The last six months have been stressful: In addition to my monthly trips to New York, I found myself unable to do anything but watch Mother’s sad decline and her eventual death; I sold what had been my forever home; packed, moved and unpacked—twice—in 16 days. And just when I needed it most, I slacked off on my lifelong practice of stretching and yoga.
It shouldn’t have come as a surprise when my body kicked me to the curb.
Everything hurt, especially my lower back. Every joint was stiff and achy, and a sharp pain radiated from my left buttock to midway down the back of my left hamstring. It’s been so painful that’s is been difficult to work at my computer all day, much less haul my luggage across country and sit on three-and-a-half-hour airplane flights. Forgive me… but this may be more than you want to know about me: I’ve also gone in and out of “surprise” diarrhea.
I’m not talking about a happy birthday “Surprise!” but a surprise that doesn’t care where I am or if there’s a nearby restroom. Three weeks ago, I’d had enough! I wanted my flexible, reliable body back. With a little TLC, some common sense, dietary research and experimentation, I’m on the road to regaining my former self.
For starters, I’ve resumed getting to the gym early enough to do my stretches and yoga poses before my workout. In addition, twice a day, I abandon my office chair for a yoga mat I keep on the floor behind my chair. For the last two weeks, I’ve also gotten trigger point massages. Who knew I’d been storing knots—the size of golf balls—behind my shoulder blades and along my hip flexors? Already I feel more like my old… younger self. That left me with the “surprise” diarrhea to conquer.
In talking with some girlfriends, I discovered they have the same problem, and are taking prescription medications and probiotics with great results. While I’ve always discussed any problems with my doctor, this time, I first wanted to see if my surprise diarrhea had any relationship with what I was eating. The more I researched, the more I believe there is a dietary link, plus I believe my digestive system has changed over time. The foods that used to work for my gut no longer seem to be my friends. After lots of research, I decided to try the Paleo diet.
While the Paleo diet is similar to what humans lived on 25 to 50 thousand years ago, modern man has modified it to include, among other things, refined grains and high fructose sugars. By following the Paleo diet—cutting out grains and eating protein, fresh fruits, veggies and nuts—my “surprise” diarrhea has ceased. I’ve always eaten food that’s as close to God made it as possible, but the Paleo diet has tweaked it even further. Together with my stretching and the massages, I feel better than I have in months. By the way, you won’t have a weight problem on this diet.
As with all things, if you’ve not been feeling well, please consult with your doctor.