Thursday, July 11, 2013

Good health, Gluten free diet and food journals

Sometimes I feel just plain silly. For twenty five years I have kept a food journal, recording every food, quantity and even the seasoning I have consumed. I started the record of intake on the advice of a doctor following a blood test that indicated I had certain food sensitivities. No allergies mind you, simply sensitivities. Gluten was one of them so for many years I avoided anything even remotely related to wheat or barley. Because most gluten free substitutes used sugar to compensate for the lack of gluten, I switched to diet soda and other sugar free items on the shelves to help keep  my weight down. About five years ago I began slowly re-introducing gluten back into my menu. I dearly love a good sandwich, hot dog or burger for lunch and toast on a Sunday morning after church. Seemed OK to me but I kept up with the diet soda and other stuff. Mmmm! Cake, cookies, French bread, short cake, all the good things in life were back. I enjoyed eating so much I ignored the danger completely even though I was recording the food and my health situation. That's the silly part. Here's what I mean:
Slowly, ever so slowly, I started to be plagued by heart burn, then came some headaches, in my entire life headaches are so uncommon I could probably count them on one hand. Bad headaches too. Still I ate that delicious bread and cake. My legs began to hurt so bad I could barely walk by the end of the day. They cramped up all night long too, keeping me awake and in pure misery. My energy level dropped precipitously, I am a man full of energy and anticipation, waking early each day looking forward to whatever comes along. A happy guy I've said so many times. Unhappiness slowly crept into my daily life. I was almost crippled, miserable, confused and in constant pain. The doctor suggested some pain medication but tests were not showing anything more than the difficulties resulting from getting older, I was simply wearing out. I have an aversion to pain meds other than aspirin so I just put up with the pain and inconvenience for five years.
A bit over a month ago I woke up in the early morning, about 12:30am. In pain, heartburn burning my throat, legs twitching uncontrollably and a pounding headache. I decided to stay up and do whatever I could to get my mind off the misery until it was time to go to church. I began reading my food journal. After an hour or so a light went on in my head and I laughed at myself for my own stupidity. "Gluten" was a glaring connection to me problems. before returning to eating gluten I had felt terrific, after introducing gluten back into my diet I became miserable. Duh!
I have eaten no gluten since that moment. I began feeling better by that very evening, I have not suffered heartburn or a headache since. The legs on the other hand continued to be a problem. What to do, what to do? Back to the food journal. What else could the problem possibly be? I didn't like the idea of simply getting old but if that's what it was I would accept it with grace. Right? Well, there was just enough evidence in that journal to indicate that the leg problem began to increase at the same time I started to drink diet soda and eat foods with sugar substitutes. What the heck! I had nothing to lose so I eliminated diet, sugar free and sugar substitutes of every kind from my diet. I am happy to report that the leg problems are reduced greatly to where I can walk reasonably well, climb and descend stairs rather easily and even ride a bicycle again without pain of any consequence.
So there you have it. The happy is returning to my life once again. It's a wonderful feeling to wake up after a full night's sleep filled with anticipation for the coming day. Yeah, it's a areal treat. I offer you this suggestion: Start a food journal, be faithful, record your food and liquid intake every day. Also record how you feel and any health issues you may have, if the worsen or get better within three days of any particular food or liquid consumption. I'm certainly glad I did. even if it took me five years to get it through my thick scull.

Join me in my exultation, it's a very happy place.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

My dad on being the critic

On this last day of reminiscing about my pop, recalling his perspective regarding critical folks pervades my thoughts. He wasn't keen on those that would impose their will on us, for whatever reason. "No one died and made them king, queen or judge and jury."

Criticize the cook-be prepared to go without food
Criticize the giver-be prepared for nothing
Criticize a woman's appearance-be prepared to be alone
Criticize the doctor holding the scalpel just before surgery-that's just plain stupid
Stuff like that. If you criticize be prepared for all the ensuing consequences. Try as I might, I have a hard time remembering that, especially when I'm driving. I find it hard to believe some of those idiots are allowed to drive on public roads. Getting in my way, going too slow, going too fast, forgetting to signal a turn, generally not giving in to the fact that if all drivers simply did my will there would be peace and tranquility on every thoroughfare everywhere. I keep thinking it's pure fact, not criticism, right?
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