I can’t breathe on The 30 day Paleo Detox Challenge – Day 20

Examining the paleo diet

Er.. yeah – nothing much to say today!

What do you mean nothing much?

Well, I know, it’s day 20 and all, and I feel that ought to be cause for some kind of celebration, but really…

There’s nothing much happening.

Nothing much to say. Except…

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I feel good!

James Brown - I feel good.I knew that I would

So good, so good… etc

And that’s the truth, I feel good, but not super-amazing good, or super bad!


Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining. No siree Bob! Not nohow. But it is a lot easier to find something to write about when I’m feeling the effects of detoxing, cravings or even just the frustration of being so deprived of my previously favourite foods.

But none of those seem to be true, there’s just nothing much going on


There is just one thing that caught my attention

A slight niggle

It’s this…

I can’t breathe!

Um, yes, I’m prone to exaggeration  on occasion.

It’s like this…

I suffer sometimes from an asthma-like shortness of breath. Nothing much to worry about most of the time, but it gets triggered sometimes, and sometimes worse than others. And right now, I can’t breathe as well as I’d like to.

Various things, like vigorous exercise, red wine, dust and lying down can set it off. And it’s always worse when I’m smoking.

So, because I’ve stopped smoking, I’ve hardly noticed it at all for the last couple of weeks. Until today. Today I can’t breathe.

I’ve been poisoned!


I am wondering if it’s something I’ve eaten. And fortunately it should be pretty easy to tack down. That’s one thing to be said for eating very simply – it’s far easier to trace the things that are upsetting the system when there’s nothing much to confuse things.

So I’ve noticed this shortness of breath twice today. Once this morning right after my breakfast smoothie. The other time, and I’m still feeling it, was after dinner – curry it was.

Why is it I can’t breathe? It’s time to investigate!

So, given that both times I noticed this right after eating, my first question is: What’s new in my diet? And the second question: What, if anything, is common to both meals?

Ghee whiz!

Examining the paleo dietYep, I have a suspicion.

I just opened a new tin of ghee. I was using homemade, but we thought we’d try some ready made, and I’ve just started it.

I don’t always put ghee in my smoothie, and today was the first time I used the new, tinned version, a good heaped tablespoon of it. I have used the new ghee in cooking a couple of times, but not in anything like the quantity that went in the curry.

Could that be the answer?

Well it could be. But there are other possibilities. There were some pine nuts in my smoothie too, that’s new. And… hmmm, actually I’m not sure there was anything new in the curry. The other common ingredient is coconut milk, plenty of it, but I’ve been using that every day so it seems unlikely.

Right now I’m definitely pointing my accusing finger and a stern look at the ghee! I know I’ve nothing much to go on, but it’s looking like the the best place to start.

Dairy in disguise

Not least because I did have a slight suspicion about dairy and my ability to breath freely.

The Whole30 allows ghee, the only form of dairy it does recommend, which I was very glad of! And I believe it’s because, with all the impurities clarified out, ghee shouldn’t cause the problems that other dairy products do. The lactose, I imagine,would be the most likely suspect.

So why should the tinned ghee be causing a problem?

Well I’m wondering if it’s not quite as pure as the stuff that I made. It’s a paler colour, which could indicate more milk solids left in, where mine was a richer, darker yellow of pure(r) oil. Again, it’s nothing much to go on, but it’s the best I have.

What to do?

Er, well, in the name of science, I think the only thing I can do is eat some more tomorrow and see if I get the same effect. It doesn’t feel life threatening – it’s just a bit annoying when I can’t breathe and it keeps me awake at night!

I shall trust that it subsides by the time I go to bed. It certainly needs to be gone by morning or I won’t be able to experiment again!

I shall report on the morrow. And meanwhile, other than ghee..

What have I eaten today?

Smoothie – banana, coconut milk, spinach, ghee, dates, raisins, pine nuts, sunflower and pumpkin seeds

Tin of tuna
Avocado + Tomatoes
Olive oil
An apple

Chicken tikka masala and chicken madras
Cucumber, tomato, onion and coriander salad

An apple, probably

Coffee – very black!

And that’s it!
IanB can't breathe - it's nothing much!

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