When I’m extremely tired or not feeling very well, I tend to fall back to so-called comfort foods. My version of comfort food isn’t mac and cheese or meatloaf; mine is invariably something smooth, creamy, cold and at least a little sweet. My go-to comfort foods are things like flan, tapioca pudding, or even a jello parfait, not one of which is good for me. Nevertheless this week I have been indulging in my comfort foods. Why is it that when we are feeling down in some way, whether it be physically, mentally or emotionally, we crave certain foods? Why at times of distress aren’t our bodies crying out for foods that are actually healthy instead of those things that will only make our problem worse in the long run? Maybe it does work that way for people who have rid their bodies of the nasty toxins lurking in our systems; who have retrained their taste buds. I’m sure there is some nutritional scientific answers for such questions but today I feel too yucky to give it serious contemplation. Meanwhile would someone please bring me some Crème Brule?
I wrote, earlier in the week, about my experience with fermented beverages, about caving in to my cheese obsession, and about making my own raw nut butter. I am 51 years old and have been eating the same way for all of those years. I’m enjoying feeling healthier and being pain free but I am having a very difficult time with all of these “weird foods”. I’ve never even eaten much in the way of fresh fruits or vegetables. I’ve never eaten sprouted grains and nut butter and coconut oil and I’m not sure I’ll ever get used to most of them but I’m determined to try. I don’t want to go back to feeling the way I did before and I definitely want this extra weight off. So far I’m not really enjoying the tastes and textures of the foods in my new diet. It’s just so incredibly different; it’s a whole new way of thinking. There’s so much health information to take in and remember. Take vitamins, use essential oils. Don’t medicate, vaccinate or exercise. Eat this, don’t eat that; cook this, don’t cook that; don’t cook in the microwave; this is bad, that’s good. Eat raw, eat clean, eat real; gluten-free, dairy free, soy free. AHHHHHHH! Who’s right, who’s wrong? All I can do is fumble and stumble along in my own way and hope that I don’t kill myself somewhere along the way by eating the wrong thing (or the right thing cooked the wrong way).
I keep hearing and reading about the many health benefits of fermented foods and beverages. They seem to be one of the biggest trends right now. You know what I’m talking about; kefir, sauerkraut, kombucha, yogurts, apple cider vinegar, fermented sodas, etc.. Check out all the research; the benefits are indisputable. Probiotics are fantastic for your body. I decided to visit a cute little dairy about 1/2 an hour from me where they specialize in raw dairy products, free range eggs and grass-fed meats. They had pint bottles of kefir and quart jars of kombucha for sale, so along with some milk and cheese (which I sampled and were both yummy) I bought some. An expensive mistake! Both are going into the garbage! I can’t tolerate the taste or smell of fermented foods/beverages. I guess I have a very sensitive palate because I cannot seem to down any form of vinegar (even vinegar based dressings), sauerkraut, yogurt (even flavored ones), and now strawberry kefir and kombucha. I only drank a spoonful of each and feel quite sick to my stomach. I guess I’ll be consuming my probiotics in pill form for now.
A few weeks ago, I decided that I had had enough. I felt horrible and I was almost positive that I was diabetic. I regularly had chest and arm pains and difficulty breathing. My knees and ankles hurt so much that I limped and every step I took was painful; I even had to resort to using those motorized buggies a few times just to do my shopping. I frequently had “stomach issues”. I was convinced that if I continued on the same path, I wasn’t going to live much longer and I was convinced that it was because I was so overweight. I had to go back on the lo-cal diet that had previously been so successful for Hubby and I. Monday would be the day. That Saturday, I read a book by the Braggs on healthy living; it changed my entire perspective. Maybe it wasn’t simply the weight; maybe the weight was just the symptom; maybe the real issue was the garbage that I was putting into my body. I didn’t think I was eating garbage. I don’t drink alcohol or consume artificial sweeteners. I was eating what I thought of as good old-fashioned country cooking. I also don’t really like many fruits or vegetables. I knew that it was packing a lot of pounds on my body but I just didn’t realize how unhealthy it was. That book by the Braggs caused me to start doing a lot of research in a very short amount of time. I have to insert a little disclaimer in here; I do not agree with the Braggs’ religious views and there is quite a bit of faulty reasoning in their writings. Frankly, I think they are a bit nutty! There, I said it. However, I am very grateful for the many things I’ve learned from their writings so far. What I read that night and the research I did (and am doing) convinced me to completely renovate my thinking when it comes to food and my body. I began that Monday. I completely cut most processed foods, all dairy and most meat from my diet. I began drinking only water and juices and eating only 100% whole grains (and only a little of that). Those were the major changes; there were some other changes as well that I will document in later posts.
I never expected to see a dramatic change in such a short period of time. Wow! Within 24 hours I felt WAY better. My energy level and overall positivity was through the roof. Within 48 hours I had no more chest pains, shortness of breath, or symptoms of diabetes. I was sleeping much better and the pain in my knees and ankles had almost completely disappeared. I was walking without a limp for the first time literally in years. I lost 9 lbs. in a week and a half, but that is typical weight loss for me at the beginning of a diet and I didn’t lose anymore over the next 4 days (also typical for me). I wanted to make sure that this was only the effect of diet change so I didn’t exercise, fast, take vitamin supplements or drink apple cider vinegar as the Braggs suggested in their books. This was great! I wasn’t having to count calories and I wasn’t very hungry (only a little). I did this for 2 weeks. Then I started “The Reverse Experiment”. Tune in tomorrow for the next episode!
It seems like all we ever hear from most diet gurus is “carbs are evil!”. We are told to avoid carbs like the plague and other such nonsense. Just as there are good and bad fats, there are good and bad carbs. Our bodies were designed to need a certain amount of fats, salt and yes even carbs to function properly. Just learn to distinguish between the good and the bad; make wise choices. If you are a carb hater, I suggest you read this article (link above) to educate yourself a little more on the subject of carbs.