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ningloreth [userpic]

Food...

November 10th, 2014 (12:51 pm)
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About six months ago, I saw an advert on TV, saying, 'If you have these symptoms, you need to see your doctor.'



So I saw my doctor, and then a specialist, and then had a camera put somewhere that really isn't designed to take a camera -- which wasn't so bad in itself, thanks to gas and air, but the preparations beforehand were miserable -- and I was told that I seem to be suffering from a combination of no gall bladder, diverticulosis, and a tortuous colon, and that I needed a high fibre diet.

Good news! But, since my sister-in-law has diverticulitis, and is very, very ill, I decided to take the advice seriously.

The nurse at my GP's who deals with diet said she was out of her depth because I'm a vegetarian and I already had a pretty high fibre diet. She suggested I see a nutritionist (privately, because they don't refer you to a nutritionist for anything other than diabetes or cancer round here).

So... I contacted a nutritionist, who gave me a questionnaire with some strange-sounding questions ('Are your joints stiff?' 'Does your hair fall out?' 'Do you have patches of sore or itchy skin?') and then presented me with a no wheat, no cow's milk, very low fat, very low sugar, lots of fibre, crazy amounts of water, lecithin and multi-vitamins diet. I think that if I hadn't been paying for her services I would have thrown it away, because it made very depressing reading, but, as it was, I went home, ate every ounce of cheese in the house, and then set to work on the diet.

The first month was difficult because, without my usual amounts of sugar, I had absolutely no energy but, right from the start, I did notice a difference that the nutritionist hadn't even mentioned...

I'm 15 years younger! Honestly. And now that my body seems to have learned to cope without sugar-on-demand, I can do things I haven't been able to do in years: walk instead of shuffle, bound up and down stairs, get up off the floor without thinking about it, make a fist without my knuckles hurting; I can even type faster! Apparently, it's because the new diet is 'less inflammatory'. The annoying thing is, I can remember going to see the doctor because I was feeling stiff, immediately after my husband left -- which, looking back, seems to have affected my health in all sorts of weird ways -- and being told that it was just my age. So I've spent the last 15 years thinking I was suffering from old age when it was really just a food intolerance!

I've also lost a ton of weight -- though there's still a long way to go there, and I'm not letting myself hope for too much -- and my mental health has sort of improved -- I say 'sort of' because, although/because I'm no longer walking around in a fog of misery, my actual problems, like being lonely and having a job I hate, feel so much more acute...

Anyway, since it seems I can't eat yummy food without paying a price, I've joined food_stillness and have been making yummy food icons:

Smoked Salmon



Eggs





'Sweet and Sour'







...

Otherwise, it's that time of year when I'm modding the dramione_duet exchange and, as usual, the stress is outweighing the pleasure. I only have twenty fic participants, but five have dropped out (three just disappearing without a word). Thank goodness for some wonderful pinch-hitters. But, at the moment, if 'they' were paying me to do it, they couldn't pay enough.

Comments

Posted by: Shapinglight (shapinglight)
Posted at: November 10th, 2014 02:05 pm (UTC)

Very lovely icons, as always.

I'm glad to hear your health improved so dramatically. I can't help feeling it might be easier to do something about the problems you still have if you're feeling a little more energetic?

I hope so anyway.

Posted by: ningloreth (ningloreth)
Posted at: November 10th, 2014 05:55 pm (UTC)

Thank you!

The problem with the job is that what I do is specialised, and the company I work for is very good and pay quite well, so it would be hard to find a job I didn't hate just as much but working for a worse company that paid less! I'll probably have to grit my teeth and hang on until my mortgage is paid off :-(

Posted by: Shapinglight (shapinglight)
Posted at: November 11th, 2014 10:00 am (UTC)

:(

I hope that's not too much longer, then.

Posted by: Karen (kazzy_cee)
Posted at: November 10th, 2014 04:04 pm (UTC)

I have nabbed the mojito icon! :) Looking at all those icons I am now incredibly hungry!

So glad you're feeling so well - I expect your knees are benefitting too?

I do get quite cross when people say 'it's your age' or 'your are getting older and should expect these things' ... well, no actually - I don't see that at all!!

Posted by: ningloreth (ningloreth)
Posted at: November 10th, 2014 06:02 pm (UTC)

I'm glad you like the mojito one -- it's my favourite drink!

Yes, my knees are really good now. In fact, I'm wondering if I would have injured them at all if I'd been this flexible.

I hate the 'at your age' thing, too. My father was in his 80s and very ill, but his mind was as sharp as a tack. Several times they messed up his medication and turned him into a zombie, and my brother and I had a terrible time persuading anyone to do anything.

"Well you can't expect much at his age."

My brother said, "That's not my Dad! My Dad would be flirting with the nurses!"

