Mostly Diet and a Few Other Updates
On the dairy foods thing - right after that delicious creme brulee, I stopped eating dairy. This is the end of day four. I already don't eat a lot of dairy. About the only dairy I thought I had left in my diet was healthy dairy - like nonfat yogurt or perhaps a bit of feta on a salad. Or an occasional splurge of a pat of butter or even more of a splurge of a bowl of ice cream - although I regret the ice cream so often that I rarely go ahead and bother eating it anymore. But, I was wrong. Although I'm not a big dairy person, dairy products are sort of an integral part of a lot recipes in ways I hadn't even thought about.
I know it's been only three days but it's been interesting how much avoiding dairy has changed my diet - for the better. I've eaten more vegetables and fruit, more proteins, more healthy carbs that have taste on their own. It's challenging though as there are dairy products in things you'd never guess - like in some brands of crackers. Why put milk in crackers!? I'm feeling better but I don't know if it's because I'm eating no dairy or just because I'm eating better and I'm feeling more in control and hopeful.
It's hard to tell if no dairy is making any difference. Although I feel better I don't know if my nose is better. My nose always have a worse time of it in the middle of winter - all the dry cold air makes it crack and bleed and feel stuffed up and .... well, you don't want to know the details. So it's hard to tell if having less of all those symptoms is "improved". Maybe I'll have to try this again in the spring when there are fewer other factors to battle. But, I'll keep it up for another day or two and then eat some dairy and see if there's a noticable difference.
Speaking of diet, I took photos of the meal we had when our friends Debbie and Dave had us over for dinner about a month ago. Debbie goes crazy cooking all day when we come for dinner and I love it and feel guilty over it because I tend to reciprocate with a far less sophisticated return invitation. BUT, she loves doing it and she loves that we love it. So, it's all good. The food, in particular is good. Delicious in fact.
Doesn't that look like a great spread!?
My friend Deb is a perfect example of what a difference diet can make. She suffered for years with a lot of health issues, most of them packaged up and labeled Fibromyalgia. I have no doubt that she did indeed have fibromyalgia but the pertinent part of this story is that she also has, and not one of her doctors had diagnosed it, an inability to digest, or allergy to, almost all grains. To make a long story short, she did an elimination diet and found out herself.
Every time she tried to have "just a little" or "maybe this one time won't hurt", the results were so dramatically negative, that she quickly realized that completely reinventing her diet was the EASIER route. Most of her health issues, many which were so severe that she couldn't function at home much less handle an outside job, are now a thing of the past. Although her fibromyalgia does occasionally flare up still, it's no longer disabling.
The funny part is that when we go out to eat together, we're like that Mother Goose couple Jack Sprat and his wife. She's eating meat and heavy sauces and salads and lots of dairy and is in the best health she's been in for years. On the other hand, from my own experiences, I know to avoid most of her choices and eat lots of whole grains and vegetables and lighter proteins. Well and salads. We match on the salads. My point here, in case you need one, is that diet is not a small thing. And more importantly, miracle diets aren't the same for each person. What makes you well might make another person sick.
Several close family members and friends who have been vegetarians almost their entire lives (we're talking three, four, even five decades) are suddenly becoming omnivores again. The ones I've talked to about their decision have said they're doing it for health issues, although they didn't go into details. I'm curious. I tend to be more of an omnivore than anything else, although meat is a very small part of that, but lately I've been finding myself drawn back to vegetarianism and even veganism in ways that I can't really put into words but still, there it is. I don't think I'll actually end up a pure "ism" of any kind, but perhaps I'll move more in the direction of them.
Moving away from diet but still on the topic of health, I'm trying to get back to my regular walking routine again. I keep putting it off, thinking of the time it will take up. But finally I realized it's a false time savings because I always feel so much better, think more clearly, and get so much more done when I exercise regularly that the result is a net plus in productivity. Hey, I don't have any problems wasting time online so why should I worry about "wasting time" walking.
Still sort of on the topic of health, because sleep or lack thereof can have a huge impact on quality of life, we broke down and bought a no bark collar for our dog. My days are more structured because I have to I have to remember to take it off of him and schedule breaks when he can come inside. The idea is to train him not to bark outside in his kennel, which he has to be in because he escapes from the rest of the backyard constantly and he can't remember not to pee in the house unless I'm literally watching him every second. He learned so quickly that he's only barked twice - not rounds of barking, but barks - "Bark" followed by a pause and then "Bark" followed by Buck deciding he's not going to test that baby again. It makes me feel cruel but the ability to get some sleep at night and not spend the entire day running back and forth from the house to his kennel yelling at him (and making me feel guilty and him confused and making me feel so stressed I end up with another headache that lasts all day) has been WONDERFUL.
Several people have gently suggested maybe it's time to have him put down but I just can't do it. He's old and he's senile and he's trouble but he's also so sweet and gentle and confused and he's actually in very good health for his age, which is probably at least 100 in people years, and I think about how I would want to be treated if I was old and..... So it might seem sort of mean but I'm already feeling so much NICER towards him and being friendlier towards him and he seems happier and..... it's, knock on wood, better. His problems are getting worse though and there will probably come a time when..... sigh. Right now all I can think about is getting through the winter with him. Spring and summer when the weather is warmer for him and we can spend more of our time outside together will be easier. If we can just make it until then, I hope things will be easier.