Three Things Which Bring Me Joy and One Which Does Not

Paleo Eating

Grilled Grass-fed Ribeye and Broccoli

I started eating Paleo/Primal in November, just before the holidays. Dumb move, I know. I stopped eating this way from Christmas through New Year’s Day and then hopped right back on it. Here are few things I know from the nearly three months I’ve been eating no grains or soy, no sugar, no manufactured food, and very little dairy:

  1. I have lots of energy to exercise. I am exercising in several different ways pretty much every day of the week. And, I get sore, which is to be expected when exercising, but I don’t drag through my day like I did when I was exercising this much and eating a vegan diet. And, the soreness goes away and doesn’t inhibit my workout.
  2. I get lots of sleep. When I am finished with my day, I go to bed. There isn’t any dragging myself through my day, only to end up lying in bed tossing and turning until I finally fall asleep. I go to bed. I go to sleep. I sleep through the night. And, I wake up, rested, without using an alarm clock around 5 or so, which doesn’t mean I get up then, choosing instead to lounge around in the bed until 6ish.
  3. I can be much more inventive with my cooking. This week’s menu includes fish stir fry, a dish I never would’ve even considered before trying the paleo lifestyle (even when I ate meat before, I wouldn’t have considered it). We will also be eating a beef stroganoff served over spaghetti squash. I find myself wanting to experiment with food in ways I didn’t before, not that I was a bad vegan chef, because I wasn’t, but this is better!
  4. I don’t spend a good portion of every day in the bathroom. Not to be gross, but when I was vegan I pooped at least three times every day. Now I go once, and I happen to believe it’s because my body is using what I am feeding it rather than simply passing it on through.
  5. I am not bloated or gassy. For the last three years, while I’ve been vegetarian or vegan, I have had incredible gas. It’s been pretty disgusting at times. Now, I am not saying that I don’t have some gas, but it’s not ridiculous and it smells less horrible. I don’t belch loudly, for a long time, after every single meal. I also don’t eat to the point where I am so full and bloated that I feel like complete crap, because I am paying more attention to the full feeling I get when I eat meat. I know when to stop.
  6. I am losing weight—s-l-o-w-l-y—but I feel amazing. My original hope was that the weight would just come peeling off of me, like it does for some people who go low-carb, paleo, or whatever, but then I realized that I want to still be able to do long races and swim miles in the mornings, so I need to have some potatoes or yams in my diet. I am consistently losing two pounds a week, so I think that’s fair. In a year, that’s 100 pounds. Ha! I wish.
  7. My mental state is level and even somewhat joyful. I’ve blogged before about using niacin and Vitamin C to even out my moods. It works. I don’t have the pendulumesque, out of control mood swings I’ve had all my life when I take a little of those vitamins. I don’t even have to take large doses to help me out, just a bit works fine. However, since I’ve been eating paleo, I feel so much better in my mind (mental clarity, memory, and mood) that I am going to experiment with leaving even those vitamin supplements behind. I am going to ween myself of of all additives, except my multivitamin. Right now I have pretty expensive pee. 🙂

Barefoot Running

Soft Little Barefoot Running Feet

I have been sneaking in some barefoot running at Ball Gym. I feel rebellious, like I said in my last post, but more importantly my feet are getting so much stronger and my calves are raging! I ran for about an hour the other day, and while my calves—well, really my whole leg musculature—got sore, my feet felt great. I think there’s something to this cavewoman lifestyle I’ve submitted myself to! I just feel so primal and free when I run with no shoes, like there is nothing I can’t do. (I know. Double negative. Shut up.) I feel like I could just keep running and running and never stop, but I know that’s not true, no matter how much joy running brings me.

Swimming

This is actually a high school conference meet, but I swim here sometimes.

I’ve come home. To my first love. I’ve been swimming (if you can call it that) since I was about a month old in the big-ass bath tub at our original little hovel in the big HC. Sometimes I think I can remember what that first feeling of weightlessness felt like, but I know it’s impossible. I love swimming because it’s one sport where being a fat girl doesn’t matter, and, in fact, probably works to my advantage.

At any rate, swimming soothes me, stimulates me, and feeds my mind like no other sport. Maybe because I have been doing it for so long, I don’t have to think at all about it. When I run, I still have to think about my form; though I have to think less about it when I run barefoot. When I swim, the strokes come naturally, gracefully. I’ve been swimming three times a week for the past two weeks, and I feel full. At peace. Calm. Like I can do anything in the water. Swimming is grace. Swimming is joy.

Beer

At Savage's Ale House in Muncie, IN

You aren’t really supposed to drink any alcohol when you go paleo/primal, but I really love beer. Recently, I haven’t been able to drink beer much because of my allergies. I think I am really allergic to wheat, because I feel 100% better and my allergies have all but gone by the wayside since I stopped eating wheat. In case you missed it the first time I said it, I really love beer. So I occasionally have a beer. Like once a week.

Last night was “Festive Friday.” A bunch of colleagues and I go out and have a couple of beers to celebrate the end of the week and look for a better week to come, which is really a way of celebrating life if you ask me. I had a Bell’s Porter, one of my top ten all time beers, and my face swelled up like a little bright red, hot to the touch, strawberry. I had one beer, three glasses of water, a double bacon burger, and some fries, and my face swelled up with hives. It was ridiculous. I still love beer. There is no joy in being allergic to beer.

Here are my top ten, in no particular order because I just can’t decide, but the top five are the top five, in order:

  1. Hacker-Pschorr Dark, Hacker-Pschorr Brewery
  2. Bad Elmer’s Porter, Upland Brewery
  3. Riggwelter, Black Sheep Brewery
  4. Bell’s Porter, Bell’s Brewery
  5. Taddy Porter, Samuel Smith Brewery
  6. Dogfish Head 90-minute IPA, Dogfishhead Brewery
  7. Edmund Fitzgerald Porter, Great Lakes Brewery
  8. St. Peter’s English Ale, St. Peter’s Brewery
  9. La Fin Du Monde, Unibroue
  10. Levitation Ale, Stone Brewery

Sad day that I can’t drink one of each…

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