5 days ago I was dreading the thought of another sinus infection or headache, as they had become all too common for me. I wanted to stay in bed, though that doesn't really fix either problem. I then had the following conversation with myself:
"You, know, there was a time when I went 9 years without a sinus infection or needing any antibiotics for anything... I had energy, perfect skin, no pains, and rarely had any headaches. Not to mention that I looked great."
Both voices in my head knew the answer, but it finally sank in and turned into determination. Here's what happened:
I discovered BTD in 1999, when I was in my 20s and struggling with lots of health problems, including weight. After 4 months of
considering it, I gave it a gradual try, with noticeable improvements at each step. I lost weight and felt great. After multiple health problems, I was finally free of sinus infections, low immunity, joint pain, moderate depression, and such. I went on to have 9 years without any need for antibiotics or medications of any kind except thyroid medicine, which I was able to reduce. I felt better as I neared 30 than I had at 19.
I lost 35 pounds, then had my first child. I gain a lot of weight during pregnancy, so once my first child was one, I kicked up my compliance and lost 40 pounds, getting thinner than before the pregnancy. I also did the secretor test through the mail and turned out non-secretor. Even though something had gone wrong with the test and I now know I'm a secretor, the non-secretor diet got me off gluten, so it was another great improvement. My oldest was diagnosed with celiac disease at age 2, and though it was too late for me to get all the tests, I'm sure I have it too. So I've been gluten free since then, about 2004. Then I had my second child, and the pregnancy forced me to be very compliant, as I became even more lectin sensitive during that time. From 1999 until the birth of my second child, my body enforced the rules of BTD by getting very ill if I ate avoids or any excess of certain food groups.
After 2005, my body relaxed a bit, and I no longer noticed pain or problems after eating wrong. I also discovered a burgeoning gluten free section at every grocery store with lots of yummy gluten free foods, most of which were not BTD compatible. Combine that with stress of raising two children who both were developing some health issues of their own, as well as other life stresses, and I started making bad choices with my food and started yo-yo-ing, more up than down on weight. My motivation was lacking, and I had no solid personal goals to take care of myself. My brain still understood and soaked up info on BTD, but most of the time, my choices didn't follow....for. eight. years.
Now I weigh 30 pounds more than I did either other time I started losing weight, so I need to lose 70 pounds. Even though I don't get sick right after eating avoids, I've been sick and tired.
On that day 5 days ago, my heart changed and I've been very compliant since then. I've already lost 5 pounds! I don't feel counting calories is a great way to diet, but I have been tracking what I've been eating with the myfitnesspal app. It was good the first few days because my hunger always increases at first. Now I find it is decreasing and I have to make sure I get enough calories to keep my metabolism up. Once I figure all that out, I will probably continue using it as a food diary and I can plan tomorrow's meals by entering them in today, so that works out for planning.
As I cleaned out my refrigerator, there were many times I had to ask "REALLY?" and "What was I thinking?" I honestly wonder who bought some of that stuff and where I was when it was bought, but have a vague memory of being the one who bought it and planned to eat it.
I have remained gluten free through it all. It is easy to eat wrong while eating gluten free, especially if you like to try every new gluten free product that comes on the market! There is sure a lot more to choose from than there was in 1999, when whatever you could find tasted horrible, so why bother. My health is still pretty good, better than it was before 1999. My cholesterol tests and everything have remained good, which is somewhat of a surprise, I suppose wheat had really messed things up for me.
Thanks for sticking with my blogs, and joining me on this new chapter. I'll be posting recipes, ideas, allowable shortcuts, etc. This is going to be a good year.
I have to admit, my meal plan blogs are as much for me as for my readers, as sometimes I wish I had kept track of what I ate when I was compliant and doing really well with the diet. That way I can remind myself later when I feel like I don't know where to start.
So here is my meal plan for the week, this is an non-secretor O plan with a side of explorer. I don't eat rice or any dairy, due to food allergy teasting and SWAMI results. I make a few modifications for type A family members... although they often get O foods because they aren't as strict and sometimes I feed them what they will eat...they don't eat much red meat, at least.
