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  • My friend, Joan Albert asked me, when I was over there carving the other day, "how is your diet coming?" And I said, “I'm at my lowest weight this year and since November 19, 2015." And she said, “I thought this diet was not about losing weight." And I said, “you're right, it's not." And that is precisely what I wanted to talk about.

    I wanted to mention effects of my diet on my health. It has many different aspects which I would like to discuss, because I don't think very many people understand the point of the diet or the results and shortcomings of the diet.

    First, what is the diet? This diet is a variant of the Paleo diet, sort of. It's a no-grain, no-pain diet but, unfortunately, it's a lot more complex than that. Let me start by reviewing what my problems were at the time that I began the diet.
  • I had abysmal insomnia, had great difficulty falling asleep, and, on the rare occasions when I finally did fall asleep, I could not stay asleep. I was often awake all night. I was exhausted all the time. For sleep I was taking Ambien, acetaminophen PM and Benadryl.

    And I had brain fog, forgetfulness, and general stupidity.

    I also had terribly itchy skin. My skin was so itchy that I would tear it off until it bled, especially at night. the doctor said to wear gloves and I tried that, but at night, when I was exhausted and in half dozing, I would tear the gloves off so that I could scratch better and I and the gloves were always in the way. The dermatologist did not offer anything that helped the itching. I was covered with wounds and scabs and scars from scratching. I'd scratch the skin right off my body in various places.
  • And I had persistent and debilitating pain. For pain, I was taking meloxicam and acetaminophen's. I Meloxicam every morning and often took the acetaminophen throughout both the day and the night. I had so much pain that I could hardly walk, and in fact, a few times, I actually had to crawl up the stairs because the pain was so great that I couldn't walk up. I also could not walk down the stairs. I had to lower my left leg down to the next lower riser, put my right foot next to it me then lower my left leg again. I could not alternate legs. And not only that, but my left hip would give out with no warning, and I might collapse and fall, unless I were able to catch myself.

    I also had frequent tachycardia and some arrhythmias.

    I have some known food allergies and sensitivities. We already knew that I'm allergic to milk and dairy products and allergic or sensitive to soy and soy products, so I’ve avoided for years now any kind of dairy or soy products. It was suggested that I might be allergic to or sensitive to various other substances in food such as gluten, peanuts, tree nuts, legumes, nightshades, crucifers, anything with sugar in it, and whole hosts of other foods. (Or, these symptoms, unlike my asthma, may not be food-related at all. If not, what causes all the problems?)
  • I've tried a variety of different diets, including the one I'm currently on, which is called the no-grain, no pain diet. If it were only that simple and actually worked, I might be cured by now.

    Let me point out that there's definitely not no pain, in other words, I still have pain. However, the no grain no pain diet is a misnomer. There's so many other things that you're supposed to do in addition to not eating green that it's almost impossible to comply unless you're extremely wealthy and live next-door to the health food store. Anyway, I am doing the no-grain part for the most part, although, I did taste some of Keith beer the other day, which he handed to me to taste.

    Now I have to start my 30 days of being grain-free all over again from that day. <--frown face
  • This is what I'm abstaining from: dairy products, soy and legumes, nightshades, except on Wednesdays. I'm avoiding all foods that have added sugar and starches and grain substitutes like potatoes, buckwheat, quinoa, etc., all foods with unknown ingredients if I can possibly do that, all foods that contained prepared foods such as frozen or canned meals. At the moment, I am avoiding nuts and legumes, also.

    Here is a list of things that I am able to eat at this point: meat as long as the meat is actually fresh and unadulterated, such as steak, pork chops, chicken, turkey, fresh or frozen fish. Meats that I cannot eat include ham, corned beef, or any other kinds of prepared meats or meats that have ingredients injected into them. At this point I'm still eating crucifers, so that includes Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower and so on. I'm eating green and yellow squash, summer and winter squashes, carrots, parsnips, spinach, lettuce.

    Now, finally, the answer to Joan’s question, how’s the diet going?
  • Besides the fact that I have, in fact, lost some weight (not a lot), and have also lost, for the most part, the cravings that drive me mad with phantom hunger.

    I have reduced pain, and reduced pain-pill intake. I am mostly now completely off acetaminophen. I am, however, still having pain and still on the Meloxicam. The pain situation is improved, but I am not without pain. I can at least walk (although with some pain and limping), and walk up and down stairs, most times able to alternate legs like a normal, healthy person.

    The itching has also improved, and I have cut my Benadryl intake to 2 before bedtime. Before I started the diet, I was getting up every 4 hours to take more. The itching is not gone yet.

    I am sleeping significantly better, most nights. I still have awakenings, and some bad nights, but overall, since the diet, my sleep is much improved.
    And my tachycardia and arrhythmia seems to also have improved.
  • I feel much better than I did, but not well. I also have NOT had 30 straight days on no grain because of the beer sips and the tacos when Graham was here. And I have not been following the entire protocol laid out in the diet. It’s overwhelming. All the different supplements the author suggests. And he suggests seeing a special kind of doctor that probably doesn’t take health insurance.

    I worry about travel, visiting family, eating out, eating with friends. The diet seems entirely onerous to anyone not on it, although it’s fairly simple and the food is perfectly palatable and often delicious. and I’ve discovered by trying it, that very few restaurants offer food that fits my needs. And for me to eat grains, soy, sugar, and whatever else may be causing me pain, itching and insomnia, would cause me misery, pain, exhaustion, horrible itching, and the chance of heart problems. It puts me, my family and friends and my husband all in a difficult situation as far as visits, family meals, eating out, parties and so on.

    It may be that eating this way is ameliorating some other condition I have, but the doctors have diagnosed anything, other than fibromyalgia and insomnia.

    Oh, and I forgot to mention, IF the diet actually works and I reach a pain-free point, then I begin adding foods back in. One at a time, with 3 or more days between each addition. Anything that causes a problem gets dropped and scooted to the end of the list. Tried again later. Eventually, I might be able to eat more normally again. That’s IF this works.

    Monday, February 22, 2016
  • Image: table set for company. My place is the one with the tablet (which I am writing on right now--I had a long period where it would not get online). The breads are zucchini breads from our own home-grown zucchini--this was before I started this diet, when Keith's Mom died and family came for the ceremony.

    (Tomorrow I have Japanese Woodblock Printing class and my poetry class. I miss you all.)
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