Tuesday, January 18, 2011

My "Crazy" Diet, the Wrap-up

***update: I forgot one major positive change! It is added below.***

I wrote about my family's health issues and my own concerns that led me to embark on a healthier lifestyle here and here. Ultimately, it led me to see a nutritionist who put me on what many people think is a "crazy" diet, and although it took me a few weeks to get into the swing of things, now I view it as a completely normal and decent way to eat.

I've been meaning to write about what positive changes I've seen in my own life, so I'll take a few lines here to do just that. For brevity, I'll use bullet points:

  • Headaches - I used to have 2 to 3 headaches a week. Not migraines (although my nutritionist does deal a lot with people who suffer from those) but more of the end-of-the-day, tired-as-all-get-out kind of headache. Sometimes I would take a Tylenol or ibuprofen for them, and sometimes I would just go to bed and sleep it away. I do not have headaches anymore (unless my neck is out - but that is a different post).
  • Cholesterol - mainly the #1 reason I went to the nutritionist, my cholesterol levels had only been going up as I got them checked each year. And although my numbers were not dangerously high, they were elevated and at the tipping point. My family history did not bode well for them ever going down naturally on their own. After only 2 months of the diet, my overall cholesterol number went down 18 points and my triglycerides dropped 30. I'm actually pretty excited to get them checked again this summer and see how much lower they have become.
  • Sensitive stomach - if you've know me for any decent amount of time, you know that lack of sleep, late nights, strange foods, or too much excitement in general will affect my stomach. As a child, it always manifested itself in throwing up. Always. Like at every slumber party I've ever attended. As I've grown older, it has started to affect my digestion in different ways, but unpleasant just the same. Since starting this diet, I have traveled and stayed up late and eaten unfamiliar foods without it affecting my digestion. Massively huge difference this has made!
Some of the less tangible benefits have been an increase in energy, and most of all, an overwhelming sense of health and vitality. I used to obsess about every ache and pain and imagine what terrible diseases I probably had, but going off sugar has had the most significant benefit to me. I used to be embarrassed to give sugar that much credit, thinking it showed my spiritual immaturity to give a food (or lack thereof) credit for changing me. But I had a friend tell me, "You cannot separate your physical body from your emotions." In other words, God created our body to respond to certain stimuli. And if my body was reacting to all the sugar I consumed and it was affecting my mood and emotions, then it isn't cheating God of His glory to admit a diet brought about changes in my emotional well-being. After all, that is how he intended our bodies to work!

There have been other benefits from this diet, but some are too personal to share on a public blog! ;) So I'll leave it here and tell you that although my diet might look crazy to you, it has been a gift to me, and one that I'll gladly share with you if you want more details.

God bless!


Miscellaneous From Missy said...

I'm so happy for your wonderful benefits. I'm struggling to make a total committment to my lifestyle change right now. When I was fully committed, I loved it. So I'm not sure why I'm holding back now.

You made a really good point about sugar and God. :-)

Jennifer said...

So Donette, is this basically a low blood sugar type of diet? I have such an addiction to sugar and I know now the older I am getting I really have to change that. I started reading a book called "The Low Blood Sugar Handbook" and realize I have like almost all the symptoms of low blood sugar. Would love it if sometime you could blog some of your recipes that you use often. Also - do you end up having to fix separate meals for your family, or have you been able to all eat the same thing?

The family Z said...

It may be a low blood sugar diet, but essentially I think it is just good practices for anyone's diet. I am not on it for blood sugar issues.

I might blog some of the recipes in the coming weeks (and months)! My family has been subjected to eating what I'm allowed to eat, for the most part. I make beans to go on the side of each meal, and the kids usually don't partake of those. Mostly I have been stressing the need for protein and veggies at meals for them.