Thursday, March 6, 2014

Keeping a Diet Log

One of the focuses in this new year has been 
to get my health back on track.
I first talked about it here.
As I am not a fan of the medical system,
and prefer to find my own solutions to health issues,
I went on a quest to clean up my diet.
Now, mind you, we eat very cleanly
and enjoy scratch cooking.
The intention was to deprive myself of some of my favorite foods,
to determine if these addictions choices were causing the problem.

The first step was to start a food journal.
Everything consumed was written down for a month.
Meals as well as snacks and beverages were documented daily.
I also kept track of any symptoms present, 
as well as if and when my potty visits occurred.
These notes will help detect patterns
and make it easier to determine what might be fostering improvement.

At the onset of this task,
I gave up white flour, dairy, chocolate, sugar,
 and even sucanat, my preferred sugar substitute.
The most beneficial result of this exercise is that it truly
makes you conscious of what goes into your mouth.
There is an  accountability aspect and the adage
"you are what you eat" really hits home.

I nourished myself with herbal teas and homemade veggie stock,
along with foods that we usually eat,
everything scratch-cooked, 
but modified to avoid those particular foods mentioned above.
It was tough, I'm not gonna lie.
Bread and chocolate are my two most favorite things to eat,
and semolina pasta is a long-time family favorite,
but since I knew it was temporary, I willed myself to abstain.
I also started on a probiotic once a day.

You know what happened?
For one, I got a better picture of what kind of calories I'm eating
and the breakdown of nutritional components.
Our family loves carbs, and I knew that's where I needed to make a change.

The problem with my hands is much better
and I've noticed that my ears don't feel blocked.
I have more energy in general, 
not needing a nap in the afternoons,
but savoring it when I grant myself one.
My potty time is more on track,
which makes things so much better.
I'm still working on my sinus congestion,
but having started on quercetin,
I think that issue may soon be resolved.

 Overall, it was a great experiment.
I'm proud that I took the plunge 
and it was well worth the time, energy and effort
to delve into my eating habits.
I eat bread occasionally now, enjoy chocolate regularly
and have gone back to using sucanat instead of sugar for baked goods.
I'm also making better choices for snacks.
Instead of reaching for bread or crackers,
I make up some hummus and eat it with veggies
or eat a banana smothered in Sunbutter.

Amazingly, I'm able to eat yogurt now,
which I haven't done in years because I thought I was lactose intolerant.
That's opened up a whole new world of dietary possibilities for me.
Because I was willing to try new foods that had caused digestive issues in the past,
I've expanded my diet.
I can now eat bananas, broccoli, and various cheeses,
all healthy food choices that will create a stronger, more vibrant me.

Being recently diagnosed with osteoporosis came as a bit of a shock.
I'm only 53, but it has already shown up in a bone density scan.
This diet experiment was a timely endeavor, as I now have a measurable goal to achieve.
To that end, I've made an appointment with a hospital dietician 
to discuss how best to ensure that my bones are getting what they need.
To my surprise, bones can still be strengthened after menopause,
so I'll be doing everything I can to ensure mine are as strong as can be.
After all, I plan to farm for a good, long time.

I'd encourage those of you who are thinking about making a change
for whatever reason,
to go forward mindfully.
Whether you want to lose weight, uncover food sensitivities,
or just feel better, make the effort.
You'll be better for it
and those around you will benefit as well.
Take the time to take care of yourself.
You're worth it.

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