Sunday, January 6, 2013

Surviving The Perils of Vacation

I'd like to say that after three years of being gluten free, and almost two years being on an autoimmune paleo diet, that I have traveling and eating at others people's houses in the bag.
In all honesty, I think I'm far more skilled at dealing with the perils inherent in eating food in a non-safe environment, BUT, the experience is still risky, no matter what.

I'm actually sitting here home alone tonight because I my husband and I were invited to a dinner party, and I couldn't go because my back is freaking out. I think the cause is that I was on vacation in my hometown for two weeks, and going back and forth to my mother and father's houses, as well as going out to eat a bunch, exposed me to all sorts of inflammation-causing foods I'm really sensitive to. Eating these foods steadily increases inflammation in my body, thus causing random seeming injuries. Not fun.

I admit, part of this is totally my fault. My Achilles heel is good Mexican food, slathered with yummy spicy salsa. Sadly, I'm not supposed to eat salsa, or any nightshade plants. (why? read here:

I am human, and even with all the shit I know and all the things I've been through, I will STILL walk into a Mexican restaurant and think I can eat the mother f-in salsa and bell peppers and tomatoes and be just "fine." Uh huh. Denial, party of one please.

Though I can't actually blame this whole situation on the nightshades. going out to eat is full of all sorts of booby traps for food-sensitive folks. God knows what kind of cooking oil they use to cook your food... the horrors of GMOs and grains can be lurking anywhere (geez, I wish they still cooked with lard! then I'd be more safe. screw canola and corn. seriously.) Cross-contamination is also hard to avoid. Even eating at family's houses can be very hard. I learned my lesson with that one and tend to only eat approved foods (don't trust that your mom knows what you can or cannot eat, watch her cook it, or make something for yourself) I also scrub the hell out of every pan/fork/dish I use. I even brought my own set of dishes and pans to Ohio with me once. It made me look like a crazy weirdo, but it worked!

Oh, the food on this vacation was all so delicious though... But is it worth the pain I'm in now? The fact that I've been stuck in the house for two days recuperating and popping Aleve to no avail? Eh, hopefully one day I'll learn my lesson. But I don't think I'll ever be able to severe my attachment to going out to eat. It's just fun. Sometimes I like to pretend I'm not disabled and get a little crazy, going out for food and drinks with my friends like a normal person.

Even with all the questions to food servers and the reading of labels in your parent's pantry... bad things still happen. I even printed off allergy cards to give to servers... But you never know what goes on behind those closed kitchen doors.

It's sort of weirdly fascinating how the inflammation in my body will randomly pick a spot and settle in there when it gets angry. One time I injured my toe whilst sitting down and not doing anything to it. Seriously, I just stood-up from a chair and my toe was horribly strained. That's what this kind of autoimmune disorder does. It's wild. No wonder doctors didn't believe me for so many years.
Today it's decided to settle into one of it's favorite spots, the tendons in my lower back. The disc on L5 is flat, so I have spurs on the bone, which rub the tendons, and it gets angry easily (according to my chiro I have the spinal wear of a 70 year old. How this happened? I don't know for sure, but it was probably diet-related.) Then once it gets angry it makes all the other muscles in my back angry, and then it's just a spazz party back there.

So anyway, here I am tonight, by myself at home, sitting on the computer and listening to Clash records.
I've eaten tons of healing things... bone broth, nettle, teas, lamb steak (high in healing zinc!), ginger pills, cod liver oil... Hopefully tomorrow will be better. That's all any of us can ever hope for, eh? :)

Oh, and I saw another fantastic inspirational TED lecture that I have to share. I feel blessed that I didn't have to go through what this poor woman did, but I totally understand what she's been through with having to give-up her life's work because of a disability. I've given-up multiple careers because of mine, and I've learned so well how what you do is not who you are... and that you *can* overcome anything! It's a great lesson to learn.

G'night y'all! And don't worry about me, I'll be up and at-em and back in dance class by Wednesday, for sure!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Happy Adrenals = Singing Muppets

The Brain is Magical

On this ride of sickness and health and those places between, I've experienced some fascinating things, and in the process, learned some incredibly random things about human physiology.

