Saturday, March 31, 2012

Pull the Shades

So, tomorrow, April 1, begins a new adventure for me as I begin eating according to Paleo parameters. As I researched the process I came across some information that suggested that those dealing with chronic health issues may want to take the eliminations a step (or three) further to determine if certain foods may be contributing to their symptoms.

Turns out eggs have a protein that-in those sensitive to it-may cause increased intestinal permeability, which then causes systemic inflammation (a known contributing factor in autoimmune diseases). Then there is the Nightshades family of vegetables (including white potatoes, tomatoes, sweet and hot peppers, eggplant, and spices like cayenne, chili powder, curry powder, paprika, etc. [Google to find more complete lists]). Some people are sensitive to alkaloids in this group of vegetables, and there is a considerable amount of anecdotal evidence that joint pain and other maladies can be associated with consumption of Nightshades in these sensitive individuals. Finally, nuts and seeds have compounds that may be inflammatory for some.

Eggs and nuts are both fairly common allergens, so if one of my purposes in following the Paleo model is to eliminate potential allergens to determine if they are a specific issue for me, then cutting these two out seems almost a no-brainer. If it is even remotely possible that Nightshades are contributing to my joint issues, it seems foolish not to eliminate them along with all of the other things I'm pulling off the menu during April.

I won't lie: coming to the realization that I should omit eggs, nuts, and Nightshades from my plate for these 30 days was the first time I started to think I might have a hard time sticking to my plan. No Mexican or Indian flavor profiles. Paleo breakfasts without any of these three elements are pretty limited.

But, as the folks at Whole9 say: "It is not hard. Don't you dare tell us this is hard. Giving up heroin is hard. Beating cancer is hard." True. And if any of these is an issue for me, I want to know so I can make informed choices.

Time to woman up and eat strong!

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