As promised, I’m gonna talk a little bit about the EXCEPTIONS I’ve built into my diet, as well as the supplements I take.
This is what I came up with for the backside (lolol) of my handy-dandy diet reference sheet:
You’ll notice I haven’t included anything about dosage with regard to the supplements I use. I can’t honestly or accurately tell you how much of ANYTHING on (or off) this list you should (or shouldn’t) be consuming. I CAN tell you why I’ve decided to take these things.
Vitamin C: The long and short of it is that one day, I discovered, incidentally, that a large dose of Vitamin C is highly effective in clearing up my persistent allergy symptoms (sneezing, itchy/watery eyes, runny nose, etc.). Much more effective than the OTC antihistamines and decongestants I’ve used in the past. Faster-acting, too.
I decided to do a little digging into this, and found that this is not uncommon at all. Shortly thereafter I learned that, as someone with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, I probably ought to be taking a larger-than-typical dose of the stuff on the daily anyway.
Now I find that if I make sure to take at least the minimum dosage recommended for my condition, my allergy symptoms are minimal, if not entirely absent. So I’ve bought myself a small pail of pure l-ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) crystals, from which I measure out my dose, then dissolve in a small amount of water. Cheap and easy!
Vitamin D: I can’t say I’ve noticed any difference since I’ve started taking it, but apparently my condition (compounded by my location – we don’t get a ton of sun in the PNW) puts me at higher risk of deficiency, so I take a standard daily dose.
Zinc: this one is purported to “boost” the effectiveness of the first two (Vitamins C and D). I’m not totally sold on taking it long-term, because I find that it upsets my stomach a little – but I’m giving it a fair shake.
Local Bee Pollen: this is about as hippie-dippy, crunchy-granola as I get. I’ve had this one recommended to me by a lot of folks I know personally, as something that helps with seasonal allergies, so I decided to try it. The label recommends easing into it, so I’m only taking a few granules per day at present.
Some will argue with me, but I think that sometimes you just. need. carbs. I believe, in the simplest of terms, that what we eat ought to be conducive to what we DO, and vice versa. Me, I don’t usually need carbs, beyond what I get from my usual rotation of fruits and vegetables. But there are those occasions when carbs are the most suitable option – and I like to be prepared for that.
What I’ve put together here is basically a list of all the really concentrated carbs that I actually like – AND that don’t make me feel like crap when I eat them. They’re NOT appropriate for my everyday diet, but they ARE safe for occasional use.
Having this list to reference helps remind me, especially, that I always regret just eating a piece of bread or a bowl of pasta or something like that, on those occasions when I find myself trying to justify it as the quickest and easiest option.
THINGS TO AVOID:
These are all the things that are precluded as a general rule – either because they make me feel like garbage when I eat them, or because they promote gluttony (which in turn makes me feel like garbage), or because avoiding these things is a quick and easy way of disqualifying foods that are best regarded as garbage regardless of what else they have in them.
A note about non-sugar sweeteners: yes, this includes stevia. And sucralose. And xylitol. And, and and. Yup. If it IS sweet and ISN’T a sugar… it’s garbage.
EXCEPTIONS & INDULGENCES:
Holy Communion: obviously, Holy Communion is exempt from dietary restriction. The caveat here is that I don’t get to sit at home and eat a whole loaf of bread or a box of crackers on Sunday and call it Holy Communion. It has to be the real deal. That SHOULD go without saying, but you’d be surprised what my brain can try to justify (“on principle”) if I don’t keep it in check.
Special Occasions: birthdays, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter… as long as it’s not more than once per month, I let myself eat pretty much anything I want on holidays and special occasions. I don’t find that this sets me back at all.
Indulgences: this is the short list of sweets I’m allowed to have – but only two small bites per day. This typically works out to no more than 10 grams of sugar and about 50 calories. I limit the variety of what is permitted, and only allow myself to choose one sweet per day – never one bite each of two different things. I find that novelty and variety stimulate the appetite, whereas a bite or two of something tasty and familiar is much more likely to abolish stray cravings for other things.
Like I said in my previous post about being FAT, I don’t force myself into strict compliance with all of these guidelines all at once. The point is to do it this way pretty much permanently from here on out. As of today, I’m still eating quite a bit more sugar than I ought to be, for example – though I’ve strictly cut out all of the grains, legumes, and dairy that were really bothering me, and I feel a LOT better for it.
This diet, as I’ve outlined it so far, is NOT a diet that will inherently lead to weight loss, such as a much more carb-restricted/ketogenic style of eating would.
In a nutshell: I don’t do that.
What I will do in the coming days and weeks, once I’ve got myself nicely settled into the broader parameters of my diet, is bust out the kitchen scale – and start counting calories.