I've talked about my adrenal issues before... If you need a refresh or a crash-course in what adrenal glands are and what they do, go here: The Hidden Causes Behind Hormone Imbalances

When your body's brain-adrenal-thyroid-gut axis gets thrown off, it's challenging to get it back on track. That's something I've been working on for the last couple years, since my doctor tested my cortisol levels and they came back very wacky. 

Some things I've done to try to heal my whole system, including my adrenals:
- Paleo-ish diet
- No more coffee (not even decaf... tragic, but worth it)
- Reducing stress
- Healing my gut issues

The thing about healing yourself with diet and nutrition, is that it's actually very nuanced... and not a cookie-cutter program. Many of us need slightly different things. So in addition to the input I got from my doctor, and the intensive research I do, I've been experimenting with various foods and supplements for awhile now. To do this, you have to be zen with the fact that this can be a roller coaster ride... sometimes you get the blend right, sometimes it's *almost* right, and sometimes you totally f-up and have to start over. 

Lately, things have been very right. This is aside from the recent corn-glutening incident, where a restaurant accidentally let some corn kernals slip into my paleo bowl... that was ugly. I was sick for a week. But, aside from that, things are really really good. 

And this is the funny physiology part of the story... I noticed awhile back, after starting this healing diet, that when I'm having a good day, and things are balanced, I sing to myself a lot. Really cheesy songs, either pop songs or absurd ones I make up myself. And I dance really goofy to these songs in my head when people aren't looking. I told my doc that it kinds feels like there's a dancing Muppet inside that's screaming to get out. 

This is a video representation of my neurological activity on healthy days:

So, being me, I can't just notice this pattern and move on with it... no... I have to figure out *why* this happens.
Now, I'm not a neurologist by any stretch of the imagination, BUT, I have uncovered some interesting info on how brains, music, and hormones interact. 
As another aside about health and autoimmune conditions like mine, there is TONS of research out there about the effects of gluten intolerance on the brain. It's a bad combination, it can cause mental ilness, anxiety, memory loss, etc. and some post-mortem studies of Celiac sufferers have discovered their brains are often covered in scar tissue. No bueno. So any healthy signals from my brain make me very, very happy.

So back to the reasons why my brain starts to literally sing when it's healthy... (nerd out and click the links!!)
Firstly, dopamine and music in the brain are connected. There seems to be a lot of info out there about how listening to music causes a dopamine surge, but I'm wondering if the opposite can occur... if a surge in dopamine can cause more musical happenings in the brain. 
Too much cortisol *may* sometimes cause a condition where you get songs stuck in your head to an maddening degree (I'm happy that's not my issue!) This seems to point to a connection between adrenal functioning and a musical brain. 

Fascinating, right?????? Our bodies are such a beautiful symphony of all of these harmonious, complicated processes. 

This is only the beginning of my research into this topic. Can't wait to learn more!

Oh, and I should probably go over what I've been doing lately that might have triggered this burst of good health. Yes?

I've been doing a few slightly different things in addition to still being on my usual healing diet:
- More bone broth
- Taking my Green Pastures Fermented Cod Liver Oil everyday! (get this kind, not the crap at the grocery store!)
- These fun little royal jelly/ginseng shots.
- And, very importantly, I started taking a bit of licorice root extract. Holy moly, this stuff makes me feel AMAZING. If you have adrenal fatigue, check out this miracle root! (If you have high blood pressure, or similar issues, seek the help of a natural doctor for dosage)

Another great thing about my health lately? I know my hormones are getting more in balance, because I didn't have any PMS, no breast soreness, and very little cramping this month! Bingo! This is when I know I'm doing something really right. 


Saturday, December 8, 2012

TED Talk - Modified Food History and Health

This is a must-watch Ted Talk. 

My health was perfect until the mid-nineties, the exact time these frankenfoods entered our food supply. I know correlation is not always causation, but it's a interesting coincidence. 

Friday, November 30, 2012

Going With My Gut: Instinctual Eating

Since going on my healing diet and getting more in tune with my body, I am sometimes surprised by the things that I crave and the things that I'm now adverse to eating.

