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Did my address where I lived cause my asthma paleo

Did my address give me asthma?

Long before I moved to Australia, I lived in an idyllic rural village in the South West of England, with open views of fields for miles around in each direction. The houses were beautiful cottages made of Cotswold stone, with roses in the gardens – and looked exactly as they would have a hundred years before. The local teenagers hung out by the park on horse-back, and the two big houses hosted annual Summer Supper parties exactly as they had for generations. My elderly neighbour lived in the cottage his mother had been born in.

The village had a quaint old pub, a church, a nursery school, a post box and a play park. On the corner was a farm you could let yourself into, leave a couple of pounds in the honesty box, and help yourself to freshly laid eggs. The nearest shop was about six miles away, which was the closest option for even a pint of milk or load of bread (this was long before I’d ever even heard the word paleo). With miles of public rights of way, it was right in the middle of nature. And unfortunately a great big motorway.

Did my address where I lived cause my asthma paleo

The huge motorway was the main route from London to Wales and dissected the village in two. In the time I lived there, there was only one brief occasion when the constant rumbling of cars and heavy goods vehicles stopped – just for an hour or so. On this one afternoon, the entire motorway was closed after a serious accident. Rather than being blissful, the silence was eerie. Day in, day out, no matter how ungodly the hour, the roar of the motorway never ended. Along with the noise, the motorway covered the windows and walls of my should-have-been-yellow house, with a thick layer of dirt.

On hot days (rare in the UK), the better option was to be uncomfortably hot, rather than sleep with the windows open.

The fields that surrounded the village grew all sorts of different produce and it was fascinating to see a fallow field transform to a field of wheat in a matter of weeks – all from my kitchen window. Every so often I’d see the farm machinery spraying the fields, which would fill the air with a heavy, unpleasant smell for a couple of days. The type of smell you can taste, long before you get close to it.

Half way down of one of the bridal paths, right next to the stream, was a huge steaming pile of (what I eventually learnt to be) human manure. I saw some of the best tomato plants I’ve ever seen growing up from that pile. The smell was one of the most unpleasant I’ve ever encountered, as made clear by my Labrador on her twice daily walks, who would do everything she could to drag me closer so she could have a good roll around in it (fortunately I was onto her and she never got to indulge in her penchant for excrement). Just when the pile looked like it couldn’t get any bigger, it would all but disappear, and I’d notice the smell had moved to the nearby fields, full of produce.

After living this healthy rural lifestyle for a year or two, I had a cold that just never went away. Or rather the cough never went away. No matter how much I’d cough, it would never quite resolve the need for the coughing. Eventually I went to the local-ish doctor (across the motorway, in the neighbouring village) expecting to be given some medication to clear up my cough. Without even getting so far as to see the doctor, a nurse heard my wheezing and coughing and instantly diagnosed asthma. Which I hadn’t realised you could develop, totally out of the blue, at the ripe old age of 23.

With the help of modern medicine, the coughing stopped, and it was manageable*

But I’ve always wondered, did where I live cause me to develop asthma?

If you developed asthma as an adult, what do you think caused it? I’d love to hear, in the comments below.


 

* Several years later (long after I’d left the village) my asthma was instantly cured as a side effect of life-saving treatment I received in a completely unrelated incident.

11 Things You Should Give Up To Be Paleo diet follow list-min

11 Things You Should Give Up To Be Paleo

Ok, so obviously grains, legumes and perhaps dairy are no longer on the agenda – but what else should you give up as you embrace a healthy Paleo lifestyle?

1. Marking Every Event With Food

Birthdays, Christmas, Easter, Valentine’s Day – it’s all become about the food! Whenever there is a celebration of any sort it is so often marked with food – and it’s very rarely grass-fed beef jerky, omega-3 enriched eggs and avocados. Instead of taking in birthday cakes to the office – how about marking your birthday with an impromptu office trip to the park or a social event?

2. Relying on Everything But Your Own Two Feet

So you’ve got a car and a bus pass? That doesn’t mean you should use them all the time. We’re supposed to walk, it’s good to walk; find a way to incorporate it into your day!

3. Trying to Please

When all of your friends eat differently, it’s easy to feel alienated in your Paleo diet. They might suggest a pizza restaurant – or cook a non Paleo dinner for you. In the short-term the easy option is to eat the food and avoid the risk of offending them. But it’s time to think long-term; this is how you want to eat; this is important to you – so be strong and stick to your principles! Who knows, they might even respect you for it.

4. Unrealistic Expectations

If you’ve come to Paleo looking to lose 15kg in two weeks, think again! Paleo is not a diet, but something to follow for life. It might take a while to achieve the results you seek, but give it time and they will come.

5. Your Doctor?

If your doctor is more interested in treating your symptoms with drugs, rather than finding out the underlying issue; perhaps it’s time to look for a new doctor?

6. The Past

Perhaps you used to struggle with making good food choices, or you used to make pancakes every weekend. Just because you used to do things, maybe now is the time to let go of the past and make some changes!

7. Fears

Whether you have an irrational fear of fat lingering from your conventional wisdom, low-fat days; or a fear of getting ill – there’s no room or purpose for that fear anymore, besides positivity is far more constructive.

11 Things You Should Give Up To Be Paleo diet follow list-min

8. Excuses

It’s too easy to blame a hectic travelling schedule, long working hours or bad finances for making poor nutrition and fitness choices. If you want to make it happen, you can make it happen – drop the excuses!

9. The Middle of the Grocery Store

Unless you enjoy studying packets of junk food, to see how many ingredients you can’t pronounce – it’s time to give up the middle of the supermarket. Everything you need will be on the perimeter – or better still, outside at farmers markets!

10. Avoiding Sunshine

Another phobia it’s time to let go of! Whilst it’s not good to burn, getting some sunshine and making your own Vitamin D is a good thing!

11. Your Shock Absorbing Running Shoes with Nano Technology

How did our ancestors manage without them? Have you tried running barefoot?

What have I missed from the list? What else should you let go of as you embrace a healthy Paleo lifestyle?