A while back, one of my doctors suggested that I start eating Paleo because I was having some gastrointestinal issues and he felt that I might see some improvement. There weren’t any tests to prove that I needed to eat that way, but he sure believed in eating Paleo. I know that some people feel great eating Paleo or even just gluten free. I’ve had friends say to me, “I just feel so much better when I eat this way” or “My energy is so much better.” I wish I felt that way, too, but I don’t. In fact, I saw my energy slightly decrease eating that way. Between energy loss and struggling to know what to eat, I stressed out a lot. I think my heart rate increased every time I walked into the kitchen just from worrying if I was eating the right things. Trying to figure out a good Paleo snack was the worst. And I began to wonder if the lower energy and higher stress were really worth it when I saw no benefits to this diet.
It took a while, but I began to realize that the person who knows what my body feels like, what my body is saying, and what my body does and doesn’t respond well to is…me! So I started eating everything that makes me feel good, including gluten, dairy, and beans. I cut down on meat and eggs, because that sometimes makes me feel sluggish and at times it doesn’t even taste good to me. I eat things in moderation and eat healthy with lots of veggies. I eat cookies and chocolate, too. Even ice cream once and while. And in a pinch, I might even eat a microwave burrito.
I don’t follow a diet. It took a while to convince my doctors that this was the right plan, but in the end they agreed that listening to my body and eating that way was a good thing. And you know what? It sure took a load of stress away from me. I don’t need extra stress while healing.
Many people do need to follow a doctor-advised diet plan, cutting out foods that stress their system. But for some of us who have no tests to prove food issues, a diet may stress us too much. For me, I listened to my doctor but let my body be the ultimate decider on whether or not a health plan was working for me.