Today we are going to get into what to do when you feel yucky.
So much has opened up and changed in the last twenty two years since I was diagnosed with Crohn's disease. Back then, your only viable option was to take medication so that you didn't die. (I'm kidding. Sorta.) But now, you can heal yourself with food!
So many of my clients have issues with their physical health. From stomach issues, to general malaise to autoimmune disorders. Health issues like these are on the rise. And while I am not a doctor or health coach, I have been through quite a journey over the past few year in trying to understand my own autoimmune condition. When I was starting out, there wasn't much information out there on what to try. In this episode, I am sharing with you some different diets that you can try to systematically change how you body responds to issues.
So first of all, the big thing is all about eliminating the offenders. And the offenders are inflammation producing foods.
When you start out, it can be pretty overwhelming and your first two thoughts will be "I can't do that," and "What will I eat?" But, to be honest, if you start to eliminate things that are triggering your system and replace them with things that nourish your body, you'll feel so much better.
The first option is to take a Paleo approach. This approach is healing because it is higher in protein and low in inflammatory foods. With the Paleo diet you eliminate dairy (cow's milk and cheese), all grains (including gluten, rice, buckwheat and others), refined sugar and all processed foods. Meat is best if it is grass fed and organic. You can eat nuts and nut milks are so much more easily accessible than they were even 5 years ago. Sweetners like honey and maple sugar are great, but regular old sugar is out. And processed food is the biggest offender. If you can't read or pronounce what's on the ingredient list, don't buy it. (Some Paleo options include Xanthum Gum which is a binder for foods. Xanthum Gum is a huge trigger for me and I can't have it. So even if it says "Paleo" on the container or box, make sure that the ingredients don't bother you.)
Alcohol and coffee are not eliminated on Paleo either. Which can sometimes make the switch a little easier.
There's tons of resources out there for Paleo and I absolutely love Danielle Walker from Against All Grain. You can buy her books and get her recipes on her website, www.againstallgrain.com . It can be a pretty easy switch to doing Paleo, honestly. It might take your taste buds a couple of weeks to get on board, but honestly I can't tell the difference any more.
Also, if you have an autoimmune disease, you can also look into the Autoimmune Protocol (AIP). This diet adds in bone broth and organ meat, and subtracts coffee, eggs, nightshades (foods like tomatoes, eggplant and potatoes) and alcohol. My favorite resource is The Paleo Mom for the AIP diet.
The next option is to do the Whole 30. The Whole 30 is like Paleo, but on steroids. On the Whole 30, you follow the Paleo diet as well, but you also cut out alcohol, sweeteners like honey and maple syrup. A big rule of thumb is to not make dishes that resemble desserts and dessert like breakfasts (like pancakes).
The reasoning behind the Whole 30 is to train your body and mind into wanting healthier options. And then, after the 30 days you start to slowly re-introduce foods to see how your body reacts. If you are thinking about doing this, I highly recommend purchasing the Whole 30 Book by Melissa Hartwig and Dallas Hartwig. This will explain everything to a "T" including how you will feel physically and emotionally on which days (and there's some great recipes in the book too).
Option three is a Macrobiotic diet. This diet is something my health professional would love me to adopt fully and I haven't gotten there yet (although I am closer and closer to doing it all the time now more than ever.) This diet does things a bit differently than Paleo and Whole 30.
So to start, you eliminate dairy, gluten, meat and all sugar (including honey and maple syrup, but rice syrup is OK). You can eat a small amount of fish. You also can eat beans and grains like brown rice, quinoa and amaranth. The way you prepare things is important, as is what time of year you eat certain foods. For instance, eating more warming foods in the winter and more cooling foods in the summer. There's particular ways to prepare vegetable dishes (like to slowly cook vegetables in a bit of water- called Nimeshe.) You use lots of healing plants in your diet including kuzu (Kudzu) and seaweeds. Beans and grains are soaked so that they become softer and easy to digest.
This diet also includes prebiotic and probiotic foods to help restore the gut. Things like home made pickled veggies, sauerkraut and even coconut yogurt.
If you are curious about this diet, I highly recommend The Kind Diet by Alicia Silversteen and The Self Healing Cookbook by Kristin Turner. Both are incredibly helpful in explaining dishes and the ins and outs of macrobiotics. Also my favorite shop (in person and online is Health Goods Market.) They have everything you might need for this lifestyle. You can find more about them here: http://www.healthgoods.com
My system really likes this one because of the added in grains. I need a bit of grain to not only ground me, but also to help my digestive system.
JUST ELIMINATE WHAT IS BOTHERING YOU
I chat in the podcast about ways to just eliminate all the things that are bothering you!
Another option I've seen in the world and haven't tried, include the Keto Diet. This also eliminates the inflammatory foods. It's higher in fat, protein and very limited in sugar (including fruit). I've heard that this diet is great for getting things in order, but because you basically put your body into ketosis, it isn't great to do forever.
I've been curious to try the Sakara Signature Program which delivers food for the week to your door. It looks a lot like the Macrobiotic Diet (but is completely Vegan). They offer standard meal delivery, a 10 Day Reset and an option for brides. They also include supplements that appear to be helpful in reorganizing your gut biome. You can check more about it here: https://www.sakara.com .
When I was starting out, I didn't know of any of these options! It took a lot of researching, trial and error and learning to find ways to that worked well for me to feel good, connected and with better energy. I hope this helps you if you are feeling yucky and starting out with your own healing journey!
Until next time, be well and do fabulous things!