Posted by: curiouswombat (curiouswombat)
Posted at: November 10th, 2014 05:35 pm (UTC)
Cheshire Cat goes Whee!

I'm so glad to hear you are feeling so much better physically. Hopefully you can eventually use the new energy to help you find a job you like better too :)

To be honest you are lucky that you found a nutritionist that worked for you - the NHS only ever use dieticians rather than nutritionists as dieticians are qualified and regulated, but nutritionist is a 'nothing' term as anyone can claim to be one (remember all the fuss about Gillian McKeith?).

Mind you the NHS dieticians are usually run off their feet and wouldn't have spent half so much time or come up with anything particularly personalised!

Posted by: ningloreth (ningloreth)
Posted at: November 10th, 2014 06:16 pm (UTC)

Well, I was very careful.

I chose a nutritionist who listed some general qualifications (BSc, etc), and specialised in sports nutrition (LOL) rather than just weight loss. And her advice actually tallied with the advice my sister-in-law has been given, and with what various diverticulitis support groups advise. Plus, the food she's suggested (and she's even provided recipes!), is basically vegan with eggs and a tiny bit of cheese, and I was a vegan for years, so I wasn't too worried about the regime, just about the boredom factor and the time it takes to prepare everything from scratch (which, when you're on your own, always feels like a terrible waste of time).

The NHS dietician I saw, years ago in Cambridge, was a complete cow who told me that she had deserving patients and that I was just fat. I came out sobbing. I would still like to rub her nose in bowl of hummus!

Posted by: curiouswombat (curiouswombat)
Posted at: November 10th, 2014 07:26 pm (UTC)
Florence Nightingale

I think quite a few nutritionists are really good - it is just less easy to get it right with nutritionists - which is why you wouldn't usually get a referral through the NHS. But it sounds as if you hit a really good one.

Some of them use very weird logic - and yet...

One of my young patients was seen by a nutritionist recently and his mother was told his problems stemmed from having too much heat in his blood. They advised that he drink a large glass of water with a lot of sodium bicarb every day to cool his circulation and stop his brain overheating (honestly!) which worried me, but there was also a pretty strict diet sheet.

His mum kept him to it and is really pleased by how well it worked. Basically the diet was fresh vegetables, very little fruit, and plain fish or meat - alongside suggesting some strange dietary supplements. But a couple of us were actually kicking ourselves because when we really looked at it, it is dairy-free - and the young boy is adopted but is ethnically Chinese, so he is almost certainly lactose intolerant. Such a pity that none of the medics ever thought of it - I think his other problems just took precedence in their minds and they never thought to test him. So it was really good that it figured in the nutritionist's plan - but the improvement probably had nothing to do with his blood being too hot and overheating his brain!

As for the dieticians - it always seemed as if, especially years ago, they were really horrible. I used to think, about one I had contact with in the past, that they got fed up with GPs sending so many people to them 'for weight loss' that they began to pay no attention to what anyone was referred for, but just gave everyone the same, overly copied, sheet.

The good news is that the younger ones I meet now are much better - I've worked with one who is actually a specialist in building up the malnourished and she is really lovely.

Posted by: ningloreth (ningloreth)
Posted at: November 10th, 2014 08:51 pm (UTC)

Is the nutritionist Chinese? Or influenced by Chinese medicine? The heat business sounds Mediaeval, but I wonder if it's also Chinese. I know someone at work who goes to a Chinese practitioner and she treats his ailments with 'teas', which do seem to work.

What impressed me about the improvement in my joints is that it hadn't been mentioned, so I know it's not the placebo effect!



Posted by: curiouswombat (curiouswombat)
Posted at: November 10th, 2014 09:22 pm (UTC)
Cheshire Cat goes Whee!

I don't think he was Chinese - but I only saw the report and the diet sheet so I can't be sure.

Whatever his logic his advice did help - but a simple 'As he is ethnically Chinese perhaps start with a lactose-free diet' might have worked just as well!

I can understand what you mean about your joints - I discovered that painfree joints were a side-effect of a low carb diet for me - which is when we realised that I am wheat intolerant and it was probably the wheat that caused the joint pain - a totally unexpected bonus!



Posted by: bunn (bunn)
Posted at: November 10th, 2014 10:24 pm (UTC)
Berries

Wow, what delicious icons! The egg ones look particularly succulent.

Great to hear that the change of diet has had such a magical effect. I feel there should be a card for suddenly de-aging 15 years. Happy 15-year antibirthday!

Posted by: ningloreth (ningloreth)
Posted at: November 10th, 2014 10:58 pm (UTC)

Thank you! I should have an anti-birthday party!

Posted by: Maz (thismaz)
Posted at: November 11th, 2014 05:58 am (UTC)

What beautiful icons. Such lovely colours and crops.

