You asked, here it is.
I've been Paleo for three years now, strict. I know what I am eating and how it affects me. Which is why my infrequent but severe attacks of acute gas and indigestion have baffled me.
My attack yesterday would be my fourth attack ever.
Is it the coconut? No.
Occasional seeds? No.
I've even gone on a bacon fast to see if that was the culprit. Thank the stars, no.
It starts with a small headache. Low and in the background at first the dull pain in my head grows over the course of a day. Since going Paleo I never get headaches - unless this is about to happen: the horrible gas.
Not just "you smelt it you dealt it" gas. This is painful gas.
Actually, I think it's the gas that causes the headache. I'm like a balloon being over-filled about to burst. (Nice, huh?)
Usually I do.
I know. Ewww.
It is a relief when I actually throw up. Sometimes I try to throw up just get it all out so I can stop the pounding in my head, the aching in my neck and shoulders, and the stabbing pain in my gut.
This horrible feeling lasts about 2-3 days. Sleep is a welcome oblivion when I can get it.
When I felt the headache coming on yesterday I was angry. I did not have time to be sick. I was too busy homeschooling three children, dealing with an "issue" in my life, and masterminding the heck out of things.
What did I eat differently?!??!?!
Hold the phone.
That's when it hit me.
"I was angry."
Yes. Yes, I was. In fact, I had been spit-mad angry about something since late Saturday evening. I was stressed out to the gills, swirling around in my head about something I could not stop obsessing over. On Monday morning I starting to get that low-grade headache and then, on Monday evening, I was starting that painful burping.
This was the same pattern as the other times.
Now that I thought about it, each gas attack coincided with a hard 48 hours where something I was bothered about had me eyes-glaring angry or pull-my-hair-stressed. The gas attack brought me to my knees and I stopped caring about that other issue, just begging for physical relief. I was always so grateful when my body felt better again I forgot to be angry or stressed or upset about what was bothering me in the first place.
Like cleaning up my diet with Paleo, I have done a lot of work to clean up my life. I do not walk around angry or stressed out or worried often. This is why, like these gas attacks, I can count on my hand how many times I have been spit-fire angry or really freaked out in a year.
Come to find out they line up.
So this time, instead of analyzing my diet, I cleaned up my emotions. I consciously sought relief. I meditated. I breathed evenly. I reminded myself that nothing was more important than that I feel good. I let that thing that was bothering me so much go.
And you know what happened?
As my mind calmed, my stomach did, too. My gas dissipated. My headache dissolved and I felt fine again. No more burping. No more headache. No desire to throw up.
I am still a bit shocked about it all as I type this but I guess it makes sense. Stress probably churns up your stomach acid. I could research it but I don't want to right now. I'm too happy with my own personal healing to bother. :)
And now I know what to do next time. Eat the bacon. Laugh with life. Done.
I am going to add some rosacea information here tonight because I have the time and lovely people are asking me for help right now on the topic.
I used to have rosacea. Now I only experience the red, hot face when I eat nightshades. And then only mildly for a day or two. Keep in mind I really am 100% Paleo.
Things I Do:
When I Did Have Rosacea and/or Wore Makeup I Used:
Much of the above I do not because of rosacea but because I don't like really hot showers, wearing makeup or sunscreen, or washing my face. When I do wash my face it is usually just with water. I'm sure some soap from shampooing gets on there sometimes, but honestly, the less I put anything on my face, the better it is.
In retrospect, not eating dairy may have helped the whole process. Not because of rosacea, necessarily, but because without dairy in my diet my pores are so much clearer. And because they are clearer I do not have to wash my face as often. And because I do not wash my face as often, my skin is healthier regarding the rosacea issue.
It Was The Juicing That Did It? Perhaps A Liver Cleanse?
I went on a 30 day juice fast. That really cleared my face up for the first time. I have heard that rosacea is a symptom of a congested liver. Because I cleaned up my diet, I assume my liver is happier. Because it is happier, it's cleaning like a champ, and my face is clearer.
Less Toxins, Less To Clean
Then again, because I eat a cleaner diet, my body has less toxins to process.
Oh for goodness sakes, don't you wish there was a one-step-to-Rosacea-cure-for-sure out there? Me, too. But I promise you, if you keep setting the intent that you have a clear face, and you keep imagining what that might feel like, and you don't give up, you can have success. Just play with it. Give it time. And, you know, try not to eat the nightshades. :)
Meet my new best friend.
