Born into an Italian-American family, it was inevitable that I fall in love with food. Fresh mozzarella, homemade pasta, and a crusty piece of Italian bread were components of an average meal. But my passion for food was not limited to Italian cuisine. I used to pride myself on my pie eating and Twinkie eating contest wins. Then there was that one week I ate nachos for dinner seven days straight. And I could drink craft beer like a disturbingly large German man.
I never had a weight problem and, in fact, I never had a problem period. I thought I had an iron stomach. That was, until March 2013.
One Saturday evening I decided I needed to go to the ER for dehydration and some other alarming digestive symptoms. A grueling week later and a few tests a 25-year-old should never have to endure, I finally had a colonoscopy. My gastroenterologist diagnosed me with severe Ulcerative Colitis (pancolitis).
As soon as I woke up from anesthesia my doctor informed me I had a lifelong autoimmune disease. My colon was basically attacking itself by creating ulcers and making it impossible for me to function properly. After giving me a diagnosis I asked my doctor a question that would change my life.
“Is there anything I should be eating or avoid eating to help aid this disease?”
His response was that there is no scientific proof which links the two but that he’s had a patient go into remission with the help of the Paleo Diet.
Hospital bracelet still on my wrist and groggy from the anesthesia, my amazingly supportive mother drove me to the grocery store. We bought Paleo food and removed all grains, dairy, gluten, legumes, and sugar from my apartment.
My gastroenterologist now has two patients who have stayed in remission with help from the Paleo Diet.
Since then I have devoted myself to the Paleo lifestyle. Although I work full time, my life is consumed with eating clean and inspiring others through my blog mangiapaleo.com. I even recently started CrossFit to take my health to a whole new level.
HOW PALEO HAS CHANGED ME:
- My skin developed a glow. It also cleared up my Grannuloma Annulare (an autoimmune skin condition) that I have had on my arm for 14 years.
- My everlasting lower belly fat disappeared.
- My nails rarely break and are very strong.
- My hair got shiner and grew longer.
- A friend also commented on how white and bright my eyes looked.
- Paleo also gave me more energy which has brought me to join CrossFit Strongtown.
- I can think clearly and my mood is almost always positive.
- Most importantly, my Ulcerative Colitis symptoms were tamed. My flare up went into remission with the help of medication, but stayed in remission because of my Paleo lifestyle.
Paleo keeps my Ulcerative Colitis from restricting my life. My restart button is no longer to run straight to the doctor; it’s to cook some bone broth and troubleshoot my digestion with nutrients and paleo food. Once I figured this out I was able to really change my lifestyle to a more comfortable one.
I hope to inspire others with gastrointestinal issues or Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis. It is my aim to pave the way for others who are struggling with their health. So, I recently started a blog mangiapaleo.com to help spread awareness of Inflammatory Bowel Disease and eating clean.