Testimonial written by: Kelly Spradlin
I am not known for short posts so please bear with this especially lengthy one.
My family is new to the paleo lifestyle and as newbies I wanted to share our experience and my thoughts in case my story speaks to anyone else.
The fact that Robb’s rebuttal post above still gets responses (both for and against) years after it first appeared speaks volumes to me. It tells me the information is relevant and worth researching. So that’s what my son and I did, research.
What we did NOT find was definitive credible publications showing INCLUDING gluten in your diet resolved any health issues. Underline the word RESOLVED.
What we did find was countless studies where going gluten free appeared to IMPROVE the quality of life for those who suffered from a wide range of ailments. More to the point, the studies published about going gluten free showed it did NOT worsen existing symptoms nor did it appear to cause new ones.
Never ones to take others people’s word at face value and given none of the foods advocated by paleo supporters are considered dangerous to eat, we decided as a family to give it a try for 30 days. Because I lean towards always sharing facts to quantify my statements I’m going to over share a bit.
When I say our family I mean my 48 year old husband who has been on statins since he was 40 and was approximately 25 pounds overweight. His blood pressure ON medication was averaging 148/90. His job requires heavy activity of walking upwards to 10 miles a day and three days a week unloads a truck full of 50+ pound boxes for about an hour. He ate whatever, whenever.
I am 45 years old and was approximately 30 pounds overweight with blood sugar issues since I was a teenager (but to be clear while I’ve been on the type 2 diabetes train for quite a while I’ve not pulled into the station and been formally diagnosed. Instead I’ve been in the hypoglycemia group for 20+ years). My fasting blood sugar was averaging 165. At times it spiked to 200 within an hour of eating then with lows in the 60s within an hour of spiking. I exercise moderately by walking, doing basic calisthenics and playing softball with my boys once a week. I have actively followed the low fat diets prescribed by doctors but I have an admitted addiction to sweets…chocolate specifically.
My 24 year old son had no medical issues except a weight gain during college of about 20 pounds and a desire to not wake up at 40 staring at diabetes and high blood pressure. He exercises moderately by playing basketball and softball.
My 22 year old son had undiagnosed stomach issues (he’s 22 and a guy…He can tough it out, right? Doctor, schmoctor) and is approximately 15 pounds under weight. He exercises moderately by jogging and refereeing football as a line judge.
My son’s 19 year girlfriend who was diagnosed last year with IBS and is a healthy weight. She exercises moderately by doing yoga and pilates.
We finished the 30 day challenge with the following results.
My husband who was only along for the ride and had no real plans to improve his health lost 20 pounds and his blood pressure averages 130/78. No exercise changes. He reported feeling better overall. He is now a believer and wants to continue the diet.
I have lost 10 pounds with my fasting blood sugar averaging 105 and NO spikes or drops at all in the 30 days. No exercise changes. I grew up eating out of a home grown garden and quite frankly is been a relief to return to it. I plan to continue following the lifestyle.
My 24 year old son lost his 20 pounds and with added strength training has added muscle mass. He plans to continue following the lifestyle.
My 22 year old son reports less stomach issues and has gained precious few pounds but being a guy on the go working two jobs it is difficult for him to stay with it 100%. He reports when he gives in and eats something with gluten it’s back to the bathroom for him. He plans to follow the lifestyle when it is within his control
My son’s girlfriend reports having fewer episodes with her IBS. She did not change her activity nor did her weight change. Because she feels better overall, she plans to follow the lifestyle.
Still with me? Good. Here’s the bottom line (way, way at the bottom). Following the lifestyle for our family was a positive change for us and while the science matters and I would love to say I understand it all even when Robb explains it in layman’s terms (my brain gets full and sometimes important information that could help me explainit to skeptics falls out ) our experience carries far more weight for us.
We plan to follow the lifestyle and I hope somewhere in my story someone else sees a little of themselves and finds a little hope in how they can improve thier quality of life.
Now for the thanks. Thanks Robb for writing the book in such a way that helps us understand how what we eat affects our well being. Thanks to my son for finding your book then helping me with the research. Thanks to my family for coming along on the ride. And thanks to those who read this post all the way to the end!