As anyone knows who has gone on a diet that cuts out nearly all processed foods and grain, your palate begins to change. Getting rid of those unhealthy food addictions (like gluten, which activates the same part of your brain the opiates do) opens the door to new cravings, ones that aren't necessarily based on addiction, but rather what nutrients your body needs to eat that day. Doing an elimination diet and keeping a food diary really makes you tune-in to what your body is telling you. I've discovered it's actually quite intelligent, and quite LOUD when it likes or does not like something. And since this diet I'm on has totally reversed so many of my terrible health conditions, I now listen with respect.
I remember being astonished one day when I actually craved sweet potato. I had previously made myself eat my veggies, and liked them, but never craved them like I would a bag of chips. It was an exciting development.

I starting thinking about all this last night while I was munching on chicken. After eating a piece, I found myself at my kitchen counter, picking at the chicken carcass. What I always do now is instinctively gnaw on the ends of the bones, scrape the inside for bits of organ meat, and munch on skin and interior fat bits. I look, and feel, a tad bit like a rabid animal. The part of my mind that has been influenced by the anti-fat culture often chastises me while I do this. We've been taught that the only healthy part of the chicken is the dry white meat breast with no skin (or, when I was vegan, that the entire chicken was poison). In actuality, the muscle meat is the least nutritious part of the animal. I eat the flesh too, of course, but I always eat fat with my meat.

I do, honestly, feel a bit like someone who is still starving. I think this is probably because for at least 10 years I was technically starving without knowing it. My gut wasn't absorbing my food very well, and I wasn't eating a nutrient-dense diet, so even though I ate constantly, I still became emaciated, and the inflammation and nutrient deficiencies were eating up my brain, spine, and soft tissues. Now I feel like my body is trying to make up for it. And what does it want more than anything else? Animal fat! (sounds gross, huh? this really is a former vegan here... never would have thought I'd be writing a blog entry about craving animal fat in a million years...)

One of my favorite things to do right now is to research the biological underpinnings of my food cravings and aversions. I've really stepped away from eating what I think I should (what a diet dogma or book tells me I should eat) and instead am just listening to what I like to eat. The surprising thing is, my body really does seem to know what it's doing. I keep finding that my instincts are totally right.

One of the main reasons I went totally grain free is that after my initial elimination diet, my body freaked out when I ate rice or corn. Intellectually, this made no sense to me, as technically those grains are supposed to be gluten free. The more research I did, the more I discovered that ALL grain has gluten, and all of it triggers antibodies. So my body, not my mind, turned out to be right.
Coffee, too, used to give me brain fog that felt like a mild form of being glutened. So I stopped drinking it, and now I keep bumping into research about how coffee activates gluten antibodies in GF sensitive folks. Again, my body was right!

I know what's good for me to eat too. When I was little, whenever my mom would bake a chicken, I would always go right for the liver. That was just the most delicious part to me. (don't say "eew!") Now I know that the internal organs are actually the most nutritious part of the animal, and liver is both an essential and traditional food for babies and children.

Lately I've also been eating a lot less fruit. I've never particularly liked citrus fruit especially, but made myself eat it sometimes because it's supposed to be healthy. The funny thing is, I also have a topical allergy to citrus, so I might actually have an internal one as well (I'm too cheap to order a test...)
I was a bit worried at this dietary leaning of mine, if I don't eat citrus, aren't I missing some important nutrients, like vitamin C?? Well, you can actually get a lot of vitamin C from vegetables and, *gasp!* even meat. My love of green veggies and cauliflower has saved me there. I drink liquid chlorophyll and nettle infusion everyday, and I LOVE my sauteed greens. (I'm going to go make some kale right now actually...)
So instead of making myself eat fruit everyday, like I used to, I'm going with my gut and only eating it when I want. And forget fruit juice! That stuff is so sugary, it freaks out my system when I drink it.

