Google for information on any health topic and you’ll probably find the following piece of advice:
“Listen to your body.”
What does that mean? I’ll be honest with you – I don’t really know. But I’ve been working on trying to figure it out. When you start learning about Paleo and the benefits of real food you can’t help but get the sense that everyone must be riddled with food sensitivities and allergies. So after my Whole30, the nutrition nerd in me was really excited for the food reintroduction process. Not because I was craving a scoop of ice cream or a pile of corn chips (though I was), but because I thought: “This is it! I will finally see if I have any food sensitivities! I will have the answers!” Well, guess what happened when I reintroduced dairy, rice, corn, and legumes? Nothing. At least not that I could tell.
Fast forward to present time. The Whole30 was still great for me, because it allowed me to finally kick gluten to the curb. Again not for sensitivity reasons but because I tend to overeat all the things that contain it (baked goods, I’m looking at you). However, if I honestly look at the past 8 months, I was not doing a great job following the Paleo way of eating I was striving for. Instead of aiming for 100% and getting to 80% I was barely shooting for 50%. When I ate out, I didn’t even try to follow the template other than avoiding gluten. But I always still felt like the Paleo template was what I wanted to achieve.
During this year I’ve also stopped using the scale for my mental health, as I tend to obsess over it easily even though I think it’s one of least valuable ways to measure ourselves. However, a month ago I sensed I’d gotten too far off the rails. I felt heavy, large, bulky, and overall just blah. A step on the scale confirmed it. I realized my body was telling me something! And I decided to listen!
I had a feeling that the real culprit was sugar and carbs, and I wanted to return to the Paleo way of eating that I love conceptually but was not trying very hard to achieve in practice. I settled on doing a 21 Day Sugar Detox because it best addressed my problem areas. My experience was great! Some of the benefits I have experienced:
- Higher quality sleep
- Regulated appetite – I regained the metabolic flexibility to skip a meal or go a long time between meals
- No more sugar cravings
- Appreciation for less-sweet treats
- 8lb weight loss
Most important of all – I now know conclusively that I don’t feel my best eating grains and beans. I may not have an obvious adverse reaction to these foods, but now I know I feel bloated and icky when I eat them. I’ve always felt this way so I assumed it was normal. Now I’ll have the fortitude to listen to my body and avoid grains and beans more often. The call of my taste buds isn’t worth the feeling after. Knowledge is power!