I thought I had my healthy diet all figured out.
Vegetarianism was my eating style of choice.
And then my body let me know that my vegetarian diet wasn’t working for me anymore – I started craving meat for the first time in my life.
After that I started eating what I would call more or less a traditional foods diet, based on the Weston A Price Foundation guidelines for eating. Along with the many fermented foods I was eating, I included local, farm raised meat and raw dairy in my diet.
Then last year I developed an ulcer, and had to cut way, way back on (acidic) fermented foods. And I realized that dairy seemed to be the biggest problem in making the ulcer worse instead of better, so I cut out all cow dairy.
My ulcer seems to have mostly healed and I have started incorporating – occasionally – some of my cherished sour foods back into my diet.
Lately, though, I have noticed that something is not quite right.
Something I’m eating is causing me to have some gastrointestinal distress along with generalized inflammation.
I can tell it’s caused by food, and despite my best efforts to keep a food journal, I have not been able to pinpoint the cause of these problems.
In doing a bit of research, I stumbled across a very interesting article by Dr. Sarah Ballantyne, aka, The Paleo Mom.
Backing this up with evidence-based scientific research, she explains that when you are gluten intolerant, the gluten-sensors in your bodies can identify several other foods as “gluten-like” and cause your body to react to them – even though they aren’t gluten. It’s called cross-reactivity.
Could cross-reactivity be the missing piece of the puzzle for me? I’m not sure, but will do some experimenting.
Meanwhile – while I have been looking into the Low-Fodmap diet, the Autoimmune Protocol diet, and the Paleo diet – my father, following a recent heart attack, has received guidance to follow the Mayo Clinic’s plant based diet.
My initial reaction to this sudden confusion around which way of eating is “healthy” has been frustration.
I know everyone is different and may require different diets, but still, how can two opposite diets both work? Doesn’t there have to be some commonality?
In the midst of my transition to a gluten-free diet, I mentioned to a friend how odd it seemed to me that people could adopt vastly different diets – such as Paleo and Raw Vegan – and achieve the same results of improved health.
She pointed out that any move away from the Standard American Diet would probably improve anyone’s health, and this excellent point has stuck with me.
While I totally accept that with our different ancestries, biologies, and lifestyles, different diets may be required for different people, I can’t help wanting to identify the commonality of what is healthy between these diets, and find the overlaps.
I haven’t sat down yet to compile this list of good foods.
But one thing I know is this: they are all vegetables.