Changing My Diet
This blog features recipes that are plant-based, locally produced, gluten-free, and refined-sugar free. I help mid-life couples get healthy and avoid drugs, but my recipes are easily adapted for singles and families.
If you have hit 50 and recognize that you need to change the way you’ve been eating, this blog is for you. Recipes may help you lose weight, and might be suitable for people with diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, celiac disease, cancer, fibromyalgia, and chronic fatigue syndrome. I tag each recipe with the appropriate tags, but please check with your doctor if you have any questions about a particular recipe.
Why change? In 2003, I got really, really sick. Off-work-for-six-months sick. Can’t-walk-around-the-block sick. Thankfully, we had great insurance, so the multitude of doctor visits, tests, and two back surgeries didn’t bankrupt us. I was diagnosed (because nothing else explained it), with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and fibromyalgia. There’s no treatment. So, you’re kinda on your own, and too exhausted to research options.
It turned out I also had stress fractures in my back. Even after getting my back fixed, I still wasn’t totally well. Finally, I went to Mission Hills PT, where they practice Integrative Manual Therapy. They told me my body was full of inflammation, and that I should give up sugar. Give up sugar??!! I lived on sugar! Sugar was what was getting me through the day! They strongly urged me to try it for a month.
What giving up sugar means to me: No white or brown sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, dried cane syrup, or anything with -ose at the end of it. No white vinegar, because it’s basically fermented high-fructose corn syrup. NO artificial sweeteners. For a really thorough discussion on sweeteners, see this excellent post from Gluten-Free Goddess. I know there is controversy about sweeteners. I use Madhava Organic Agave Syrup in some recipes, which is produced by traditional methods and supports the local farmers who raise it. This supports my health in a way that other sweeteners do not. I also use coconut nectar, brown rice syrup, maple syrup and sugar, and coconut sugar. You can also use stevia. I have never liked the taste of it, but it’s a great option. They encouraged me to go easy on those for a while, too. At that time, I avoided anything with fruit juice concentrate in it. Now that I’m feeling well, I can have that in small amounts, and other types of vinegars, like balsamic and pomegranate. I make most of my own condiments now.
What it really means: No processed foods. I spent a month reading labels in the grocery store… almost everything has corn syrup in it! Watch the movie Food, Inc. or read The Omnivore’s Dilemma and you’ll understand why. So, it was back to cooking everything myself and eating fresh, local foods.
I started feeling better in about three weeks, and have made steady progress ever since. A year later, they also suggested I give up gluten. I did, and that really did the trick. I don’t have celiac disease, but I do find that I get inflammation symptoms the next day if I have either sugar or gluten.
In September 2010 I went vegan to see if it would lower my cholesterol… and it did. 40 points in 5 weeks. So I am 99% vegan when at home and as much as I can when traveling. The Hubs is nearly vegan too, dropped his cholesterol 60 points, and is off statin drugs.
So, the question is, do you need to change your diet? Change is hard… you have to have some kind of motivation. For some people, turning 50 is the key. For me, I never want to be that sick again. Making these changes, which are now just how I live, have given me back my life. And, we eat very, very well. So I hope my story—and recipes—will encourage you to make changes that will help you feel your best. All my recipes are Husband-tested and Approved, and he was a big meat-and-potatoes guy when we met.
Please note the following disclaimer: The statements on this blog are my own personal opinion, have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration or medical professionals, and are not intended to diagnose, cure, mitigate, treat, or prevent any disease. Please consult your doctor if you have an illness of any kind. This site is intended to share recipes that inspire people to eat well, and not as a source of health or medical advice.