Photo Courtesy of Xavier Wallach Photography.
Orthodox and Autoimmune Paleo Diet
What I got out of the CrossFit and Paleo Challenge – February 2014
Several years ago I read a testimonial from a fellow CrossFitter from the Mount/Tauranga area on the autoimmune style of eating. He shared his story about his mother who suffered terribly from osteoarthritis (an inflammatory type of arthritis) that was crippling his mother and was slowly taking away her quality of life but also her passion, which was gardening. She was at the stage where she was unable to get outside or do any daily chores without intense pain. He recommended she look at a diet called paleo and take it to the autoimmune level to help control the pain and inflammation she was experiencing. Within the month she was out in her garden doing what she loved. I have never forgotten this story and always wondered if it was true, can you really control inflammation in your body with diet?
I decided to do the February CrossFit and Paleo challenge, and after a conversation with a fellow team member I decided to go autoimmune for the month to really find out for my self if I can actually reduce the inflammation I experience. I have a back injury where there is not much disk left in L2 and L3 and have had major knee surgery 2 years ago, it was normal to suffer discomfort and pain on a daily basis in these areas.
After a month of autoimmune (not only do you not eat grains, legumes, dairy, sugar or processed foods you also take out things like nightshades, nuts, spices and eggs), I also removed coffee but did eat eggs during the challenge. I noticed these changes in my body:
- I am able to do weight training in the 5.45am classes. Previously I would never consider picking up a barbell before morning tea, as my back would be way too tight.
- When I trigger point and roll out it holds. I used to find I would religiously trigger point every night (I still do) but be back at square one the next morning.
- My massage therapist commented that she felt the muscle tissue was in far better shape than it ever has been.
- I have been able to keep up with the volume of training over the month of February and not develop any niggles in my body, which is a common occurrence in a masters athlete!
- I wont deny that I don’t get sore, I do. The point of difference is I feel my body especially my back some how repairs and recovers overnight.
Admittedly I did also start seeing a Chiropractor during February who has done some amazing work on my back, but even still her adjustments have held, something that would not have happen with me in the past.
Hand on my heart I can truly recommend if any person is suffering from any type of inflammation look at going autoimmune. That testimonial I read years ago is true to its last word, eating clean vs. putting up with pain and inflammation? I know which one I would choose.