When I started this blog I hoped to find other writers who’d adopted this lifestyle so they could share their own unique journey in hopes it might inspire others, and it didn’t take me long to find some! Ah, the powers of social media! Today, the first of what I hope to be many guest posts is from Lee Kilraine, for what I’m going to call My Journey Monday. Like many, she came to it for health reasons, not as a diet to lose weight, and found that it all but alleviated her symptoms. As she said to me in our email correspondence:
It’s not an over exaggeration to say Primal eating has given me the freedom to go after my big dreams.
And writing was one of these big dreams. I’ll let her tell her story now!
When Angela asked if I’d write about my path into primal eating, she mentioned that so many people think it’s a “fad diet” for weight loss and I think she’s right about that. My husband and I have been eating a primal “diet” for over three years now, and while often it results in weight loss, the main benefits for us are better health.
I discovered primal eating out of desperation. Sounds melodramatic, but here’s my story… I was born with a skin condition, Atopic Dermatitis, which is a combination of dry skin, allergies resulting in hives and rashes that flair up with stress. Without unpacking all the tedious details, I’ll just say much of my life has been lived through a Benadryl-induced haze. I only made it through high school by popping Benadryl like Tic-Tacs. While Benadryl helped with the painful hives and rashes, it made me a walking zombie mentally. It got so bad I had to drop out of college. Fast forward a few decades, and I decided to go back for that degree I had abandoned. Happy to say I did it! Yay, but again, the cycle of “stress = hives = Benadryl zombie” made it challenging. And by this time, I knew I wanted to give writing a serious try so knew I needed to get off Benadryl which meant finding a way to minimize the hives.
I researched on the internet like a fiend and found the primal/paleo community. Yes, many were there to lose weight, but there were many who were reporting that primal eating was actually bringing about better health. Long story short…adopting a primal diet = hives and rashes have all but disappeared = my daily Benadryl fix is a thing of the past. I go many months without needing it now. I think the key for me was giving up wheat. And, since I’m not a foodie who loves spending lots of time in the kitchen, I keep it pretty simple. We eat seafood, chicken, beef, pork, eggs, LOTS of veggies, a few sweet potatoes, and minimal fruit. For those times when you just need a snack…yeah, you know those times…a (very) few macadamia nuts or almonds and an occasional Lara Bar. When I want to cook breaded chicken I use almond meal instead of breadcrumbs and fry it up in either coconut oil or butter. We make our own homemade tortillas for taco night, but use coconut flour instead of corn meal, and eat spaghetti and meatballs over spaghetti squash instead of pasta.
So that’s me, and like Angela mentioned, this is not a “fad diet” for our family, but the way my husband and I have been eating for over three years now. On the other hand, it’s not a religion either, so we will occasionally eat really yummy non primal food. (Hey, life is short people!) Yup, my husband’s Czech Christmas cookies were enjoyed. One great benefit I’ve discovered from eating primaly is that when I eat clean (no wheat, no sugar, no alcohol) I honestly feel like my brain works better and is more creative. Not. Exaggerating.
I am a wife, mother to 4, and a writer working hard to add “published” to my resume. After moving around the country as a military family, we finally picked North Carolina to call home. I blog about life and writing at http://leekilraine.blogspot.com. A rare Tweet, a chirp really, @LeeKilraine.
Thank you so much, Lee, for sharing your story, and I’m so happy you found the right food protocol to live a healthy life! And as writers, it’s so important to have our bodies and brains running at peak performance if we want to stay productive and creative.