Italian turkey sausage with marinara sauce
tinkyada pasta for them, spaghetti squash for me
nori sesame "crackers"
pomagranate slushy, unsweetened
green tea almond milk latte with agave and v. glycerine
3 boiled eggs with olive oil, lemon juce, garlic sea salt, and nori crackers
Snack: pom slushy, unsweetened
repeat of yesterday's dinner
chicken andouille sausages with great northern beans, onion and carrot
grilled salmon (for kids who won't eat andouille beans
Advance prep flank steak and quinoa tortillas for Monday's tacos.
flax muffins or focaccia for snacks
What to do with a fennel bulb I bought?
More to come...
Where to begin... I've been blogging for a long long time, but not so much in the past year. Some things, which are most important to me, like my family, required my full attention. I didn't always take care of myself like I should have, but my body proved to be resilient in spite of it. Now I can, and must, focus on my health. I've reached a point of no return to SAD (that is, Standard American Diet). Of course, my diet could never be "standard" with gluten issues, but for most of the last year (or five), my diet has had too much in common with standard.
Many things have helped me reach this point, the most important being Neuro Modulation Therapy, or NMT. It has been absolutely amazing and healing for me. My health fell apart at age 19 after having mono, and I've never felt "normal" since then, but NMT is helping me finally git rid of that baggage. It has also helped me learn to value myself enough to take better care of myself...gradually leaving all the negative baggage behind. The mind and body work together in amazing ways, it's nice to find a way to heal both. I can get by with less than 9 hours sleep and not get sleepy until bedtime, wow. I'm feeling stronger and more energetic, and capable, less distracted, less bipolar.
Taekwondo has also helped me, it has kept my body strong and challenged my mind. It has challenged and improved my view of myself and my capabilities. While I have put off black belt testing (it is quite demanding at my studio) in order to focus on my family responsibilities, I am still going strong and moving forward with it. The friendships and mentorships I have found there have been life-altering.
Essential oils are also helping me lately...some to give me more energy, some to heal injuries and reduce inflammation, some for well-being, fighting infections, and boosting metabolism. In combination with the NMT, something has finally caused a lymph node on my neck that was swollen for 16 years to go back to normal. My skin is healthier and even my feet are softer and less prone to heel-cracks. Those may seem like trivial things, but they were quite stubborn, seemingly insurmountable, problems for me! Strange but true. I've also been dry skin body brushing, which has been great.
I've decided to give up rice. I was eating so much of it, that according to NMT I've now developed an allergy to it. I was beginning to get symptoms of something going on, and I'm happy to be done with those. It may be a temporary necessity, as NMT can cure some allergies, but I'm not too bummed about it. It suddenly cuts out most of the snacks my kids eat from my diet, and that's a good thing. I've been eating less junk, if any, and lots more vegetables, meat, fruit and all those beneficial O foods.
My oldest son has had health problems progressively getting worse over 3 years. It started with food allergies as a baby, and by the end of 1st grade he was becoming a nervous wreck with tummy aches every day. A great pediatric gastroenterologist guessed (since he really was terrified of a biopsy) that it was food allergies or histamines causing the tummy aches. She confirmed this by giving him cyproheptadine, an antihistamine, which seemed to be a miracle until we realized it was making him too tired to do much. With NMT and hypnosis, things improved enough that we could get him off the medicine. Recently somebody posted a link to orthomolecular theories and therapies to help with emotional problems. I browsed through it lightly and then came across a description of histadelia, which described him perfectly, head to toes. I didn't know excess histamine could cause so many problems, so now I'm religiously giving him extra vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, zinc, bromelain and quercetin, and already seeing him feel better and more adventurous. I don't know any alternative psychiatrists to take him to, wish there were some, but we're getting on the right track now.
Psychiatrists rely way too heavily on pharmaceuticals, the only blood test they ever run is for thyroid problems, in my experience. No screening for nutritional deficiencies whatsoever. I sure hope the orthomolecular approach becomes more standard, especially for children who can have bad reactions to rx's.
