I confess.....I have an addiction.....to books about food! I love food. I love good, tasty food. I love to make good tasty food. I also have Lyme disease, which means that I have to make some radical changes in the food I make and eat.....and I hope that eventually I will learn to truly love this new way of eating.
First off, take a look at a few of the books I've been reading or re-reading in the past little while.
The information contained therein is enough to make anyone's head spin. Eat this, don't eat that, avoid this at all cost, buy organic, eat after exercise, eliminate wheat, eliminate grains, eat no sugar, honey is OK..........Ahhhhhhhhhh!
I won't go so far as to say that the messages contained in the books are contradictory, but some of the eating regimens go a step (or three) further in food restrictions. I suppose it is really a matter of trial and error to see what regimen works best for each individual.
So let's talk about what these books have in common:
1. Get rid of sugar. Some authors say to eliminate it in all forms, while others allow maple syrup and honey in baking, for example. Sugar is just plain BAD for you. It causes your insulin to spike, causes fat storage, and inflammation.
2. Ditch the wheat. Wheat Belly by Dr. William Davis gives many compelling reasons for eliminating this everyday grain from your diet. It has been genetically modified to the extent that it is wreaking havoc in our bodies. It also causes your insulin to spike, as much or more than sugar, causes fat storage, and inflammation.
Some authors go so far as to say eliminate ALL grains, while others would allow brown rice and quinoa for example. I'm not sure how well I'd survive with no grains whatsoever.
3. Say adios to corn. Again, very genetically modified and no longer good for us.
4. Eat lots of non-starchy vegetables and a bit of fruit. Vegetables should be our main source of carbohydrates rather than grains. Fruit should be eaten in limited amounts because of its sugar content.
5. Avoid toxins. Buying organic, whenever possible, is best. Check online for which fruits and vegetables are worst....the so-called "dirty dozen". And get rid of toxic cleaning chemicals in your home and ones you put into your body in the form of lotions and other beauty products. Switch to natural products. Check out Jaydancin for wonderful, natural beauty products. They are my absolute favorite.
6. Drink plenty of filtered water. Adding some lemon to the water will help your body to flush out toxins.
OK, so where do I go from here? These are great principles for anyone to incorporate into their meal plans, but seeing that I suffer from a chronic illness involving inflammation, I feel I need to bump this up a notch. I really like The Hormone Diet by Toronto naturopath Natasha Turner. I feel that her 2 week detox plan is do-able, and her glyci-med approach to eating after that is sustainable.
I considered doing Dr. Singleton's Lyme Inflammation Diet (found in the book Recipes for Repair by Gail Piazza and Laura Piazza), but I'm not sure if I can abide by its restrictions for so many months. If I feel that my body has not improved in its inflammation symptoms after eating well for a few months, then I'll have this one to fall back on.
So here's my plan:
1. Do Dr. Turner's hormone diet detox for 2 weeks
2. Try to follow Dr. Turner's glyci-med approach thereafter OR at minimum keep my eating sugar-free and wheat-free
One of the hardest things is finding replacements for all of those foods that we normally eat that contain grain. Even though I may be giving up wheat, I still want to be able to grab a muffin or slice of homemade quick bread. I have found that there are tons of recipes online for things like pancakes, breads, and pizza crust, so I encourage you to just take a few hours and print some out. Danielle Walker's grain-free cookbook, Against All Grain, is excellent. Her website is www.againstallgrain.com.
Here are links to all of the books in my photo. They are ALL excellent and will put you on the road to better health.
Recipes for Repair by Gail Piazza and Laura Piazza
The Hormone Diet by Natasha Turner, ND
Wheat Belly by William Davis, MD
Maximized Living Nutrition Plans by B.J. Hardick, Kimberly Roberto, and Ben Lerner
Joyous Health by Joy McCarthy
The Skinny on Losing Weight Without Being Hungry by Louis J. Aronne, MD
Against All Grain by Danielle Walker
Wishing you all success in your resolutions to eat healthier! Bon appétit!