Then there's cheese and yogurt... not so popular with vegan or paleo folks. But I've discovered, after years of thinking I was lactose intolerant, that I can eat goat and sheep's milk just fine, but not cow's milk due to a cow casin sensitivity. (Casin is the protein in milk, lactose is the sugar, and it's molecularly different in different animals. Cow casin is almost identical to wheat gluten in composition.)
My doctor told me to avoid all dairy on my gut healing diet, and I did, which was easy, because of the vegan thing. But after a few months I stared to randomly crave it. I hadn't eaten cheese in years prior to that, so I had no idea why I wanted it so badly. But instead of stifling my instinct, I listened to it. Oh man, now I love sheep and goat cheese and yogurt!
To look at the healthiness of this food instinct, I've been doing research on milk products of various kinds, and what I've discovered is that it is, actually, totally healthy for some people, given you are not drinking terrible factory farmed hormone milk, and as long as you are not intolerant to it. Raw milk and cultured milk are perhaps the best way to consume is as well. (it doesn't seem to cause cancer, either.)
Our ability to eat the milk of another animal is an amazing evolutionary adaptation that's quick development provided an much needed extra source of nutrients for part of the world's population. My northern European ancestors ate lots of dairy, heck, my grandparents even owned a cattle farm. My body seems to like it, and that's the most important part.
For more info on the health issues around milk, this is a wonderful article.

I know I technically call the diet I'm eating right now "paleo-esque" and I link to a lot of paleo diet research, but, I don't feel married to that dietary definition. I think it's a good inspiration. I'm in no way interested in getting all dogmatic about it, like some people like to (having silly arguments about what is more caveman-like is a waste of time in my eyes!) So I happily eat things on a regular basis that aren't "paleo."

I also crave chocolate like nobody's business. Which, actually, is not such a bad thing. I eat dark chocolate, soy-free and GMO free. Chocolate is actually both rich in antioxidants and high in magnesium. Given that I have a persistent magnesium deficiency, it makes sense that I crave it. (okay, this is an addictive one too... and I know, SUGAR! not so good... but a chunk of chocolate every day ain't really that bad. really.)

Again, this is all about dietary instinct. I'm glad that I've learned to listen to my body, and feel the different signals it gives me about everything in my life, including my diet.

One of my big "ah ha!" moments after going gluten free was two days into it when I ate a carrot. I suddenly realized that after eating it, I had *more* energy and felt good! This was totally weird for me. Food never gave me energy before, and once I gave-up the horrible life-sapping gluten, I could actually feel it. And now I know that feeling, so when I eat a wonderful meal, like bone broth veggie soup with a glass of coconut water, I feel AMAZING afterwards, and that lets me know, more than any research on any medical website, that I'm eating the right things.

On this note, I also just found this awesome video on the importance of animal fat (of course!)

It's a great watch, I highly recommend it.

More references:

Friday, October 12, 2012

Diet and Dogma Don't Mix

dog·ma (dôgm, dg-)
n. pl. dog·mas or dog·ma·ta (-m-t)

An authoritative principle, belief, or statement of ideas or opinion, especially one considered to be absolutely true.

We're constantly surrounded by diet dogma. There are many things I used to think were dietary "fact" that I now question. For instance, did you know that cholesterol actually has a positive function in your body? Or that it might not cause heart attacks? Interesting stuff! But most people, if you tell them this, won't take a moment to fathom it. 

Diet dogma can be closed-minded, misleading, silly, cliquish, resistant to contrasting opinion, and in the end, if they're being dogmatic about a diet that is unhealthy for some, or all people, it can be dangerous. I know from personal experience!
I don't think for a minute that any of it is malicious... just sometimes a bit misguided. 

Also, I can't say that I've never been an offender of diet dogma. I used to be primarily an ethical eater, and I was passionate about it! Nothing wrong with passion, but I think I did have blinders on. 

When I was really sick, and figured out that it had something to do with my diet, it really pained me to stray from my vegan ways. It's so odd to me that for most people veganism isn't just what food you eat, it's a part of your identity. Two years ago when I ate that first bit of chicken I felt like the vegan police were gonna bust down my door.

