My Paleo Journey So Far to Reduce Inflammation

Just cooking up some cauliflower rice!

About six years ago, I herniated my L4/L5 doing a pretty aggressive bootcamp exercise (let’s just say doing jumping jacks with a heavy bar over my head is not any part of my future plans). Add in being over 45 years old at the time, and I was ripe for a big injury and a boatload of pain. In fact, I suffer from inflammation and the inflamed muscles would press on those nerves surrounding the injury, sending sciatica pain down my legs. For nearly two years I was unable to really even exercise.

Fast forward five years later and I’m a lot better, though not perfect. I’ve spent the past few years strengthening my core, getting back into shape and now I can jog 3 miles at a time and do yoga a few times a week. But, I’m still plagued with inflammation issues. You know the drill, swollen belly, aches and pains at the injury site.

Last July I cut all artificial sweeteners in my coffee and that made a drastic difference. Three weeks after doing that, I was able to do burpees. (something I was never able to do before and here’s a good video example from Bowflex). I’d drop something on the floor and just cry that it was “so far away.” The idea of bending was horrific. Now, I’m 1000X better. But I could be even better. So that’s why I started Paleo.

I was never a big bread eater to begin with and I have a lactose intolerance, so this diet appeals to me. I love bacon. I love steak. I love vegetables. What could be bad? I do miss the pasta and rice, but this “diet” allows a few cheats in moderation a week, so I had a piece of birthday pie, and had a soup and didn’t freak that there were beans in it.

Steak, eggs and cauliflower/sweet potato mix

This diet has been easy and pretty clear cut. No grains, no legumes, no dairy. There’s a few other things to watch out for, but this is a great start for me. With a wee bit of planning, I have food in the house to keep me stocked and I simply modify my meals so they are paleo compliant.The trick has been to keep myself filled and to actually have “fat” at night so I stay filled, so at the dreaded 10:00 PM I don’t go downstairs and raid the refrigerator. I’ve not snacked at night for over a week and a cup of water helps me to sway those old bad habits.

I’ve made a few mistakes along the way so far. Adding some corn to a salad, which I learned was a no no, or adding a dressing to a compliant salad, and learned it had yogurt in it. I try not to freak about it and know that I’ve done my best. Everything is a learning experience and so far, just removing dairy (well, most of it) and grains has already reduced my inflammation and the sciatica pain I was experiencing recently has ceased again. I haven’t lost any weight yet, but I’m hopeful that will be an added benefit at some point.

So if you’d like to follow my journey and see the recipes I’m making on instagram, follow me @paleoinspired_

Love to hear how you are doing on your own dieting or paleo journey.

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5 thoughts on “My Paleo Journey So Far to Reduce Inflammation

  1. Elyse, I decided after binging on pizza all weekend long over Super Bowl Weekend, to start a diet. Strictly counting every calorie, adding a couple of 30 minute exercise days (rowing machine or treadmill) each week, brought me down 13 lbs. Yay.

    The downside: I donate platelets at a local hospital, and they are stopping platelet donations soon, changing over to double red cell donations. Since losing the weight, I am now ineligible to donate double reds (too light). Go figure. Back to regular donations for me…

    Keep up the good work, glad to hear that your pain has diminished, and good luck with the Paleo!

  2. I have CRPS (a nerve/pain condition) and going (mostly) paleo has changed my life. I found that cutting sugar and gluten dramatically impacted inflammation in my body. I occasionally use half and half in my coffee but have found that tolerable. The hardest part was giving up goat cheese! 😥 So glad that it’s helping you!

    • I’m so happy you’re feeling better – the inflammation is drastically down. Even a full month in and I still feel sort of lethargic, but I did go jogging this morning. Slowly improving.

  3. Pingback: My Paleo Journey So Far to Reduce Inflammation — Elyse Salpeter – Best Paleo Cooking Recipes for You

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