Papa here again. This post is about how I have changed my diet as part of my manifold plan for getting better. The whole plan takes into account my dietary, spiritual, social, physical and psychological needs.
Firstly, I have changed what I eat drastically. I have cut out pretty much all sugar, alcohol and caffeine. Sugar has been the hardest to do. Slightly because I have a sweet tooth, and partly because they put it in almost everything these days: bread, yogurt, ketchup, mayonnaise, salad dressing, most sauces and salsas. I have also cut down significantly on the amount of fruit I eat. I used to get 3-5 servings of fruit and like 1-2 servings of veggies. I have flipped that on its head. Also, I’ve cut down on carbohydrates in general. Only a couple servings of bread, rice and grains a day is all I need. This is always paired with something that is high in fat such as oil, butter, peanut butter, or, my new favorite, coconut oil.
Cutting out alcohol has been hard also. I enjoyed having a glass or two of wine with a nice meal or going out for a couple beers and pizza with a friend. I still crave a delicious dark beer from time to time. I don't miss it nearly as much as I thought I would, though.
Caffeine, mostly coffee, was the primary thing that triggered my heart palpitations and panic attacks. I think this is because of how it stimulates and depletes the adrenals and can cause blood sugar distortion. Anyway, I still take a sip of my wife’s coffee every now and then and remember the good old days of drinking two or three cups without breaking a sweat. Maybe decaf one day?
So that covers what foods I'm avoiding but what do I eat? I have lots of vegetables. We go organic and local as much as possible. Lots of spinach, carrots, celery, peas, kale, and green beans. I also have a lot of protein. Lean free range animal protein is the best for me. Fish is probably better, but I usually eat a lot of chicken, beef, turkey, and eggs. I’m supposed to have about half a pound of this kind of protein every day. I eat a lot of high fat and fermented dairy products: whole milk, cheese, and yogurt. I think we're getting ready to go raw, maybe goat, with the dairy. I eat berries as my fruit and sometimes an apple with peanut butter.
The frequency with which I eat is another thing I’ve had to adjust. I eat almost every hour. Usually I’ll rotate meal-snack-meal-snack in these hours. This helps to even out my blood sugar, which is a must if I’m ever going to get better.
I am also taking supplements. The ones I take are bovine (cow) and porcine (pig) extracts of the adrenal gland, hypothalamus, and pituitary gland. These are all to help repair their corresponding parts. I also take licorice extract (and now ginseng) which both help to give me a little more energy without being stimulants and going to town on the adrenals. I also take a product that contains Quercetin, Bromelain, Nettle and Vitamin C to help with allergies and immunity defense, a couple different kinds of vitamin B (to help absorb the protein and reduce stress), Vitamins A and D, and a probiotic. All that with a cherry on top is what I invite to the party in my tummy.
I give myself one day a week to cheat. Sometimes I have fried food with a load of toxins, or help my wife finish a beer, or take a bite of cake, or have late night pizza with cinnamon spirazzi. I usually pay for it in the morning, though, especially if I have alcohol and sugar together. This is a big no-no. I’ve been finding that I have more energy lately, and am pretty sure that when and if I ever emerge from this funk I will be a happier, healthier person.
I'll write more about my plot to overturn the sleepiness regime on the next post.
As my husband wrote, he has been suffering from adrenal fatigue. One of the ways that we are attacking this illness is through diet. We ate fairly healthy food before this, but we've become even more radical. We buy organic as much as possible. We eat only free-range, grass fed meat. Lots of fresh fruits and veggies, little-to-no processed foods. This has made our grocery budget almost double. Since we are trying to save as much money as we can so that we can be debt-free, we decided that we would simply have to cut back in other areas. My husband's health is too important to me so we are making it a priority to eat well and buy good food. Unfortunately, you don't find coupons for organic veggies and fruit, so we really can't save that way. Therefore, we are trying to spend less money on other things.
One of the areas in which we are cutting back is cleaning supplies and products. We've been using vinegar as a natural cleaner for a while now. Recently, we made our own laundry detergent....and it was really easy, and REALLY cheap.
We followed this recipe (found through Amy's blog). I found a lot of different recipes online, but this one seemed to be the easiest, plus used cleaner ingredients. The only change we made was using Dr. Bronner's soap, instead of Kirk's. Amy did the math on her blog, and it comes out to be about .07 cents per load! So cheap! That was with Kirk's, instead of Dr. Bronner's, but I added a couple more dollars for the difference and it's still only .09 cents per load. Not bad, compared to the detergent we were using before.
The detergent has been working very well. There aren't any suds when you put it into the washer, so that freaked me out at first, but so far everything has come out clean! Z has very sensitive skin and we have always had to wash her clothes in a free & clear detergent. She hasn't had any problems with this detergent.
We have also been using this on our cloth diapers. We previously had been using Rockin' Green, which is about .35 cents per load. I did a little research online to see if homemade detergent would be ok with cloth diapers. I found that most of the trouble came with diapers that were made with materials other than cotton. Since all of our diapers are cotton because of sensitive skin issues, we decided to try it out. We discovered that we needed to cut the amount in half, so we only use 1 tablespoon per load instead of 2. Also, we add about a 1/2 cup of vinegar to the final rinse. It's been working great!
This detergent will also work as an all-purpose cleanser. You can use it to clean your sink, toliet, tub, etc. Like I said before, I usually use vinegar. However, if I need a little more cleaning power, this detergent does the trick.