Confession: I used to be the QUEEN OF FARTS.  That’s right, I used to be able to out-fart any guy on both sound and quantity and I was not embarrassed about it –  I guess growing up with an older brother who would pin you down and fart in your face makes you less shy about these things.  Of course, my mother would be mortified that I’m sharing this fun fact with the world (sorry Mom).   And it took a special type of guy to love a girl who could win in any dutch-oven showdown (that guy is Fully Primal Husband).

Why am I telling you this?  Because after switching to a Paleo diet it took me about a year to notice that I no longer had this skill….it was actually this blog post by John Durant that prompted me to reflect on my past talent.   I can’t fart anymore….it’s rare and never on command.  Usually it’s after a few too many almonds and some sugar-free gum.  Side note: Because of this, these are 2 things that you should never combine when stuck on an airplane for 5 hours…I speak from experience.

I also used to suffer from major blood sugar crashes and could not leave my house without a Powerbar or Zone bar in my purse in case of an all-too-often emergency.  I used to be STARVING by 10am after my wholesome breakfast of whole grains and fruit….I’d start shaking, get the sweats (I had a several hot flash occurrences where I would need to go to the bathroom at work and remove all my clothes to prevent them from getting soaked) and become an uber-biatch to anyone and everyone.  I had to make sure I always had food with me to prevent this from happening.  THIS NEVER HAPPENS to me now….I can go for hours without eating and when I am hungry the feeling is subtle and I can often go for another 1 or 2 hours without any negative consequences.  As Robb Wolf said, “A good meal should keep you going for 4-6 hours.”  True dat!

It is amazing what we accept as being “Normal” and consequently accept as being “Healthy.”  The farting and hot flashes were an indication that something was not functioning properly in my body.   My symptoms were never severe like someone with Celiac or IBS….they were subtle, considered normal and I accepted them as being healthy.  After all, I wasn’t ‘sick’….I thought I was uber-healthy with my hour-long elliptical sessions, thigh abductor rep’s and veggie dog dinners.  All the while I was completely ignorant to the fact that there were some issues happening under my hood and that I was not healthy.

There is an endless list of symptoms that people accept as being normal….headaches, joint pain, cramping, cravings, insomnia, fatigue, skin problems, constipation, moodiness etc etc….mine were pretty minor and superficial in comparison.  People need to understand that these types of signs are indeed symptoms of something else going on.  Accepting these issues as normal will only prolong them and hinder the potential for health.  The problem gets worse in that all too often these signs get masked with Rx drugs….which may result in a slew of side effects such as: impotence, blindness, cravings for chalk, immaculate conception and a third nipple.  The root cause never gets addressed and people go on living their lives as normal.

Being in tune with your body, noticing signs and recognizing them as symptoms rather than quirks is the first step to moving beyond normal.  Seeking out nutritional and lifestyle changes to fix these issues is the second phase.

Don’t accept normal as healthy….and don’t let other people accept normal as healthy.  Let them know that they can do better and they deserve to be healthy.  So the next time someone is cutting the cheese, you know what to do.

What symptoms did you pass off as being normal before you changed your diet?