Food is food. That’s what I would like to think, however we all know that there is good food and bad food. Most bad foods we can easily identify and choose if we eat them or not. Fast food, refined sugars, processed food, are all foods we would all label bad. Would you consider tomatoes bad? What about flour or corn tortillas? Eggplant, whole wheat bread? There are good foods out there that need to be avoided by certain people, and I am one of those lucky folk.
My life over the past two or so years has been a strange spiral downward of my health and mental well being. I really had no idea what was happening or why. The hot flashes, the increased depression, the fatigue, the brain cloud, the frustration and anger at my life were all getting to be too much. I spent many hours in the doctors office trying desperately to get an answer, and the best I got was, lose weight and get some exercise. I tried what I could do with the energy I had in me. There seemed to be no improvement (it doesn’t help that I am a binge eater either) and when I was diagnosed with perimenopause and the doctor recommended more medication (hormones) I sought a second opinion. Thank god for Dawn Theilan, my personal trainer who was listening to me and my weekly complaints. She had experienced her own medical woes a few years prior and found the answer in Naturopathic medicine. I made an appointment, with guarded expectations, and looked for answers outside of modern pharmaceuticals.
Within the first 20 minutes (of my 90 min appointment!) I knew I was in good hands. Dr. Marcus Porrino was able to see immediately where things were going wrong for me and how I could make changes. I was given some vitamin supplements and herbal supplements to get my adrenals back in order. My pain, discomfort, and psoriasis was being caused by inflammation, all of which would hopefully be corrected by diet. My previous doctors had told me to lose weight, but never had they said that it wasn’t all about eating less, but also, looking at the food I was eating. Dr. Porrino set me on a path and laid out a plan for me.
I started with a modified Anti-Inflammatory diet, since my diet had been full of sugar and other inflammatory foods. There was a lot to learn, and I was eager yet hesitant to learn. From the list of suggested foods and those foods to avoid I could see the changes to my diet would be extreme. Sugar and wheat were in all my foods. I lived on pasta and diet sodas, lots of breads and saturated fats with a few veggies or fruits thrown in for good measure. Common inflammatory foods are breads, cookies, cakes, corn syrup, cereals, fried foods, pasta made with white flour, and potatoes. Can you say “Uh oh”? I felt like I was screwed. There was no way I would be able to eliminate these foods. But slowly I modified my diet. Little by little my body started feeling a little different. My psoriasis began to fade, the fog in my head lifted and I started to get more energy. How many years had I spent going to the doctor and taking medication only to keep feeling the same or only having small victories?
This entry could go on and on listing all the different things going on an anti-inflammatory diet could keep you from suffering or reducing your symptoms: Liver diseases, Thyroid disease, Lupus, Fibromyalgia, depression. It won’t work for everyone but it would be worth a try. (And money cannot be an excuse, think about the time you lose at work, with your family, with yourself, money spent on medicines. So buy some veggies and fruits and a good lean piece of meat, and skip the Mac and Cheese). Even taking the first step and getting rid of the processed foods could get you closer to feeling better. Something to remember when you are shopping to eat anti-inflammatory foods; if it doesn’t look like it did originally, it’s probably inflammatory. (pg 60 Anti-Inflammation Diet for Dummies – By Dr. Artemis Morris and Molly Rossiter)
I can’t follow the diet suggestions exactly myself since I have an allergy to fish, and sadly, fish is a big part of getting the good fats in your system, but there are other ways too. What’s nice is that this diet, which was prescribed by my doctor, is almost exactly what Heather has us doing with Project Muffin Top. Let’s see, feel better AND lose weight?
If you want to do some research on your own, check out the Anti-Inflammation Diet for Dummies, by Dr. Artemis Morris and Molly Rossiter, or for a quick peek, look at the cheat sheet here: http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/antiinflammation-diet-for-dummies-cheat-sheet.html