Food choices and food restrictions
Friday, January 04, 2013
So I'm going to try losing weight using the old Weight Watchers points method. Using this method, I am allowed 22 points a day. So this morning, I calculated the points in my multi-grain bagel and Earth Balance spread. Eep! 9 points! I'll be looking for a lower point bagel or other replacement.
Now, on to my crazy food restrictions.
1. Caffeine -- sometimes articles come out stating that caffeine is a drug and that some people get crazy side effects from it? Well, I'm one of those crazy people. In college, I'd fill up a 24-oz. travel mug with coffee and head to class (normal, right?). Well, Junior year I started getting frequent panic attacks and generalized anxiety. I went to a psychiatrist who tried to blame it on my parents. I decided to look at my diet instead, and realized I was drinking A LOT of caffeine. I stopped drinking it and the anxiety and panic decreased. A few years later, I was diagnosed with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). Between a low-dose med and cutting out caffeine, I can keep my OCD, panic and generalized anxiety under control.
2. Dairy -- about a year and a half ago, I started getting all sorts of strange physical problems. My abdominal muscles hurt like I had done hundreds of sit-ups, my abdominal mid-line hurt as though I had pulled a tendon, my bladder was tender (I kept going to the doctor to be tested for a UTI but didn't have one), I had irritable bowel symptoms, and my lower back hurt. I kept going to doctors trying to figure out what was going on, but they couldn't find anything wrong with me. At the point, at 35 years old, I had a doctor tell me that this is just what happens when you get to a certain age. I didn't agree with that statement and decided to go on an elimination diet. As I reintroduced foods into my diet, I found that the symptoms returned when I ate dairy products. I never thought I would be so happy to find out I had lactose intolerance! I finally had an explanation for all of these symptoms AND could do something about them!
3. Sugar. While all of the lactose intolerance symptoms were occurring, I was also getting monthly BV and yeast infections. During my monthly visits to the doctor, he would give me meds, but the problems never went away. By this point, I was losing faith in my doctors' ability to figure out what was wrong with me so I went to Google. A lot of people online with similar problems found that cutting sugar out of their diet helped a great deal. So I started by cutting out refined sugar, but I continued to use natural sweeteners and eat fruit. I continued having the same problems. Next, I also cut out natural sweeteners but kept eating fruit. No change in my problems. Finally, I cut out EVERYTHING including fruit. I went to the doctor twice for check ups (I couldn't believe it the first time), and they couldn't find any problems "down there"! I had monthly BV and yeast infections for two solid years until I stopped eating sugars. The best part, though? I also stopped getting colds. I used to be sick constantly through the winter -- one cold would turn into the next. My first winter of no sugar I got sick twice. I started Google-ing again and found studies that show that sugar weakens the immune system.
So, long story short, I avoid caffeine, dairy products, and anything with sugars (natural, refined, anything). I use artificial sweeteners, almond milk, and am able to make most anything I crave using substitutions. It has taken me two years of experimenting on myself to figure out all of the above. Now I feel that I have a handle on all of my food restrictions and need to focus more on the foods I can eat. I am overweight (5'5", 180 lbs) and am ready to reduce!