Taking the Paleo Plunge

I love how this blog has, in a way, grown with me as the months pass. I have charted every step of my TTC journey, but also my thyroid/auto-immune journey, and now, my diet journey. I like to see how far I’ve come, but I’m also reminded of how much further I need to go.

Many of you mentioned, regarding going Paleo, that I need to just take it slow, getting rid of one food at a time, and then, when I’ve gone full Paleo, bring back foods one at a time, to see how I feel. I agree completely, and that’s what I’m planning to do. I’m not going Paleo for environmental or weight loss reasons (though those are both great reasons to take this on). I’m doing it to feel better. So, if, after going full Paleo, I bring brown rice back into my diet and I feel fine, well then guess what? It’s back. I’m not going to deny myself foods that make me feel good. Of course, I know that all junk foods make me feel like garbage, so I know they won’t be reintroduced to my diet.

That said, at the same time, I feel like I’m making a “right now” life change. I know these sorts of diets are for life, but I can’t commit to that. My hope is that my auto-immune symptoms get themselves under control, and I have babies. After babies, if I’m feeling better 10 years down the road, and I take my kids to get ice cream when we vacation at the Cape (sorry, daydreaming a bit here), then yeah, I’m going to get a cone myself. I’m not going Paleo for life. I’m going Paleo for as long as it takes me to feel better.

My new diet will be more along the lines of Paleo-ish. I might bring back rice, quinoa, and hopefully, cheese. Or, I might not. In fact, I could end up realizing that it’s meat that bothers me (which would go along with what my ND said…anti-inflammatory means no meat…), in which case, I won’t be Paleo-ish, but Vegan-ish. That may end up being what feels best. But I’m starting with Paleo.

Yesterday, N and I went to the grocery store, after planning next week’s meals, and spent more money than I’d like on foods we can eat. I’m happy he is doing this with me – it’s always easier when everyone in the house is on board. For the first time in possibly my entire life, we have no milk in the house. We now have a carton of almond milk and one of coconut milk. We aren’t sure which we’ll like, so we’re trying them both. I have a feeling I’m not going to like either. We’re almost out of precious, precious shredded cheese, and we’re not replacing it (yet). The majority of our cart was filled with veggies.

Now, there are two types of Paleo diets, from what I can see. The first type is where you only eat ingredients that a caveman would’ve been able to find, but you can take those ingredients and do whatever you want with them. For example, this type of Paleo diet allows you to bake with almond flour and that sort of thing. You can have breads, muffins, and cookies. The other type of Paleo diet allows you to only eat ingredients that a caveman would’ve been able to find, but you can’t alter the ingredients. No baking. Some people even go mostly raw, and how they are able to not keel over and die, I’m not sure. Almond flour wouldn’t be allowed – just almonds. Anyway, one is clearly more strict than the other, and you can probably guess which one we’re picking. Yep, we bought both almond flour and coconut flour at the store yesterday. Due to their high prices, however, we decided only to bake with these things as special treats. I’m not going to make bread and have it every day for lunch. I will feel the healthiest when the majority of my diet is vegetables.

We aren’t going 100% until after our little vacation in 2 weeks, and we still are cleaning out our fridge and cupboards. Slowly, though, we’re going Paleo. I’m about to whip up some eggs for breakfast (those are going to get old, quick. Help?), and lunch will be a salad with chicken. N wants to splurge on our new almond flour and make a Paleo pizza for dinner. Tomorrow is Easter, and I will enjoy a piece or two of sugar-free candy. Monday, though, we hit the ground running until vacation. I’ll post recipes as long as they don’t suck, and hopefully something good will come out of all of this!

Do you believe in magic?

Hi. I’m frustrated, and I need to vent. You up for it?

I met my naturopathic doctor this afternoon for the first time. I had extremely high hopes – I basically can’t eat anything right now without getting hives. I can tell that my antibodies are out of control, probably the worst they have ever been.

I am so disappointed, discouraged, and frustrated. Now, a lot of you have gone to naturopathic doctors with success, so please, tell me if this doctor was right on track, or is one magic spell away from an institution.

I arrived to an office with no secretary, just a small little room. This room didn’t look anything like a doctor’s office, and had virtually no medical…anything. Equipment, etc. I had sent all my labs to her previously, even though the office didn’t request them, so she had time to look them over, which she did. Also, in the middle of this visit her cell phone rang, and she answered it. It was her teenage son. He wanted money. She started getting frustrated with him over the phone while I was just sitting there. Then, she called her main office in another town, and requested that the secretary give her son a $20 bill “from the box” if he shows up.

And that’s not even the half of it. She hooked my arm up to this band thing attached to a computer. This computer had a program that could “test” if I was “having issues” with anything, from foods to medicines. I don’t want to say allergic, because for me, I know it’s more of a sensitivity thing. How did it perform this magic test? I straightened out my arm (not the one with the band attached to it), and she pressed down on my wrist. I was instructed to push back. If, when I pushed back, my arm stayed up, it meant I wasn’t negatively affected by whatever she was looking at. If my arm went down, then that meant I had a sensitivity to it. WHAT THE HELL???

So I followed along, secretly wondering if she was just pressing down harder on my wrist whenever we came to something that I had already told her was bothering me. My arm “went down” for wheat, sugar, sperm amino acids, vaginal mucous membranes (um, ew), and progesterone (I had told her my LP was short, too..). I shouldn’t have told her anything, in reflection. I should have had her consult my palm and perform her psychic duties to see what my problems are.

