Once you really focus on cleaning up your diet, it’s very interesting to listen to your body’s cravings. When you remove all the “noise”, like snacking mindlessly and eating to satisfy sugar cravings or your mood, you can hear your body telling you what it really needs. May sound like hocus pocus, but I swear it’s true. Lately for me, it’s cruciferous vegetables, coconut milk kefir, bone broth, and the activated nuts and seeds I made last week.
I took all grains, legumes, potatoes, eggs, refined sugar, goat and sheep cheese, nuts, and seeds out of my diet a few weeks ago and have recently been adding things in one at a time over several days to see how my body reacts.
I’m not following any one diet necessarily, other than strictly abstaining from dairy and gluten of course, because I already know I’m allergic to those. I’ve been focusing on getting a minimum of 6 cups of organic colorful vegetables per day, increasing my protein, and increasing the healthy fats like coconut oil, avocado oil, and olive oil. Basically, just trying to eat an extremely nutrient dense diet whenever I can.
A bit restrictive yes, but when I really feel like eating something on that list (within reason), I do. The downside, or the upside I guess depending on how you look at it, is that now when I do that, I know exactly what foods my body doesn’t like. Before the “extreme clean” of my diet, I was eating those foods a few times a week. When you eat foods that your body is sensitive to on a regular basis and cannot process correctly, there’s no down time for you to understand the signals you’re being sent. Now those signals are blatant. Think of it like this: a clear bowl of fresh water (your clean diet) that you’ve just squeezed a drop of red dye (a re-introduced food) into. If the bowl was full of murky water, the dye would still have an impact, but how would you be able to determine what size of an impact when your body is already struggling to get the “water” clean?
White potatoes make me swell within an hour, goat cheese gave me a horrible migraine, refined sugar makes my heart pound uncomfortably, makes my ears ring worse and dramatically increases joint pain. I can no longer tolerate nuts and seeds that haven’t been activated. Eggs seem to be OK I think (thank goodness!!). The jury is still out on gluten free grains and seed flours. Buckwheat and quinoa seem to be the friendliest. Digestive enzymes help. Even Paleo breads if I eat them too often cause an increase in joint pain and make me feel sluggish. My body prefers arrowroot over tapioca. I miss rice, but am waiting one more week to give it a try. I would have never been able to root through these symptoms had I not eliminated them for a while and then re-introduced them.
It may seem like a hassle, or a lot of work to do an “extreme clean” of your diet. And I’m not going to lie, you have to be pretty diligent. Truthfully, if I wasn’t having health issues with the Lyme Disease, I would have less motivation to really look at my diet. For me, my diet has a massive impact on how I feel on a daily basis. Trying to avoid the things my body struggles with, allows for easier handling of the LD symptoms and a more enjoyable life for me and everyone around me.
I can promise you that working hard toward a healthy body and lifestyle whether you have a chronic illness or not is well worth the hassle. The hassle fades quickly and being diligent about your diet becomes a lifestyle choice. You won’t regret it. Understanding the link between how you feel and what you eat is huge. It can determine how you feel physically and emotionally and by understanding that and being mindful of it, you can greatly improve the quality of your life.
Simple Cabbage Salad & Roasted Chicken Lunch
3 1/2 Cups of Cabbage, sliced thinly (your choice, you could even do greens)
1/4 Cup of Red Onion, sliced very thinly
Juice of 2 Fresh Limes
6 Tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons of Coconut Sugar (or Pure Maple Syrup)
A Pinch of Ground Ginger (Or 1/4 teaspoon of freshly grated)
In a medium bowl whisk the lime juice, EVOO, coconut sugar and ginger until combined and coconut sugar is dissolved, set aside. Slice the cabbage and red onion into a medium bowl and toss with dressing. Refrigerate while chicken is roasting. Toss again before serving.
For the Chicken:
Preheat oven to 350
2 Chicken Breasts
Seasoning of Choice (I used EVOO, sea salt, garlic powder and Bragg’s Organic Sprinkle)
Roast for 25-30 minutes. Remove from oven and rest for 10 minutes. Slice and serve with the cabbage salad.