Why egg-free and nut free?

First, let me explain.

Here are two hard truths:

  1. I have had a hyperreactive immune system for as long as I can remember, and
  2. [Scandal alert] Eating Paleo hasn’t helped to the extent I’d like it to.

Don’t get me wrong: I still fully believe in the effectiveness of the Paleo diet for most people, myself included. Eating more grains doesn’t improve any malady. Nor does consuming tons of pasteurized dairy and sugar. The most nutrient-dense foods on the planet are organ meats and vegetables, and I think we should all be eating more of them.

But sometimes the answers to our health problems are more complicated than eliminating a certain food from our diet.

My personal struggle

The issue I’ve been battling for the past 4 years is hand eczema. Lucky me: apparently hand eczema is the hardest kind to banish. I’ve read that once you get eczema, you have it for life. Nothing scares me more than that prognosis. I refuse to believe it can’t be permanently cured. I refuse to resign myself to another 50+ years of itchy, red hands.

I’ve tried going on an elimination diet, increasing my vitamin and mineral intake, limiting sugar, getting a humidifier, limiting my exposure to hot water, drinking more water, and using every topical treatment out there. Still, the eczema persists. It comes back every winter in Colorado and hangs on like the life-ruining beast it is until May.

I’m starting to think the only answer is for me to move somewhere warmer and more humid for the winter.

My palm, almost healed. One month ago it was a mess. I’ll spare you pictures of the backs of my hands right now.

Is everything I’ve been practicing and preaching incorrect?

This might make me look like a failed Paleo experiment. And I do feel like that sometimes. But I also realize how many other health problems I DON’T have—and I attribute a large part of my well-being to the way I eat.

I don’t suffer from headaches, sleep problems, fatigue, digestive issues, mental illness, or hormonal concerns. I don’t struggle with weight or thyroid problems. According to a recent blood test, my liver and kidneys are ship-shape.

I’m allergic to many nuts and animals, but if I avoid those triggers and take care of myself, I don’t need to be constantly clearing my throat, sniffling, or sucking on an inhaler. I’m grateful for that.

The point of all this is not to give up if you’re struggling with a disease, too. Change is slow—sometimes maddeningly so. Stay on the real food wagon. It’s a long journey to better health, and reverting to your old habits and patterns (especially where food is concerned) won’t do you any favors.

What does this mean for DIY Paleo?

I may post additional updates about my hands later, but for the next few months, you can expect to see a lot more egg- and nut-free recipes on DIY Paleo. I’ve learned I have a slight allergy to egg whites, nuts and seeds, so until my ballistic immune system takes a chill pill, I think it’s best to avoid all three.

Here’s hoping my hands don’t look so atrocious once spring comes around.