Food is a fascination of mine. It can bring great comfort and cause tremendous pain. The “rules” of what is right and wrong to eat while being chronically ill are not always right for every person in every situation. Let’s look at some exceptions so we know when to bend the rules.
Pick a food, any food, and there is controversy. There are “rules” that are crammed down our throats and we are choking on them. We have to use our own brains and common sense for our particular situations and our bodies.
And then it will change. Our bodies change. Our illness changes.
During chronic illness, we go through waves. There are times when our bodies need more nutrients than others. Times when we need to focus on supporting certain organs more than others. Times when we have food sensitivities to EVERY food, it seems. Times when our frustration level is so high that we simply need to set the legalistic food rules aside.
Be kind to each other. Be as kind to others as you desire others to be to you. Food is a tender subject. There may be a reason you see an ill person eat something that is not logically healthy. Creating stress around it just makes it all the more complicated.
Learn what works for YOU at any given moment and know when to bend the food rules.
Always Exceptions To The Food Rules…
Healthy Fats – if your brain doesn’t work because you are not getting enough healthy fats then you cannot use your brain as effectively to figure out how to heal. Our brains are made up of 60% fat and need healthy fats to function well.
Yet, while trying to kill off parasites, it is a good idea to starve them of fats. But if our brains don’t work because we are not getting enough healthy fats then how are we going to have the brain power to work on our health???
Meat vs Vegan
Meat vs Vegan – In theory, I agree with the concept of being vegan. Yet, if you have Lyme disease, chances are you will do better on a little meat.
My body did not cooperate with my theory of avoiding meat while I had Lyme. I tried for a few years to be vegetarian and suffered.
Coffee – in general, we drink too much coffee with too much garbage in it. It messes with our adrenals and can actually work against us. Yet, for someone with a vascular condition, organic mold-free coffee without any trash cream or sugar can be helpful. And for some, coffee can contribute to detoxing while drinking enough water.
Coffee is interesting. If someone has been drinking coffee for years, I usually recommend they temporarily get off of it and see how they feel. If someone has never drunk coffee, I usually recommend they temporarily get ON it and see how they feel. An informed decision comes with experimenting.
Wine – in general, we drink too much alcohol creating all kinds of problems with health and social issues. Yet, clean wine has some benefits for heart and vascular health. Yet, if one has any brain issues, it does more damage than good.
People with Lyme normally tend to have brain issues, including inflammation. Trust me, I know. Drinking wine while having Lyme brain issues does not work. Having vascular issues AND Lyme is not an excuse to drink wine. Usually, the brain cannot handle it if there are brain issues. But if I had only the vascular issues and not the Lyme or TBI’s, I would be all for clean wine.
Raw vs Cooked
There are benefits to both raw and cooked produce. Raw produce is great for certain times when we are detoxing our bodies. Cooked foods are good when our digestive systems cannot handle breaking down raw produce.
A fun way to experiment is to try a raw diet during the summer months when fresh fruits and veggies are readily available. Then in the Autumn, make a transition to cooked fruits and veggies. Your body will respond differently depending on where you are on your health journey.
Grains – I can safely say that generally, grains are not a good idea because of the gluten. Wheat is not the only grain containing gluten. Gluten can cause reactions and so much inflammation in the body that it just is not worth it. Our brains do better without the gluten onslaught. Our immune system does better when it is not having constant reactions to gluten.
There was a time when I took out ALL grains from my diet and it did seem to help. Then when all of my organs started shutting down I was not able to eat much. I chose Kitchari (healthy special beans, rice and spices) to be able to keep a little food down. I did that for a full year while dealing with the failing organs so that I had nutrients daily. Great success for odd situation.
Sugar – Just simply not smart to consume any processed sugar. It trashes the body on all levels.
Then why do we crave it so intensely? Three reasons…
- It has become so much a part of our culture that we don’t even realize the amount we are consuming
- Addiction – studies show that sugar is more addictive than cocaine – no wonder we are hooked (NCBI)
- Parasites – parasites love sugar so they make you crave it so you will eat it and feed THEM – when the parasites are addressed, the cravings go away
Fruit – The deeper we get into natural healing, the more we hear that we should not eat fruit, because of the natural sugar. During chronic Lyme Disease, it is a good idea to slow down or eliminate fruit. But if you are craving sugar so bad that you are ready to reach for a candy bar or gallon of ice cream, eat fruit instead.
Fruit can be beneficial if you are struggling to get supplements down (especially with kids). If you need a sweet fruit smoothy to hide your nasty supplements, so be it. Better to get the healing
Fruit can also be used for a “treat” or “reward” system while struggling through the complexities of food during illness.
One of the rules has been, NO food combining. It was a big deal when I started my health journey 25 years ago.
Today, it is more acceptable to combine things like fruit and nuts. The combing may reduce sugar spikes when we eat fruit. Those sugar spikes are not healthy for us.
Try some fresh fruit with a handful of organic raw nuts and see if you can feel the difference.
Cold vs Room Temperature Drinks
Room temperature water and drinks are usually the best way to go. Cold water and drinks slow down your digestive system making it harder to digest food. I feel strongly about this and haven’t had an
Yet… I also have had Babesia (Lyme co-infection, similar to malaria). The heat waves, the acid burning feeling, is so intense and so hard to deal with that a cool drink can help. If nothing else, it helps the emotional response to feeling like you are burning by acid.
The same concept would apply for someone struggling through heat flashes of menopause. There are times when comfort trumps strict rules.
We could go in a thousand circles over what is the best water to drink. Keep it simple, what is the purest water YOU can get and YOU will drink?? Doesn’t it come down to that anyway? Not only do we all have different opinions, but we also have different resources. Some can afford to have pure water shipped in, others cannot. Some can make the investment of an exceptional water filter, others can’t. Some like the taste of one water more than others.
Play around with it, try different sources of pure water. As a general rule, tap water is contaminated with numerous substances and well water may be contaminated with arsenic. Each situation is very different. Do the best you can, continue to get educated on the subject as things change. And DRINK pure water!!!
Every single bite of food and sip of fluid you consume can be picked to pieces. We could cover every diet like Keto, Paleo, Vegan, Vegetarian, Raw, etc, etc, etc. We could analyze EVERYTHING and have an argument for the rules we deem necessary for ALL people.
Or, we could relax into food and our bodies. We could learn to listen to our bodies and their changing needs, especially during illness.
When you are thirsty, pick up something reasonable and drink it.
When you are hungry, chances are you need to be fed. Feed your body what it needs and what nourishes your soul along the way.
Give yourself a break when you need to bend a food rule because of circumstances. No, that does not mean wimpy excuses. I am talking about legitimate examples like listed above.
Healing comes more naturally when we relax into the food situation and Find Our Happy Place With Food. Eat wisely, not by all the rules.
Yes, as a health coach, I lean toward eating a clean diet for the sake of our health and happiness. I do wholeheartedly believe that we have to make decent food choices or we can stay stuck in chronic illness. But I don’t believe we should impose such legalistic food rules that we learn the rules instead of learning our bodies and their specific needs.
AFFILIATE DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging and social media activities, I may receive monetary compensation for links to products from this post. However, I only recommend products that I personally love and use myself. If it is not good enough for me, it certainly is not good enough for you!!
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