Howdy! My name is Julia; I’m 27, I work in a cubicle and I live in Maryland. I’ve been doing the paleo thang for a little over a year. I’d struggled with my weight for several years after getting out of high school; I tried Atkins, South Beach, vegetarianism & veganism, tracking calories, you name it. I finally lost weight doing Weight Watchers! I lost about 15 pounds by obsessively tracking calories, fat grams, fiber grams, and minutes in the gym, but became burned out and was practically living off processed foods. I finally realized that losing weight doesn’t equate to getting healthy.
Eventually I got interested in nutrition; I thought about doing the vegan thing again (thinking it was the healthiest way to go) and did a detox called the Clean Program. A few days into it, my symptoms were gone, and I was elated! I finally felt normal again; I had forgotten what that was like. I had eliminated numerous foods, and upon adding things back in, I learned that gluten was indeed causing my symptoms, even though I don’t have Celiac. I struggled with the gluten-free thing for a few months, and felt mostly better. During this time I started learning about paleo, and knew I needed to do more if I wanted to really get better. Eventually, I phased out the other grains & legumes, and most sugar & dairy. I’ve dropped ten more pounds, and on most days I feel fantastic. Sometimes I feel disappointed in myself for taking so long to figure it all out, and in my doctor for his inability to help me, but I really am grateful I figured it out at all.
Soon after I had gone mostly paleo, the GI office contacted me to see if I was interested in participating in a study for a new IBS drug (I wasn’t even aware I had been diagnosed with anything), and I went in to see what it was all about. The doctor I spoke with was very nice- we discussed my history of gut issues, and I told him how much better I’d been feeling since cutting out gluten and most other grains. He replied flatly that since I had tested negative for Celiac, there was “no need to eliminate gluten” from my diet. I was floored. I still believe that doctors are generally in their profession because they genuinely want to help people, but it was a bit disheartening to tell this doctor that I had figured out what was wrong with me and was fixing it myself, and pretty much be told I’m full of crap and should take some pills instead. There are many stories just like mine out there; unfortunately a lot of folks are listening to their doctors over their own bodies.
This way of eating has led to so many positive changes- I’ve become more interested in sustainable farming, eating real food, fitness & being an ethical omnivore, and I’ve found a lovely community of like-minded people! Over the past few months, I’ve attended the Ancestral Health Symposium in L.A., a MovNat workshop in Washington, DC, and a Whole9 Nutrition workshop in Bowie, MD. I haven’t been posting as much as I’d like to, but I also write a blog called Queen of the Stoneage and I contribute to Chowstalker.