Sunday, May 29, 2011
Sick and Tired (Part 2): Are You Gonna Eat That?
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.