This is the Igloo Wheelie 38 Quart Cooler. I got it at Target for around $25.
Why do I love this thing?
Because as a Paleo mom with kids who have food intolerances, I have to bring our food everywhere. This cooler is small enough that I can pack it full and still lift it into the minivan by myself, yet big enough that I can just open the fridge and chuck more things into it that we could possibly eat without doing hours of prep.
And, of course: wheels!
What do I put into it?
Last night I went to a family birthday party. About 5 minutes before we left I opened up this bad boy and threw in:
Did I mention how great it is not to have to prepare the food in advance? Oh yes, so when your kids are so busy playing they don't eat it's no bigee. You just bring the cooler home and toss everything back in the fridge.
Easy peasy Paleo squeezie. :)
Changing your diet can be SO HARD. It can be scary. It was for me. But yes! You CAN do it!
You just have to want feeling better MORE than you want to feel relief from eating the crap.
It's a subtle but totally critical mindset shift.
Also, the tips to success are:
Set your intent by choosing to feel good. Choose to feel health. Choose to love your body.
NEVER leave the house without food. I often have an apple in my purse. Bananas are fantastic. I have a small cooler I bring with me. That way when you are hungry you are not caught near a vending machine unarmed. The first week or month of going Paleo can be rough - you may be really hungry - but then your body gets so used it to you can go hours and hours without really eating and you still feel great.
If you want to eat that donut because you "deserve it" choose to deserve a smile instead. Or a step on the scale to remind yourself how great you are doing or what your goal is. Or a minute of breathing meditation. :)
Throw out everything in your kitchen that is not Paleo.
Don't "not" throw it out to save money. Ditch it to save yourself.
You can still eat dessert. But when you have to cook it yourself you eat it less often. And when it's made with honey instead of processed sugar, it's not addicting.
Check out ChocolateCoveredKatie.com. NomNomPaleo.com. Find positive people logs who make Paleo food they adore and who live a lifestyle they love.
Did I mention bananas?
I will write a post someday about how my family eats 70 bananas a week and all the various ways we eat them.
Above all: love yourself!
You are awesome!
I have not been posting frequently, have I? I had a baby and, you know. Baby. But now he is 10 months old and I have 5 minutes here to do the dishes, I mean blog.
I was just asked over email "what do you do for bread?" I thought I'd post my answer since I'm sure others are wondering, too.
The short answer is: nothing.
But the longer answer is: there is Paleo bread. However, before I tell you what it is, I must explain.
For years I ate no bread. (I write about how that is possible here.) Why no bread?
Paleo bread sucks compared to regular bread.
Sorry. :( It's true.
Do you know what gives bread that awesome chewy, stretchy, texture? Gluten. Do you know what gives modern Standard American Diet that gotta-have-it sweetness? Sugar.
Without the gluten from grains, or the sugar from sugar, you are left with "bread". Any food with quotes around it is not as good as the original. Trust me.
That being said, perhaps you have not had bread for years, and then you get some Chebe bread mixes either directly from them or from Amazon and you bake some "Focaccia" or some "breadsticks" well, then you might say, as we did, YUM!
It's all in your perspective.
Before going Paleo fruit would have given me frowny faces from the kids. Now, after our grass-fed steak, I can tell the kids dessert is fresh organic raspberries I've had cooling in the fridge and they will shout HORRAY! and climb over each other to get at them.
If you find a Paleo bread, do not expect bread. Expect "bread" and then you will be pleasantly surprised! You can also appreciate the lack of hangover. Paleo bread doesn't jack you up like standard bread.
Someday we will try Paleo Bread from Julian's Bakery either by ordering from their website or perhaps off the shelf at Whole Foods. This bread has been out for a while and I hear it's "really good!" ;)
You can also google Paleo Bread and find recipes you can make. Here is an example of 7 recipes.
Am I making you sad about bread? Don't be! It's a fun adventure once you remember it's "BREAD". Don't forget the quotes! ;)
I also call this "No Hangover Ice Cream".
Even before I went Paleo ice cream gave me a hangover - a kind of "Ug, why did I eat that?" dulled, not-so-good feeling. Now I can eat ice cream and there is no hangover. Yay!
"Sure Kids, Have As Much As You Want!"
Kids want ice cream at 9:00pm before bed? No problem! This ice cream has no processed sugar in it and so the kids don't freak out and start climbing the walls. Me, either. I let them eat it anytime because there are no negative consequences in my household with it.