This is what I found when I Googled "Vegan Police." :)

I also felt a bit like a hypocrite because I'd touted the diet to everyone I knew since I started it. I was out to save the animals and save the planet, and I felt a bit like I'd abandoned part of my mission. A year and a half later, I'm really, really glad I did stray, it's saved my life. But I wonder if there are other people like me, in the same pickle, who can't let go of their dogma in order to save themselves. I know it's all in the name of compassion and caring for animals and the earth... but you can't really have compassion for other beings if you don't have it for yourself.

I'm not trying to poop all over veganism, it just happened to not be the right diet for my body. If you thrive on it, more power to you! The Standard American diet doesn't work for me either. I'm a delicate flower, what can I say.... 

I also haven't abandoned my ethics with my new diet either. I still care, I still do what I can, and I'm a lot better of an advocate for a brighter future since I have my health and mobility back again. 

Another pitfall of the diet dogma-er is the notion that if anyone didn't do well on their diet that they MUST have done it wrong. This drives me up the wall. We're all different! It follows that our bodies will not all thrive on exactly the same things. Your diet can still be awesome even if it didn't work for someone else. Lets not throw chili pies at one another now.

Since going on a paleo-ish diet, I've noticed some dogma in that world as well. I mostly see it from paleo dieters, not so much from auto-immune paleo eaters like myself. Arguments about what is more or less caveperson-like is just total silliness in my mind. Everyone should just listen to their own bodies, check out scientific research on nutrition, see a holistic nutritionist if you can, and figure out what works for you!

I focus a lot on diet, and I feel like I am kind of on a crusade to get information out there about my condition, but, I don't think everyone should eat *exactly* like I do. If you can eat rice and nightshade plants, please do, they're delicious! (and I'm a tad jealous!) 

Now, Go Forth and Nosh!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Root Of It All

This post is more philosophical in nature. I want to explore some ideas around the larger root cause of why we have so many cases of weird auto-immune disorders, brain disorders, depression, cancer... all of these "diseases of civilization." I know I focus a lot on diet in this blog, but the real cause is so much more that that. Diet is just one piece of our daily lives, and I think the disharmony in what we eat extends much further into every aspect of most of our living. So in order to heal our bodies and minds, we must look holistically at our lives and see where all of these things are creating discord, and thus how we can again regain harmony, health, and happiness.

"It is increasingly recognized that certain fundamental changes in diet and lifestyle that occurred after the Neolithic Revolution, and especially after the Industrial Revolution and the Modern Age, are too recent, on an evolutionary time scale, for the human genome to have completely adapted. This mismatch between our ancient physiology and the western diet and lifestyle underlies many so-called diseases of civilization, including coronary heart disease, obesity, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, epithelial cell cancers, autoimmune disease, and osteoporosis, which are rare or virtually absent in hunter–gatherers and other non-westernized populations. It is therefore proposed that the adoption of diet and lifestyle that mimic the beneficial characteristics of the preagricultural environment is an effective strategy to reduce the risk of chronic degenerative diseases." (The Western Diet and Lifestyle and Diseases of Civilization)

Acknowledging these changes is a big piece of the puzzle when some people wonder why so many of us are suddenly reacting negatively to foods that humans have eaten for hundreds of years. One aspect of this issue is that the foods we have been eating the last few decades are not the same. Wheat, and many other foods, have changed dramatically.

"By foregoing traditional preparation methods, shortening harvesting periods, the addition of preservatives and chemicals, and through the introduction of high speed steel roller mills, today’s grains are nothing like the grains of our past." (History of Gluten-Based Diets)

The horror that is GMO foods are also now included in the degradation of our industrialized food supply, and are of course contributing the the down slide of many people's health.

But the change in types of food isn't the only issue.

Our homes and work environments in large part have changed remarkably too.
My family, up until my mother's generation, were mostly farmers, and had been for hundreds, for some branches thousands of years. With the death of many, many family farms in the US during the mid 20th century  our lifestyles changed. My mom moved us to a big city, where there was now more opportunity, and I'm the first generation to be raised in such an environment since some ancestors who lived in London 400 years ago.

Some people postulate that there are many issues with the modern city and accompanying lifestyle that effect our health, from electrification, to a lack of negative ions, to a more sedentary ways, the disbursement of the extended family in favor of smaller nuclear families and thus the loss of a support network, to pollution, and on and on.

