Sunday, March 21, 2010

making friends with fruits and veggies

so, over the years the various health practitioners I've been to- acupuncturists, osteopaths, etc- have all encouraged me to eat better. And every book I've read recently on *really* getting better from autoimmune disease (not just taking drugs, suffering side effects, then taking even more drugs, then replacing your bones after the drugs eat them) insists that we eat a vegan diet if we want to feel better.

At various times in life since being diagnosed, I've eaten really really well, and then for some reason, probably because I'm surrounded by temptation, I fall off the wagon and go back to my evil ways. And probably not coincidentally, i eventually end up very ill again, with anemia, failing kidneys, lung trouble, migraines, fibromyalgia attacks, exhaustion, etc. You really have to ask yourself: is this diet soda really that tasty that it's worth kidney failure? and chronic pain? Of course, it would probably be easier to resist the diet soda if I started hurting the minute I drank it. but that's not how it works, is it?

Folks in the world of alternative medicine refer to how we eat as the " Standard American Diet" as in SAD. very sad indeed. And although I am grateful to our politicians for attempting to correct the injustices in our health care system, unless we also address the way we eat, we are still going to have a health crisis. I guess we have 2 crises: an insurance crisis and a health crisis.

But the fact is, junk food is delicious, and I love it.
And I was addicted to it. And if you ever want to see how hard it is for an addict to give up a habit, even though it is ruining their life, tune in to "intervention" on A&E, or celebrity rehab, or sober house, or addicted. it doesn't matter if it's heroin, crack, alcohol, or potato chips, and it doesn't matter if you have more money than God. If you're addicted to something, it's a tough row to hoe kicking the habit. It has taken me a lifetime to finally stop drinking diet soda, and I know I could easily end up right back to drinking it under the right (or rather wrong) circumstances. But for now, I want to feel well and vibrant more than I want a diet coke.

In rehab, there are things they can do to make you more comfortable while you're going through withdrawal. for alcoholics, they give them phenylbarbitol. For me, I had regular coca-cola, then stepped down to green tea with stevia, and the occasional seltzer, so i still get my fizz on.

I switched from potato chips to low sodium organic blue corn chips, and now only have them a couple times a week.
I switched from ice cream to rice dream, dairy free "ice cream." And eventually I didn't really crave that either, because it doesn't have that opiate effect that dairy does, that keeps you addicted (and inflamed).

I went from wheat to gluten-free bread. It's not a squishy and tasty, except when I make it in the bread machine from the Bob's red mill mix, in which case it's better than any loaf of store-bought bread you'll ever find.

When people who never really ate much junk food write books about how we should all eat nothing but fruits and veggies I often find it - ahem- hard to swallow. But trust me up until I got sick, I thought a bean burrito at taco bell or a tuna sandwich at subway were health foods.

If a junk food junkie like me can learn to eat better, there's hope for any junk food junkie.

I just had a delicious plate of real food that my old friend's mom introduced me to. it's easy and it's so dang good you won't believe your mouth:

7-8 strawberries, cut up
1/2 small container of blueberries
small container of soy or coconut milk yogurt
about a dozen ground-up or chopped almonds

(You'll need a coffee bean grinder for ground up almonds)
coat the fruit in yogurt, pour the almonds over the top. YUM!

Even my husband liked it, and he's like Mikey: "he wont' eat it- he hates everything!"

lupus survey from Lupus Alliance

New survey from the Lupus Alliance of America up for people with lupus, or parents of children with lupus:

It seems to be targeted towards figuring out how they can help us deal with work, life, etc.
38 questions, takes less than a half hour, worth doing.