What you put into your body is important to how your body reacts and functions. With fibromyalgia, it’s important to put in all the good foods in order to properly manage your symptoms. The fibro diet, paleo and fibromyalgia are directly proportional to one another meaning if you mess with either of the diet plans, you will see an effect on fibromyalgia.
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Just another fad?
When I first heard the term ‘paleo diet’ I rolled my eyes and thought, “Oh, great – another fad that will be all the rage and fizzle out. I’m not wasting my time with it.” Thinking it was a way for the diet industry to fatten their pockets, I did not invest any time into researching it much less talk to others about it. But like anything that I avoid, I could only avoid it for so long.
During a meeting one day, a friend offered me a slice of banana bread which I immediately declined. Don’t get me wrong – I wanted a slice of that goodness, but my stomach would have thrown a fit about it if I were to eat it. It was hard to say no, but I did it. I’m glad that I did, too, because my friend quickly responded with, “It’s gluten and dairy free.” BINGO! The sweetness of that bread was now mine! And it was delicious!!
After remarking of how moist and delicious it was, my friend told me about it being a part of their paleo diet. There it was again. That word I’ve been avoiding for months and now there’s no way to escape it. So, being polite, I inquired about the bread’s ingredients and the process to bake it. Surprisingly it seemed simple and inexpensive to make which was the exact opposite of what I thought paleo was all about it. This led to more questions which she patiently answered helping me to fully understand the beast of the paleo diet and how it fit in with her chronic illness.
What is the paleo diet?
Once home, I started doing what I swore I wouldn’t do – I researched ‘paleo diet’. I was quite surprised by what I found. According to Nerd Fitness Beginner’s Guide to the Paleo Diet, the paleo diet goes back thousands of years to the caveman days when man would eat whatever he/she hunted and gathered. This diet would consist of meat, fish, greens, seeds, and other edible foods found in nature. Like Steve states in his guide, this excludes all the processed foods including grains grown by farmers.
The paleo diet is good because:
- It focuses on the good stuff such as fish, nuts, greens, veggies, and seeds.
- Stays away from the bad foods such as pasta, sugary foods, fried foods, processed foods, and gluten.
- Not all carbs are bad: you can get the carbs you need from veggies, sweet potatoes, and fruit.
Not so cumbersome and faddish as I initially thought. In fact, I’ve done so much reading on Steve’s site and talked with my friend that introduced me to the paleo diet, that I’m now a fan of it. I strongly believe it aligns with the fibro diet and what fibromyalgia thrivers need to help manage fibro as effectively as possible.
Paleo and fibromyalgia
There are many foods to eat and not eat with the fibromyalgia diet as outlined in my article The Fibro Diet: The good, the bad, & the ugly, and it’s, for the most part, similar to the paleo diet making it easy to understand and follow in your day-to-day eating. Following the food guides in my article and the paleo diet infographic below will help you better manage your fibromyalgia symptoms. It will help lessen the symptoms of leaky gut, slow digestion, and stomach upset.
In my experience, the fibro diet combined with the paleo diet has improved my digestive tract, reduced bloating, decreased occurrences of stomach upset, and has overall improved my health over the last six months. As of the date of this post, I’m at a healthy weight for my height and age, and I’m happy with that.
Staples to the paleo diet
There are a few staples to getting started with the paleo diet in order to make most of the paleo foods and recipes.
Basic staples include:
Places I recommend to get the staples:
The following places are online and offer shipping in two days. It’s super easy, and I love the convenience of ordering online and having it delivered straight to my door!
Monthly meal plans
To make it easier for my family and me, I have started planning my meals weekly and published them for my readers in a monthly meal plan. Many of these meals are paleo or a hybrid of paleo, and if a recipe is not paleo, I customize it to be paleo or fibro-friendly.
Resources, Facebook group, and Pinterest board
Please feel free to get help of paleo recipes from the following resources:
- Megan’s Paleo Pantry: Megan is the friend that introduced me to paleo banana bread and got me started on the paleo diet. Her Facebook group, Megan’s Paleo Pantry, is where she shares her recipes, foods, and other resources for paleo recipes. Join here.
- Nerd Fitness: The Beginner’s Guide to the Paleo Diet by Nerd Fitness is a great place to start with the paleo diet. It has short, cute videos about the diet as well as its origins, myths, what to eat, what to avoid and other basic essentials. Visit the guide here.
- Paleo Pinterest Board: My paleo board on Pinterest has a collection of easy paleo recipes from main courses to sides to dessert. I’m constantly trying these recipes and updating it with the newest content. As recipes are tried and failed, they are removed from the board. Follow my Pinterest board here.