Monday, May 11, 2015

Jamie's Thoughts: Paleo is a Journey, Not a Destination


I thought I had most of it figured out.  I'd done the elimination phase of Paleo many times and then re-introduced foods.  I thought I knew.  You know?  

Turns out I didn't.  That seems to be the theme of most of my posts lately, doesn't it?   Last week, I made these beautiful, Paleo cinnamon roll muffins for the nutrition group I go to every week.  I make them rarely, but we had just passed a fitness test and I wanted to bring a healthy, tasty treat.  And I brought these muffins made primarily with almond flour.  


The offending (and VERY) tasty muffin.


They were such a hit with the group.  I felt like a Paleo-baking rockstar.  I happily gave most of them away and reserved a few for my boyfriend and I to enjoy.  

Over the course of three days, I ate three of these baked delights.  On day two, I began experiencing some digestive issue flares I have not experienced in quite some time.  Maybe one day I'll feel comfortable describing the symptoms with specificity, but for now, it goes under the general category "digestive issue flare." Haha.  

I didn't immediately attribute the flare to the almond flour. But it freaked me out.  On day three, I started to suspect nuts.  It was the only thing I had eaten that was sort of unusual or out of the ordinary for me.  

I stopped eating the almond flour muffins (thankfully, my boyfriend had finished them up) and my symptoms vanished overnight. Unfortunately, I had to come to the conclusion that I do not tolerate almond flour very well.   I don't experience the same symptoms having small amounts of almonds here or there or almond milk, but the strong reaction to almond flour leads me to believe that I should be eliminating almonds almost entirely.    

At first, I was really frustrated by this discovery. I always thought I tolerated nuts well, plus I never really overdid the nut thing.  How could I just be figuring out this for the first time after having done elimination diets oh so many times and being Paleo for over one year?  

I turned it around and decided that my "digestive issue flare" was really a gift.  This is one of the things I love most about Paleo--it's a vehicle for me to explore my own health and the particular needs of my body.  And as I elude to in the title, it really is a journey, not a destination. Sometimes I have to remind myself of that.  Be patient and do the best you can.  

In future recipe development, I'm going to be delving more into nut-free flours.  I started working with Wedo banana flour, and my recent discovery is nudging me in that direction.  

Happy Monday, folks.  Thanks for reading. 
--Jamie