Cait Goes Paleo: A Prologue
For the last three years, I’ve been in an on-again, off-again relationship with the Paleo lifestyle. But today is the start of a new road in my health journey.
Let me tell you a story.
It starts about five years ago when I injured myself training for my first marathon. I had just come out of a period of competing in half-marathons and short-form triathlons, and I decided to move up in the world of endurance sports to train for marathons. I’ve always been an active and athletic person, so when I injured my hip/hamstring in the middle of my training season, it forced me to slow down and step back from what I now realize was overtraining, and exercise addiction to readjust my lifestyle.
That’s when I first stepped on my yoga mat to help slow myself down, discovering Holy Yoga, and healing a lot more than just my injury. At the same time, I believe I was beginning to show signs of some other health issues, but I merely a blind eye. When I gave up hard core training to pursue yoga teacher certification, I also started exploring my nutrition by means of a real, whole foods diet. Yoga not only helped me understand the importance of rest, but it also helped me become interested in more of a holistic lifestyle, so I started researching, studying, and slowly shifting things.
Fast forward a few years. I noticed some of my health issues were getting worse (specifically my anxiety) and it was about that time I first discovered the Whole30. We had been eating mostly Paleo-ish until that point, and I’d switched out to more natural products including starting to use essential oils, but I was still dealing with chronic pain in my leg from my injury, fatigue, gut imbalance, and some depression with anxiety. I thought perhaps the nutritional reset would help ease our transition into a full-on Paleo lifestyle that'd I'd be able to stick to.
We had a rocky reintegration from that Whole30, but our overall experience was great. I learned how my body reacted to dairy, gluten, and sugar so I was excited to cut them out entirely, while I finally cleared up some of my health issues: the lingering chronic pain from my injury disappeared, as did most of my gut distress. I was sleeping better, my brain fog was gone, my seasonal allergies disappeared, my anxiety was lower, and I was just happier. Since then, I’ve significantly researched nutrition and the Paleo diet coming to understand how good it is for me, but I've simply entered into an on-again, off-again relationship with it, not completely giving up dairy, gluten, and sugar like I want too. We’ve been mostly Paleo-ish and sometimes Whole30 since then, but I’d like to blame the wavering on my nemesis, pizza. But I won’t, as I know a lot of my diet has to do with my mindset, choices, and busy life, and I often just ignore the correlation between how I’m feeling and what I’m eating.
In this course of the last few years, I feel as if I’ve gone from the healthiest and best I’ve felt in my whole life to the worst I've felt health-wise, ever. Last December, I turned 30 and it was a milestone age for me: I’ve been looking forward to my thirties for awhile now but I want them to be healthy. I want to be vibrant and active especially as we try to start a family. Instead, as the first half of the year has passed, I’ve begun to realize that even though my vitals say I’m healthy, I don’t think I truly am. A seemingly healthy person shouldn’t be struggling with:
- Fatigue. All. The. Time.
- Digestive issues
- Anxiety (that has seemingly come out of nowhere) *I have never struggled with anxiety until the last few years, and despite doing yoga and meditation, I still find myself prone to panic attacks
- Chronic stress
- Major brain fog
- Seasonal Allergies
- Dehydration despite drinking lots of water everyday
- A silly heart thing [In May, I was diagnosed with a Premature Ventricular Contraction most likely caused by too much stress but unknown as to why at this time.]
- And the big one that’s really hard to talk about and has set off this new journey: Infertility
After a summer of contemplation, doctor’s appointments, tests, and genuinely feeling unwell, I’ve come to the realization that for the last few years as I have jumped into a health and wellness overhaul, I have always wanted to heal myself—I just haven’t always wanted to change.
Enter Cait Goes Paleo
I’ve come to the point where I’m ready to change, friends.
Perhaps I’m oversharing because it’s the internet and I don’t have a copy editor reading every post before I hit publish. Or perhaps I’m just getting started with my story, and deep down I know it’s important to chronicle it.
Either way, I’m a vulnerable and authentic person by nature when it comes to stories and for the first time in my life I am really recognizing how unwell I truly feel. Realizing I’ve finally reached the point where it’s time for change, I’m going to do what any writer does and document the journey. Sharing my story helps me become more accountable.
I have always wanted to heal myself—I just haven’t always wanted to change
I’m taking steps with my doctors to go about seeing if there is something deeper going on in my life (i.e. imbalances, autoimmune, etc.) but I’m also starting with my nutrition. Something I can change.
One of my favorite parts of cookbooks are often the introductions at the beginning, where everyone shares the food/health story that led them to this way of cooking and eating. I feel like this is the prologue of Cait Goes Paleo, so that’s what I’m dubbing my journey. It has a nice ring to it, and overall it will help me keep all my writing organized here on the blog. If you want to know why Paleo, I’ll explain all that in a later post, but for now here are a few resources from some experts out there. There is a ton of material in the world concerning the why around the Paleo diet/lifestyle, and why a Whole30 is a great nutritional reset, so I encourage you to read all about them on some of my favorite Paleo websites & blogs:
|| Robb Wolf || Nom Nom Paleo || Balanced Bites || Whole30 || [I'll share more of a list roundup later this month!]
I plan to chronicle my health journey in volumes to keep myself accountable, but to also share about wellness with others. Follow along with my upcoming Wellness Wednesdays posts here on the blog where I’ll be sharing about this round of Whole30 throughout the month, as well as insights, resources, perhaps recipes, yoga videos, and other health & wellness related material over time.
I’ll also be using #CaitGoesPaleo on Instagram.
I’m a lifelong learner and I could sit and read about why Paleo or real foods or all of these wellness things are good for me, but until I step out of the pages and into living the story, I won’t get anywhere. So here’s to a new journey friends. Want to join me?