I’m going on a scary diet!
Now, before you start going all “What do you need to diet for?” and “Just eat what you want and be happy”, let me explain.
I’ve been suffering from bad acid reflux for many years now. In fact, I’ve had digestion problems all my adult life but it was only in the last few weeks that it got bad enough for me to take serious action.
I’ve seen my doctor a lot over the years because I have a laundry list of ailments. She would keep sending me for blood tests and the results would show normal levels of everything and she would be, like, you’re fine and healthy. Then she’d give me medication to treat symptoms. But the problems always come back.
Recently, I came across this article and thought it made a lot of sense (all six parts of the article).
The author, Chris Kresser, a prominent practitioner of alternative medicine, suggests that acid reflux and heartburn are caused by insufficient acid and bacterial overgrowth in the stomach. And this, in turn, is caused by consuming food that is unfriendly to human digestion.
I really relate to that because I know what foods trigger acid reflux in me and what foods give me indigestion and bloating.
In his book, The Paleo Cure, the author talks about all the different types of food and why they are (or aren’t) meant to be eaten.
(If you’re in the UK, you want to look at Your Personal Paleo Diet, which is the same book but using UK terms and measurements.)
Reading the book, I realised that I do get digestion problems whenever I eat foods in the “unfriendly” food group, such as wheat products (bread, pasta, pastries), dairy (cheese, milk, cream), deep-fried food using industrial oil, and legumes (soy products and things like edamame beans).
I also realised that I had only started getting my laundry list of ailments after moving to the UK and adopting a more British diet.
If you’re familiar with the paleo diet, then you know what I’m talking about. If not, here’s a cartoon to explain it.
Click it to read the whole thing:
So, I’m going to do a 30-day paleo reset diet as set out in Chris Kresser’s book.
For 30 days, I will not eat anything that has been proven to cause an inflammatory response in the body because, to put it very simply, the human body is not equipped to digest these items properly:
- Dairy products.
- Grain products and all gluten-free substitutes.
- Pulses/legumes (beans and peas and their products).
- Sweeteners, natural and artificial. (Only fruits are allowed.)
- Processed/refined food.
- Industrial seed oil.
- Fizzy drinks, fruit juice and alcohol.
- Processed sauces and seasonings.
These foods cause inflammatory responses in the body to varying degrees in everyone. We’re all different because our bodies have evolved different degrees of tolerances to different foods, but even if we’ve evolved a tolerance, it still means the body prefers not to have it.
If you keep overloading your body with food it prefers not to have, it will break down eventually.
This is important to know because inflammatory responses in the body lead to a whole host of ailments from small ones (eczema, acne, indigestion, depression, weight gain, etc) to the big scary ones (diabetes, cancer, heart disease, etc).
So, the idea of the diet is that you reset your health by eating only body-friendly food for 30 days. After that, you slowly reintroduce the “body-unfriendly” food groups one by one to see how your body reacts to each. In this way, you can find out your tolerance levels for everything.
Going forward, if you want to live with optimal health and not succumb to scary diseases, you tweak your diet so that you try to eat wholesome food at least 80% of the time (if not 100%), but you can eat the other foods you can tolerate, 20% of the time, otherwise it’s too impractical and you could never eat out!
I started easing into a paleo diet two weeks ago and found that acid reflux doesn’t happen when I eat right. When I eat the wrong food, it comes right back.
Like, one day, I had hummus and crispy flatbread for lunch, thinking it was kind of healthy, but got a really severe case of reflux that lasted 12 hours (until I finally managed to fall asleep.) Then I read the book and realised chick peas and wheat are inflammatory agents.
I will finish my easing-in period by the end of the week and start the proper 30-day reset diet on June 19!
A couple more paleo meals I’ve made:
It’s really not too bad, and there are a lot of tasty meals to eat in paleo. But there is an adjustment period where I start craving bread and pasta, and even chocolates and cakes (which I had already stopped eating and craving for two months.)
The main deterrent is the time it takes to cook meals every day since you cannot eat food that comes packaged nicely in the supermarket, and you cannot eat out because restaurants might use “unfriendly” seasonings and oils.
But it has got to a “do or die” point, so I’m going to have to stick with it. If you’re also suffering health problems that won’t go away, perhaps you want to join me? :P
Also, please like and follow my Facebook page if you’d like to see regular updates on my diet because I won’t be blogging about it too much.
Wish me luck! :)