In three days I have done a pretty good job of cleaning up my diet, if I do say so myself! If you are following my updates on Facebook, you might have noticed this development after my blog post proclaiming my intentions to eat food instead of food-like things:
Go, other people’s plans, indeed. I have absolutely zero amount of cooking creativity. The idea of making meal plans, shopping and cooking has always felt like a burden to me (rather than the privilege it really is).
Over five years with CRPS, I have encountered many different sources telling me that I can improve my chronic pain condition with diet changes. Cut this food source out, cut that food source out, cut, cut, cut. It’s rather daunting.
Dairy has to go, and that’s less about what anyone has told me that I should do and much more about the blood test that declared me allergic to a protein in cow’s milk. A test I had about seven years ago and whose advice I have always struggled to follow.
Next is the evil wheat grain. Bye bye bread and cakey associates, bye bye all my gluten filled friends. Farewell, cereal.
Agreeing with the need to eliminate gluten has nothing to do with fads and everything to do with the fact that without it, I feel less bloated and digestively disturbed. There is still a lot of misconception about food allergies in society and those strange people that think others who order gluten-free, or soy in their latte, just want to be part of the cool crowd.
I don’t really understand how anybody can be completely convinced that modern processed foods are doing us no damage. Convenience can really drum up a lot of wilful ignorance when it gets into its swing. I have been ignoring my own feelings on the topic for a long time because I just wasn’t in the right place to make these changes before. One does need a certain level of functionality to cook regularly.
Much of the advice that I have read in regards to a “clean” diet leads one toward a vegan path. This has never really felt suited for me. I was a vegetarian for a few years when I was teenager. I ended up feeling crappy all of the time and eventually returned to meat to regain my energy. I knew that were I to attempt to cut meat out of my diet again, it would involve a lot of work to replace those nutrients.
I guess that not feeling as though I could go the full nine yards, all the way to veganism, has stopped me from doing a diet overhaul at all. Mostly, this was just a silly, perfectionism driven, mental block.
The Paleo Solution appears like it might actually be the change of eating lifestyle that I have been looking for. Not only does it cut out the food groups that make me feel bloated and off-colour, dairy and grains, but it replaces them with healthy foods that are simple to prepare. Best of all, I could start following the meal plan as I started reading the book, as the text pointed out in the first chapter. We don’t actually need to understand the whys to change what we put in our mouths for the purposes of seeing what happens.
Not that the whys don’t make sense to me. Humans survived on a diet free of grains and processed foods for much longer than we have been living on the foods that are common today. Also common today are strange, not quite explainable, human body malfunctions including chronic pain, IBS and Depression.
Sure, maybe diet has nothing to do with it, maybe all these chemicals that we surround ourselves with have nothing to do with it…but that’s just not what logic happens to say to me. In my mind, logic wants to give this sensible plan a go and discover for myself if I feel better.
It’s easier to change one’s diet when following a plan. The book has made shopping and planning meals simple and easy, and easy is important when I am trying to make these changes and manage my chronic pain.
The strangest thing about implementing these changes is how eager I have felt! I might not have any cooking creativity, but I have found some cooking motivation. I have also been able to physically handle all of the extra work that I need to do to shop and cook. They’re simple meals, but preparing three meals a day is still a big change to my lifestyle. I really wasn’t sure I could cope, but so far, so good.
I am still going for a walk every day. I basically have to do nothing but rest and relax in order to maintain my diet and my walk, but that’s really OK for now. I know what it’s like to have to do nothing and still not be able to maintain any exercise or food preparation, so it’s actually much more than OK!
I’m living in an in-betweeny house with most of my things in boxes and a good month of little to do ahead of me. This is the perfect time to really focus on my health and improve my CRPS using everything that I have learnt about pain management.
I’ve always known that one day I would need to manage my life without so much input from doctors and physiotherapists, CRPS or not, but it’s weird the way that it really just sort of happened with circumstance. I could have crumbled without my regular Feldenkrais appointments, or Osteopath appointments, and I have in the past. But this time is different.
This time I feel like I am in control and have actual influence over my pain level. I must admit, independence feels pretty bloody spectacular.
Love & Veges,