I'm sure many other people who've had to work in cubicles in stuffy rooms under florescent lights staring at computer screens all day understand that besides being totally soul-sucking, those places just make you feel terrible and drained.
This capitalistic society pressures most of us into being wage slaves, and either promoting, manufacturing, supporting, or selling consumer products for 40+ hours a week. On the whole, this work is not fulfilling. It's empty, it feels like a trap, like a "daily grind." We start the week yearning for our days off, and spend each day struggling to stay engaged with the job, and taking stimulants mid-day so we can keep up the insane pace of the work. Then when we get home we numb ourselves with TV, food, and booze. I believe this kind of lifestyle is terribly unhealthy.
Yes, humans have always worked in some capacity, but wage slavery is, on the whole, a rather new invention. At the beginning of the industrial revolution factories used to have whiskey carts that would roll around and serve drinks to workers, just because that was a ploy to try and placate the staff to work hours that were more grueling and long that people were used to. Sadly, they've taken away the whiskey and now we're hooked on coffee and soda. And the kicker is that we've been conned into working these jobs in order to mostly buy more consumer goods! We could live way simpler, more in tune with our own rhythms, and still be nourished, fed, and sheltered. I know this is more challenging depending on your resources, but I think it's a great thing to strive for.

I grew-up poor/working class, then got a "good" job as an adult, earning a nice salary in a fancy office building. When I got there I realized how I'd been duped. This wasn't the kind of life that fulfilled me, and my entire being screamed for escape. I felt like the girl in this video, secretly making her wings to fly away:

In every cubicle I sat in I would decorate with pictures of the forest, my happy place, to keep me sane. I yearned, more than anything, to do something *useful* for my community, to actually contribute, and to be OUTSIDE, moving and interacting.

I *did* get to fly away and am never going back to a job like that again.

I feel amazing when I go to the woods. This is one of those places said to be full of beneficial negative ions, and a great place to "ground" or connect with the earth's magnetic field, undisputed by all of our gadgets and closed-in rooms. Whenever I have to leave the woods after a visit my entire self feels like it is just crying out, like a child being ripped from it's mother's breast. I'm slowly inching closer and closer to living in my beautiful woodland, hopefully soon I'll be there for good! As I write this, I'm sitting outside on my patio, shaded by some enormous trees, feeling the wind on my face, accompanied by my cats, who also love nothing more than lying in the dirt and sucking up the electromagnetic earth field all day long.

So my hypothesis is, that the umbrella cause of why we have all of these "diseases" increasing in frequency, is that we've cut off ourselves from our 'natural', harmonious way of being. We live in artificial boxes, surround ourselves with electronic devices, eat strange industrialized foods, don't touch the earth, don't listen to our natural sleep rhythms, don't expose ourselves to fire, don't have the sun on our skin enough, don't eat traditional foods like fermented vegetables and liver, instead necessitating the need for supplements to try to make-up for this nutritional lack in our diets.  All of this has compounded to a dysfunction in how our bodies work.

Getting in tune with this interconnectedness was actually how I came to grips with the fact that my body needed to eat meat again after years of vegetarianism and veganism. The earth is one organism, and we are a part of it. Anyone who's ever been in an altered state of consciousness knows that everything on earth is alive. We as creatures consume living matter to survive. When our body dies, we feed other living matter with our flesh. Plant consciousness has also been researched as of late, further illustrating just how alive everything is. I think our disconnection with our hunter selves, and really, our disconnection with the deaths of our community members (those whisked away to hospitals and separated) has caused us to fear these cycles of death and re-purposing of flesh even more. I now acknowledge and respect the aspect of myself that is an animalian tigress. I no longer see food as antiseptic lumps purchased at the grocery store, but as the beautiful, respected beings that I give immense gratitude to for nourishing me.

The picture below is my desktop photo, and is my everyday reminder of my rooted self, my ancestral being that I strive to connect with more. It's an artist's rendition of a Germanic woman from 9,000-6,000 BC in Saxony-Anhalt. The things she is wearing are what was found buried with her, she was believed to be a very special shamanic women in the tribe.

