In some ways, I'm practically a Puritan. I don't drink alcohol, not a drop in two decades. I don't smoke cigarettes (although there were those two weeks of walking on the wild side at 14), or anything else. I love a big bowl of tomatoes, a juicy apple, spicy carrot soup. However, I also love cheese of all kinds, chips and dip, daily (or twice-daily) Saranac ginger beer, brownies, cookies, ice cream, Rice Krispie Treats, cheesy pasta...you get the picture. Know what I don't like? Exercise, other than the occasional leisurely ramble through the woods, cooked vegetables, tofu, seaweed, things that don't taste delicious. Aside from being overweight (with capital letters). I have high blood pressure, chronic heartburn, asthma, achy muscles and joints...and newly diagnosed chronic urticaria with angioedema (read 'hives & swelling'). A biopsy confirmed the hives are not allergy related; the allergist said "your immune system has gone haywire." He added more medication.
My sister recommended I see an acupuncturist. Okay, beats more drugs. So I called hers, who is also a practioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine. We talked and she told me I should see the documentary Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead . It was inspiring, if scary. I'm not seeing a juice fast of a day--let alone weeks or months--in my future. I went to see her yesterday, and along with doing a little acupuncture to help with the itching and a cupping treatment (weird!) to help with detoxing and stress (including the stress of the upcoming life change I've agreed to), and giving me an herbal formula--"Sagely Unblocking"-- to drink twice a day, we had a serious discussion about diet (the aforementioned 'life change').
The premise is that white sugar and white flour cause inflammation, and that the more sugar and (at least) refined carbs are removed from the diet, the less inflammation there is, and that diet is really the first and most significant change to make to un-haywire my immune system. What that's going to look like is primarily vegetables, with some fish and chicken, a very small amount of fruit, a very small amount of dairy. That's what I 'can' eat. There's no sugar/sweetener at all except for a very small amount of maple syrup, and little or no carbs from grains except maybe a small amount of oats (alot of 'very smalls' in there). Although the recommendation is that I substitute a juiced meal for a regular one once a day, I'll wait a bit before spending money on a juicer; those suckers are pricey!** There will be alot of Dr. Hyman's Ultrabroth, soups and salads.
**since writing that sentence, my sister has offered me the loan of a juicer she doesn't use!**
This is scary stuff....it's a big change. The payoff could be huge--good health and weight loss, energy and the physical ability to do things like work in the yard comfortably & romp with the dogs. But to change 50 years of bad eating habits is also a serious challenge with the potential for crushing failure. Linda's on-board with it, and wants to follow the same eating plan, which is awesome and very helpful. I'm embracing the need to make a serious change, and part of me is actually kind of looking forward to this as an adventure. I'm also looking forward to keeping my hands permanently occupied with knitting and spinning in the snack-free evenings. I hope you'll share suggestions and recipes...