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Sick to Strong – My Story About Paleo

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Written by: Matthew Coast

Like most Americans, I grew up with very little nutritional education coming from my parents. In that way, I almost feel more fortunate than most. I didn’t get indoctrinated into unhealthy programming like some people get.

About two and a half years ago, my brother called me up and told me that our dad is dying. He had a bunch of different diseases, he had become allergic to most foods and most things around him, and nobody was sure if he was going to live for another couple years or not.

The reason for it was his eating habits. And he’s so stubborn about it that he wasn’t even willing to try to change his diet in order to save his own life.

I became determined not to fall into this same fate. I decided that day that I was going to figure out how to eat healthy.

At the time I was eating something that was probably similar to a body builder’s diet but less strict. For the most part, I didn’t really pay that much attention to what I ate because I didn’t know how any of it affected my body.

I always had a bunch of chub around my waist even though I exercised a ton and I knew I was missing something. I was also constantly on the verge of being sick. I thought that maybe I was just cursed with a bad immune system.

The only things I knew were what I had heard from people around me. ”Eat less meat. Eat more veggies. Eat less fat. Eat more grains.”

So, that’s where I started. I called up the first nutritionist that I found online and met with her. She analyzed my current diet and recommended a raw food diet for me. She said that every nutritionist agrees that a raw food diet is the healthiest.

Well, that was way too much for me. I wanted to move that type of a diet but go a little more slowly. I hadn’t eaten a vegetable in probably months if not longer. And I wasn’t about to totally switch over and give up cooked food, especially since the nutritionist didn’t give me much help in figuring out how to prepare them.

I decided to go vegan. It made sense as a first step. I cleaned out my refrigerator of all the meats and packed veggies into it. I started to eat a lot more veggies which made me feel better but I started to notice after about 7 months that the amount of pastas and breads that I ate seemed to have a direct correlation to how bloated and tired I felt.

My brother had just started becoming heavily involved in Crossfit and recommended that I try out the Paleo Diet. I had heard a lot of bad things about Atkins and I thought that this was probably an evolved form of that.

And from what most people told me, Paleo was simply about lowering carb intake and upping the amount of meat that is consumed. And off I went with that uninformed opinion about Paleo.

But it just didn’t seem right. It had been over a year since I switched to being vegan and I had so much anti-meat propaganda shoved into my heat in that year that I thought there was no way this could be right.

I decided to switch over to a raw food diet and thought that I was ready for it. I think the raw vegetables helped with my endurance a lot but the reintroduction of grains, especially wheat and quinoa, into my diet started to make me sick.

It wasn’t long before I was feeling like I was constantly on the verge on being sick again. Any little thing would knock me right back into illness and I knew there was something wrong.

I started looking at Robb Wolf’s material because I wanted to know more about what was going on. When I found out about the lectin/saponin theories around grains, I knew I needed to go back to Paleo.

So, I switch back to the Paleo diet with a strong concentration in eating raw, nutrient rich vegetables. I increased my fat intake and

Now, I never get sick. I never have stomach problems. My strength and endurance have dramatically increased. I’ve gotten rid of the excess body fat that I hadn’t been able to get rid of for years. My immune system is much stronger now too.

It’s funny because when someone now tells me that they’re eating healthier, what does that even mean? Some people think switching from hot dogs to fish sandwiches means they’re eating healthier. They think that switching from vegetable oil to canola oil is better for them. They think that eating more grains will help them live healthier.

But nothing could be further from the truth. Robb Wolf’s work is massively important to future of our country. Right now, our bodies are under attack by the foods that we eat.

Our minds are being conditioned by people who have ulterior motives. You have to listen to what people say when they talk about diet to determine if they even care about it from a health stand point. Many are more interested in other things like animal rights or ecology.

And there’s nothing wrong with being interested in those things. But you can’t base your ideas of health on how big business treats the environment. Sure, we need less pollution, we need to treat animals better. But we can’t base our diets on anything but what is healthiest for us to consume. We can’t base our diets on anything but what makes us live healthier and stronger.

Because if we can’t take care of ourselves properly, how are we going to take care of the environment or other animals?

You’re doing a great service to our communities and the future direction of our country. Thanks Robb Wolf.

Cheers!

Matt

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  1. Paula
    April 30, 2012 at 11:38 am

    Wonderful! Yah, I got sick & tired of being sick & tired too. I used to blame the germ-incubator-conditions that infested my workplace in the winter… Now after a healthy winter I know it was grains!

  2. Crunchy Pickle
    April 30, 2012 at 11:55 am

    Love it! Great work and very important point that Robb’s work is making a difference. :) Congrats!

  3. Justin Katz
    April 30, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    awesome! good for you!

  4. diva77
    May 1, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    I am a newbie… I have known about no grain diets for almost four years and have been sticking my toe in the pond. I found paleo from a guy talking to my dad at the gym and started digging into it more as I have started having serious digestive problems and adrenal colapse dropping my 5’5″ frame down to 98 lbs at one point a couple of months ago. As a stay at home mommy of two little girls I had to get well! What are the musts for a strong paleo well rounded kitchen for a family of four on food stamps currently? Any advice is very welcome!

  5. Benjamin Hopkins
    May 3, 2012 at 2:00 am

    Try SPROUTED grains (especially wheat)and seeds (especially sunflower seeds).

    Sprouts are VEGETABLES, and fabulous food.

    Wheat grass (juiced) and sunflower greens are fantastically nutritious.

    And consider breadfruit, which can be eaten raw for starch, when really ripe. Of course bananas and plantains are also good.

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