Monday, November 15, 2010

And now for something completely different

The hours are long but the weeks are short.  That sums up my life right now.  Although I'm happy with my work/life/rest balance, I feel a little... bored.  I haven't blogged most days because I haven't felt like I had anything new to say.  It kind of stinks because I actually enjoy writing and blogging, but I need something new to say.  Also, I don't feel like I have a theme or any special characteristic that makes my blog stand apart.  I'm not not super fast or fashionable or a gourmet cook or really funny, and I don't have a job that interests anyone other than me.  I'm not trying to whine, but that's just kind of how it is.

So I was thinking as I was walking home from work last Thursday, "What is there about me or what could I do to make my life more interesting and give me something to blog about?"  And then I realized I did have something somewhat interesting going on.  I hadn't shared anything about it on the blog because it's kind of weird, but what are blogs for if not *over* sharing crazy personal information?

Scroll down to the ***  if you want to see my announcement but have no desire to read anything that says "digestive issues".

This is going to be a long post so I'll start at the beginning.  In the beginning I was an allergy kid- pollen, dust, probably pet dander- all the "nerd" allergies.  I never had any problems with food except that I would get a raging headache sometimes from something in Pizza Hut pizza.  In 9th grade, sitting in English class (the period after lunch) with a horrible stomach ache, I discovered I probably shouldn't drink milk anymore (although I do eat ice cream and cheese from time to time with mixed results).  I also developed eczema on my hands sometime in college, and as an adult I still have random digestive issues and occasionally get this sunburn-like hives thing after eating (whining and oversharing- you lucky reader, you!).  The moral of this story is that people with weird autoimmune things tend to have a bunch of them, and it's a problem I really haven't grown out of.

*** Okay you are safe now.      

I'm about 3 years behind all trends (I was too embarrassed to post that I got my free sample case of Pom two months ago! - it was tasty- thanks, Pom people) so it makes sense that I'd get interested in the paleo diet now rather than back in 2007 when it was all the rage in the body building/ cross fit community.

That is a bean with a gun.
There is actually a movie called Killer Bean Forever.
Google "paleo diet" if you want.  There are a lot of gurus and practitioners who have different ideas of exactly constitutes a paleolithic diet, and there's a healthy dose of weirdness about how it will straighten your spine and make you less nearsighted.  But if you boil away all the crazy, you're left with the idea that some people with digestive and autoimmune weirdness have really good luck with removing "neolithic" foods- mainly grains, legumes, and dairy- from their diet.  Plus, there are a couple of high level triathletes who- after the burn in period- claim to have seen great improvements in their training.

I've been curious about the whole thing for awhile but afraid because it would mean a huge change in the way I cooked and ate.  Plus it's not like I have celiac disease or some kind of serious condition where I have to avoid wheat or another kind of food.  On the other hand, what would it hurt to try?  In my reading about the subject, I've found that people definitely have an adjustment period when they start the diet, but there's not much out there about what that's like for endurance athletes.  

So starting today and for the next month (most of what I've read says you should give it an entire month before you decide if it is working for you or not) I'm going to try to go grain, legume and dairy free.  Although that removes a lot of carbs from my diet, I'm definitely not trying to go low carb and will be taking advantage of all the squash, sweet potatoes and apples (plus other fruit) that are plentiful this season.

This is still not a food blog, but I plan to focus more on food pictures than I did before.  I'm going to talk about how it affects my training and if I see changes in my body and how I have to modify recipes and navigate restaurant menus.  The experiment will be over before the holidays so I can decide I think it's bunk and go on a pancake bender or if I think it's great and have some strategies in place so I don't drive my family crazy with dietary restrictions and requests).

Stay tuned for tomorrow's summary of Day 1.