believing in paleo

Healing with real food.

Healing with real food.

Two years ago today, August 14, 2012, I was diagnosed with sero-negative rheumatoid arthritis (RA). I was told to prepare for methotrexate and all the side effects it would bring. It was my second autoimmune disease; I have had multiple sclerosis (MS) since 1991.

I had no hope except that I had started paleo two weeks previous. I believed in the science behind paleo, I watched Cordain’s MS lectures, but I knew it would take time. I could not so quickly repair a body I had unwittingly been destroying over years. I had my first appointment with my functional medicine MD the next day, August 15, 2012. read more

paleo: two years and going strong

Wow. I don’t even know what to say. I started paleo in total desperation. Trained as a scientist, I believed the dogma we’ve been fed about low-fat diet but mostly how disease works and how we treat it. Diet wasn’t part of that equation. Thank goodness I’m trained well enough to understand Dr. Cordain’s lecture on MS, the biochemistry in Robb Wolf’s book (although no biochemistry knowledge is needed for his humor) and also understand that paleo was the answer. Two years ago, I was in so much pain from RA that I couldn’t use my hands or shoulders. A scientific article had just been published that told me what I’d been injecting for 19 years didn’t REALLY work for MS in the manner originally believed. The word desperate is totally appropriate. read more

not serving paleo

Tecfidera invitation--love  that safety info

Tecfidera invitation–love that safety info

I received this invitation to a MS Smart Session in the mail the other day. It’s an advertisement for Tecfidera;, the new pill for the treatment of MS.

Yes, my neurologist put me on their patient list. Yes, I’ve received their little info kit, and yes, they continue to call and ask when I’m going to begin taking their drug and start handing over a startling amount of money for the privilege (Tecfidera’s wholesale cost is nearly $55K/year; your insurance decides how much you “contribute”). read more

paleo

I had an opportunity to listen to this outstanding podcast, The Truth About Paleo yesterday courtesy of Boomers rock radio talk show with host Tom Matt. Dr. Loren Cordain, the man behind paleo, was the guest, and it was a very informative discussion.

I’ll wet your appetite with this morsel, but make sure and give it a listen. It’s worth your time.

70% of all calories consumed in a Western diet come from 4 food groups:
• Refined sugar
• Refined grains
• Refined oils
• Dairy

human reaction

When we first went paleo, it was a real struggle. It wasn’t just the cleaning out of the house and changing the way we ate. That was the easy part. It mostly, at least for me, was realizing that what I’d been taught my entire life was a lie. Not only had our government misled us, but so had science. If you read Cordain’s, The Paleo Answer, you’ll find all the references to why we should not be eating dairy, whole grains, legumes, etc. To top it off, it’s not just that it would be better for us not to, but there is evidence that illustrates why we shouldn’t and other evidence (fat argument) that shows how we’ve been purposely misled because of a personal agenda. The fat argument has come to light again recently in articles such as The Questionable Link Between Saturated Fat and Heart Disease. read more

Betaseron

I distinctly remember reading this article in the NY Times. My hands already hurt from what I suspected was RA yet to be diagnosed, and I felt utterly defeated. Our neighbors kids were visiting for the summer, and they were outside. I could see them out the window to the left of where I sat at my computer. I had the flash of walking upstairs to get my pistol, out into the yard (don’t make a mess inside), and killing myself. I thought that would be a rather rude thing to do to those kids so I sat glued to my chair. That was my exact thought process. read more

wheat

It’s yet another one of those days when I try not to scream when I look at the news. I was glad that the New York Times seemed to be interested in printing information on the gluten-free lifestyle until I read the articles. The first article this week, A Big Bet on Gluten-Free, was mildly interesting from a business perspective, but it remained insulting with quotes like the following:

• “Look, the thing here, in my opinion, is that there is a small number of people who have celiac disease or are gluten intolerant,” Mr. Hajarnavis said. “But there is a growing population of people who have somehow heard that gluten-free is healthier or think of it as fashionable, and when they remove gluten from their diet, they’re inadvertently taking out a lot of processed foods and are really feeling the benefits of eating healthier foods.” read more

Wahls

I watched a webinar last night by Dr. Terry Wahls. If you don’t recall, she’s the woman, a physician, who has cured her progressive MS with diet. She has an amazing TED talk which I previously posted in this blog post.

I came away with several things about her that I did not previously know:

• She said when she read Cordain’s book on paleo, it made scientific sense to her which is why she decided to go paleo.
• When she initially went paleo in 2002, it was mostly taking wheat and dairy out of her diet. She’s been a vegetarian for a long time, so she found the conversion to eating meat very difficult. She did a lot of meat broths to try to get used to the idea and didn’t initially consume meat as she now does (grass-fed beef, organ meats, fish). You might say that in the beginning, she went gently into paleo. I believe that might be true for many people.
• The answer to her remarkable recovery from the disease state of MS is paleo plus functional medicine.
• It was difficult for her to align her thinking as a traditionally-trained MD with the idea that diet has this much of an impact on our health. read more

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. read more