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The Paleo Problem

Hi friends! Long time, no talk. I’m crying internally while typing this. Why? Because I have a problem and it involves eating a Paleo diet.

As we’ve previously discussed, I decided to take 2017 to get myself healthy, both physically and mentally. The last six months have really flown by for me. Upon further reflection on my progress, I have to admit I feel disappointed. I’m not at the place that I wanted to be. I have no one to blame except myself (and potato chips and chocolate, obviously). The truth is that I just don’t feel good. I’m exhausted, I’m moody, I feel sluggish, and half the time, I’m not sure I can even keep it together. My holistic healing friends assure me that a lot of this is probably caused by food. This is one of the reasons why I began to eat a Paleo diet.

For those who don’t know much about Paleo (I feel like most people do, otherwise you might be living in an actual cave), the very, very condensed explanation is that I try to not consume grains, dairy, processed food and sugar, legumes, starches, or alcohol. I would like to point out that the key word here is “try”.

My first month doing Paleo was awesome. Sure, I was experiencing extreme sugar and caffeine withdrawals and I missed popcorn more than I can even explain to you, but I lost 20 pounds in my first month. I was making so much progress, but I still didn’t feel well. The boost of energy I was promised hadn’t come, I still had a hard time focusing, and my insomnia didn’t get any better. Over the next few months, I continued to eat “mostly” Paleo, while still allowing myself to enjoy some of my favorite things. I started to turn back to caffeine and sugar (CURSE YOU, PROCESSED FOOD!!!! *angrily shakes fist at the sky*) and my progress obviously slowed.

If this were a movie, I’d show you an epic montage of all the doctors and nurses I went to help me figure out why this Paleo diet wasn’t working for me before. You would see me sitting my Nurse Practitioner’s office using my hands a lot to communicate how I was feeling. We’d see a shift to me sitting in a too-small-for-my-giant-hips chair placed in a boiling hot room while a health counselor spoke to me about food sensitivities and inflammation. Did I understand what that meant? No, of course not. I don’t science! From there, I found myself in an office talking to a doctor about food sensitivity blood tests and finally, our little video would end with me getting a needle shoved into my elbows and hands eight times before the nurses at the Urgent Care finally were able to get my blood. “You’re a hard stick,” they tell me. No doctor or nurse has ever had a problem taking my blood in all my 23 years of life, but I didn’t want to hurt their feelings by saying so.

My test was sent in and the wait began. After playing phone tag for literal weeks, I finally received my results, and I have to admit, I’m once again disappointed. Of the 184 food items I was tested for, I showed sensitivities to 32 of them****. I was certainly surprised by some of the things that came up on the list as many of them are not only part of my everyday life, but are also staples in the Paleo diet.

My sensitivities are as follows:


Brussel Sprouts





Kidney Beans

Lima Beans


Cheddar Cheese

Cow’s Milk

Swiss cheese










Poppy Seeds


Fennel Seed









What the actual heck, body?! Mangos??? Lemons???? Cauliflower????? COCONUTS????????? Do you know what is made of coconuts? Malibu Rum. Do you know what has Malibu Rum in it? MY SIGNATURE BEVERAGE, THE AUNT CATHY.

Needless to say I am upset. Do you want to know what food got the lowest rating in terms of the amount of havoc it wreaks on my body? Walleye Pike. Do you want know how much I like Walleye Pike? I don’t. Not at all. In fact, I’ve been Walleye Pike free since ‘93. Why couldn’t it say I was sensitive to kelp or rhubarb or duck or any of the other things I hate eating? The answer is clear to me. It’s simple, really:

The Universe is out to get me and make sure that I’m punished for any food related happiness I may experience.

I feel overwhelmed by the events of today. I realize that to some, this may seem a little dramatic, but to me, this changes so much. For the next 30 days, I’m supposed to cut each of these foods out of my diet, then slowly reintroduce them. The thought of not having coconut milk, mangos, and avocados for the next month really bums me out, especially because I have three avocados, two containers of mangos, and an unopened carton of coconut milk in my fridge right this minute. I’ve already failed for today. While cooking dinner, I absentmindedly added coconut aminos to my stir fry. I also added lemon pepper. Then I washed it all down with a mango La Croix. Then I started panicking after realizing what I’ve done. Then I found myself asking why bad things happen to somewhat decent people. Then I reminded myself that people are dying around the world and calmed right down.

Life is funny. You spend so much time and energy trying to improve yourself only to find that the good habits you’ve adopted are causing you problems. Sure, the last few months of Paleo haven’t been perfect. Perhaps I’ve over indulged in alcohol, popcorn, and chocolate a few too many times. And perhaps Pirate’s Booty rice and corn puffs are not the most nutritious thing I could’ve eaten. But perhaps this is a lesson to not be so hard on myself when it comes to food. Everything in moderation, right? Right??? RIGHT?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

As I move forward, I’ll try to update you, my loyal readers who put up with way too much shenanigans from me.

Until then, be well and think of me every time you eat coconut, mango, or avocados in the next month.

****Please note that these are not allergies, but rather sensitivities. Technically, I can still have these foods, but within 12 hours, my body has a negative reaction to them and I get very sad****

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