I recently came across my personal journal from 2009, and I was struck by how similar the themes of my life were then and now. At that time my older daughter was in her first year (as my younger is now), and a lot of my energy was taken up by dietary modification and experimentation. It was the beginning of the journey to hammering out my ideal diet. I think I’m almost there! (And I think my bodies needs will always be evolving, so it’s not a static thing.)
For the months of May and June I went back to logging all my food in a journal. I went off all dairy, chocolate and nuts to see if it would help my baby’s eczema. The answer seems to be “no”. (Teething/heat make it worse, leading my husband to quip: “She’s allergic to being pissed off!” We are also looking to household allergens now.) Anyway, I was getting a little obsessive and puritanical and caring more about how eating some things would look to the journal rather than how they would actually affect me. So I’m stopping the obsessive food-logging, at least for now. (Though it is an invaluable tool when you want to change your diet.)
The final tweaks to my diet are fun ones. More “safe starches” like sweet potatoes (more carbs in general, I think this is putting me back in the ballpark of 75-100 grams of carbs per day rather than 50-70 g, which I think is too little with nursing). I’m also eating less leafy greens. That’s right, chronic kale was giving me chronic diarrhea! (Sorry, TMI). So I still eat greens, but smaller portions, and not as my main carb source. I’m currently reading The Perfect Health Diet, by Paul Jaminet and Shou-Ching Jaminet, and the “safe starch” concept is theirs. I’m also experimenting with heavy cream in my coffee (in addition to butter for cooking, which I seem to tolerate). Basically, I’m adding the icing to the cake! So far I have more energy on a slightly higher carb intake (still very low carb compared to SAD). I am happily fat adapted, and even adding more fat to my diet, especially coconut oil.
A final note on weight loss: at last check I was down to 131 lbs. This is a jump up and down happy number for me! (This was a couple weeks ago, I don’t actually have a scale.) I don’t remember the last time I was this weight, but it was sometime while I was still growing. At 5’4″ this puts me at a BMI of 20, firmly in the “normal” weight range. I ‘d still like to loose 10 or so more lbs, and firm up my belly, because what the heck, I want to look good!
This process raised an important question for me:
Is it good to go hungry, ever?
On one hand, my inner puritan would feel virtuous on days when I ate less, and was a little hungry. But then I’d wonder if this under-eating was sabotaging my metabolism. Even though this paleo journey has taught me that the kinds of food you eat determine your health, I was still in the sway of the “calories in- calories out” mindset. Reading Gary Taubes’s Why We Get Fat, And What To Do About It completely blew the lid off this type of thinking. I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to understand why fat accumulates, and how to reverse the process. It cites the scientific literature extensively, but is written for a lay audience. Basically, there is little if any proof that eating fewer calories will cause weight loss. Truly getting this message blew my mind! What a gift.