the look

Oh, THE LOOK. The one that you receive when trying to explain the ideas behind, or relating your experiences with paleo to someone–particularly someone who thinks they are more schooled or smarter than you. The one that says, “Oh, you poor, naïve idiot. When will you learn than traditional medicine knows all and that we would have been told if there were such a simple cure as diet?”

I received THE LOOK from my rheumatologist when I told him that I was going to try paleo. “I practice in Boulder, and I’ve seen everything,” he said in September. By January, five months later, he was asking me what my secret was.

Equivalent to THE LOOK, we have THE COMMENT. I’ve read so many comments on “Testimonial” posts on both Robb Wolfe’s site or Cordain’s stating basically that, “if it were as easy as what we were eating, we would have been told by now.” Even though they are leaving a comment on a post of someone telling them that they just cured or ameliorated their disease through diet, and that someone is, obviously, telling them RIGHT NOW. It seems to be easier to believe this person’s experience is the result of magic than eating differently. Simply amazing.

What makes someone telling their story or experience invalid? Are you really implying that this individual didn’t feel the pain and receive the diagnosis from a bona fide medical professional, and that they can’t tell the difference between before and after paleo and/or functional medicine? How condescending and unscientific, and how embarrassing for you. Do the research yourself. Read and make your own decisions—better yet, try paleo for yourself.

Telling your story does not require a job application or the verification of your employment history. It simply is what it is. Read it, research, follow the linked citations, and decide for yourself. Whatever you decide, this success with paleo occurred for a great number of people; they are imploring us to listen. Summer 2012 when my hands started hurting , I went online to take a look for myself; have other people described what I am experiencing? When I do the same now, the landscape of what I’m seeing is much different. Try googling “dairy auto immune” or “wheat auto immune”; you’ll have weeks worth of reading material. There are SO many more people talking about their success using paleo to combat their health problems.

Who exactly is responsible for “telling” us some piece of information? Do you really think our government, the same one who subsidizes the growth of tobacco, is on the ball with dietary information regarding optimum health? Who do you think has enough money to combat the advertising might of folks like Kellogg’s, Post, The Dairy Council, or General Mills just to name a few? Who is going to stand up and say, “You know, um, it appears that eating wheat and dairy are linked to auto-immune diseases. Maybe we should look into this leaky gut research?” The information is out there, and the news is spreading.

The research, and I’m talking large-scale, double-blinded, nutritional studies, will most likely never be done. They are so costly. Who would do them? The government bodies such as NIH or NSF are not going to fund such work. The only way to approach this is by testimonials and this wonderful conduit we have called the world wide web. If more people post what they are doing and how it is working (or not) for them, the information is disseminated. All anyone has to do is try it. What do you have to lose? You could feel better and start regaining function, or not. I don’t believe you’ll be sorry.

It’s not as easy as you think. Sure changing your diet is JUST changing what you eat, but going paleo takes will power and strength, but there’s a wealth of information out there in Robb Wolf’s site or Cordain’s site and plenty of blogs: Robb’s , Cordain’s, and the top 25 paleo blogs at the time of this posting. It takes the commitment to actually cook your food. This takes time. Most people do not want to prioritize their time in this manner. They want to take the box of prepackaged food, pour it into boiling water or microwave it, wait a few minutes, and eat. Paleo is not the easy road. It takes planning. You need fresh things in your house at all times. (Yes, I have some frozen organic vegetables for emergencies, as well; ever attempt to go shopping immediately upon returning from an international trip?) I always have several different types of cooked meat and vegetables in the refrigerator for reheating. I use the crock pot a lot in order to conserve my energy. I buy meat on sale and freeze it so I may take it out to thaw for later. Robb Wolf has meal plans and shopping guides all laid out for you. It’s doable and within your reach. Dr. Loren Cordain also gives help on what to eat on the paleo diet

I admit it was much easier for me because of my many, many food allergies; additionally, I have some SERIOUS motivation in the form of two auto-immune diseases. Wow, do I want to eat that and go to the hospital or use an epi-pen—or NOT eat that.? Do I wish to wake up in excruciating pain, or do I wish to give paleo a serious try and see what happens? Quite the choice.

I cook the occasional Pamela’s gluten-free snack for my partner, and he is able to eat fruit, too. His diet is MUCH more varied than mine; he does not have auto-immune issues.

Speaking of easy, is what you’re doing now easy—taking meds that make you feel sick, struggling with energy constraints and pain? Maybe browsing for a nearby functional medicine person would help get you on a better path. Going paleo, in the meantime, would be a great start. If you are already having problems with your immune system, check out the special consideration in the paleo diet at either here or here on Robb Wolf’s site.

I’m bolstering myself for receiving THE LOOK again soon—from my new neurologist (my previous one stopped practicing in this area). I need to tell her that I’m no longer injecting with Betaseron, and I’m regaining functionality. When I first discussed the cessation of my Betaseron injections with my functional medicine MD, I told her that I didn’t wish to immediately have the discussion with my neurologist because of THE LOOK. You see, my functional medicine MD has had her own share of tragic health experiences. This is what steered her toward her current vocation. She well understands THE LOOK and concurred that I could indeed wait a bit. I’d have more evidence to strengthen my case by then she said. Did she know I’d be walking without my WalkAide by then? She did say she had seen some quite miraculous things in functional medicine.

PS I’m keeping positive thoughts that my new neurologist will listen with an open mind, and do her own research.

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