The past few weeks I have been working with a nutrionalist and trying to figure out how to increase my caloric intake as well as fill in the holes in my diet. I originally started out using livestrong.com diary journal but it just didn’t work in my brain.
So I recently changed to myfitnesspal.com and I love it. (BTW, their mobile version is fantastic!) It is user-friendly and anything I eat that is organic is in their database. You can also create your own meals (recipes), they will tally all the nutrients, fat, calories, etc, and then you can save them to add to a future day.
I also love that once I have entered a days worth of food – if I eat the same thing the following day – I just check off the items from the day before and add it to the day I’m on. So simple. Love that.
What doing a food journal/diary has shown me is that I am definitely not hitting 1200 calories a day. Most days I am taking in about 500-800 calories. This would explain why I have hit a plateau and stopped losing weight.
In addition, though, it also explains why I have days were I am suddenly ravenous and eating everything in sight.
While looking over my entries for the past two weeks, I noticed some things that I thought I would share with you.
First, what I put into my body, absolutely and concretely, has a major impact on how I feel. Maybe not the day of (although some things affect me immediately) but within 24-48 hours. And I almost always see a major decline in my energy levels when I eat things I know I shouldn’t, as well as, an increase in cognitive impairment.
As someone who has recently been diagnosed with Celiac Disease, I am seeing firsthand what happens when I eat anything with gluten. Instant intestinal pain, energy crash, cognitive difficulties, mood swings, itchy skin, bloating (serious), gas, bowel changes and on and on.
But beyond that, I believe the gluten just makes the ME that much worse. As do grains, corn and beef (I can only tolerate it occasionally and it has to be farm raised.)
And that brings me to what I have come to realize through this process.
Second, what I put into my body ultimately determines how well or how poorly my body will be able to handle the ME on that particular day.
If I put gluten, processed food, or anything I have problems digesting like grains into my body, my body is then relegated to using my precious energy to deal with digesting and breaking that particular food down.
Many days, that is energy that I cannot afford to do without because that means I am in a crash mode and other things that I might want or need to do, suddenly have to be put off to another day.
This insight is really huge for me. While doing my Morning Pages this morning and trying to process this revelation, I realized that my energy levels need to be handled much the same way I handle my budget.
I have X amount of money for the month and all my bills must be paid. If I make a mistake and am short, then I have to move things around in my budget so it can get that bill paid. Often, that means I must do without something in order to take care of that bill.
Eating for energy is much the same thing really. If I put food into my body that requires an enormous amount of energy to break down, or if I put a food in my body that creates havoc because my body sees it as the enemy, that means my body must make decisions about where it will take energy in order to deal with the issue at hand.
And that energy that my body reroutes means I am left with less energy to meet the day. Sometimes – and often – I am met with a crash.
Third, the food choices I make while trying to give my body the best fighting chance it has with the ME and FMS, must be food that nourishes my body; that feed it nutrients that help my body do what it was created to do – heal and run efficiently.
I, like Dr. Terry Wahl, am becoming convinced that diet is so intricate in healing that what I put in my body is of paramount importance. Not just for taste and variety, but to fuel my body so it can go about its business of fixing and repairing.
For me personally, eating too much protein, gluten, and grains is really hard on my body. So I am now in the process to find the proteins that are best and easily digested, cut out grains and gluten, and add easily digestible raw or organic dairy.
My only treat, for real, is organic dark chocolate.
Fourth, because of my age and of ME and FMS, I must take digestive enzymes and probiotics everyday. It just is what it is.
I have recently added Organic Kefir to my diet and I am telling you the results are absolutely amazing. It’s almost as if I can feel the Kefir (liquid yogurt, if you will) healing my intestines. Kind of like when you put aloe vera on a cut. And my bowels are completely regular without any drug or over the counter medication. Nice.
I have also upgraded, if you will, to Garden of Life digestive aids. Actually, after the results I have had I am slowly switching over to all their herbs and products.
I tried their (digestive enzymes) raw enzymes-women because the one I was using was discontinued and I wanted to switch to organic/raw vitamins/nutrients. My best friend was having serious issues with her stomach and gut so I gave her a week worth of these new herbs. Within 15 minutes (or less) she no longer had any pain. By the end of the week, she was doing a 100% better.
Again, probiotics and digestive enzymes help my body do what it needs to do with food without overly taxing it in the energy department.
So what does this all really mean for me? I need to be aware and cognizant of everything I put into my body because in the end, what I put in it will dictate what my body can put out in energy, and that energy, will determine how many quality days I have and how well my body copes with ME and FMS.
Determined to continue forward,