Non-Paleo Friendly Because It's That Good
Homemade Paleo ice cream is crazy good and I don't just think that because I didn't eat ice cream for two years before this. Even my non-Paleo peeps adore it. Visiting kids love it. I am asked to bring it to family parties and make it for my lactose-intolerant friends. (They like having no hangover, too.)
I have made a lot of ice cream this summer. Through trial and error here is what I have learned:
My Size and Type of Ice Cream Machine
I have the 1.5 quart Cuisinart ice cream machine. It's just the right size for two cans of coconut milk which is what most Paleo ice cream recipies ask for. It makes a batch big enough for my family of four to eat as much as we want in one sitting with some left over, making it big enough for our soon-to-be family of five. I also appreciate the 1.5 quart size because homemade ice cream doesn't keep as long as store bought - you'll want to eat it within a few days or it will start to crystallize in the freezer. This will not be hard to do.
I do not have the top-of-the-line stainless steel machine, I have the next one down. It works great. People in the reviews complain it's loud. It is. But heck, you only run it for 20 minutes and it's making you Paleo ice cream for goodness sakes!!! I have no complaints. ;)
Read your ice cream machine manual. It tells you how to take care of the bowl, the necessity of turning it on before you pour and other important stuff like that.
You Have To Freeze The Ice Cream After You Make It
Right out of the machine the ice cream is really soft, softer than soft-serve and it melts too fast to eat it. You have to freeze homemade ice cream for a few hours to turn it into a real ice cream consistency. I use BPA-free 1.5 or 2 quart plastic containers and I have experimented with freezing it for 1-6 hours before I eat it. Usually I need 4 hours in the freezer to get it right but your freezer or ice cream may vary.
The Honey You Use Matters
I use raw, organic honey so it has pollen and good stuff in it. Regardless, the color and consistency of honey you use matters. I have found that dark honey has a stronger, more overpowering taste in the ice cream, especially in the vanilla ice cream. Light colored honey (which has a lighter taste) blends in better and my family greatly prefers it.
That being said, the dark honey I get is pourable, making it very easy to use. Just pour the ingredients into a bowl, mix it up with a whisk, and dump it into the ice cream machine. The thick, light honey I have to wrestle into the batch with a spoon and then I need to use an electric hand mixer or blender or the ice cream will have honey lumps in it. Although maybe you will like this. :) Whenever I get lazy and I just use the dark, pouring honey I regret it. The taste is worth it for me to get out the mixer. Experiment with the honey you use and see for yourself what taste you like best.
The Coconut Milk I Use
I get the organic Native Forest brand full-fat coconut milk. I like that it is in a BPA-free can. If you don't have a Whole Foods grocery store nearby you can buy cans on Amazon.
You can make hangover-free Paleo chocolate sauce for your ice cream! Make it with the radio below or use even more cocoa powder for a fudge-like consistency. Make the sauce thinner by using less cocoa so that it will harden into a chocolate shell on your ice cream. (My favorite!) YUM!
I put our stainless steel pot on "low", mix up as big a batch as we want and have at it. Here are the ingredients and the basic ratio:
Chocolate Sauce Recipe
1 TBSP coconut oil
1 TBSP honey
2 TBSP cocoa powder
Melted Honey "Caramel"
There are Paleo caramel recipes but I haven't tried them yet. For now we take the thick, raw, light colored honey and melt it in a stainless steel pot on "low". When you dribble it warm over the ice cream it hardens a bit into a caramel consistency. Even more yum!
And now, without further ado, here are the Paleo Ice Cream Recipies!
Paleo Vanilla Ice Cream
2 cans of Coconut Milk (refrigerated)
1/2 cup Honey
2 TBSP Vanilla Extract
Directions: Empty the two cans of coconut milk into a large mixing bowl, add in the honey and vanilla extract. Whisk the ingredients together until the honey is dissolved (if you use thick honey you may need a hand-mixer or blender as mentioned above in this post). Follow ice cream maker directions.
Paleo Chocolate Ice Cream
2 cans of Coconut Milk (refrigerated)
1/2 cup Honey
1/4 cup Cocoa Powder
2 tsp Vanilla Extract
Directions: Place your cold coconut milk, honey, vanilla and cocoa powder into a blender and mix well. (Yes, you need a blender! I tried whisking it by hand or using a hand-mixer but the cocoa would not blend properly.) Follow ice cream making directions.
