It’s my birthday. Today I turn thirty one. The last year of my life has been the most transformative of my life. This day last year marks the completion of my first Whole30. It also marks the end of the hardest times in my life. I was extremely depressed, sick, lonely and isolated this time last year. We had just moved to O’ahu. I didn’t know anyone yet. My HS (hidradenitis suppurativa, my autoimmune disease) as out of control. I was the heaviest I had ever been. Even my hair was bad, my teal and blue mermaid dye has faded to a weird green. I was in shambles.
The decision to do a Whole30 was inspired by the other bloggers I follow on Instagram, specifically NoCrumbsLeft and FiestyKitchen. My 30th birthday was approaching and I wanted, I needed to begin a new year, a new decade, in better shape, emotionally and physically. When I started Castaway Kitchen, I was already gluten free, in attempts to better my health issues. I have always loved food, and loved to cook. Newly arrived to Hawai’i. Without work for the first time, I missed working in a kitchen, I missed connecting with people. I combined the two passions together and Castaway Kitchen was born. Since then the blog has evolved with me. From a health centered food blog, to a paleo food blog, to AIP, my healing journey and now a resource for good, clean, grain free food and overall health and wellness through diet.
Doing that first Whole30 convinced me that Paleo was the diet for me. I was loosing weight effortlessly, I was loving the food I was eating and most of all, I felt better. I use the term diet, like my way of eating, not diet like fad diet. This isn’t temporary.
Through the paleo community and online resources I kept learning, I leaned on all the inspiration and support out there. I read books, blogs, articles. I finally did the Autoimmune Protocol. I discovered my trigger foods. I kept loosing weight. Eventually my HS began to improve, but it wasn’t until after I completed the Autoimmune Protocol. Regular paleo wasn’t cutting it for me. Nightshades are a big trigger. Some tree nuts too. Any kind of sugar. It has been a long, amazing, trying, learning process.
It hasn’t been all smooth sailing.
While my autoimmune health keeps improving, I’m still constantly managing it. I haven’t lost any weight in a while, almost 6 months. The first forty pounds came off so fast, and easy, but I’ve plateaued. I know I’m not at my ideal weight yet. My goal isn’t to look like a Victoria Secret model. I just want to be at my optimal, primal fitness level. I’d like to loose another twenty or thirty pounds. Depends on how much muscle I gain. It’s been hard fitting in exercise with my autoimmune issues. If my body is put under too much stress it retaliates by causing systematic inflammation. I’m reading Mark Sisson’s the Primal Blueprint now. I’m really liking it. I’ve put in to play his fitness routine. A lot of slow, gentle movements, strength training and some sprinting. I’ve always been active, just not consistent with it. I’m hopeful. I feel stronger. I think this will work for me. Eating paleo, for the last 365 days has been a pleasure. I don’t even cheat. I’ve done three Whole30’s and the AIP in that time. I cheat with paleo treats. I cheat with a glass of red wine. I know I am on the right path, for me. I have the food down, and I’m feeling confident that this Primal routine will get the workout part down.
I was always the healthiest, unhealthy person I knew. I always ate relatively well. Organic, homemade. I always walked, danced, moved a lot. I also abused my body, a lot, in my twenties. I went to school full time, worked full time and partied full time. Fulled on coffee, vodka and cigarettes is how I got through college. I know I’m still paying for it. It’s ok. No regrets, just lessons learned. After becoming a mother, everything changes, priorities change. Your body is less forgiving, I finally started listening to it.
The crazy thing is how easy it is to forget how far you’ve come. It’s so easy to get stuck on obsessing about your goal. For me, it’s my goal weight. Which is dumb, because something much more important has happened in the last year, I have put a horrible, painful disease in remission, through DIET and lifestyle changes alone. Pretty. Fucking. Amazing.
Yes, as I sit here, writing this for you, I also write it for me. I write it to quantify my triumphs. I am healthy, I am happy, I am pain free. AMAZING.
I trust the process. I trust the choices I am making. I LOVE the community, the paleo movement, the people, chefs, mentors, entrepreneurs. I love all the crazy, enthusiastic, creative people out there, sharing their ideas, food, stories, products. Passion.
Happy Birthday to me. Happy Birthday to my paleo life.
Thank you. Thank you all for the support, the community and the inspiration.