Monday, June 13, 2011

No Grain, No Pain - the 5 year anniversary - and changes

I started this blog 5 years ago, right after I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease. The world as I knew it had been transformed. I was starting out on a new adventure - to conquer gluten free eating!

It seems only natural that within a 5 year period, the average person would have developed and changed in many ways. I know that I have.

Physically - here's what I looked like in 2006:

And here's how I look today (well, okay...last week):

Most of the changes to my body I attribute to how I eat, as well as correcting a hormonal imbalance. More details on my body's (40-50 lb!) roller coaster ride here.

Where I am in my life has also changed. I've been working at the same place for longer than I was in high school. I love my job, but the past couple of years have been harder and filled with more challenges and responsibilities than anything I have undertaken, other than marriage ;)

It's been an incredible growing experience!

My marriage has definitely transformed, too! I'm pretty sure I can finally say I've grown up (mostly). It only took 8 years of being married to do so.

Five years ago, we were buying our first house. We were living paycheck to paycheck. Everything we did was looking forward to the future.

Today, we still live in that house (and pay less on our mortgage then when we were renting!). We've bought and paid off two new cars. We're working harder, but we're having more fun, and the rewards are better.

Other than this chronic pain in my lower back/tailbone, I'm feeling pretty well health-wise. So long as I avoid certain foods...obviously.

Since 2006, my reasons for keeping up this blog have also changed. I started the blog to help myself and others have a resource for good gluten free recipes. The name of my blog has been a source of much chuckling these days in my house. What was initially a play on words to describe my attitude towards gluten - No Grain, No Pain - has turned into something more in depth. I don't know if the universe has had a hand involved in the road my life has taken me since starting the blog, or if the path I am on is one that many people dealing with food intolerances visit.

I have gotten many emails over the years asking if I am grain free, due to the name of my blog, and I've had to apologize and explain that this was pretty much just a gluten free site (and then dairy free, and then coconut free, and so on and so on). But over the last year, a seed has been planted in my mind, and it has continued to grow. What is that persisting thought, you ask?

Going grain free.

No grain, no pain.

I've been searching for answers to my continual digestive issues for awhile now. I've always known my body has a hard time with sugars and sweets, so I already tend to avoid them.

In the midst of my studying, I stumbled across an amazing lifestyle. I'm talking about the primal/paleo way of living. No grain, no sugar, and fresh-from-the-earth kinda foods.

Photo courtesy of Mark's Daily Apple.

Check out this great link w/ tons of fantastic resources! And watch the video at the end - Paleo in a Nutshell. It's the perfect summary to what paleo eating is.

Paleo makes sense to me. And so I've dabbled. And read. And read even more! Yet...I haven't been able to take the plunge. Why?

*I'm scared of change/the cost involved/the work involved/cleaning out my pantry/having to give up a lot of my comfort foods.

*I'm lazy.

*I work full-time.

*I have a family and a home to take care of (well, a very overworked husband and spoiled cat).

*But mostly I think I'm lazy.

Here's the deal. It's going to happen. I am determined to at least try this thing for 30 days, and see how I feel. I even stocked up on 10 lbs of grass-fed hamburger that was on sale at the health food store last week!

Those of you who know me know that I am not a jump-in-with-both-feet-first kind of girl. I first test the waters, I work up my nerve, I prepare myself mentally before I make the plunge. That's what I am doing now.

But for those of you seeking grain free foods on my blog, yes, you will be seeing more recipes/advice here on eating and enjoying life, grain free.

Some of my favorite paleo/primal resources have been:


trishtator said...

Wow I loved your post. You've come on quite the journey. I have thought about Paleo...especially since I'm beginning to suspect trouble from certain foods like corn, tomatoes, beans, pears. I know many of those are still paleo-permitted, but I've just been wondering which other foods aren't agreeing with me and what to do about it.

You look amazing and it sounds like you feel great too. Cheers to that!

Stephanie said...

Thanks Trish! I know beans bother me, and I suspect corn as well. It's a never-ending mystery, isn't it? :)

Brandon said...

Congrats on the success you're having with the Paleo diet! My wife and I just started about a month ago and are loving it. I just added your blog to Google Reader, so I'll have to see if you have any good tips that we'll take advantage of.

Anonymous said...

Hi Stephanie,
I just found your blog today and read all about your journey. My journey is very similar to yours. I have terrible digestive issues, thyroid issues, gluten and sugar, and dairy intolorences. I also cannot eat beans or cabbage. My thyroid is very out of whack right now. Weight has been up and down! Have been tested for Lyme, celiac and a whole host of other things. It is so incredible frustrating!! Thank you so much for sharing your journey. It feels good to know that im not alone. I can't wait to keep reading!!

Stephanie said...

@Brandon - Thanks for stopping by! I will have to delve into your site as well, it looks like you've got some great info that would be beneficial for going Paleo!

@Anonymous - I'm so glad you've enjoyed my blog. I know how it feels to think you're alone in all this. I hope you find the answers that lead you to better health! Thanks for visiting :)

Kimberly said...

Love this. I also have chronic lower back/tailbone pain, and I am so curious to know what foods you need to avoid to help with pain. This is fascinating to me!