Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Crazy Coincidence, or Paleo Preventative Medicine?

I'm thinking back to a year and half ago.  I may have been scrubbing or disinfecting something at this exact moment.  At least one of us may have been sick in this house with anything from a runny nose to a fever or some sort of stomach bug.  After years of me having stomach pain after nearly everything I ate, and then having our oldest daughter at 3 years old complaining in harmony with me about hers hurting, my husband suggested we take a look at the paleo diet and going gluten-free.  We did, immediately the following day.  Not a speck of gluten was consumed and everything we ate was unprocessed and fresh.  We had no stomach pains.  That was day one, but it was enough to keep us going.  Throughout the next week, we all felt better with each passing day.  Although I read everywhere that eating this way would help keep you healthier, I was skeptical that it could really work for my family because it seemed that we got EVERYTHING that was going around, no matter how much we tried to avoid the sicknesses.  I kept waiting and waiting through last year during the fall, then winter, and now that we're approaching spring I'm pretty convinced that it isn't a crazy coincidence my husband, both kids, and myself haven't been sick once except for a runny nose that lasted a day.  No fevers, no ill appointments at the doctor, no antibiotics, no sick days from school.  (Trust me, I'm superstitious, so I'll be knocking on wood after I say this) I think it's the Paleo diet thing that has been keeping us so healthy.  I can't count how many times I've seen friends posting on Facebook about having sick little ones at home and I just pray that whatever bug that has gotten a hold of their kid doesn't decide to jump ship to one of mine at preschool or a playdate.  With the overabundance of snot, coughing, and little fingers getting put in places they shouldn't be,  I figured it was bound to happen.  But it didn't. 

Aside from the fact that eating a diet full of fresh fruits, vegetables, and grass-fed, pastured and free-range meats gives you plenty of essential vitamins and minerals to help keep you healthy, I think the gluten and processed sugars are where we found our culprits.  I'm amazed at the information about the link between gluten and our immune system's ability to fight infection.  The best resource I found to understand it better is through none other than Robb Wolf and his book, The Paleo Solution: The Original Human Diet.  It was entertaining, informative and gave the scientific explanation as to why it works.  Check it out if you are even just a little bit curious.  I didn't have anything else to read on a long car ride, and so I grabbed this from my husband's bag, and I'm so glad I did.  It became my preventative medicine.  Although the transition to this lifestyle had a few hiccups the first week, it was well worth it.  Having our kids at ages 3 and 4.5 aware of what is paleo and what has gluten in it and what doesn't and the sense to ask, "Is it gluten-free?" is music to our ears.

Order The Paleo Solution: The Original Human Diet by Robb Wolf

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