Thursday, January 31, 2013
Not by choice, but because I seem to be sensitive or allergic. I had noticed in the last few weeks that some of the symptoms I had left behind since giving up wheat and then grains were returning. In particular a bloated feeling after eating, some stiffness in my feet when getting up, but most of all a higher resting pulse, higher heart rate at lower levels of exercise, poor sleep in spite of going to bed early etc.
At first I thought the reason was caffeine that I was not used to any more and one day I had 3 cups of decaf and a hot chocolate. But after a week of experimenting it turned out that it was indeed the dairy that affects me.
Today was my second dairy-free day and my pulse is about 20 beats lower for a comparable activity level, my resting pulse is 25 beats lower.
I would never had made the connection if I did not run with a heart rate monitor (using the Maffetone method to prepare for a Half-marathon in early March).
One day after a big dairy breakfast I started my warm-up and just walking brought my heartrate up to 115, normal would be in the 90's. I thought that maybe I was getting an infection or cold but nothing of that kind happened. That day I realized that I could just wear my heart rate monitor around the clock for a few days and see how my body was doing. So for the next few days I observed how my body responded to temperature, rest, caffeine and dairy. Everytime I ate dairy I felt bloated within an hour and my pulse went up within about 2 hours.
The last 2 days have been interesting. I was a little concerned about giving up dairy because I love cheese, cream cheese, butter and cream as well as home-made ice cream. I had already given up grain and legumes and sugar.
But the strategy that helped me to give up grains worked well so far: finding substitutes for the things I like. I had almond milk with my fruit and nuts in the morning yesterday, today I tried coconut milk. I had canned coconut milk in my decaf. Instead of cheese, for which I don't think there are very good substitutes, I had uncured salami, eggs or bacon. I also bought a 10 lb box of macadamia nuts that will be one of my favorite snacks. I've started drinking broth and herbal teas more. Keeping the carbs quite as low as I want to is going to be a little harder but I stayed under 50 grams the last two days.
So I guess now I can say that I am officially going paleo as well as low-carb.
I'm beginning to wonder if my thyroid issues may have been in part related to the dairy as well. I may still consider trying to reintroduce at least raw dairy again in the future and/or get allergy testing but for now skipping dairy is not as difficult as I thought.
I would love to hear from anyone what your best strategies are to stay away from dairy.