One of the saddest breakups in the history of breakups is the dissolution of marriage between myself and cheese. Oh, how I loved cheese. Ham and cheese sandwiches for lunch with Poly-O String cheese for dessert. Double cheeseburger meals from McDonald’s. Cheese pizza with extra cheese. Even though I ate peasant cheese, it was still a huge part of my being.
But then MS happened and shit got real. Real real. I had to change my lifestyle because apparently I would be safer walking on the wires of the Brooklyn Bridge without a harness than continuing my hungover teenage-boyesque eating habits. While diet is not an FDA-approved treatment and most doctors scoff at nutritional healing not created by Pfizer, I decided to take a holistic approach to feeling better. Christina, my new acupuncturist and official sponser of my Chi, gave me a crash course in healthy anti-inflammatory eating and it has made all the difference.
On the See How You Feel & Then Eat It List – Eggs & corn
On the Meat List: Hormone free & organic meat preferred
On the Eat A Lot of This Sh*T List – Omega 3’s (wild salmon), fruits, veggies and some meats.
On the Hell No NEVER EAT THIS SH*T List – Gluten, processed sugar (white sugar), dairy, high fructose corn syrup, processed & packaged foods
What?! Cheese is bad for everyone?! I love cheese! And bread! I love cheese, bread and sugar together! Mmmm mmm.
No, cheese and bread is bad for me although I’m sure you’ll find your body isn’t a fan of either if you were to do a cleanse. On the other hand, you very well may be able to swim in a sexy hot tub full of bread, cheddar and sugar for a guilt-free orgy with no repercussions. I doubt it though.
I interviewed Christina to better understand why inflammatory foods such as wheat and dairy are so devilish, especially for those with reckless autoimmune systems. This is what she had to say.
Diana: Why does Chinese medicine have beef with inflammatory foods?
Christina: Chinese Medicine works on treating imbalances in the body, focusing on our internal environment which is quite similar to the external environment we know including: heat, dryness, dampness, cold, and wind. As with external environmental factors, internal factors affect us just as much. As the saying goes “We are what we eat.”
Diana: If that’s the case, I used to be a bottle of Pepsi and a delicious bag of Sour Cream and Onion potato chips. But let’s not get off topic here. Tell me more about inflammation.
Christina: Inflammation impacts how our body’s system functions. Inflammation affects our digestive system, immune system, endocrine system, mental health, cardiovascular system, skin, and so much more. In general it is best to eliminate inflammatory foods so our bodies can stay healthy, happy, and function optimally.
Diana: Please refresh my memory and tell me why I’m supposed to just say NO to dairy.
Christina: Dairy creates an excess of phlegm and mucous which affects the flow of qi (or energy) in our body. It’s like a clogged drain and the water can’t go down. The back up that accumulates, over time, can create inflammation and disease. Many people can’t break down lactose which is a sugar found in milk and milk-derived dairy products. Once again, if our body can’t process something properly inflammation can occur.
Diana: This certainly can’t apply to everyone. What’s the best way to tell if your body can’t process certain foods?
Christina: Elimination is the best way and then slowly adding foods back to see how you feel. I recommend cutting foods out for at least two weeks. Most likely once you know how great you feel without a certain food you’ll be less likely to eat it. There are also food allergy tests that can be done.
Diana: So much to learn, so little time. So what’s the difference between being allergic and being sensitive to a food?
Christina: Many people have sensitivities to foods and just don’t pay attention – other then feeling bloated, low energy, headachy, spacey, or just bad after eating certain foods. With allergies one may have sudden swelling of the tongue, throat, eyes, or mouth which can be fatal for some. An EpiPen is recommended for those with food allergies.
When I tried cheese after my cleanse, I got a headache so bad it felt like aliens were trying to probe my brain for answers and then kick me when they realized they picked the wrong human. That is why I stay away although it’s harder in the summer. Lately I’ve been giving in to dishes I once loved (hello there, caprese salad), despite the often uncomfortable headaches that follow. Cheese and I are still divorced though but sometimes we bang on the side, you know? In other words, cheese is my side piece.
But my main piece is healthy eating so here are a few anti-inflammatory meal ideas if you’re interested in eating clean.
- 20 Grilled & Baked Salmon Recipes via Health.com
- 7 Day Anti-Inflammatory Meal Plan via Healthline.com
- Foods That Heal: An Anti Inflammatory Cookbook via Food.com
- Famous Chefs’ Recipes for Your Anti-Inflammatory Diet via Lifescript
- Vegan Veggie White Pizza, Light & Easy Lettuce Wraps, & Gluten-Free and Vegan Risotto via Go Dairy Free
Are you on any special diet or do you fight against the machine? Let me know in the comments. And after you do that, please subscribe to get new posts in your inbox. Click here to sign up! Just do it. You won’t regret it.