When I was growing up as a child in a small Kansas town where EVERYONE was a member of one or the other of two churches, one thing I heard people say from time to time was, “This is my cross to bear” – by which I understood them to be saying that some burden was theirs to deal with. Nobody could help, and the problem might never go away. Much like Jesus on his way to Calvary.
Well, in circles of those who seek spiritual growth, there is a similar notion – that the universe seeks balance, and those who seek spiritual growth may be “balanced” by physical limitations or self-imposed restrictions.
I’m facing a growing awareness that this may be exactly the description of my own physical limits since the bone tumor in my leg back in 1980. The arthritis (which the No Grain, No Pain book describes as an auto-immune disorder caused by intestinal leaking after prolonged NSAID pain killer use) is going systemic, my migraines are taking on extra symptoms (by which I mean that the 3 classic symptoms that earn a headache the term “migraine” are now arriving in pairs) and my physical strength is declining despite my workout program. No, not the strength – the endurance. I have no energy reserves.
I’m not saying all of this to wave a white-flag, or imply that I’m giving up. I fully intend to keep trying to heal my body. It just seems that every time I take one action to fix one area of my health, it throws another out of balance and my health in that area declines.
I just have to accept – in advance – that it may be a fools errand, and be prepared to live with that. With my family genetics, it is entirely possible that I have another 30-50 years to live, so accepting this “as it is” while seeking ways to make my life and this world better are key ideas to balance against each other for inner peace. I think.
First off – let me state with no reservations that the paleo diet has helped me fantastically. It managed to accomplish what no other diet I’ve tried over the last 20 years did – I lost weight and kept it off.
I recently had to go to a chiropractor, because I got a little too ambitious with a deceptively effective easy exercise – the Hindu Squat (to see an example of how to do one http://www.cbass.com/Furey.htm ) and over the next day my lower back and hip muscles practically locked up. When I was at the chiropractor (who I’ve been seeing off-and-on since 2006) his jaw dropped and he congratulated me on how much different I looked. He totally understood that the paleo diet has been helping, and he said my other exercises were putting the muscle in the right places.
So, I’m pretty much on track to taking back my life – with one exception. The migraines and arthritis still get in the way of much that we’d call normal living. However, my wife and I have already established that a healthy diet can do fantastic things for our bodies – she confronted and BEAT endometriosis using nutrition and chiropractic – so we decided to see if it would work for migraines and arthritis, too.
Turns out – going paleo for weight loss was a huge step in the right direction for that, as well. My wife recently found Dr. Peter Osborne’s new book “No Grain, No Pain” (ISBN: 978-1-5011-2168-5 or ebook ISBN: 978-1-5011-2170-8) – and one of the big bombshells we got right away is that migraines AND arthritis can be caused by the EXACT same thing – a gut made unhealthy by the use of NSAID pain killers. Which I used very heavily in the first 15 years after the surgery on my bone tumor – back when I didn’t know any better.
The good news is that the book also said that the unhealthy gut is reverseable, with the right diet controls. First on the list was getting rid of all grains – which is a lot harder than it sounds. Grains are EVERYWHERE these days – thickening agents in canned soups is just one example where you wouldn’t think to look. Another is instant coffee – all of them. If your meats are raised on grains, you’re still getting grain in your diet even if you try to avoid it. HFCS is also a trigger – and has the additional warning that it is one of the vehicles by which you’re putting poisonous MERCURY into your system.
Oh, I got a bit off track. Anyhow, the book has 3 sections – part one covers the science behind the program, part 2 tells you what you’ll be doing, and part 3 has a diet and menu plan to put you on the track to hopefully the best health you’ve ever had. We aren’t quite at the level of starting the 15 day challenge yet, but we’re taking steps in that direction. Finding a reliable source of grain-free meats is tough – at least around here.
I would be the last person to say that there is any one style of eating that would be right for everyone, so if bread (or grains in general) are not a problem for you, don’t stop eating them just because I said so.
In keeping with my post yesterday (40 teaspons of sugar), it should be noted that many commercially available breads have added sugar in them, as well as heavily processed wheat products that are nearly devoid of all natural nutritional value.
However, if (like my wife and myself) you need to quit using breads, you may also have discovered (like us) that doing without bread is VERY limiting. If this applies to you, you will be glad to know that Authority Nutrition recently addressed this in a blog. Here is the link: