My Journey to Heal My Gut Microbiome

So, I first must admit that I was in a bit of denial about having gut dysbiosis. I figured that since I had mostly normal bowel movements that I didn’t have any problem. I didn’t really pay much mind to the gas or bloating that I would have during my menstrual cycle because it was pretty mild. It wasn’t terribly smelly or loud. I wasn’t debilitated from my PMS symptoms like some of my friends. But as I start to pay more attention to my health and write down the things that do bother me, I’m realizing I have more symptoms of gut dysbiosis than I originally thought. 

I have attempted the GAPS diet in the past. I usually gave up around month two or three when a seizure would occur or I would run into holidays and have to decide if continuing on a strict diet was worth it. I usually opted to enjoy the junk foods my friends served and get back on the diet after the holidays if at all. Even a full elimination diet or carnivore diet didn’t stop the seizures. They were really mild, but they would still come. 

Another thing that was frustrating was my alopecia universalis. Hair just doesn’t grow back that quickly. Starting over every few months didn’t seem like a big deal when there was no growth to begin with. 

I’ve tried the carnivore diet, the GAPS diet, the AIP diet, the paleo ketogenic diet, and the raw vegan diet. Right now, I’m focusing on the paleo ketogenic diet and eating the GAPS and AIP approved foods in small amounts. Carnivore is great, but I’d really like to be eating eggs for variety if I were doing carnivore. 

I wish I could say I’m having success on this diet, but I’m not. Maybe I’m in the process of having success. I still have seizures that correspond to my menstrual cycle hormone changes. Each month a few days before my cycle, I notice I belch more and feel a bit off. That is my warning. The last few I have had while sleeping, so that is nice, but I am able to feel the seizure come on now and get to a safe place. That wasn’t the case when I was medicating. 

Benefits of Paleo Ketogenic Diet

One of the main benefits of the paleo ketogenic diet is that I have lost all my cravings for junk food. Sure, if I see some junk food, I think about how it used to taste and think it is nice, but I don’t feel like I must have a piece of cake or pie. In fact, I’m pretty happy with the meat and vegetables that I eat each day. 

One important thing that I should note is that I have followed the paleo ketogenic diet now strictly for 2.5 months. I feel strongly that my healing is going to take longer and I really need to stick it out for six months. I wish that I was one of those people who did a thirty day challenge and suddenly felt amazing. But as I scour the success stories looking for other people with epilepsy and/or alopecia, their success has usually taken longer. One epileptics seizures didn’t go away on carnivore until month 4. I read about success on AIP with alopecia universalis taking 8 months for hair regrowth. 

So, I am working on my patience. 

What I Eat

I like to make a breakfast hash by mixing ground beef with butternut squash and onions. I use a small amount of frozen butternut squash and I chop up a slice of onion just to get some flavor into my dish. I use the butternut squash to soak up some extra fat. 

I make a soup that I eat for lunches or dinners. It consists of beef broth, onions, carrots, and celery. I keep the amount of the vegetables low and make sure they are well boiled. I usually make a batch of it and eat it for 4-5 days. It’s a great meal in the winter, but as the weather warms up, I don’t always feel like eating soup. 

I have discovered making sashimi at home. To make sure that the fish is safe to eat, make sure you freeze it for a few days. This should kill off any parasites. I dip my sliced fish in coconut aminos since soy sauce is made from soy beans and those are off the AIP diet and the GAPS diet. Even though they are fermented in Tamari, I think it is just better to be safe than sorry. 

Hamburgers are a mainstay for me. I make a bunch of patties and keep frozen ones on hand to pull out at any time. It makes meal prep very simple and easy. 

Staying Optimistic

It is tough to stay optimistic when you haven’t seen any progress. Even harder is when you really didn’t feel all that bad on the standard American diet to begin with. In some ways, the whole Covid shut down has helped me to focus on my health. I’m not going out to eat to a bunch of restaurants or entertaining people and feeling like I should be eating questionable ingredients. 

One way that I stay optimistic on this diet is by reading success stories from GAPS and Meatrx. I’ve also started learning more about how the gut microbiome and the hormones are connected to brain function. As I understand it more, I feel more confident that I can stick it out a few more months and eventually see some positive results. sashimi (but I don't eat the rice)

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