Yesterday, I felt awful all day. I couldn’t get out of bed. I looked sick. My skin, which seemed to be improving a few weeks ago, soon after returned to the way it has been for the past two years with fluid building up under it. (I’m really, really tired of this! I just want to look like a normal person!) My mood was irritated and down and I felt even more tired than I have been. I still can’t see out of my right eye, and my eyes water most of the time (especially when I go outside). My nose runs a lot, too. Every single day since my jaw surgery in 2006, I’ve struggled with a constant sinus infection on my right side. Since it is a structural problem (all of the cilia were removed), nothing can be done to remedy this situation. All day, I wondered if I might have histamine intolerances in addition to my other issues. I looked up high histamine releasing foods and found kefir, kimchi, sausage, fish, and spinach (!) on the list. It also said that strawberries, papayas, bananas, and avocados were histamine releasing foods which should be avoided. (Spinach, kefir, strawberries, and papaya are four main ingredients in my breakfast smoothies, sausage and fish have been protein staples, and I have been eating kimchi every day since September, because I was told that kimchi contains live probiotics that are much more effective than the ones in any pill!).
I then looked up high FODMAP foods, which should be avoided if you have IBS symptoms. This diet says to entirely avoid garlic and onions, and that artichokes, asparagus, celery, scallions, apples, apricots, blackberries, dates, nectarines, pears, plums, watermelon, and honey should all be avoided (just to name a few)!! (ARE YOU KIDDING ME??)
The GAPS (Gut and Psychology Syndrome) diet, which was my starting point, centers around eating fermented foods (such as kimchi and kefir) and advises to eat a cup of bone broth with every meal. Almonds are approved on this diet.
The Autoimmune Paleo diet, which I have been following for the past seven weeks, eliminates all nuts and seeds, as well as all dairy, eggs, grains, legumes, and nightshades (if you don’t eat meat and fish on this diet, you will not get enough protein). Honey and maple syrup are the only approved sweeteners on the list.
All of these different diets and their conflicting approved and non-approved food and supplement lists make me want to throw up my hands, give up, and eat three chocolate bars! Last night, I did just that. I was sick of eating chicken and the same vegetables again and again (especially after learning that the canola oil that Whole Foods cooks their vegetables in ranks as one of the worst things you can ingest! I also discovered that I have been unknowingly eating farmed salmon all of this time! Ugh!). Instead, I ate a ‘Kind’ bar (with nuts and chocolate and bad oil) and half a chocolate bar for dinner. This afternoon, I had a coffee, another Kind bar, and more chocolate. Did I feel bad about this? No.
The truth is, NO ONE knows how to heal the gut or how to heal autoimmune disease. You can spend your entire life examining these food lists, eliminating one fruit and vegetable after another, and coming up with a handful of foods that you *think* are okay to eat. How can a person live like this? How can they even keep on weight? I personally think this view of labeling healthy foods as poison is insane. The body needs variety. One nutritionist is admitting that many of her clients who suffer from autoimmune disorders are not healing after more than a year of being strictly on the AIP diet. In her new book, she suggests that they go back and eliminate even more foods, including starches such as sweet potatoes, and blueberries. And now, she recommends they take expensive food sensitivity tests to determine their own specific allergies and foods to be removed in addition to the ones on the AIP list.
One question that no one seems to be able to answer is how long should a person stay away from all of these supposedly harmful foods? Three months? Six months? A year? An entire lifetime? Should they then pay for another expensive test to see if anything has changed within their body after not eating it for this amount of time? How will they know if a food is ever okay to eat again if it does not produce a noticeable reaction in the body (which many do not)? How does one lose their sensitivity towards specific foods?
This past week, I read a book that was published in October, which I will now be using as my guide on what to eat in order to heal. This source bypasses all advice from doctors and nutritionists who are only in the very earliest stages of learning. Most doctors are 20 years behind the current literature. It will be another 30-40 years before they start to understand autoimmune diseases. And they may NEVER understand how to heal the gut. Who has decades to wait for help? The information in this book comes straight from Spirit. In an upcoming post, I will write out some of the things I have just learned!