Whilst sitting at “The Hilton” (Peninsula Private Hospital) after my 3rd dose of chemotherapy of course my mind turns to food!!! (I blame the Dexamethasone). It was a good time to stop and look at how I am going and what I am seeing as good and bad things about following my stomachs messages and wishes (and my Naturopath). So what are the benefits and challenges of following a Paleo based Auto Immune Protocol that are making a difference to my world ??
I should start off by mentioning the amazing debates going on around the place about the for and against of the Paleo lifestyle. There are many people who are truly passionate about Paleo many of the high profile ones seem to be targets. I cannot decide though if it is the food choices or just the way of social media these days. But good for them for standing up and being counted on something they believe in. The troubling thing is some people who chime in on posts and articles who do not know the circumstances of the person who has chosen what food to eat and gives no constructive posts, just rude and hurtful rubbish. At the end of the day, we have free choice and there is no law anywhere that I know that says we must eat the full circle or pyramid of food. It is a recommended guideline. It is really like saying that we must all eat broad beans or brussel sprouts everyday because that are good for us. Well guess what? for every person you find who will eat them, I bet I could find 5 who would not.
Right now at this point, I classify myself as a moderate Paleo due to food intolerances and allergies. I did not chose Paleo, it chose me!! Who knew it had a name and would help me so very amazingly?
As I am slowly working through the Auto Immune Protocol part of it all, I am just listing up those foods that cause a reaction and add them to the intolerance test results that have already listed 15 items to avoid. (it seems that each chemotherapy makes my tummy a little less inviting to some foods!!!) At the end of this adventure, I am sure that there could possibly be a few items on the list that I do actually eat such as rice.. You see, it is a grain and under strict Paleo it is out. But I use it as my “emergency” food when I am out and about and am limited for choices.. It works a treat and besides I love Sushi!!!
So really, my message to the masses, play nice people, stop spending all your time bagging someone else’s choices as at the end of the day nothing you say will change someones mind. Actually, you are probably causing people to be even more determined to keep going.. At the end of the day, if your body feels good with what you are putting into it, your whole existence is enhanced, and you just cannot argue with that. Do what makes you feel good !! No not the eat junk food all the time and go yummmmm but then your body is sluggish and tired.. mistakenly the yummm factor is thought to be the desired reaction. why do I know about this reaction?? I spent way too many years listening to this all the time.. I really think there is a smarter way to play.. and yes I still sometimes bend and have junk food.. but thankfully each time I say yes, it is getting less and less tasty and I feel less than ordinary within and hour of eating it and in this way I am actually using this path less and less) . The more I investigate the endless recipes, I am finding so many things that easily replace my junk food and also the best desserts around.. The further I go, the more I think that Socrates was onto something- Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.. It is food for the body, mind and soul.
Am I perfect at this ? no way, not even close. My chemotherapy seems to unbalance my body very well and I then struggle with cravings, but really I just need to get a little smarter about it and cook more things and freeze them up before each treatment on my third week (when i feel reasonably good and have some energy). This is probably my most pressing challenge in my endeavour to work it all into my three week cycles.
since leaving behind the food groups and items that re giving me trouble (taking chemotherapy challenges out),
– I have more energy, clearer thinking,
– less belly swelling and bloating and upset tummies,
– prickly rash on my lower back is gone,
– I sleep better (whoo hoo average 6-7 hours most nights and that is even during chemotherapy and full of anti-nausea drugs and steroids!!!)
– My hot flushes have dropped by over 80% and my moods are much more stable and most of the time if I head towards the dark side I don’t hang around in there for long at all..
– and huge bonus, my weight is sitting stable and has been for months and that is even through my current treatments.. (before chemotherapy I was eradicating around 300 grams a week without even concentrating on it).
– Bascially, my body just feels better and more alive and as I noted in my post from July 8th, as my bloods are done every few weeks my inflammation markers just kept on dropping.. and in 6 weeks went from 35 way down to 4.2 (on their way to below 3).
– I take this a proof that my body needs and wants this. (my body and by default it is my families but I do not push this onto others, it is not my place. But if I am asked, then I am the first there with some tasty recipes to try out)
– I have won over the most set in his way of eating man that I know, my husband. He even tells others how much he is enjoying it.. This is the biggest win I could ever wish for (apart from the loss of inflammation in my body!!!)
– when I am out, it can be interesting to choose from the menu without having to resort to being a total food princess (but I am getting better and smarter about it),
– I still crave items that are totally on the no go list (but it should be noted that before chemotherapy started again I was pretty much as zero cravings and it really was not an issue. I am convinced that the the chemotherapy is the leverage bar and causing the imbalance in my body. This is something I can only try to work through as it appears and slowly have acceptable items ready and willing to take their place and stop the cravings.
– Having the energy and stamina to be in the kitchen for the cook ups as my boys are not so good as cooking, let alone cooking in a new way. Or in simple speak they do not like cooking.
– If and when I do stray from the good food list, I bloat really easily at the least and feel really unwell at worst. It actually depends on what it is that I have taken in.
I have sat here for a while thinking about it all and this is really the only few things and if i spend time and concentrate on them, I am sure I can reduce the impact over the next three week cycle.
I am finding things that can be totally indulgent and yet miss all the foods that are my sworn mortal enemy and this is a good thing. I think this is the right track for me and if I am from today on to be known as a food princess then so be it. Sure I cannot eat a list of foods now but I am getting better at it and am getting a list of alternatives together that can be found out and about almost anywhere. Making my eating choices truly portable.. Yay..
Reading back over this, it has been a long time coming and it is certainly not a finished project, but I am sure the benefits are there and I will keep chipping away at it and increase my rainbow of foods and help my body do the best it can.
and finally, the reason I know that this choice is right for me. when you take the complication of chemotherapy away, this choice is not hard, or a chore, it just is and it is quite easy. How can that be wrong?
Just as an example of an amazing dessert – Raw Coconut and Date Tartlets with Raspberry Mousse
I love my Optimum 9400 Blender !!! (and no money changed hands for me to say that either!!)