I'm about to start my 3rd week of Paleo and I feel like crap. I'm 95% paleo, 5% little cheats like 1 small slice of garlic bread or 1 marshmallow once a week. Dairy free, gluten free, processed foods free, caffiene free. I'm allergic to gluten, which is why I started this life style change to begin with ( I was starting to get bleeding in my intestines... Scary stuff). Problem is that I'm feeling like absolute crap all the time. I'm sleeping 10 hrs a night because I'm so exhausted. Walking a mile with my dog is a personal challenge. Mental concentration is hard. And I'm breaking out with really bad acne on my face and chest, which I haven't had a problem with since high school. I'm a former fast food junkie, probably eating it 5 times a week, diet coke addict drinking 3 cans a day, and live a high stress life as a full time student, working full time as well. Is there anything I can do to feel better quicker? Or do I just need to face what feels like withdrawal head on and push through it? Oh and Fitday says that based on my weight and height I should be eating 3300 calories a day. Even though I eat a lot, I'm not reaching anywhere near that, which is fine, but could that be making me feel crappy?
Right now my average day looks like: Breakfast: 4 Eggs from organically fed chickens (family owned), and about a cup of mixed melon and berries. Sometimes if I'm super hungry I'll throw in a can of green beans too.
Lunch: some kind of poultry or tuna, usually a big can of chicken breast (in water, not salted), with a teaspoon of light mayo made from olive oil (that 50 cal stuff), some form of greens (salad, green beans, mixed veggies, etc.), and possibly more fruit (berries and melons so they don't upset my stomach).
Dinner: Red meats, mixed greens, sometimes corn (even though it's starchy). Sometimes salmon and zucchini/onions mix.
Snacks:nuts, dried fruit
And about 2 liters of non salted seltzer water a day to help with the soda cravings and the hunger.
I would say if you're having bleeding intestines and you're still having little cheats with grains "5% little cheats like 1 small slice of garlic bread or 1 marshmallow once a week" (Marshmallows are usually coated in cornstarch) THAT's the reason you still feel like crap. For your health you MUST eliminate all grains, not even a little tiny bit every once in a while is OK. I've read that it can take your gut MONTHS to recover from grain exposure, so you haven't even been grain free long enough to start feeling better. You really have to commit to NO grains--NONE.
And watch for hidden grains in the foods you eat. I looked up ingredients for light mayo with olive oil and they ALL have STARCHES in them as well as soybean oil--in many cases those starches come from GRAINS. These are no no's. Try making your own mayo at home, it's not that hard and you will know exactly what goes in it. Never skimp on good fats for manufactured "lite" foods full of industrial oils, starches, and unnecessary sugars. They are NOT paleo!
To combat induction flu (if that's what you have) you need potassium and sodium. Broth is a good source, but make it homemade because most commercial broths and bullion cubes have added starches, and often MSG.
If you still feel bad after another week or two of making these changes, you should look into an elimination diet like GAPS.
And are you taking/eating any probiotics? You need to heal your gut, and they are crucial. If your gut can't handle lacto fermented veggies like sauerkraut and pickles right now (and it sounds like it may not), you can get the benefit just by putting the sauerkraut or pickle juice into your broth and other recipes.
I think you might be underestimating your small cheats. When we spread them out and do little bits here and there, we can make a lot seem like a little. I can see lots that you're eating that may not be the best choices with your health concerns, like the melons, canned beans, nuts and dried fruit.
Understand that I'm not trying to make you feel bad, for all of us, it takes a huge amount of effort to break old habits, root out the bad choices, and be really honest with ourselves. And of course, cheating is exceptionally human.
Concentrate on whole foods, not canned, and eat until you're full. Add more fats, like everyone says. Reveiw the shopping lists at Whole30, marksdailyapple.com, or whatever sites you like, and switch out the foods that aren't working. Sleep, eat, relax. It's not a test. I'm sure it will change for you.
Most people feel like crap for the first 3-4 weeks of Paleo. There are lots of theories why, but I don't think there is anyway around it. You just have carry on and get through it. You will feel better I promise. I agree with the other comments, clean up your diet even more and eat more fat. When I first started Paleo I ate coconut oil straight out of the jar - especially when I was craving carbs - and it always made me feel better. Good Luck
Diet isn't everything. If you don't manage your stress, healthy food won't matter. You'll be susceptible to illness and disease, depression, adrenal fatigue, and a host of other health problems.
Take time throughout your day to practice stress management. It's not that you have to change your life, you just need to allow your body to recuperate after your stress hormones become elevated. Here are some tips that you can easily incorporate into your daily schedule:
Agree remove the cheats, corn, and try to cut down the berries and fruits. I am a little over two weeks in and I only drink water and have had no issues with cravings. Not everyone is the same but when I eat fruit even berries I am hungrier. If I eat protein/veggies/fats I am full and energetic.
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