My Lifestyle Diet

So as I mentioned before, the early days of my illness were quite strange and confusing. For years I had suffered from the occasional attacks of fatigue. I figured it was something I inherited from my mother, because she had suffered from it for many years. Then one day, my sandwiches began to irritate my stomach. I thought it was a bug or something. But it didn’t go away. It got worse. It was most breads and then milk. But as my mother pointed out, I always drank milk and it had never effected me before, so I ignored it. Or I should say I tried to ignore it.

About the same time, my aunt was introduced to Tasca Reno’s Whole Foods Diet. It sounded good. And it wasn’t truly “dieting”, it was a healthy eating lifestyle. That sounded like the diet for me. Well for a while, it helped. I cut out most junk food, was eating mostly whole foods, and was losing weight. But I was still including whole wheat bread and skim milk because they are considered healthy foods.

When I finally had enough of the stomach pain, I gave up my beloved bread and milk, but the hardest to give up… the cheese. I love cheese. But the enzymes in all dairy products is what had been causing so many of my issues; not the lactose, but the casein. Now things were beginning to get better.

I was still in the early days of my new lifestyle diet, so as most of us do, I tried different suggestions.

Eat fermented foods: sauerkraut, yogurt, kefir, kombucha, pickles. Well believe it or not, I was born with a sugar intolerance. (Yes that means all sugars, natural and artificial. I’ve heard every suggestion. But I’ve been this way my whole life, so I’m fine.) Well I tried the unsweetened yogurt and kefir, but that’s just buttermilk. Yuck. The kombucha produces a sugar during process, so that was out. I was left with saurkraut and pickles. I tried to make a good go of it, but a person can only take so much of sour foods. So I gave that up.

I tried an Indian herbal treatment that included teas, curry, and detox remedies. I really don’t know how much I benefited physically, but it put me on to thinking about what detoxing really does. It is supposed to remove toxins from all parts of the body, starting with the gut. But more importantly, thanks to this Indian doctor and her story of disabling migraines, I learned that almost all illness and disease starts in the gut. Now I was onto something.

So as I studied this “Leaky Gut” I found that sure enough, everything we put in our mouth will affect us in one way or another, positive or negative. And almost all Americans are effected by Leaky Gut due to the Standard American Diet or SAD diet. (I know it’s a little redundant.) The majority of foods we eat have been processed and changed to make them more tasty. Read the ingredients label. How many of the ingredients do you recognize? How many of those ingredients are actually “food” and how many are actually chemicals? Something to think about, huh?

On top of that, I learned about GMO’s (genetically modified organisms). They change the DNA of certain foods in the seed, grow it, and feed it to us. There is a lot of study on how GMO foods are making people sick.

I also learned more about preservatives. These are supposed to lengthen the shelf life of our foods. The problem? Well when I walked into a certain shop and saw a hamburger and fries that had been sitting there for over a year, I got the point. When we eat these preservatives, we are eating toxins that were never meant to be food. But as I said earlier, science learned how to make foods tasty. So now the question for me is: how hungry am I? Enough to eat all those toxins? I’ll wait.

So how do you fix Leaky Gut? You literally transform the way you eat, for the rest of your life. Thus it becomes a lifestyle diet. It is a green, clean, and whole foods diet, free of all processed food and not food items such as the preservatives mentioned above. It can be difficult and costly to make your kitchen over to suit this new lifestyle change, but not as costly as the medical treatments that turned up empty.

So its worth all the effort put in to lengthen your life, but in a natural and safe way. And once the adjustment is made, new recipes are learned, it too can be quite tasty. I wish I had learned it many years ago.

Make the choice for yourself. It’s a choice you’ll never regret.

 

My Diet, My Life

So after one confusing appointment after another, I finally stumbled upon a diagnosis of sorts. But even that is a mystery for the doctors in my area.  Now let me clarify, there are a few that are familiar with the cardiovascular side of MTHFR. (Thankfully I caught that early.) It’s the other side that evades the local doctors. It can cause anxiety, depression, neurological disorders, food intolerance, autoimmune disorders, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, (yes I’ve had all of these), in addition to autism (two daughters with Autism Spectrum Disorder), and a host of others. Now when no one in the medical profession can help you, its downright upsetting.

So as I said I began studying, and researching, listening to podcasts, and gathering all the information I could. It was exhausting. And you know what I found? I can’t convert folic acid/folate into its active form, which is necessary to metabolize B-12.  And just about every system in your body needs these two nutrients to operate correctly.  As a matter a fact, I also had low iron stores. And no matter how much iron I took, it didn’t raise my storage levels. Until I learned about methylated folate and methylated B-12. It took a while, but these two vitamins saved my life.

Also for me, it is vital to understand: DIET is EVERYTHING. To begin with I went on a three-week elimination diet. I copied the one from the Institute of Functional Medicine. (see below)  This diet is designed to remove all allergens from your system. It helps to detox and to heal leaky gut. And yes, if you’re reading this, its possible you have leaky gut. But that’s a whole other post. The down side is for the first week or two there are some nasty symptoms from the detox. Just ride it out. Its part of the cleansing process. My worse symptom was the migraine. Ooh.

Then after going through all that, I decided to stick to a whole-foods, gluten-free, dairy-free diet; which is one of the suggested diets for children with Autism. However I was still having issues. So I cut out all corn, eggs, and peanuts. (Sound familiar? These are allergy related foods. Perhaps what we think is an allergy is actually a food intolerance.) Unfortunately, I also had to cut all refined oils which are in fried foods, such as chips; and breads, even if they were gluten-free. I had some serious healing to do.

Its been about a year since I first launched my new way of eating. I am still on a whole food, gluten-free, dairy-free diet. Now I can eat most corn products, pasture raised eggs, peanuts, and gluten-free breads with no side effects. However the refined oils in some foods continue to be an issue for me. So we do a lot of baking. And when we do use oils, we use coconut and olive oil. Also key is to look for non-gmo products. The less food is processed or refined the less problems on the digestive tract.

As you begin your self-education on your symptoms. I strongly suggest you start by looking at your diet.

I hope this was eye-opening, if not encouraging. If you are going through what I am, as are many others out there, remember you are not alone.

***for more information on the three-week elimination diet see: https://experiencelife.com/article/the-institute-for-functional-medicines-elimination-diet-comprehensive-guide-and-food-plan/***

***for more information on mthfr and B12 issues see: https://mthfrgenehealth.com/mthfr-vitamin-b12/***

***for more information on proper diets for children with Autism see:  https://www.autism.com/treating_diets***

 

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