I read an article by Dr. Weil recently and had a few thoughts about it: http://www.drweilblog.com/home/2016/2/22/want-to-drop-the-pounds-try-these-snacks.html. He’s a proponent of an anti-inflammatory diet, and I am too. I know it's really hard to think of changing our diets. When we are really sick, though, it might help turn our health around if we make some changes. Pick one thing and start with small, incremental change. I found that some different advice helped me heal.
First off, Dr Weil’s suggesting that folks snack throughout the day to keep their blood sugar levels even. Unfortunately for me, I found that advice to be great for keeping weight on. I followed it after I had kids as I was trying to lose the baby weight. I weighed 175 pounds for years after my kids were born and it was incredibly frustrating because I was working so hard to lose weight.
What turned my life around was Dr. John Douillard’s advice— he’s the Ayurvedic doctor behind Lifespa.com. I lost 40 pounds and have kept it off for 5 years and counting. Dr. Douillard said the Ayurvedic way is to reduce the load on the digestive tract by not constantly grazing. He made the analogy to a car that is not functioning well. You don’t want to constantly be driving it— you want to limit its use so you don’t get stranded (until it can get repaired!) He led me through a cleanse that cleaned out the digestive tract, allowed it to repair itself, pulled accumulated toxins from the lymph system, reset the digestive fire, and cleared away old mucus and debris from the small intestine, where 80% of our immune system is located. Immediately I started feeling better.
Dr. Weil is also talking about foods like pasta being a part of the diet, but I ended up not being able to eat it. Dr. Douillard suggested that I cut way back on wheat, if not cut it out completely, until my digestive tract was healed. It made sense to me because I'd been reading that this new modified wheat is very hard to digest. It took 3 1/2 months to notice the difference, but I stuck to it and I have never had a sinus infection since (as compared to having an average of 8 sinus infections that I had to go on antibiotics for each year.) I’m well enough now that I can cheat occasionally, like on Thanksgiving, but even then I never have wheat more than one time per day. I figure I am asking a lot of my system to digest it— better to save up the effort and put it all into digesting one meal with wheat in it.
Why on earth would wheat cause a problem with my sinuses? It’s because I had leaky gut, which is way more common than folks realize. Every time I ate wheat, tiny particles escaped into my blood stream, which led to histamine being produced in my sinuses. That histamine caused an inflammatory reaction, which included mucus production, making my sinuses the perfect breeding ground for bacteria.
So if you're healthy, you can afford to have wheat in your diet, and if you're at the weight you want to be grazing is great, but if you've got some unexplained digestion and health issues, try connecting with an Ayurvedic doctor. If s/he suggests cutting out wheat or dairy for a time, even if you can't bear to cut it out, try to cut back. You might notice that you feel a whole lot better.
Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash