There's not a lot of new things to share right now. Life is moving along! Actually, I'm feeling pretty good, now that I stop and think about it. This would likely be due to:
1) Eating better (with the goal to lose weight)
2) Getting enough sleep
3) Starting an exercise program
4) Re-starting antibiotics at the beginning of January
I sure had developed some BAD habits in the fall, and now I'm trying to break them. I think I've FINALLY gotten it through my head that I need a multi-pronged approach to keeping this Lyme in check. Honestly, if you think you can just stop the antibiotics when you feel well, but slip into your old habits of eating refined sugar and Cheetos, and staying up until 1:00 a.m., then you are likely to have a rude awakening......like I did.
Exercise has been good, but I'm sore! I'm trying to pace myself, and listen to my body so that I give it ample time to recover from a workout before going to the gym again. I aim to work out 3 times per week. I have to keep reminding myself of ALL of the benefits of exercise, besides weight loss. It boosts the immune system, helps with lymph drainage, gets those antibiotics pumping through the body better, improves sleep, and boosts the mood. I'm also so amazed and grateful every time I work out, when I think back to how terribly weak I was in early 2011. As I've stated before, when I was really ill with Lyme, washing and drying my hair was exhausting! Now, I can do the treadmill for 30 minutes followed by 20 minutes of strength training. Quite the miracle!
In the food department, my naturopath says that it takes 21 days to break the sugar habit. OK, I'm on Day 4, and I've already blown it. But I'm learning that healthy eating is not just a day to day goal, but sometimes an hour to hour goal. If I blow it one hour, I need to get right back on that wagon and carry on. Sugar is SO bad for Lyme disease. It suppresses the immune system, which is the exact opposite to what you're hoping to do. It also feeds yeast, and the last thing you need in addition to your Lyme is a systemic yeast infection. I'm trying to use stevia and xylitol in place of sugar. I can't say that I'm thrilled with stevia in my coffee, but I'll put up with it, or maybe learn to drink it with cream only. I've also got some recipes for treats made with xylitol, so when I allow myself to indulge, at least I won't be feeding the yeast in my intestines.
I recently purchased the book Wheat Belly Cookbook. If you haven't read Wheat Belly, I really encourage you to. And if you feel like jumping on board (and frankly, I don't know how anyone wouldn't want to after reading that) then the Wheat Belly Cookbook is a fantastic companion to the original. Dr. William Davis, a cardiologist, explains why the genetically modified wheat we grow today is so bad for our bodies, how it elevates the blood sugar, and produces fat storage from the resulting insulin spike. And in addition to that, inflammation occurs all over the body and manifests itself in various ways, depending on the person. All I can say is....it is a very, very convicting book! And it will scare the living daylights out of you if you LOVE your pastas and breads!
I have decided to greatly reduce my grain consumption, and to try to eliminate wheat, although I don't think I'm going to go to the extent of reading every label on every canned good I buy. If it is an obvious source of wheat, then I'll eliminate it, e.g., bread, crackers, pasta. The key is to find suitable and tasty substitutes for those things. Instead of wheat crackers, I've bought brown rice crackers or Mary's Crackers (which Costco sells big boxes of). Instead of wheat pasta, I found pasta at Costco made from amaranth + quinoa + brown rice. As my "starch" at diner, I'll eat 1/2 cup of brown rice or barley or quinoa, and sometimes a 1/2 potato, though sweet potato would be better. The bread is the hard part! I will occasionally allow myself some sprouted grain bread such as Ezekiel or Silver Hills, though Dr. Davis would say that this is like putting "lipstick on a pig"! They're still wheat.
I have no idea how a cardiologist has the time to come up with so many lovely looking recipes! But honestly, if you really do want to embark on a wheat-free diet, or if you need to be gluten-free, Dr. Davis has many recipes for making "bread-like" creations that should satisfy you. They involve the use of almond flour for the most part: muffins, biscuits, pizza dough, etc. I haven't tried any of them yet. For one thing, I would only be able to eat them at home, as my workplace is "nut free" due to allergies.
I'd still be interested in knowing what Dr. Davis would think of the spelt flour that I wrote about recently. It's not made from the same type of wheat we regularly consume, so perhaps it would not have the same effect on the blood sugar.(?)
I'll leave you with an amazing fact from Dr. Davis' book: Two slices of whole wheat bread have a higher glycemic index than a Snickers Bar! No....that doesn't mean we should run out and grab a Snickers bar guilt-free, but perhaps we need to re-think our morning toast.