Today is the one-year anniversary of me being grain-free. Back when I first started, I called it Primal. But more on that in a minute.
I didn’t know what it was going to be like when I started. I know this is crazy to say, because it seems obvious. But when I started, it seemed crazy to me. Even though I was doing it, I had NO IDEA what it would look like.
The first day of being Primal, I thought I was going to die.
It turns out I had picked a really bad day to start, as it was a meal day at church that week. I started the day with a smoothie, brought some carrot sticks to church with me, and then the only grain-free dishes at the meal were salads. NO PROTEIN! Man, I went home HUNGRY!
(Should I be worried that I can recall what I ate exactly one year ago? You know, I won’t worry about it.)
For the first month is was difficult, and it was something I really had to think about. I ate a lot of ground beef. And a small amount of really dark chocolate.
The first time that I went “off” and had grain was one night when we went out for pizza. I could have just ordered a salad, but I really wanted pizza. So I ate the pizza. That night, I woke up in the middle of the night, and didn’t fall back asleep for 2 hours. I believe I had a mild stomach ache. And I actually had to go look for my peppermint oil.
And that’s when I realized all of the symptoms that I had been having that had disappeared.
I was happier. I slept whole nights. I didn’t have nearly the number of stomach aches/upsets that I used to have. I rarely, if ever, woke up in the middle of the night feeling sick. I had forgotten the last place I had had my peppermint oil, since I hadn’t needed to use it in so long. Previously I had always known where it was. It had practically permanent residence in my room. If it wasn’t there, it was in my purse. Now it has taken up permanent residence in the basement.
Over the next few months I had times where I ate more grain, and times where I ate less grain. I ate a lot of grain and other bad stuff in December.
So I decided to cut out all dairy, bad fats, seeds, nuts, nightshades, and berries (to aid digestion), in addition to being strictly grain-free and soy-free. It was hard. Very hard. Although I felt better in some respects, I started eating more, and more often. I gained the smallish amount of weight that I had lost. I couldn’t go without snacking.
I only did that for three weeks before I started eating nuts, seeds, nightshades, and berries again. It took me awhile to reteach my body not to crave food when I wasn’t hungry.
During this whole time I also struggle with the terms Primal and Paleo.
First of all, I wasn’t strictly either.
Second of all, I don’t agree with the philosophy behind either.
So I stopped saying Paleo/Primal (except, maybe, in regards to classifying and finding recipes) and started saying grain-free, and even gluten-free.
(I had really resisted the gluten-free label for awhile, since there is a difference between gluten-free and the way I eat.)
I try to be grain-free most of the time, and I have made it a goal to be gluten-free for six solid months.
Now I am contemplating going completely dairy-free for awhile. I am still struggling with some eczema, and believe that the dairy may be the root of the problem.
But I am so thankful for the healing that the Lord has provided through being grain-free.