Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Diets

“If you ate less processed foods, you’d probably feel better.”
"My friend has X, and she doesn't eat Y, and it cured her."
"How much coffee do you drink? I read that coffee causes..."
"You should try eating more greens."
"What about smoothies?"
"My sister swears being vegan saved her life."
"If you eat more meat, you'll have more energy."

Y'all gonna come over and prep and cook and clean up?


Diets are a touchy point for most of us. Food is love in our society, and to mess with someone’s food is to invade their most personal space. The other side of that is that we’d all like to feel better. We’d like to have energy. We’d like to stop hurting. We'd love it to be as simple as the food we eat, but when we start down that road, we find it isn't simple at all. Lifestyle changes at a time when you are already struggling just to stay upright and awake more than three hours a day is not realistic.

I have tried just about every diet out there. I am me. You are you. Do your thing, and don’t let anyone shame you for doing it your way. Diets suck. Even when I felt better physically on certain diets, it was negated by the amount of work, pressure, guilt, and depression I experienced because of needing special foods. I don’t really do the cooking anymore (unless you count crockpot meals which I highly recommend), so when I need something, I have to ask another person to buy, prepare, cook, and clean up for me.

Having a rare disorder that is mostly ignored by the pharmaceutical industry and which often has no obvious cause makes it a prime target for wishful thinking. Yep, going sugar-free might cure you, but it's more likely to just be one more thing to add stress to your day.



We have been gluten-free for over ten years. That one is no longer as difficult. Due to increased awareness, I no longer have to grind my own grains (yes we did this), and make my own flour blends or go without goodies. Mass-produced gluten-free foods aren’t very healthy, though, so it’s important to become an expert on what you’re eating. For gluten-free, I highly recommend Gluten Free Girl. Her website is rich and detailed, and her books are wonderful.

That's the trick with any diet-for-cure idea. Just as you’re becoming an expert on your body and disease, you will have to add foods to that long list of things to learn. This doesn’t happen overnight. Take your time. Focus on what is important for you today. If it doesn't make you feel better, don't do it. If the work is more than it is worth, stop doing it. You have enough on your plate already. (See what I did there. Sorry, not sorry.)

Another trick is how does someone who is already barely able to feed themselves make dinner that requires special prep and ingredients? Do you make two dinners because your kids don't want to eat soup and cardboard? No one talks about this, but it is a real problem with the eat-to-be-cured diets.

I will say that lowering my sugar consumption (It was just Easter, and I am eating candy, so some days are better than others!), and keeping my daily gluten-free grain allowance to one serving has been the best for me, personally. It reduces my neuropathic pain, prevents my abdominal pain, eliminates the choking feeling I get in my throat, and allows me to eat normal meals. So, I can't rule out diet as contributing to some of my symptoms and successes, which is frustrating because it furthers that belief in a diet that will magically make it all better.



What works for you?

10 comments:

  1. And then there is the problem of routine. I need to work harder to find other recipes that can liven up the same ingredients.

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  2. Food is religion in our society, at least when it comes to proselytizing. There's not much difference in the emotional charge behind "My sister swears being vegan saved her life" and "My sister swears finding Jesus saved her life."

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  3. I have been off gluten, diary, fake sugar, fish and anything processed for 4 years or so, never again. I can barely eat anything if I want to walk upright. But idiots still try and say oh "you can eat that, try it" pffft they can bite me. What works for one doesn't work for another.

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  4. A person of my own heart, Wonderful blog you have here,
    Yvonne.

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  5. I have given up on diets. Instead, I have really learned to regulate what I eat and therefore I now can eat anything. The funny part is now that I can eat anything I am not hungry any more.
    Shalom,
    Patricia @ EverythingMustChange

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  6. I have family members who have food allergies, and our family meals had to be rearranged around them. I pretty much eat anything and everything. I do love fruits and vegetables, so it has never been a burden for me to eat a lot of them... I have them for snacks :D

    @TarkabarkaHolgy from
    The Multicolored Diary
    MopDog

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  7. It must be challenging and frustrating to have so many diet restrictions. I'm allergic to eggs.nuts and sulphites, which is bad enough.

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  8. I've tried diets in the past and I just can't seem to stick with them. After being hospitalized in '07, however, I quickly cold turkey'd a new eating lifestyle. I've since fallen off the wagon and it's not been easy in making my attempting to get back on it.

    I think it's definitely important to find a diet or lifestyle change that works best for you as an individual. I agree not everyone is the same. What works for one, may not for another. If you try to force yourself into a specific diet you aren't happy with, I feel it's just a recipe for disaster and likely to fail, which can bring about feelings of guilt/regret/shame/etc and that's never good!

    Having specific restrictions is a bit different, of course, being they are necessary, but that doesn't make them any less challenging.

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    Replies
    1. It's definitely easier to stick with a lifestyle change if the result is a positive and immediate one. That's why it's easy for me to stay gluten-free. I never feel the urge to cheat because I remember how sick I was before I stopped eating it. For things that are more subjective, motivation is the key.
      Thanks for your thoughts and input!

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  9. When I recognize that I have an adverse reaction to a food (usually for me it's stomach issues or acne), I have found it easier to stop eating that food than to think I have to do a complete diet overhaul (my old way of thinking). I find it's much less complicated that way.

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