Going Primal

About a year ago, I was very low on energy, had skin rashes, and was having asthma attacks left and right and the blood tests my primary physician had done hadn’t revealed what was causing my ailments. I’m grateful for the Internet because I came across several blogs written by people who had the same symptoms I was having. They all had allergy tests done and it turned out they had food allergies and it was the food they were eating that triggered their asthma.

I was miserable and thought it wouldn’t hurt to see if I was allergic to the foods I was eating and had an allergy test done. It turns out, it was my environment but also the foods I was eating that contributed to my misery for the first half of the 2010.

I highly allergic to many of the plants that grow in the Mojave desert. But the biggest contributors to  my symptoms were the foods I was eating. Here’s a typical rundown of the foods I’d eat throughout the day:

MORNING

A bowl of corn flakes or whole grain Cheerios with almond or soy milk

Snack- raw almonds

LUNCH

Wonton soup or frozen dinner

Snack-raw almonds (I love almonds)

DINNER

Frozen dinner or anything that could easily be microwaved

Snack-chocolate covered almonds

Here are the foods I’m allergic to:

Peanuts

Corn

Walnut

Almonds

Oranges

Soy bean

Green pea

Cantaloupe

peaches

As you can tell by my snacking, I love almonds. They just don’t love me. The frozen meals I consumed didn’t add to my health as a lot of frozen meals use corn or soy products as a preservative. So I was literally poisoning myself with the foods I was eating. My diet overall wasn’t healthy. It’s still not healthy. I may have cut my allergens from my diet and stopped eating frozen meals, but I still don’t get fresh fruits and vegetables in the quantities I should be eating daily.

I need to learn how to cook.

Now that I’ve got my asthma under control and my skin has cleared, I’m still tired all the time. And bloated! So, I’ve turned to the Internet for research on what could be causing my bloat.

The bloating seems to only happen when I eat breads. I get bubbly gut when I eat rice.  Since returning from Korea, I don’t eat much bread unless it’s naan or tortillas and lately I’ve been eating more whole wheat products and brown rice to go along with whatever meat I’ve cooked for dinner. Vegetables are still rare in my meals but I’m working on it. A friend of mine (a Paleo dieter) once mentioned how grains can contribute to bloating because human digestive system hasn’t evolved to help us properly digest grains.  I can see the logic in that. Grains are relatively new compared to how long modern man has been around and early man lived just fine without grains. Just because we can eat something doesn’t mean we should. But I do love rice, especially white sticky rice, however, if the rice one of the culprits for my bloat and bubbly gut, then I can live without it.

In my search for a diet to follow and cookbooks to compliment the diet, I’ve come across three different types of diets: Blood type, Paleo, and Primal. I found the blood type diet interesting. I’m type O which is the oldest blood type. It pretty much says to avoid grains and diary and eat lots of meat.  Apparently four of the foods I’m allergic to are on the avoid list for my blood type.

The Paleo and Primal diets are similar. The diets say to avoid legumes, diary, grains, refined sugar and processed oils . The Primal diet is much more forgiving when it comes to grains like rice and the consumption of some dairy products.  I’m thinking of trying a diet that is a combination of the three. The foods on the avoid list for the blood type diet are foods I’m either allergic to or don’t like eating anyway. It turns out the Paleo/Primal diets advocate avoiding the foods the blood type diet says I shouldn’t eat.

Makes me wonder if there is any truth to the claims made by the different diets.  I’ll be trying out a couple of recipes from one of the Primal cookbooks I purchased last weekend. I’m thinking of doing a cook my way through the primal cookbook and blog about my experience like that movie Julie and Julia. Should be fun.

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