Friday, May 6, 2011

Paleo boosts the immune system, even while pregnant

The benefits of paleo never cease to amaze me. It is improving my life and my health more and more every single day. Here's a story about something I experienced this week.

First, a little history. Even though I've never had any serious health problems, I have always been a magnet for the common cold virus. If it was going around, I caught it. And for me, it was never minor -- the common cold would derail my entire life for days, sometimes two weeks or more. I mean, I was unable to function. My freelance writing colleagues always seemed to power through and continue working with colds, but not me. More often than not, my cold would turn into an ear infection (twice, my eardrum ruptured -- once last March and once in 1996). Not fun.

I think those days are over for me, though. I had one pretty ugly cold back on October, two weeks into the paleo meltdown challenge at my gym, but since then I've been common-cold free. In fact, I haven't been sick at all.

Until Tuesday morning, that is. Right around 11am, I started getting a sore throat. My head hurt and I could not stop sneezing. For me, this is how it all begins -- so I started to freak out. I have been warned on numerous occasions that pregnancy alters the immune system, making it more difficult to fight viruses, so I was envisioning at least five miserable days of congestion, headaches and sneezing. Nonetheless, I went to the gym and made it through the workout (we did push presses, burpees, around-the-world kettle bells swings, a couple of 400m runs and one other thing with dumbbells that I totally cannot remember right now). I couldn't wait to finish. When I got home, I made a cup of tea and went to bed. I felt like crap. I had all the sign tell-tales signs of a typical week-long cold. Could it have been allergies? Um, no. I have a lot of experience with seasonal allergies, too, and the difference is striking.

When I woke up in the morning, my cold was ... gone. I was shocked, and for a moment wondered if I was sleepwalking or dreaming. Well, I was not dreaming. I was simply not sick, and the rest of my week was totally normal (better than normal even). Today, I still feel great.

The only explanation for this is paleo. I'm not saying I'll never have a cold again, but I do believe that the body functions better overall when it isn't continuously exposed to the toxins that are prevalent in the Standard American Diet. I'm proof of that are so are many of my friends.

I can't help but wonder what my pregnancy would be like if I were still on the low-fat, whole-grain, plants-before-protein train. I don't want to find out, though!

6 comments:

  1. For whatever reason, I never got cold when I was pregnant. I almost felt like my immune system was in overdrive.

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  2. I have some concerns regarding consumption of meat due to hormone injections and antibiotics. I want to eat paleo, but I live in Japan and do not have access to organic meat. They do use less injections in their animals but there are still some. Also the meat may be contaminated with radiation due to the recent Fukashima events. Do you think the trade off of antibiotic hormone injected, possibly radiated, meat is worth it to eat paleo. Right now I am getting my main source of protein from lactose free protein shakes, but this is get very old, very fast.

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  3. I have some concerns regarding consumption of meat due to hormone injections and antibiotics. I want to eat paleo, but I live in Japan and do not have access to organic meat. They do use less injections in their animals but there are still some. Also the meat may be contaminated with radiation due to the recent Fukashima events. Do you think the trade off of antibiotic hormone injected, possibly radiated, meat is worth it to eat paleo? Right now I am getting my main source of protein from lactose free protein shakes, but this is get very old, very fast.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I have some concerns regarding consumption of meat due to hormone injections and antibiotics. I want to eat paleo, but I live in Japan and do not have access to organic meat. They do use less injections in their animals but there are still some. Also the meat may be contaminated with radiation due to the recent Fukashima events. Do you think the trade off of antibiotic hormone injected, possibly radiated, meat is worth it to eat paleo. Right now I am getting my main source of protein from lactose free protein shakes, but this is get very old, very fast.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi -- Thanks for your comment. That is a really great question; I do not blame you for not wanting to eat meat that might be contaminated with radiation. Sounds very scary and risky. I don't know much about the topic ... let me ask around for you and see what I can find out. Although my guess is it is probably better to avoid that meat.

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  6. Good morning, I just recently found out Im pregnant and prior to finding out, my husband and I were actively on the paleo diet. I'll admit, we kind of went back to our old "comfort" foods during and after the honeymoon but now that Im pregnant I think I would like to go back on track with paleo. My struggle is that I really dont know where to start or what exactly I should eat. I read all this stuff about what I should eat during pregnancy and its the total opposite of what paleo follows, so Im stuck. Do I follow paleo as usual like before, leaving nothing out because everything is good for us (baby and I) OR is there a list of do and don't not that im pregnant? I'm usually on the go and need something quick and easy. Please help me!!! Thank you.

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