What Happened When I Stopped Eating Paleo

Paleo

“…my girlfriend’s a vegetarian, which pretty much makes me a vegetarian. I do love the taste of a good burger.” ~Jules Winfield, Pulp Fiction

Let me be clear, I call it Primitive Eating but Paleo is better for “Sight Engine Optimization” or whatever that hell it’s called, so I’m using it in the title.

Over the years, I have learned to not be as strict with my diet. This usually means tacos on the weekend or maybe a gluten free pizza. I always jump back on track, though. I just can’t handle how bad I feel after just a day or two of eating crap.

On a recent trip to Mexico, I had the privilege of traveling with someone who was on board with eating wheat and dairy free. Unfortunately, she had to eat corn tortillas, which pretty much meant I had to eat corn tortillas. Ok, I didn’t have to but I have this thing about sitting at a table and having a woman bring me hot tortillas off the stove, I love it. I can thank my grandmother for this.

What was cool was having a support system to stay off the other unapproved foods. If it wasn’t for my travel partner, I would have collapsed and gone completely off track a lot sooner. The problem was my support system went back home and that left me to my own discretion, which lead me straight to the bakery.

Once I got off track, I had this great idea. “I’ll keep eating like shit so I can write an article about it.” (Shout out to Morgan Spurlock!) Below is the results of me going back to eating practically whatever I wanted for about 45 days.

Achy joints

I was in a lot of pain several years ago. I remember hearing Hulk Hogan complaining about always being in pain and I thought, well I guess big guys just have to suffer through pain when we get old. Never mind he was a lot bigger, a lot older, and had a lot more years of abuse as a professional wrestler. At the time, I was 33 and a vegetarian.

I started my primitive lifestyle in 2011 and forgot all about joint pain. It never crossed my mind until recently when I started feeling it again.

Acne

I’m not always dairy free. There is a small level that I can tolerate but I can always tell that I need to back off if my face breaks out. That’s certainly what happened on this trip.

When I got sick (read all about it in Part 2), I asked my travel partner to make me some quesadillas. She said, “are you sure you want to eat cheese?” I was sure. Once I had my first quesadilla, it was over. I kept buying more cheese and making more quesadillas. And, as a result, I broke out.

Brain fog

This is an interesting one. I have heard of people having brain fog. I have even told people when you eat primitively, you will be able to think more clearly and have less brain fog even though I really never experienced that clarity myself. I had just heard a lot a people mention it before. So I mentioned it too.

I suspect that I probably had brain fog for so long that it seemed normal and that my mental clarity came so gradually that I never noticed the transition. But I sure as hell noticed it when it came back.

Brain fog may be described as confusion, forgetfulness, and lack of focus and mental clarity. What I really noticed was bouts of haziness. Like there literally was a fog in my head clouding ability to think and even my vision. There were times where I was like, “Whoa. What the hell is this.” I had to take a second to focus so I could think and see clearly.

Constipation

You should know by now I don’t shy away from talking about poop.

I don’t think I have ever been constipated in my life, especially not in Mexico. But just after a few days of corn tortillas with every meal, I didn’t feel right. To generalize things here, let’s just say my bowel movements never felt complete.

Lots of jicama and extra probiotics helped. My bowel movements did improve but as long as I ate corn, things were never quite right.

Loss of energy

The center of the city I visited was at the bottom of a valley. My apartment was not. I made it a point to leave my apartment twice a day for the specific reason of having to climb up to it, twice a day. Not only that, for a little something extra, I climbed to the statue of “El Pipila” every day. Which was just as high as my apartment. I even threw in a natural movement session at the little gym I joined. Then, one day, I just didn’t feel like doing any of it.

Luckily, if I wanted a cup of coffee which I always do, I had to walk to a cafe downtown. So I did that every day, regardless of how I felt. Then I started to skip the gym session, my second outing, or my climb to “El Pipila.” Some days I would skip all three. I just didn’t have the energy.  I just didn’t feel like doing anything. Something, I hadn’t felt in quite some time.

Continue to Part 2 to read about how eating corn lead to an outbreak of a virus nobody wants admit they have.

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