For around the last six months, my wife and I have been Paleo.
After the period of adjustment to the Paleo diet that typically makes a person feel like they’re suffering (emphasis on suffering) with a cold, I felt great. But then came the questions.
What if I ate some wheat? Would it really make me sick?
What about milk?
Well, around came Christmas time and out came Starbucks’ Gingerbread Latte. And oh, my gosh.
I love Gingerbread Lattes. I do. They were the coffee-esque drink that converted me to the coffee lover that I was for years (I’ve recently noticed that I feel better without coffee – even decaf – and so I’ve decided to become… a tea man. We’ll see how it goes!).
But this winter-drink-season things have been different… it’s been the first since I’ve been Paleo.
The first day that the Gingerbread Latte was available, I literally rushed out to grab one and take a big slurp. I was happy to find that Starbucks maximized the ingredients this year (complete with molasses drizzle and specially spiced whipped cream!), and I dove right in. It was absolutely delicious.
But then everything went wrong.
A few minutes later, I felt… weird. A few hours later, I had a headache. And for the next few days, I felt really emotional and sad.
Did the Gingerbread Latte really do all that? I wondered.
So I tried another.
So, not wanting to believe that my winter companion had turned on me so badly, I tried another. And another.
Same results every time.
The last time I had one, I felt so bad that I haven’t wanted to try another. Believe me, nothing short of me feeling truly terrible would keep me away from a treat I’ve enjoyed so much, something that brightened the cold, dreary winter months.
And it turns out that wheat does the same thing!
Paralleling and probably surpassing my love for Gingerbread Lattes is my love of… pizza.
Pizza was the first food that I ever had a hankering for when I was a little tyke, and I got one every Sunday throughout college (it and watching that cartoon with the English-sounding baby, dim-witted husband/father, triangle-nosed mother/wife, and cynical dog were my end-of-the-weekend repertoire.), so I found it hard to believe that spending a few months adjusting to the Paleo diet would mean that pizza would be on the list of foods that make me feel cruddy.
Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong.
Gluten free pizza gives me headaches and makes me sad.
Maybe it’s something about the gluten free crust, I figured. So I took the leap and had a slice of traditional, wheat-filled pizza (a single slice, mind you!), and the results were awful.
Headaches, sadness, and lots of weird feelings.
It was so bad that I don’t want any more pizza. Maybe ever. It’s hard for me to say ever, but I think I could.
Now, all of this doesn’t mean that I don’t recommend the Paleo diet to you – I do.
I think you should look into it, and give it a shot if it seems right for you and your family.
All of this makes me marvel at all of the years I spent eating non-Paleo stuff. How I did that and didn’t feel absolutely terrible is beyond me.
I certainly remember feeling hazy-minded, and not completely awesome. But now I’m surprised that I wasn’t miserable.
But why? Why the big change?
I think the Paleo diet changes its subscribers so that they are more sensitive.
Stuff that used to kind of mess up my night, now ruins two or three days.
And now the question is… would I go back if I could? Like Morpheus with his red and blue pill, would I rather have my delicious-though-unhealthy treats over my health-and-make-me-feel-awesome food?
I wouldn’t go back.
Eating good, real food has changed me so that I respond noticeably when I eat processed junk, and I like that.
And now you tell me… how does your diet affect your life?