At the end of this post you'll find links to our favorite Paleo recipes, but first, a little back story.
Back in 2008, after months of agonizing stomach pain, Ben was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis and Celiac Sprue. Whoa, double whammy but at least we had some answers!! You may have noticed on our website our affiliation with the CCFA (Chrons & Colitis Foundation of America). We knew a diet overhaul was immediate and necessary. We removed all gluten from our house which included wheat, rye & barley. We thought we had done a good job but we soon found all the "hidden" gluten in everyday foods we thought were safe. We did more research and drilled down our diet even more. Long story short, Ben saw improvement in his symptoms which was good enough for him; but never experienced full remission from his Ulcerative Colitis symptoms. Off and on through the years he has also been treated with steroid tapers as needed as well as other various medications that were not always FDA approved for the treatment of Ulcerative Colitis which meant insurance said, "heck no, we're not paying for that"
In recent months his symptoms have gotten pretty bad and he has been well, miserable. In pain day in and day out whether he eats gluten free or not. What had me really concerned this last flare up was the amount of weight he was losing. It was very obvious that he was malnourished. Ben does not want to be a slave to a prescribed medical routine and frankly, I don't blame hime. In the first go round of medical treatment, the side affects were worse than the pain. His doctor always had a new, latest and greatest medication for him to try and he was over it. Watching someone you love suffer is heartbreaking. Never having issues like this of my own, I knew I wasn't much comfort in offering sympathy for what he was going through. My mother in law is notorious for stating, "you have to be an advocate of your own health." These words constantly go through my mind. I knew there had to be a more holistic approach to treating this disease and bettering the well being of our family so I started doing some research.
His auto-immune issue lived in his gut so it only made sense to dig further into his diet, duh. Why I didn't do this years ago and just accepted the fact that his symptoms were a little bit better is ridiculous. About 5 weeks ago, at the suggestion of my sister (@primalpoe), I ordered the book Digestive Health with REAL Food, by Aglaee Jacobs, M.S., R.D. I read it cover to cover and with every turn of the page I kept saying to myself, oh that sounds just like Ben, oh, he has that same problem. It was like the book was written just for him. I know that is not the case & that there are plenty of people in the world with these same issues. It was just so refreshing to read about the possibility of "fixing" him without medication.
The answer: an elimination diet! I won't go into the details but you can read more about it here. We got to work right away and created a menu for every day, every meal. I'm not going to lie, it was hard. And it was even harder for Ben.....at first. Within 72 hours he was seeing results after months of pain. The change in his behavior was amazing because he wasn't in pain anymore. I knew I had his buy in because of how fast he saw results. Bottom line? Eat REAL food!! It's so simple. Nothing processed or artificial. No sugar, grains, legumes, dairy. REAL protein, fat & carbs from fruit & vegetables. This is an extremely broad overview so for more info on how to get started click here. I get that the Paleo Diet is a huge fad right now but after you read about it and really learn about how dangerous fake food is for you, it makes perfect sense. There is no going back once you feel the difference.
You might not have any digestive issues, I didn't. I merely wanted to support my husband in this REAL food journey. But even I feel amazing. I have so much more energy, not to mention I've lost a little weight. Who would complain about that? Outside of that, we've started transitioning our two young boys to this diet. Eliminating refined sugar and processed foods makes a noticeable difference, for the better, in their behavior. Our oldest son now asks, "was this made in a factory?" If we say yes, he's like eww. Paleo Pals, by Sarah Fragoso is a great book for little ones to explain the importance of real food.
I am by no means an expert in this field. I can only speak about our experience and the results Ben has had in the short time he's been on this new diet.... life changing. I'll get off my soap box now and share some wonderful recipes but all I have to say is believe the hype! Try it for yourself and tell me you don't feel amazing :)
"Every time you eat or drink, you are either feeding disease or fighting it."
- Heather Morgan, M.S., N.L.C.
Ok, now for the good stuff: FOOD!!
The best summer salad around
If you "like" is on Facebook or follow us on Pinterest you've heard me rant and rave about how yummy these are
Delicious & my kids love them. You can also make them as mini meatballs instead
|my natural family|
great snack for the kiddos that they will devour
A great breakfast solution
Pretty much the best thing I've ever had. Avocado + bacon = <3
Yes, you can still have burgers. Make sure you top it with bacon.
Your answer to fried chicken. This will definitely satisfy the craving