Thursday, January 28, 2010

One good day, two bad

It hasn't been the best week as far as sticking to eating yeast free. With the exception of yesterday's good food choices, the rest of the week I have succumbed to weakness and temptation and indulged. Not in sugar so much as the gluten; though that's not to say I haven't had any sugar. I have. BUT...the craving for the sugar isn't nearly as bad as the craving for the gluten. And it is the gluten that is really tripping me up.

And I know I'm just making excuses...but I really, really don't want to have to be 'strict' on my birthday next week. So I am knowingly and willingly making an exception next week. I think planning for it is at least better than just deciding last minute to give in and eat something that may or may not make me sick. While it is mostly yeast-free, there are some things that I can't avoid when making my Creamy Italian Chicken. There is yeast extract in the cream of chicken soup and while I don't really know what yeast extract is (and don't feel like 'Googling' it right now), it doesn't seem like it would be good to have on a yeast-free diet! The white rice is also not yeast-free friendly but I if I am going to indulge, I am not going to waste good creamy Italian chicken on brown rice! So there's the plan. I do intend to make myself a gluten-free, sugar-free cheesecake for my birthday along with a blueberry sauce that is also sugar-free, and while cream cheese isn't the best on a yeast-free diet, it seems a better choice than the cakes I want to eat on my birthday!

The other exception will be on Valentine's day. Kris and I are travelling and planning to go out that weekend and I do not want to be as limited as you have to be when you aren't cooking for yourself at home. But what I am hoping is that these two days will give me something to look forward to and help motivate me to stick to the yeast-free the other days. And if the food I choose to eat makes me sick, it's a consequence I will accept.

I think for me the hardest part about the yeast-free lifestyle isn't avoiding the 'bad' foods. It's the planning. The time that is involved. Unless you've actually sat down and done it, you don't realize how much time and effort and thought is involved in eating yeast-free. You can't just grab something quick, unless it's something you have taken the time previously to cook up, package and then freeze. Pretty much anything in a box, bag or can is out. There's not really anything to just 'grab and go'. Sometimes it is very frustrating. And all of the food that is filling that is 'safe' takes time to prepare. Sure some stuff doesn't take as long as other things...but it almost always takes more time than pouring a bowl of cereal and milk takes.

Lately I've been contemplating why we have (as a society) become so dependent upon the boxed/canned/bagged food, not to mention fast food! It's all about time. What can I eat that is quick and easy? Oftentimes it is the foods that take the least amount of time and energy that are the worst things for us to consume. That truth alone almost makes me angry (don't worry-if you don't know me, I get angry easily...obviously!). We've become so busy that we had to create foods that we could just eat straight from the package (or more often than not the drive thru window) in order to keep up with our busy selves. The more I learn about yeast-free living, and reading food labels, the more I realize that I don't even recognize the majority of the ingredients in most packaged foods. And in order to keep these foods fresh and edible, they have to add preservatives and all kinds of other unknown ingredients that are literally slowly killing us.

I never really got into the whole mentality that what we consume is killing us, until I was diagnosed with Candida. A lot of 'regular' doctors out there don't even recognize Candida for what it is and the effect it has on the human body. Instead, they want to medicate you for your depression, and your anxiety, and give you antibiotics for your chronic bladders infections. Keep you medicated for your migraines, medicate you so that you can sleep at night. Until finally you are 30 years old and taking 17 different medications to control each 'bad' symptom that you have. Why is it that only the more holistic doctors see the truth behind how deeply our bodies are affected by what we consume? I am so thankful I found a doctor who diagnosed this. Because the truth is, before I started living yeast-free, I was depressed. I was having panic attacks. I couldn't keep my weight under control. I had trouble falling asleep and staying asleep (though this one is still an ongoing problem that diet alone has not 'cured'). I had UTI's at least 4-5 times per year. I was tired all the time. And when you look at the research out there regarding Candida, you find that all of those symptoms are symptoms of having an overgrowth of yeast in your body. And in my first 6 weeks living yeast-free, I noticed a HUGE improvement. I was off the Xanax completely. I was happy when I would spend time with my kids. Shoot, I was actually spending time with my kids! And enjoying it to boot!! I felt better in general. My mood was better-I wasn't as negative as most people knew me to be. I had more energy and just a better outlook on life. There was definitely a correlation and I will challenge anyone who tries to tell me otherwise.

And here is where this leaves me. I am off of all of my medications except for the Wellbutrin. That one I will have to be weened off of, and I am not 100% convinced that the depression I fall into from time to time is ONLY food-related. But to go from taking 9 medications to 1 is a pretty significant difference. So if you are feeling tired, or get headaches frequently, or get depressed or anxious, simply changing your diet is a great alternative to taking a different medication to control each symptom.

I didn't really intend to write all of this. I guess it's just been weighing on my mind...and you would think that having said all of that above, I would be more inspired and motivated to avoid temptation. But I think that I will always fight this temptation with food. When you love food like I do, it really is an addiction and it is something you have to fight to control. And I know I've been making some poor choices, but I will get back on track! It's just always that cliche of 'easier said than done' you know?

1 comment:

  1. Hi Jamie,

    I enjoyed reading your post. I am not sure what day this week is your birthday but Happy Birthday! I hope that you enjoy your special birthday meal with your family.

    You touch on a lot of good points in this post. The question as to why we have become so busy we must eat out of boxes and cans angers me too. There have been days when I have been so frustrated after researching products that I have consumed for years and find that they have a multitude of toxic ingredients that I just want to scream at someone. It seems to me as if the FDA enables corporations to kill us slowly and I just don't get it. Sometimes I think that the more you find out the angrier you will become.

    Anyway, looking forward to hearing from you again soon. Again, have a great birthday!