I recently decided to make drastic changes to my eating habits. This may have been the biggest dietary shift I’ve made since my PCOS diagnosis in 2013.
Over the past few years, I have been gradually making adjustments to the way I eat so that my diet became very close to Modern Paleo, through strategies such as drastically reducing my use of sugar and processed foods, eating very little simple carbs (like bread and white flour pasta), and increasing my meat and animal fat intake. Although this has certainly served me better than the way I used to eat – relying on many processed foods, having bread usually twice a day, and sugary sauces on most of my meals, my body has shown me that even the seemingly important and healthy foods which have formed the bulk of my diet, were no longer supporting and nourishing me the way I needed them to.
The first few months of this year was very challenging for me, because of the huge changes in my schedule and work circumstances. It has tested, taxed, and pushed me emotionally, physically, and mentally. It’s taken me about 6 months to adjust to all of this and to redesign my lifestyle so that it fits in with my new timetable while helping me stay consistent with the habits and rituals which are now even more crucial for my health and happiness.
The increased pressure and tension, combined with insufficient sleep and rest, as well as eating too many foods which contributed to imbalances in my body, has appeared to damage my gut health.
Around February this year I started to experience what seemed like hormonal acne, because it coincided with a pregnancy that unfortunately ended in a miscarriage after only 7 weeks. When the acne did not clear up after a few weeks, I started suspecting that this was not caused by normal pregnancy hormones.
I then went to see an Endicronoligst for a complete blood panel, so I could determine which hormones were unbalanced. But I was very pleasantly surprised when he told me that the results showed all hormones to be in normal ranges, and my thyroid results were also looking great.
Although I was happy to hear that my PCOS was ‘reversed’ considering these results, this didn’t give me any answers about my terrible cystic acne.
So I did what I normally do when something intrigues and worries me – I read everything I could get my hands on to learn more about my persistent acne and what could be behind it. To tell you the truth, I am still learning, and will probably keep looking for trusted evidence-based research and advice by experts, about how nutrition impacts and influences our physiology.
What I’ve found so far has moved me to make the following shift –
FROM MODERN PALEO:
high animal protein | high animal fat | moderate dairy | moderate plants | medium carb | low sugar
TO WHOLE FOOD PLANT-BASED:
0% animal protein and animal fat | 0% dairy (not even cheese) | high carb (from whole foods) | 0% added sugar | 100% whole plant foods
I’ll be sharing some amazing research with you on this blog, so you can find out what convinced me to make such big changes even though I felt strongly that the way I had been eating was good and right for me.
The purpose of this series is certainly not to convince you to make the same changes, but instead to share with you my experience and a few tips and recipes which will hopefully make eating healthier more enjoyable, affordable, and easy for you.
You will also be able to follow my journey as I adjust to these changes and create tasty, affordable, and nutritious wholefood plant-based meals for myself, my son, and my husband.
I’ve already eliminated some foods which I previously felt I would never be able to give up, I’m looking forward to sharing with you what strategies have been working for me.
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Which change in your eating habits has been the most challenging or daunting for you?