Going Fauxleo

There are two things I have recently noticed in the Running Blog community:

1. A lot of runners have been trying to eat a Paleo diet

2. A lot of runners have food+stomach issues

As a kid, I used to be able to eat anything I wanted with ZERO consequences. I never gained weight, nothing made me feel sick, I had no food allergies, and I was affectionately given the nickname Bottomless Pit by my parents and other family members. In high school and college I started to learn more about eating healthy, and while my diet still consisted of far too many late night Del Taco runs and sugary blended coffee drinks, I started adding more servings of fresh fruits and veggies to my regular food consumption habits. Still, I never had any problems that seemed to result from my diet other than the occasional food coma after eating too much.

This was once a typical meal in my life

Then, almost exactly two years ago, I was working a summer internship after college and I started to realize that nearly everything I ate for lunch made me feel like complete crap. My stomach would hurt, my head would hurt, I’d be uncomfortable, I had trouble breathing while eating and felt like I was damn near suffocating after a big meal, and I had heartburn that I thought would burn a hole in my chest. While some of these things have lessened over the past 2 years, mainly (I think) due to my effort to live a healthier lifestyle, the stomach problems have gotten progressively worse.

What the hell is wrong with me????


I’ve been to a couple of different doctors, I’ve been told to cut out coffee (not happening), processed food, dairy, sweets, etc. I had my blood tested for a gluten intolerance and it came back negative. The problem is that there seems to be no real pattern in what foods I eat that make me sick. I don’t think it’s dairy because I can eat Greek yogurt or a grilled cheese sandwich and feel fine. I am so frustrated and at a complete loss at this point, which is why I’ve decided to turn my attention to a new trend that has become popular among some of my favorite bloggers – the Paleo diet. If you’re unfamiliar with this “Caveman Diet”, you can read up on it here.

This way of eating is not too different from my every day diet… with the exception of the sweets, fro yo, bread, french fries, fruit snacks, peanut butter and cheese that I love to consume…

But, if this Paleo lifestyle is the missing piece to my I-don’t-want-to-feel-like-crap-anymore puzzle, I’m willing to try it out to an extent.

It’s not that I don’t think I’m physically or mentally capable of giving up the food I love to feel 100% healthy, it’s simply an issue of convenience. Thanks to my love of boots insanely expensive private school tuition and the cost of living in Southern California, I still live at home with my parents. And thanks to Jason’s inhuman ability to think beyond the here-and-now and focus on making financially genius decisions for the future, he also still lives at home while saving for a house. While I am SO GRATEFUL that we both have a situation where we are able to live at home rent and rule free, it also means we play a nightly game of Your-House-Or-Mine? and we eat whatever our parents have decided to cook for dinner. While I can politely decline the pre-dinner cheese and crackers or skip the garlic bread, I can’t exactly waltz into our parents’ homes with a list of what I can and can’t eat according to Paleo rules.

This is why I’ve decided to go FAUXleo. I’m going to practice the Paleo diet to the best of my ability while refraining from causing any inconvenience to the people who are still making our meals and preventing us from being homeless right now. I’m going to work on making Paleo-friendly breakfasts and lunches for myself, I’ll indulge in fruits and veggies for my snacks, but I may also have to spend some nights still eating spaghetti with the family. We’ll see if this FAUXleo diet does anything to help rule out whatever it is making me sick. I’m hoping that it will also motivate me to wake up early enough to pack my own lunch for work (and hopefully get into the habit of running in the AM!) so that I’m not tempted to grab a quick lunch at the oh-so-not-paleo Five Guys by work. I’m hoping this little food experiment will lead to a happier, healthier, and immensely less uncomfortable me. If you are what you eat, then this is the new Danica:

Do you have any weird food issues?


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