learned kindly.
Thankfully I’ve found this forum and this lifestyle! I feel like a new person.