And I'm so glad to hear that you are feeling so much better, physically. Diet is one of the most unregarded factors, isn't it, but so powerfully influential. I think that lack of regard is one of the reasons people find it so difficult to make the changes that would help. Good for you for grabbing the initiative and following through.

Posted by: ningloreth (ningloreth)
Posted at: November 13th, 2014 10:06 am (UTC)

Thank you!

I never believed that diet was important before, maybe because I've been a vegetarian for such a long time, and have always eaten a lot of brown stuff and vegetables, but it really has made an amazing difference. And, four months on, the changes are becoming 'normal' -- I was looking at a little packet of biscuits in Café Ritazza the other day, and thinking, "God, that's a lot of biscuits," whereas, before, I wouldn't have thought twice about eating them!

Posted by: Maz (thismaz)
Posted at: December 11th, 2014 05:55 am (UTC)

Just popped by to wish you a very

I hope you are well and have a wonderful day.

Posted by: ningloreth (ningloreth)
Posted at: December 11th, 2014 08:24 am (UTC)
christmas_baubles

Thank you!

I'm meeting my brother and sister-in-law in Derbyshire for a day of cake, antiques and second hand books :-)

Posted by: Ree (reetinkerbell)
Posted at: November 11th, 2014 06:15 pm (UTC)

The results of your dietary changes are wonderful! I hope that your mood and feelings will improve too, but maybe it's good that they've come to light? It's easy for me to sit and ask if maybe you should look into changing jobs, but once you feel even more energetic and better, maybe that's a step you'd be willing to take? At least to look into it?

*hugs*

Posted by: ningloreth (ningloreth)
Posted at: November 13th, 2014 10:09 am (UTC)

I think that any job I got would pay less, so I probably need to wait until my mortgage is paid off before I think about changing :-(

But it would be nice to do something interesting (and do it nearer to home).

Posted by: Nebride - Bishie Hunter (nebride)
Posted at: November 13th, 2014 02:36 am (UTC)

Wow, those are some major changes. You have my absolute admiration! I have heard that sugar can cause joint pain, but was too chicken to find out for myself. I think I better have a hard look at my diet too. You've really inspired me - thank you! I hope you continue to feel better. *hug*

The icons are fabulous! Makes me hungry just looking at them. We had cartons of raspberries for 88 cents this week at the store. I couldn't believe it!!! (Normally they are about $5 a carton) I bought 8 cartons and we've been putting them in our yogurt, on cereal, in cream, etc. They are so sweet they don't need sugar. Wish I could send you some! :)

Oh, and off the subject, thanks so much for your review again. It makes my day when I see your name there. *squish hug*

Posted by: ningloreth (ningloreth)
Posted at: November 13th, 2014 10:39 am (UTC)

I think the nutritionist went with the 'try everything' approach, so she's persuaded me to cut out wheat (gluten and insoluble fibre), cow's milk (lactose and casein), as much fat as possible (because, not having a gall bladder, I don't seem to be able to digest fats properly -- though some people can) and as much sugar as possible (but she didn't explain why!). Oh, and to eat 5 times a day -- 'little and often'. So that means:

- gluten-free muesli, ground flax seed and soya milk for breakfast

- a snack of Greek yogurt and fruit, or oatcakes and sheep's cheese, or hummus and carrots, etc

- a big salad with cottage cheese or boiled eggs or hummus, or home-made soup & rye bread

- another snack

- a vegetable/quorn stew, or veggie chilli, or tofu sausages with veggies, or (as a special treat) paleo pizza, in the evening :-)

I've got used to it now, but it is a lot of work.

I'm glad you like the icons!

That sounds like a bargain. One of the problems I have is that I don't seem to like fruit! (Though raspberry is my favourite flavour when it comes to jam or cakes or ice cream... or caramels). Apparently, plums are good because their sweetness isn't sugar, it's the stuff they use to make xylitol.

BTW, my brother's friend has a bee hive now and they have started producing honey -- they got about 60lbs this year, because the conditions were exceptionally good, apparently. So I now have some ultra-organic honey, and I put a teaspoon on Greek yoghurt!

I'm really enjoying your story. I'm hoping we'll find out what Duncan is... I presume all sorts of supernatural creatures hide in plain sight at the Renaissance Faire? Are your other stories about different characters?

Have you read the 'Rivers of London' books by Ben Aaronovitch?

Posted by: Karen (kazzy_cee)
Posted at: December 11th, 2014 02:51 pm (UTC)
ani happy birthday

Running in to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I hope you are having a really good day and that you are continuing to feel much better! :)

*throws confetti*

Posted by: ningloreth (ningloreth)
Posted at: December 11th, 2014 08:52 pm (UTC)
christmas_rudolph

Thank you!

I had a day of hair-raising driving (over the Peaks), eating naughty things, and buying second hand books :-)

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