Hello everyone -
I have been reading MDA for a while, absorbing the information and adapting various aspects of my life gradually to primal concepts. I've found it is the next logical step in what has been an arduous plod from extreme bad health to relative wellness. I have a long way to go but in perspective, I've accomplished a lot.
Since there seems to be a format, I'll stick to it - and then tell a little bit about how I got here, if anyone wants that too.
Your location: Upstate NY
Age (If you want): 44, I think. I stopped counting when it stopped seeming possible.
How Primal are you: Pretty much a newbie
Do you consume dairy: I'm weaning myself off it mostly but still eat some periodically.
Do you drink coffee or tea: Mostly coffee, occasional tea
Motivator for switching to Primal: Health and weight loss.
Favorite exercise: Dancing
Favorite Primal food: Sashimi...I could live on raw fish
Best part about being Primal: No mid afternoon energy crashes
Worst part about being Primal: Fighting sugar addiction, finding fresh produce
So... here goes. I have been ill most of my life - weight issues, asthma, inflammation of my joints (particularly knees), skin ailments and horrible digestion and allergies. I was in my thirties before I started getting enough of the rest of my life together to have time/energy to start investigating WHY this was - its so easy to start thinking "that is just how it is" and adapt. Long story short, at 35, I was unable to climb more than a few stairs without stopping to catch my breath, and I had a mostly sedentary life in a desk with a computer (geek-designer). I kept hearing my doctor say "you're obese, you need to lose weight" check up after check up and I finally exploded at her one day "Lady, I can't BREATHE. If I could BREATHE, I'd exercise, believe me! What are you going to do about that besides put me on DRUGS" She was useless. I was already on an allergy medicine, an asthma medicine, and she had put me on high blood pressure meds because of a family history of heart attack and stroke. I was angry enough to start researching nutrition and health and diet and knowing that carbs made me crash badly (need to sleep? Eat potatoes!), I decided that might be a clue. I investigated South Beach and began doing that in earnest. And what do you know... all of a sudden my head opened up and I could breath. I was actually light headed from all the sudden oxygen for the first time in my life!
So I went back to the doc and said "EXPLAIN THAT" and she said I needed to be tested for celiac - the obvious thing I had cut out was bread and pasta and whatnot - and it might mean something. Sure enough, the tests came back positive for celiac. But she wouldn't diagnose me for that because digestive ailments and asthma weren't "recognized" for celiac. She put me down as gluten intolerant. Whatever... just knowing how sick gluten makes me was enough for me.
I have been (cheating here and there) GF for about 5 years now. As a result, I can breathe like a normal person, and without going into long boring details, today I can easily walk 4-5 miles without fatigue, climb minor mountains, bike, swim and dance like a fiend (I do a lot of aerobic dancing like contra and swing and balkan folk dance stuff). All the skin ailments vanished, and so did much of the joint inflammation. I still need a maintenance inhaler for the asthma (Advair) which I'd love to kick some day but I rarely have an asthma attack any more. I gradually dropped about 50 pounds along the way and with regular weight training, became quite muscular. But I'm still carrying way more weight than I should over top of that "strong like bull" eastern European frame. And past experience tells me if I eat mostly meat, fish and vegetables, nuts and seeds and some fruit, I drop weight like mad. What has been lacking in my life is a support system, to keep me from falling off the wagon
The most recent discovery came when I mentioned to the doctor that I still had digestion issues and she suggested 1) drugs and 2) blood work. I was so peeved, I put myself on a strict elimination diet and what do you know... it was soy! I was eating soy products left and right - and when I kicked the soy out, all the GERD and bad tummy problems vanished.
So, I come to the primal place with this background ... feeling mostly good (for me!) and able to live life to the fullest, loving to cook and grow food and almost entirely having jettisoned breads, pastas, etc. I've long suspected other carbs were an issue for me - like corn and rice - but was eating a lot of it. For the last week, I've ditched those, and sugar and I feel absolutely fantastic. I feel like I'm on to something here and want to keep learning about it. It feels a lifestyle that is natural to me - and I look forward to tuning into all of you as a support system.
PS. I've been thinking I need to jettison the idiot drug pushing doctor and find one who supports holistic, nutritional and naturopathic ideas but after 20 years with the same medical practice, kept stalling. Then yesterday, I got a letter from her that her practice is closing. A sign?