Primal (paleo) living, the first days

Saturday, December 28, 2013

This week I've given myself a low bar: make water go up, sugar go down, and ensure a paleo breakfast. That is plenty of leeway to nibble breads, sweets, and less-than-paelo treats throughout the day so long as I keep my sugar in check and wash it all down with clean water.

Christmas Eve I invited a dear friend over and we had a primal-style dinner together with fruit for dessert and tea. We went for walks, slept in, and read poetry to each other. My boss gave my fancy coffee beans for a gift, and I greatly enjoyed my black coffee.

Christmas day I went to a friend's house and had some peppermint bark and haystacks (also known as bird's nests). They were yummy and I thought it was okay since I hadn't had much sugar and no alcohol for nearly a week.

The next day I suffered a full-blown 24-hour migraine.

Similar reactions have happened when I've had a sugar dump of any kind: a wrapping headache that feels like an angry octopus is vigorously mating with your skull. A nauseating knot of tension at the nape of my neck and shoulders that suddenly feel as exhausted and put-upon as Atlas. Light hurts. Sound hurts. I find myself caught behind a gauzy barrier that stops me from social interaction, even when I know exactly what I want to say and even when I'm invited to participate.

Surely sugar is doing nothing to help my depression. With this in mind, I gladly forgo drinks and treats in order to avoid such crippling pain. I was worried about this when visiting my parents, who see my visits as an opportunity to break diet. Little did I know what an amazing experience it would be!

They packed up the cake and bottles of wine as gifts for friends, glad to assist me on a road to health. They had *already* been living a low-sugar no-grain diet for their own health and so the fridge was already packed with sliced meats, vegetables, cheeses, eggs, and an abundance of fruit! My father had free visits with a personal trainer and I invited myself along to his gym!

Yes I had one glass of wine. Yes I had half a cup of eggnog ice cream. But maintaining my new diet was surprisingly easy and happily reinforced with a surge in energy and vigor. A friend gave me an Amazon gift card as a gift, with the intention that I would use it to buy Paleo cookbooks suited to my lifestyle.

This won't be easy. But if I'm honest with myself it will be worth it. I know that I will miss cakes, cookies, breads and other baked goods, but one of the cookbooks I found is specifically for Paleo baking!

For the first time in months, I am hopeful.
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