Food is an integral part of out lives. We all need food to survive and yet we all have a different relationship to food. For some of us food has always been our nemesis. For some of us food has been the center of all our joys. For some of us food is just something that keeps us going and there is no real feeling attached. I’m not sure where I fall. Somewhere between the center of all my joys and nemesis.
I wanted to be a chef for some time. I think it was the advent of Food Network and seeing food in a whole different way. Unfortunately, after speaking to someone at a culinary school nearby, I was pretty much told if I could not stand up for 8-12 hours a day I was not going to be able to keep up. Dreams dashed. But when one door closes, another opens right? Eventually I found my path, which is write here doing what I am doing. But this segment isn’t about dashed dreams because of chronic pain/illness. It’s about how food might be able to help you feel better. Can it? Which diet is the right one for you? *skids to a halt* Don’t mind the panicked look in my eye..I’m just wondering how I am going to go through all these diets that proclaim all the good things they can do for you.
That’s impossible. Why? Why can’t I choose one and just talk about it? Well, I can and I will, but only as it as affected me, not as in “This is the best diet for you! Try it!” Because: we are all different. All of us have some slightly different make-up that makes us more likely to respond to one diet rather than another. It’s not that the other diet or lifestyle change was just a pack of lies, it just means that our body is more receptive to it. There are those that believe we should be eating more akin to how our ancient ancestors ate, and even more-so, to where our ancestors were geographically. I suppose you could try, but if you are like me, your geographic ancestors were in an area of the world you are not very familiar with and even less-so the food, so for me, trying to eat more natural seems logical though there still will be a lot of trial and error. Part of utilizing diet as medicine means there is going to be many things you try that you find you can’t eat. So right off the bat I would say you are going to need a food diary. I’m pretty much a minimalist. So jotting stuff down on my lap top is the way to go.
People have asked me what the “food” in love.karma.food is all about. Is it like EatLovePray? Honestly, I’d not heard of it and then saw it got a pretty good buzz and was on Oprah and had a movie made. It’s on my “watch” list, but no, this has nothing to do with that. The inception of this blog had more to do with female empowerment than chronic illness, because I thought no one is going to want to hear me talk about my illnesses. But then I started on Twitter and Face Book and realized there are a lot of people who need to hear they are not alone. The female empowerment relation to food was that people are so focused on dress size that it really affects women psychologically and not even just adult women, but children. I have dealt with anorexia/bulimia. I suppose that is why I say food is somewhere between joy and nemesis, because I have always had such a difficult relationship with it and it took a long time for me to be able to cook and eat without numbers dancing around in my head. That being said…
I am not the girl you read about in some health blog who’s lost 50lbs and is rockin’ a supermodel body. No. Far from it. I have lost approximately 25lbs, but for the last few years I have been maintaining the same weight. I need to lose about 25lbs to get me to a place I think my body would be happier. Meaning my joints and spine not carrying extra weight. However, not being able to vigorously exercise; being sedentary for the most part, has made it difficult to lose the rest. Because of this, I had to look at food differently. Instead of food being a tool to make me thinner, food has become a tool to make me healthier and to help me feel better by pointing out those foods that cause inflammation or irritate my IBS-d or just make me sluggish. In this way, food doesn’t become the bad guy and I don’t use food to control everything and instead I make healthy choices and teach my (adultish) kids how to make better food choices. What you learn now, in your youth, could save you from having to correct a lifetime of bad habits and while we’ve never had a truly bad diet, there’s always room for improvement. Too, with one daughter who seems to have inherited several of my diagnoses and another with one so far, I think it is important for them to not only look at food as something to eat to be healthy, but something that can help us feel better by minimizing symptoms.
All that being said, I have been trying to follow a Whole 30 approach to food, which seems to best fit our lifestyle and doesn’t impose too many rules. I live in a house of rule-breakers! Just kidding. But seriously, who wants to follow 25+ rules when eating. I needed something that was family friendly with kids, who though adults or on the cusp of adulthood, didn’t feel like their entire way of existence was crashing down upon them. Incorporated into this change is the Inflammation Diet. Now with that there are some things that it tells you are bad for inflammation, like nightshade vegetables, that I do not see a significant change when eliminating them so I’ve decided not to, that you may experience a huge difference and need to. That is why this is less about “Follow that girl” and more about just following you and reading how it worked for me.
Nothing about my blog has changed. This is still about chronic illness and topics surrounding chronic pain and illness. Every few blog posts I will chime in with how things are going as I make changes, how things are working with influencing the (adultish) kids, and how things are working for me. My two main targets in changing our diet are: IBS-d and Inflammation. I am hoping to have some success without resorting to the FODMAP diet and I am also hoping that these changes will improve my inflammation. Third on the list would be weight. I do plan on incorporating yoga again into my life, but at the moment I am researching what positions would be best for me in an everyday routine, both night and day.
Stay tuned and as ever, thank you for reading.