It’s been a tough weekend so far.
Yesterday, out of nowhere, I started feeling like there was a ton of heat coming off my solar plexus, and then it shot through my body like I was on fire all over. I could barely breathe (like, I was gasping for air), and in that moment, according to Adam (because I legit do not remember), I had something akin to a grand-mal seizure in the car, hitting the dash and tearing at my clothes before passing out.
I don’t remember getting home. In fact, I don’t remember much of yesterday, aside from being really frustrated when I opened my vape cartridges that Adam so thoughtfully picked up from the dispensary for me, and they were both unusable. So, tomorrow, we have to take them back and get them exchanged.
I remember that we were on the way to the Orland Park indoor neighborhood garage sale, and I’m still pissed that my body made me miss that. Next year, I guess!
Anyway, the panic attacks and seizures didn’t stop in the morning, or even after I slept. We’ve started keeping a log of my blood pressure, which is kind of all over the place, considering that I am on a high dose of Labetalol. Today, I keep feeling like Blanka… electric all over, and like even soft touches are too much for me.
I think I know what may have precipitated the attack, but it’s not the only variable in play. The day before yesterday, I was sick with stomach flu (fever and all), and I drank 64 oz of Gatorade, followed by a ton of Halloween candy. The intensity of pain and large number of seizures that occurred within 24 hours made the correlation of sugar consumption to discomfort too obvious to ignore anymore.
So, I finally decided that reading other people’s blogs while hemming and hawing about whether or not I’m willing to go paleo again was insufficient, and I purchased my copy of The Wahls Protocol.
The Wahls Protocol is very different than any other diet I’ve tried before because it has 3 steps to it — basically 3 discrete diets that increase in difficulty to adherence.
Step One: The Wahls Diet (or “What Rachael is going to be starting this week.”)
- No gluten, eggs, dairy (except for ghee), refined oils, or processed foods.
- Sugar is limited to that which occurs naturally.
- 6-9 cups of vegetables daily (3 cups of leafy greens, 3 cups of sulfur-rich vegetables (cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, etc) and 3 cups of deeply colored vegetables and fruits, such as berries, carrots, winter squash, beets, etc).
Everything should ideally be organic, grass-fed or wild-caught foods, if your budget allows. Mine does not.
This is very close to the paleo diet, but it allows for non-glutenous grains like corn, oatmeal, and rice. Y’all know I can hang with the traditional paleo diet, but that’s “step 2,” and considering the point of the diet is to maximize the nutritional content of what you’re eating so that you can power up your mitochondria (and hence your whole body), as long as I’m getting the veggies in, while limiting sugar, I think I’m making positive headway.
Honestly, I’ve been through all the tests, and I don’t have Celiac Disease or any allergic reaction to wheat, so the only reason that I’m avoiding it is because it helps force me to find a way to put a vegetable in place of whatever bread product my brain immediately jumps to. So, fortunately, I don’t need to be afraid of cross-contamination like many folks do.
In the past, I think the biggest barrier to sustained compliance on the paleo diet for me has been the All-Or-Nothing mindset. To help ensure that I actually get this done, the only thing I’m going all-or-nothing for is eating the cups of veggies.
I’m trying really hard to shift my mindset from “This is gonna suck.” to “This will help me feel better and is totally worth it.” So far, it sounds like, “This is gonna suck until it helps me feel better.” 🙂
Ah, honesty. You’re almost optimism.
- If I eat inflammatory foods, I’m literally feeding and empowering my disease.
- If I eat the required vegetables and avoid foods that are known to cause inflammation, I’m feeding and empowering my mind and body.
When I think about it that way, choosing any other course of action seems beyond stupid.
Thus, once I’m done with this entry, I’ll be doing some meal planning… because I’m certain I won’t get Henry on board for green smoothie breakfasts and salads at lunch, but I’m pretty sure I can figure out meals for him that use at least some of the ingredients. (I mean, really, that’s definitely part of what makes me shy away from the level 3 ketogenic diet. I’m not sure how I’d do without bananas in my life.)
Adam is totally on board to power up his mitochondria with me. I really lucked out in the supportive husband department. But he’s also been watching Henry for several hours now while I read and then wrote this. So, I should probably quit blogging and go spend time with them before making the grocery list.
Hope you’re having a good weekend!
Have you tried the Wahls Diet? Do you have any favorite recipes that happen to contain a fuckton of veggies? Let me know in the comments or email me with suggestions!