Hey All -
I started Paleo 4 weeks ago... first three feeling amazing. No carb flu, no nothing...I am 150% committed. I felt some pretty drastic changes the first week or so. My energy was blazing, I felt clear headed, and pumped to do this. Now 4 days after finishing my period, I'm still feeling PMSy times a thousand. Has there been a drastic shift in hormones? Do I have the carb flu only now 4 weeks out?
Anyone experience this later in the game, rather than earlier?
FYI - I don't consume eggs, dairy, or nightshades, and the only fruit I have is about a cup or so in the AM with
If you are on the lower carb side of things, try some broth. I'm personally on the side of cold-turkey if you are trying to low carb. It's hell, but faster. But I have seen decent suggestions for gradually lowing carbs if that is too much to handle.
You may be low in Magnesium. That can make your period hell. Stress, exercise, and your period can screw with your magnesium levels.
Magnesium isn't the only thing you have to worry about, but that is the first thing that comes to my biased mind. (Read a book about Magnesium. I barley even feel my period since supplementing.)
If you were low Magnesium prior to going paleo, you may still have some catch up to do.
It's not a complete answer, but yes there has been a drastic shift in hormones. There's a strong tendency to call any negative symptoms 'low-carb flu', just like people do with real flu, but I think that often misses the point. Low-carb flu is a combination of the wtihdrawal symptoms from being addicted to wheat and a more general systems crash while your body sorts out the hormone levels, enzymes, metabolic pathways etc. to get up to speed on a different fuel. If you've been functioning well for 3 weeks then that's not the issue.
There are a bunch of reasons why things seem to get harder. First off is the obvious one you mention. Your body and its needs change throughout the month. While I can't offer personal experience, if you eat the same food every day then you're logically going to be out of sync at some point in the cycle. You've got nutrients you need to replenish and a different hormonal environment. Feel free to experiment rather than thinking you must find one right way to eat all the time.
Speaking of those nutrients, you may just have run low on something which you regularly got in your diet before. Maybe you had a bad night's sleep or you've been exercising too much and you just need a break to get everything balanced again. Or maybe you're just not eating enough - regular carb-based diets tend to over-rev the engine, there's no risk of it cutting out. It's quite common on switching to lower-carb paleo to feel fine without eating as much. But sometimes the body needs a feast, and it's not a failure to eat more occasionally. Again, variety. A lot of people go back to reintroducing carbs. After a life-time of living on them they certainly can mask a multitude of ills, the ultimate comfort food. It's probably not the root cause of how you're feeling though. However you choose to tackle it, just remember it doesn't have to be all or nothing. It should be a constantly developing process of learning to listen to your body day by day.
Yes. You feel like you have no energy because your body has to jump through hoops to replenish your glycogen stores. Eat more carbs and see how you feel. Paleo is not low carb.
Feel free to go back to very low carb if you end up putting on tons of weight (if you're on it for weight loss), don't feel better, etc. but I think you'll be much better off if you give it a shot.
The hitting the wall post period makes me think you could use some borscht or other hearty stew with red meat and roots.
http://paleozonenutrition.com/2011/02/17/russian-borscht-nutritious-easy-and-paleo/ (drop the tomato paste in the recipe if you aren't doing nightshades, and I usually add more dill than recipes call for because I loooove it).
You most likely need to replenish the nutrients and minerals you lost going through the process, menstruation takes energy to accomplish (my acupuncturist recommends borscht to "rebuild blood" and I believe her because it makes me feel strong again when I get that hit by a bus feeling).
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