Friday, March 9, 2012

Day 8 - How Drastic Is This?

It has been brought to my attention that perhaps in light of my mysterious hair-loss issues, that I shouldn't be making such a drastic change in my eating habits right now. I really think there's a lot of validity in that suggestion. When something is wonky, it probably doesn't make sense to throw in yet another variable to be considered when searching for a diagnosis.

So that got me thinking last night, as I was wrestling with a baby who had no intention of sleeping between 1 and 2am. How drastic is this really? On the outside, it's so. very. drastic. Big changes all around! I mean, this is a strict Paleo-style diet, and I have never been (or really even considered being) Paleo/Primal before this.

Let's break it down, shall we? (I do love a good break-down. And not just the emotional type.)

No grains: Well, I haven't been a wheat-eater since October, minus a couple of slip-ups. I eat oats about once a week, and corn once or twice a week. The biggest sacrifice here is that I was eating rice cakes every morning in place of toast.

No dairy: I used to drink cream in my coffee, but I cut that out in November or December (in favour of almond milk then, coconut milk now). The biggest dairy issue for me was cheese - on pizza, nachos, quesadillas, tacos, etc. So I was probably eating cheese about six times a week. That's a big change.

No soy: Other than the occasional splash of soy sauce in a stir-fry (which would amount to about three times a month, tops), the only soy I was consuming was in the form of highly processed, unfermented soy products. Like lecithin. I'm going to count this elimination for the win.

No legumes: Again, not an enormous loss for me. We often have hummus in the house, but I don't often eat it. I make soup with lentils in it about once every two months. The only biggie is peanut butter - I ate it nearly every day on those rice cakes. In the end, I'd like to be able to eat peanut butter again BUT I probably shouldn't be eating the big-brand, sugar- and salt-laden stuff that I was consuming before.

No sugar: Um, hello? That's a good thing. We all know sugar is practically poison. Yes, it's delicious. But man, oh MAN do I have issues with it! I have binge issues with certain trigger foods (almost all of which involve milk chocolate). I blame it (jokingly) on being weaned at 3 months and raised on a "formula" of equal parts water, evaporated milk and corn syrup. Yup.

So really, it's not that big a change, I don't think. Of course it's a change nonetheless, but it's helping in so many other areas. I can't believe how high my energy level is, in spite of never getting any quality sleep. Yes, at 8pm I'm tired, but I think that's normal. During the day I have enough energy to do way more than I was doing before starting. I'm cooking up a storm, playing more with my kids, and I even made a pair of shoes for a little baby girl. I can't remember the last time I had the energy to even think about sewing!

That said, I'm seeing my doctor on Tuesday, and if he's at all concerned that doing a Whole30 isn't a great idea right now (while we wait for a diagnosis), I'll follow his advice. I'll add back in some cheese, some rice, some white potatoes, and possibly some oats or quinoa as well. And wheat-free soy sauce, too. And a glass of white wine here and there...

On the plus side: I've been eating way more vegetables than I ever have before! I don't just mean number - though the other day we counted 17 kinds of veggies in the fridge, not counting different varieties of certain ones - but also the sheer quantity! I've been pretty good about eating vegetables at three meals a day, probably totaling between five and six cups of vegetables a day. I've been far more creative and adventurous in the kitchen. My whole family is trying new foods and loving them. I'm not craving junk food, and I have no problem passing up even my favourite homemade baked-goods.

Breakfast - Leftover Brazilian curried chicken stew.

Lunch - Two muffin-sized frittatas (with green pepper and sausage) smothered in salsa. I roasted a huge batch of cauliflower to munch with them, and my kids just started sharing with me! Win!

Supper - Sliders topped with sliced tomato, guacamole and onions sauteed in coconut oil with a side of asparagus.

Snacks - Half a banana, some cashews, some almonds and a few raisins. After supper I had an apple because I wanted something crunchy, and our carrots have run out.


  1. I'm sorry; I hope I didn't offend you. I tend to get nervous when people do huge diet overhauls in a short amount of time, but a lot of that is *my* psychology, and I am probably projecting.

  2. No! Not offended at all! I thought it was logical, which is why I sat there and itemized all the things I was giving up to figure out if it really was too much. Sorry if I made it sound like I was pissed about it - I thought it was a very sensible suggestion.

  3. Hey Jac, I hope you get to the bottom of the hair loss. Have you noticed the amounts increasing the deeper into Paleo you go or is it cumulatively happening and not replenishing itself? The reason I ask is because my hair is actually better on paleo, it feels thicker and shinier (all those good fats, I'm guessing.) that said, hair is a finicky thing and I know that all too well. I went on medication in my early twenties for acne I just wasn't growing out of and one of the possible side effects was hair loss. That didn't happen to me but it did alter my follicles forever, I went from having stick straight hair my entire life to wavy curly hair. Very weird.

    I hope baby Belle gets some sleep, but more importantly I hope you get some solid zzzs. Melissa and Dallas stress how sleep impacts our bodies so there likely is some connection.

    On that note, I should hit the hay!

    P.s. I loooooove roasted cauliflower, that stuff is like crack. Especially the super crispy brown bits. I have a recipe for a roasted cauliflower soup that apparently is amazing, but I always end up eating the entire tray of florets as they cool. True story. It's been four years of attempts. I haven't tried cauliflower rice yet, what's the verdict?

  4. I first discovered roasted cauliflower while making soup as well! And now I can't get enough of it (and roasted broccoli as well). I recommend the cauliflower rice - and surprisingly, so does Francis!

    As for the hair loss, it started in late December/early January, when the only dietary change I'd made was going gluten-free (which I started in late October). I am hoping eating this way may help somewhat, as my diet is loaded with such nutrient-dense foods and, as you said, healthy fats. Also, miss Baby Belle was only up TWICE last night, slept until just after 6am (an hour later than usual) and woke up in a GOOD mood! This is serious progress, even after only the first night!


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