What you eat matters. Let me say it again, what you eat matters! I’ve been on a journey these past six weeks, which is the reason for not posting for quite some time. I turned 55 in September. By the time my mother was 55, she had renal kidney cancer, esophagus surgery, lupus, scleroderma, Sjogren’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and Reynaud’s disease. By the time she was 65, she had a double mastectomy due to breast cancer, and by the time she was 70, she had passed away, ultimately from inflammation. She was an amazingly strong woman, and most people would have no idea she suffered with so many diseases, but I don’t want to follow her same path. I’ve learned so much about inflammation since her passing, which I now believe is one of the main root causes of all auto-immune diseases.
Chronic inflammation occurs when an imbalanced immune system sends your body misguided signals that inflammation is still needed long after the initial reason has passed. When we continue to feed our body poisons from chemically sprayed foods, hormone injected foods, grains, or sugar, naturally our body’s defense mechanism is going to kick into high gear to try to rid itself of these foreign pathogens.
One of the main culprits sabotaging our health today is sugar. Looking at how our sugar intake has increased through the centuries should be some indication of its addictive nature.
- Around the 1700’s the average person consumed approximately 4 pounds of sugar each year
- Around the 1800’s, the average person consumed approximately 18 pounds of sugar each year
- Around the 1900’s, the average person consumed approximately 90 pounds of sugar each year
- Today, the average person consumes approximately 156 pounds of sugar each year!
If you don’t think you are consuming that much sugar, next time you go to the grocery store, read the labels of the foods you buy. Sugar is in just about everything! To see what sugar is doing to your body, check out my article on http://www.glutenfreeyummy.com/sugar-toxic/.
My husband and I had been following the ketogenic diet for four weeks before flying to Paris. I told him I was certainly not going to follow the keto diet while there, knowing delicious food awaited me. If you are unfamiliar with the keto diet, it consists of 5% carbohydrates, 20% protein, and 75% healthy fats, such as avocados, nuts, seeds, coconut oil, etc. We eliminated all sugars from our diet, including maple syrup, honey, and most fruits, with the exception of a small amount of blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries. The premise behind the restrictions is to bring your body to a state of ketosis where your body uses fat as its main fuel source as opposed to glucose. Why the Ketogenic diet? Because of its health benefits, especially regarding inflammation. A new study was recently published that confirms MASSIVE ANTI-INFLAMMATORY EFFECTS with the Ketogenic Diet.
Here is what I found after the first four weeks of being on the ketogenic diet:
- I lost 6 pounds of unwanted fat
- My mind was clearer and I could recall names quicker
- My adult acne went away
- Frequent headaches or migraines went away
- I slept better at night
- The inflammation in my joints reduced to the point I had zero pain
Then we went to Paris. I indulged in the gluten-free macaroons almost daily, ate gluten-free bread daily, and desserts every night. And don’t get me wrong, they were incredibly delicious!
Here is what I found after reintroducing sugar & grains:
- I gained back 2 1/2 pounds in one week
- my brain-fog returned
- I broke out with acne within three days of returning to sugar
- I had to take migraine medicine during the trip
- I was restless at night
- joint pain started to return
The evidence was sitting right in front of me, or should I say inside of me! We have since returned from Paris and have been on the Keto diet again for an additional 3 weeks. I am back to what I experienced before visiting Paris: no joint pain, no headaches, clear mind. But then I got to thinking, I not only eliminated sugar, but all grains as well. So is it the elimination of all sugar that is attributing to feeling better, or is it the elimination of all grains, or a combination? Dr. Peter Osborne, one of the leading authorities on gluten sensitivity and food allergies has found, the real solution often lies in eating grains. Dr. Osborne states that grains wreak havoc on the body by causing tissue inflammation, creating vitamin and/or mineral deficiencies, and triggering an autoimmune response that causes the body to attack itself. He offers a fascinating book called No Grain/No Pain that you may want to read if you suffer from any type of chronic inflammation or joint pain.
I don’t have a recipe to share with you today but in the mean time, please hop on over to Elana’s Pantry for a delicious keto friendly Blueberry Lemon Bread!