Paleo Persuasion

So I started this blog to talk about home improvement – but how about life improvements? In March, Aaron and I decided to join the ranks of the Paleo persuasion. We aren’t as strict as the purists, but we’ve still made significant changes to our eating habits. I’m not going to explain the diet for those who don’t know – there are about a billion articles going over the hows and whys that say it better than I could. 

If I’m not going to describe the diet in-depth, so why am I writing about it?  Because the change that I’ve experienced is worth mentioning. 

Fat and Weight Loss. I didn’t actually have any intention to lose weight with this change, but it happened naturally. I am eating as much as I want, whenever I’m hungry, and yet I’ve lost about 15lbs and 3% body fat.

Reduced Allergy Symptoms. I’ve suffered from allergies since I was 8 and I’ve been on year-round allergy medicine with a decongestant since 15. I’m basically allergic to the outdoors, with some extra-strength hay fever. This year, I’m on a quarter dose – half a Zyrtec-D once a day – and feel better than I ever did on the full dose. I can even drive with the windows down, leading Aaron to wonder aloud “Who are you and where is my wife?”

Better Skin. I’ve never had a particularly bad complexion, but I’ve always had a small amount of pesky blemishes. When I started getting acupuncture, my provider told me that the blemishes always centered over some stomach points. Aside from my complexion, I’ve always struggled with irritated skin, especially on my calves. No matter what moisturizer I used, I’d get stubborn itchy or rough spots. I knew they got worse when my allergies were worse, but mostly attributed that to the fact it is hard to keep hydrated when you can’t stop sneezing. I now know that it was internal inflammation that caused most of it – several times when I’ve “cheated”, that old familiar itch has broken out on my calves.  I’ve also started using coconut oil (which features in the diet) as my primary moisturizer, so that may be having a secondary effect. 

Improved Digestion. I promise not to go into TMI details here, but I’ve noticed a real change in my digestion. It is just better all around. One easy to describe (non-gross) change is that my stomach is not generally as uncomfortable after eating. It used to be that I was very sensitive to touch on my stomach after a meal, now that feeling isn’t nearly as frequent.

Real Sinus Relief. OK, I saved the weirdest one for last. About two weeks into our Paleo switch, I started having this very strange nasal drip. As someone who’s had *plenty* of sinus infections in her life, I knew this wasn’t a normal cold or infection. I was a little freaked out, especially because the leak seemed to be positional. After some Googling, and getting over the idea that it might be a CSF leak (yes, I know, Google always tells you that you’re gonna die), I found an interesting case study of someone who’s bursting sinus cyst had been documented through CT scans. I don’t have the “after” documentation, but prior to sinus surgery in 2007, my imaging did show a cyst taking up most of my right maxillary sinus. The dripping was only from the right side and when it had finally stopped, I had a weird “hollow” sensation in my cheek for weeks. I can’t prove it, but I’m certain that cyst burst. After 7 years of that cheek telling me exactly how much sinus pressure I had on a given day, that little throbbing barometer is silent. 

So that’s my schtick, my shout out, my promo for the paleo diet. It might not make a difference for everyone, but it helped me in enough ways that I can’t see myself going back to the old ways. 
And now back to our regularly scheduled programming…

We’ve done a little work around the house recently. During the winter, Aaron had worked to unpack some boxes in the office and sorted through some items. He was happy to have gotten rid of some boxes… but I wasn’t thrilled with the resulting piles. 

Piles and piles, pushed to one side because I was prepping for…

Last week I found a huge, mostly wood, heavy credenza on Craigslist. A steal for $50 because you had to have the muscle to get it out of their house and a truck to carry it in.  Aaron and their teenage son managed to get it into the truck, but Aaron made the executive decision to buy an appliance dolly (which he already wanted) to get it upstairs in our house. Even with that leverage, it still took a lot of oomph, mostly Aaron’s.

Printer stand and stuff collector!

While the piles aren’t completely gone from the other side of the room, having room to store stuff prompted us to actually sort through the collected detritus. We tossed a good bagful out then organized and put away some of the rest. Some of it is still in TBD status.

Given the impending summer, we realized that if we actually planned on using the office that is on the sunniest side of the house, we’d need some curtains so the room wasn’t roasting. Thanks to some gift cards, we left Lowes with 2 curtain rods and 5 curtain panels (guest room and laundry room curtains too) for less than $20 out-of-pocket. The curtains are hung in the office and the room is actually starting to come together.


Like I said, we put a portion of the stuff away…

We’ve also contacted some contractors to see if we can get any significant projects done outside this year. Our hope is to fill/level the lawn a bit so that it is more conducive to fencing (and, yes, dog training), and I’m hoping we may even clear out the field. The latter part is less likely, but at least we’ll have it brush hogged to keep things in check. We’ve also got our eye on staining the house and repairing/replacing the deck. I know we won’t be able to do lawn/field, fence, deck, and staining this year, but at least one project will have progress by the end of summer. 

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