Basic Fruit Paleo Ice Cream
(Use whatever fruit you want - strawberries, peaches, etc. The variations are endless.)
3 cups Fresh Fruit (chopped)
2 cans of Coconut Milk (refrigerated)
1/2 cup Honey (more or less to taste)
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
Directions: Put all the ingredients into your blender and process until pureed. Taste to make sure the sweetness is right, then follow your ice cream maker directions.
Note: This recipe makes a bit more than my 1.5 quart ice cream maker can take so I pour as much as I can into the ice cream machine and then I just drink the rest like a smoothie. ;)
.... And there you have it!
If you do an internet search for "Paleo Ice Cream Recipes" you will see there are a lot of options involving nuts and chocolate and more. I have even heard of people topping their vanilla ice cream with olive oil and salt. Someday I will look for a recipe that involves bacon, I just know it. ;)
There is packaged chocolate out there that Paleo people eat. A lot of Paleo recipes call for Enjoy Life chocolate chips. Dark chocolate bars exist like LuLu's Chocolate or Pascha. But I don't buy them.
They all contain some form of sugar.
Call it cane sugar or coconut sugar it's all sugar. (Yes, even coconut sugar which made one friend of mine all hopped up just like she was eating regular sugar.) Not to mention some say coconut sugar is unsustainable and I really, really like my coconut oil and coconut milk and I want to keep them. No coconut milk, no Paleo vanilla ice cream! (Link coming soon!)
I don't eat sugar, except for the listed ingredient that makes 0 grams in my bacon (what's in there, a pinch?) which I tested and does not make make me climb the ceiling or get addicted. Sugar really affects me. It probably affects everyone, seeing as how it buzzes the same center of your brain as um, cocaine, but since I haven't had any sugar (sans bacon) for almost two years I can really, really, really tell.
Like when went to The Counter for the first time and had a burger-in-a-bowl.
They also had certified gluten free sweet-potato or white-potato fries. I went crazy and got some ketchup. Regular ole Heinz with its high fructose corn syrup. I'm not intolerant to corn and although corn isn't Paleo I decided to splurge a little and dip, just a teeny bit, my fries into it.
It took me a while to figure out that I felt different.
Perhaps it was the overly bright look in my eyes, my bouncing legs or the fact that I sounded like one of Alvin's chipmunks talking a mile-a-minute in a higher than normal voice.
"I feel kinda drunk", I admitted to my friends, perhaps in apology for the barrage of talk they had to endure. Their hair was blown back like an 80's music video.
Yeesh. It was only ketchup. But like I said, it had been almost two years and my body could tell.
So I make my own chocolate when I want the cravings. A mixture of honey, coconut oil, and cocoa powder like in the Coco Munch recipe. I will make the munch, or else I will make the munch without the coconut flakes and dip strawberries and bananas into it, freezing them afterwards for 20 minutes and then eating them.
I will make Chocolate ice cream (link coming soon) or Chocolate Muffins (link coming soon). All of these things are made with honey and cocoa and they keep me from turning into a chipmunk.
Why am I telling you this?
I'm just sharing my story in case it helps someone else understand why the chocolate that lots of Paleo people eat might make them start dreaming of donuts, if it does. It might not. But it might. You know? And to share that there are alternatives to satisfying your chocolate desire that don't involve sugar like making it yourself.
Or.... upping your magnesium intake. I started taking magnesium supplements and I had zero desire for chocolate for years. I talk about that more in this post. I think I only make chocolate covered strawberries right now because I'm pregnant.
That's right, I blame the baby. ;)
P.S. Chocolate (cocoa) is one of the items that your body can think is gluten. If you are gluten intolerant or celiac you might not do well with it. Everyone in my family is fine with cocoa except my eldest daughter who has gluten-light symptoms after she eats it. That's why I make my pregnant-mama chocolate covered strawberries in the morning while she is still sleeping. Shhh.
P.P.S. It's OK, my daughter knows about the strawberries. I can't keep the secret very well when my face is covered in chocolate.
I woke up, all pregnant and dreaming of food. "I want a cinnamon muffin!" I wailed in my head and the search began.
OMgosh these are amazing. The best things we have baked since going Paleo 1.5 years ago. By far. It's like a snickerdoodle and a Cinnabon had a baby. I hope my baby likes them because I'm eating them. A lot.
I like the easy Paleo stuff.