That was weird enough. After that, she told me that I should take these “energizing pellets” (I never said I was lacking in energy…). They are virtually sea salt, she said, called Natrum Muraticum. I should take a little handful of pellets, once a week. They react badly with coffee and mints…so I would need to switch my toothpaste…

When I pressed her for why I need these magic pellets, she said I would just feel better overall, and also would be happier (I never said I wasn’t happy…). She said my symptoms might get worse before they get better though, so I might have more hives temporarily, and I might cry at random. She said not to worry, it will pass and then I will feel better. And THEN – when you think that’s as bad as it gets, she had me raise my arm again while the other arm closed around a package of these pellets. She had me press against her wrist and since my arm stayed up, she knew those pellets would be good for me. Then, to figure out the dosage of pellets that I would need, she used my arm like a Magic 8 ball, I kid you not. Can’t make this stuff up, people. It went something like this: “Does she need 50 c?” (Press), “100 c?” (Press), “200 c?” (Press). I guess my arm did something satisfactory at this point because she decided on 200 c. I thought she was actually asking me the question, what dosage did I need, until I realized she was talking to herself…or more like the spirits on the other side of a Ouija board.

She told me that she could basically cure me. Not totally, because my autoimmune issues were completely out of whack, which I know. But with her “treatments”, I would be able to enjoy an occasional wheat or sugar filled treat, with way less hives. Okay, I said, I’m listening. What’s the treatment? Well, she said, it’s not covered by insurance, and each treatment is between $90-150. “Are they shots?” I said. No. I go in, get hooked up to that computer thing again, she focuses in on one particular food or hormone that is problematic (like sugar), and then, she takes a back massager and rolls it up and down my back. She related it to acupuncture, something about stimulating spinal something-or-others. And then, that’s it! When I leave, I’m much better with that one particular issue.

I don’t know if this is all sounding crazy to you, but to me, it sounds absolutely f-ing nuts. Totally out there. This isn’t a doctor – this is a psychic. $150 to get a back rub? To cure my autoimmune problems?

This is all frustrating enough, but there are other reasons. She is covered by my insurance (except for those “treatments”). Why would she be in my insurance’s network if she sucks? Also, my mother’s coworker, who recommended her to me, found total success! I don’t know if she went through what I would be going through, but I guess she had a severe milk allergy that this doctor practically did, in fact, cure. So I have someone who claims this actually works.

Now, she did say a couple of valuable things to me. I mentioned the burning and swelling issue, and talked about Recurring Candida Proliferation (Thanks, Sunny!). She agreed that sounded plausible, but, like I knew, it’s all connected to my other issues. She also told me about a diet she thinks I should try. I was expecting a diet change, though this one is pretty drastic. It’s an anti-inflammatory diet, because of course, I’m out of control inflamed. It’s gluten-free, sugar-free, dairy-free, and meat-free. Think about that. I would be limited to vegetables, small amounts of fruit, beans, rice or quinoa, only occasional organic chicken, fresh fish no more than 2x a week, and that is it. It’s a vegetarian diet, with no sugar or processed anything in addition. Here’s the thing – I need help with my health right now. I can’t handle it alone anymore. I’m up for trying a new diet. But I can’t do this one, I’m telling you right now. I can’t. Quality of life, I mean seriously. Nothing on the grill, no chemicals (which means no butter, ketchup, parm cheese, coffee creamer….I could go on and on.) I can’t handle that drastic of a diet, plus these hives, plus this infertility. I can’t do it. I’m not doing it. Not that drastic, anyway.

Lastly, she pulled out a report from my RE. “It says here that you seem to show signs of PCOS….” WHATTT??? Yes, after my ultrasound, when I met my RE, he wrote up a little letter and put it in my file, and it says that I demonstrated symptoms of polycystic ovaries. What. the. hell. He NEVER mentioned that. Let me emphasize NEVER. I’ve been with my RE for four, almost five months now, and never once has anyone told me I have PCOS. And that’s fine and all, if I have it. But it changes everything. Is that the cause of what’s going on in my body? Is that the cause of my infertility? Am I pursuing the right course of fertility treatment? I have no idea. I couldn’t believe it. The ND suggested I give him a call, which I will be doing. But I’m more upset than mad. Why do all my doctors have to suck? My RE is highly recommended. His program is one of the biggest in the state. But I’ve never felt like I’m getting their full attention. Now, to find out he thinks I may have PCOS? Well, that explains so much! It explains the mustache I’ve been shaving off, the little dark hairs I plucked from my CHIN yesterday, the recurring yeast issues….so much.

I’m upset because I need doctors who will help me. I have 7 doctors, each specializing in one little piece of my puzzle. I was hoping this ND could take them all on, sanely. Clearly, she can’t. But you know what’s the worst? I’m upset with myself. Why do I have to be going through this? All of this. The fertility problems, that cause my Clomid hot flashes and haven’t allowed a good night’s sleep in weeks, the stress over not getting pregnant. The thyroid problem that kept me from TTC for a while and can at any time the number decides to jump. The hives, which are now after almost every. single. meal that I eat. I don’t feel good. I don’t look good. I’m a mess. I just want to be worry-free. And I would be, if my health problems went away. Instead, after seeing this “doctor” today, I’m more upset. I need help with my medical problems and I don’t know where to turn.

It’s just suddenly gotten to this point that I’m creating my own panic attack. It’s all just too much for me to handle. Too much. I can’t live happily like this. Something has GOT to change.

So, if you’ve gone to a ND with success….please, is this woman completely mad? Should I try this diet? Thoughts?

By the way….we’ve decided. I’m going to try IUI, this cycle.