(click for larger image)

Beneficial things that I've been trying to incorporate more of into my life as of late, in my quest to create more overall harmony and health, are as follows:

- Moving to a smaller city with more trees, natural water sources, and accessible natural spaces.
- Planning to move to the edge of the city and closer to the woods. Also building a garden, getting chickens, bees, and hopefully goats!
- Starting a business where I can be up, active, and connecting with community.
- Eating mostly whole, unprocessed foods. Learning traditional preparation techniques, such as fermenting, soaking, and culturing.
- Observing the natural rhythms in my ecosystem, the moon phases, weather, etc.
- Meditating and cultivating a sense of interconnectedness with others and the world.
- Reciting positive mantras daily.
- Reusing things and learning traditional crafts. For instance, I'm making a rag rug for the kitchen right now.
- Taking lots of walks in our local park and getting sunshine.
- Plans to take permaculture workshops near by.
- Dreams of living in a cob house or at least a yurt.

So there it is, my philosophy (ever evolving) on how our connection to the earth keeps us healthy and happy. I hope you enjoyed it, and all the best to you!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Sugar, Sugar... Oh, Honey.

I admit it, there are still things that I know I "shouldn't" eat, but that I always seem to find an excuse for eating...
I know I talk all authoritatively about how I've healed and what diet to follow and such, but really, I'm human too. Even after two years of having to cut foods out of my diet, I still struggle with cravings for things.

This problem totally reminds me of this Kids in the Hall video:

Except in my brain it's: "Don't eat chocolate... don't drink wine... don't eat ice cream...don't eat chocolate........... EAT CHOCOLATE, EAT ICE CREAM, DRINK WINE...."


I've known since my teenage years that I've had blood sugar issues. Until recently, I didn't know exactly how the delicate symphony of body processes were effecting my blood sugar, and what I could do to help correct my symphony that had gone way off key.

This website goes into some detail about these processes and various bodily systems that are effected by imbalance: Hormonal Conditions
Also, I could conceivably have a candida issue that's causing some of my health stuff. (FUN!)

When I was seeing my amazing doc who helped heal me after 10 years of struggling with a mystery illness, he put me on this supplement to help stabilize my blood sugar. He was really concerned about my blood sugar issues. For a good solid month I was able to cut out ALL the high glycemic fruits, the booze, the chocolate, honey in my tea, etc.

I feel SO MUCH BETTER when I don't consume these things! I pop out of bed in the morning, ready to start the day, I get songs stuck in my head and bop around singing them to myself, my brain is whip smart and processes things so much faster than when I'm all foggy, and I'm actually motivated to get my projects done. So why on earth do I keep consuming these things? ("What did he say about my eyes??")

And it's not as if I don't have insane willpower, I've cut out so many other things that I NEVER thought I would. I cut out coffee (something I thought was impossible), french fries, burritos, hot sauce, curry... oh man, so many amazing things. But after a month of no chocolate & wine & sugary stuff, I was still wanting them. With most things, the cravings had subsided, but not these, oh no. Also, with the boozy thing, it's so much a part of socializing, that it was really difficult to cut out. I was already missing the social aspect of food because of my limited diet, I could *at least* have a freaking glass of wine with my girlfriends and get tipsy and yap about our relationships and then have silly living room dance parties. Giving that up felt like too much torture.
Chocolate and wine are full of anti-oxidants too, right??? (justification alert!)

I get soooo sick of this diet I'm on sometimes, I just wanna throw a tantrum like a 3-year-old and kick and scream and pound the floor with my fists. BUT I WANT MY CHOCOLATE BAR!!!

A few days ago I decided yet again to cut out the sugar. Four days into it and again, I feel so much freaking better! Sigh... So this time, I'm really going to try to stick with it. It hasn't really been that hard. I know I'm going to have my moments, and I am going to have special occasions where I do indulge, I just can't do like I've done in the past and let that one indulgence cascade into a full-on coconut ice cream sundae bender...

I'll report back soon and let you all know how I'm doing on this. Send some good energy my way!