eating to make me feel better? Great!

amyandjoe2014One of the things that interests me in relation to possible link between diet and autoimmune disease, is that it could be relatively ‘easy’ to help ourselves and improve our symptoms.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying we can all be completely ‘healed’, but I do wonder if the food we consume (and specifically the processed, preservative enhanced food) does go some way to irritate our symptoms. Think about IBS for a minute. There’s a definite link between what I eat and how bad my IBS flare up is, so why not the same reaction with other diseases and disorders.

Medicine very often just masks or covers over symptoms and it can be quite hard to get to the bottom of what is actually the root cause of the illness. If the cause of the illness can be understood, or if we find out the cause for the inflammation, rather than just try to treat the disease, ‘normal service could be resumed’.

There is lots of information out there with information about an anti-inflammatory/ process of elimination diets. The idea of these diets is to remove possible triggers of inflammation from food allergens. This essentially includes eliminating sugar, dairy and gluten (from wheat) and using supplements/ multivitamins containing vitamin D, B12, and folate; fish oil (they are anti-inflammatory. If there has been an excessive use of antibiotics, there may be the requirement to treat a yeast infection. It might also be beneficial to use probiotics to support a healthy gut. Dr Hyman talks about this in his blog ‘is there a cure for auto immune disease‘.

I know I’ll find it hard to remove sugar, dairy and gluten from my diet for a few reasons:

A), I’m lazy! It’s just too easy to chuck a pan of pasta on for tea when I’m feeling lethargic and it would mean working out what else I can eat at lunch instead of cheese sandwiches.

B), I have a two-year old. I need healthy AND nutritious on a budget.

So what can I do?

Initially, it looks too hard for me to contemplate. But the basics of the whole30 diet is quite simply about…

Eating real food!
Yes! I can eat meat, seafood, eggs, as many vegetables as I can get, some fruit, and plenty of ‘good’ fats from fruits, oils, nuts and seeds (I’ll come back to coconut oil and animal fats later). Basically, the aim is to eat totally natural and unprocessed foods.

Avoid these things for 30 days
Here’s what NOT to eat during the Whole30 program.

  • sugar of any kind, real or artificial. No sugar, syrup, honey, sweeter…Read food labels, because sugar gets hidden in products. If you’re not sure, don’t eat it.
  • alcohol in any form.
  • grains. This includes (but is not limited to) wheat, rye, barley, oats, corn, rice, millet, bulgur, bran, sprouted grains and all of those gluten-free things like quinoa. Again, read the labels. If you’re not sure, don’t eat it.
  • legumes. This includes beans of any kind, peas, chickpeas, lentils, and peanuts. No peanut butter! This also includes all forms of soy – soy sauce, tofu, edamame, and any sneaky soy products like lecithin.
  • dairy. This includes cow, goat or sheep’s milk products such as cream, cheese (hard or soft), yogurt (even Greek), and sour cream… with the exception of clarified butter or ghee.
  • sulphites/ MSG (this was often found in take away food, I’m not sure it still is in the UK). If these ingredients appear in any form on the label of your processed food or beverage, ditch it!
    This information (and much more) was found at ‘weed ’em and reap‘.

The clothes make the girl‘ has made this process even easier… great meal plans to help you shop and prepare meals in advance so you don’t succumb to temptation! She even provides a downloadable shopping list to make the experience as pain-free as possible. I think I would make my own bone broth rather than buy stock (I have already started adding bone broth to my diet as I wrote about a few days ago. This is to help the ‘leaky gut syndrome’ – the idea that all health issues stem from the gut and is where nutrients are lost).

Sounds like I’m coming round to the idea…

Finally, I’m a big believer in supporting local businesses. Please do not hesitate to let me know if you also provide any services or have your own business, I would love to hear about it and share that information with others.

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