Of course, I found the same thing with a neurologist a few years ago. She was scheduling me for a lumbar puncture before running a single blood test. Fortunately, another doctor found the vitamin D deficiency that was causing the calcium deficiency, which was causing the numbness in my skin. I wonder if the neurologist would have found some way to diagnose me with MS, because that was all she wanted to do. Blah... #3 motivation for following BTD: I never want to have to step into the office of a neurologist again in all my life.
This last few months have been full of change, chaos and challenges. Sometimes I lose track of myself through it all. My 2nd grader (type A+ secretor, teacher genotype) is having tummy and immunity trouble, so I began homeschooling him so I could be in more control of his diet. He has still managed to come down with a lot of colds, flu and gastroenteritis in a little over one month. That along with other challenges has caused me to have some trouble doing things specifically for my own health.
Green Smoothies have been my saving grace some weeks. My favorite has cranberry juice, water or apple juice, lots of kale, chia seeds (liquefy all these ingredients first), then add frozen blueberries and any other frozen fruit, once that is smooth add a banana and blend just a bit until it's blended in and smooth. That keeps me from my newest pitfall of skipping meals... that never was a problem before, I tend to be a stress-eater, not a stress-faster, but either approach has similar results.
Every time I fall, I get back up and start over, and I'll continue to do so. Last week I got to spend some time in Southern California with my family, which was great for my SAD. I've plugged in my happy light as well, but have had trouble forcing myself into the cold outdoors to get real sunshine and exercise.
It can be done, and you don't have to be superhuman to do it.
My friend in San Francisco wrote this blog with some good ideas.
I wish I knew where to buy mutton around here! The cheapest healthy meat I can find is ground turkey, which is quite versatile. Free range beef is a bit more expensive than regular, but that can be dealt with by eating a bit less of it (the benefits will be greater than eating more of the grain-fed kind), and by using up every bit you buy. You can also buy it in bulk from local ranches, for some savings, as long as you know you'll use it up and you have room for it in a freezer.
Another point is that avoiding processed and pre-made food also saves money. This is especially true for gluten free and specialty food, it's much cheaper to make from scratch.
You can fill up a cart with produce pretty cheaply, and some produce doesn't have to be organic. The top twelve LOW in pesticide produce items are:
The following twelve should be bought organic:
You can download a pdf or an iphone list here: http://www.foodnews.org/walletguide.php
It can be hard to find super fresh organic produce, at least where I live, but food co-ops are becoming more numerous and many offer organic (or local organic standard but not certified) options. I've found the one that I tried (Community Food Co-Op of Utah) to be very fresh and good. I just finished off the lettuce and spinach from last Saturday and it was still fresher, cleaner and tastier than anything I see in stores. (I did clean and spin it dry on Saturday and then stored it with a paper towel in a bag in the fridge to keep it fresh.) The radishes were gone almost instantly (I'm a fan of radishes, they're good for explorers, and these were beauties). I still have a couple heads of fresh garlic to work on, and the share included a potted herb that I planted in the yard last night. Their regular share is also a great deal and includes more variety at this time of year. In this area, Bountiful Baskets is another good option. I haven't tried them yet, but have heard good things.
It also saves money to stop eating out almost entirely. Restaurant food is never as healthy as homemade and it usually isn't any faster by the time you decide and go and order and wait, etc.
Of course the other key is just to avoid waste. Healthy foods are easy to re-use and come up with tasty results. It's not hard to scramble some eggs and add some leftover meat, rice, veggies etc. Soup is also an easy and way to reheat simple leftovers. Broth, onions, ume plum vinegar and seaweed are always a good base. You can add fresh veggies into the soup (like carrots or celery, and raw veggies on top (like green onions, sprouts, avocado, whatever). Salads are a great way to use up leftover steak and veggies as well. With a few basic recipes, you can go a long way toward reducing waste without getting bored.