It was a little like going gluten free. (I am not diagnosed celiac) My Mother was responsible for my attitude of - if you are going to do something you may as well do it properly first time - saves on having to do it again later! So, when my gastro doctor said -I went the whole hog so to speak and became a gluten super sleuth. Some would tell you I was better at finding hidden gluten than many who really do have the dreaded auto-immune disease.
By the way – going gluten free (and eventually milk free) did help my digestive issues somewhat – although not as much as I had hoped it would.
Then I discovered Grain Free…. and learned that all those gluten free grains I had been buying and cooking with were no good either so they got tossed out and - WOWEE!!!!!! The change I had been looking for finally arrived. My hernia settled down – go figure. My acid reflux of 25 years duration — on prescription medications to help stop regurgitation – vanished in the ether – poof – gone who knows where. I felt so much better because the bloating was not there any longer either and neither was the irritable bowel pain I had suffered from for most of my life. The bouts of constipation versus diarrhea, week in and week out no longer keep me tied closely to the bathroom – I am for all intents and purposes a new woman!
So have I become a Grain Free Extremist? YUP, because that is what I must do to maintain my health. However while all this was happening I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes….. certainly NOT from removing grains from my life – but because I had been eating and living a very poor lifestyle for many years, and slowly, but surely, I had been damaging my vascular system due to all the unknown and certainly unfelt insulin spikes and damage to my liver – my earlier poor lifestyle had caused.
Now I can admit to becoming an extremist (post diabetes diagnosis) but let me be specific….. I became a CARBOHYDRATE EXTREMIST. I knew I had to remove sugar from my lifestyle. I knew many fruits were also high in sugar too. I did what every diabetic ought to do – got a blood glucose (finger prick) meter, and began testing myself before and after meals.
I learned which foods spiked my blood sugars and which ones didn’t. I learned that when I spiked my BGL’s it also meant my insulin levels would soar as well – and that was NOT something I wanted happening. It had been those silent, but deadly Insulin Spikes which had done the damage to my heart, had caused my cholesterol levels to climb, had been responsible also for the fat deposits that were being laid down all over my body and sent my liver enzymes climbing into the danger zone, not to mention triglyceride levels which were very high and unhealthy.
For myself – a registered Type 2 Diabetic It was imperative – if I wanted to not only stop further damage from occurring, but hoped to put the disease into remission – then I had to stop all spikes from happening. To do that meant drastically cutting carbohydrates from my eating plan. YES I could do that….. and over a twelve month period I have all my markers nicely back in the normal healthy non-diabetic range.
But in my enthusiasm for the way of life which I had chosen to follow I became an EXTREMIST, blogging and writing and emailing everyone I could think of, and telling them they would be literally killing themselves if they too, didn’t change their whole lifestyle and ditch the sugar, drastically eliminate the carbohydrates and follow the same way of life – which I believe is helping me tremendously. Will I apologise? Perhaps. Then perhaps not :-)
You see I do really subscribe to this way of life whole-heartedly, and I do want to see people take up the baton and learn how to prevent damaging themselves the same way I did.
However I was reading an article by Tom Naughton (of Fat Head fame) today which helped me realise that we do not have to rant and rave and start wars about the differences in the dietary/lifestyle approaches we use to achieve good health…… we really ought to be seeking the similarities and praising them, rather than ranting over the differences. He wrote:
Take a look at real-food diets falling under various labels – Paleo, Primal, Weston A. Price, the Atkins Diet (as it’s designed now), the Perfect Health Diet – and there’s a helluva lot of commonality: Eat whole foods, not processed food-like substances. Most of your energy should come from fat, not glucose. The Lipid Hypothesis is hogwash, cholesterol is not your enemy, and high cholesterol isn’t a disease that requires medicating. Natural fats, including saturated fats, are good for you. Enjoy your meats and eggs; they won’t kill you. Butter is awesome. Eat a variety of vegetables and low-sugar fruits. If you consume dairy products, go for the full-fat varieties and try to get them as raw and unprocessed as possible. Sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, soy products, processed vegetable oils and modern mutant wheat will screw up your health, so avoid them.
Lots of agreement on what makes for a good diet. People following any one of those diets will end up eating most of the same foods and avoiding most of the same foods. So it’s a little silly to go into attack mode because some people consume potatoes or gluten-free bread and (gasp!) insist they feel better as a result, while others prefer to go ketogenic.
That isn’t to say there’s no battle over diet worth fighting, but please, let’s focus on the real enemy — the supposed nutrition authorities who are actually screwing up the nation’s health.
YES I have to agree with Tom………. tiz far better to work on the positives and find mutual ground – than to dig a huge chasm where differences cannot be worked out – that is the way of extremism and many a war starts that way, I have left that behind me now. There most certainly is room for every individual to tweak their food intake to suit their particular lifestyle and needs.
Till next time, be as well as you can.