Thursday, June 24, 2010

Process of Elimination

I have mentioned before that I am daily on a quest to become healthier, to feel better, to improve my performance and energy levels etc. Really, that's why I do a lot of what I do - why I run, why I meditate and practice yoga, why I don't eat Burger King etc.

Last year I decided to embark on a vegetarian journey and give up meat after realizing that I felt so much better on the days when I didn't eat meat. It's been about a year now since I switched over, and I truly have seen a tremendous difference in the way I feel. While I am not "strictly" a vegetarian (If circumstances dictate, I will on occasion stray...but it's only a few times a year, and mostly out of politeness for my host, or because I just can't be bothered to care in that moment!)

I have also discovered about myself that I do not tolerate dairy very well (Which I found to be true of myself about two years ago.) I would not call myself lactose intolerant, but I am definitely lactose sensitive. I can still eat cheese moderately, but milk is just out of the question.

Over the past year I noticed that certain foods just really make me feel bad - pears, honey, sometimes apples, chocolate, excess of sugar etc...So, over the past year I have gradually been eliminating things that I find do not benefit me or sometimes just make me feel downright awful.

I thought this was really just my own quirkiness until I was told by an endometriosis specialist that they had discovered there were certain foods which could potentially trigger more pain in patients if they ate these certain foods. Turns out that most of the foods that I had been eliminating from my own diet were all on that list - how ironic - They call these FODMAP foods and recommend to suffers from certain diseases such as endometriosis, Chron's, IBS etc. to try eliminating these foods from their diet.

I find it quite interesting to discover what works for me and to get to know my own body better by knowing what makes me feel more alive and energetic, what makes me lethargic, what makes my stomach ache and cramp, and what makes me feel fabulous and ready to just concur the world.

While I may be so in love with chocolate and coffee, and other delicious things; I definitely feel better when I don't eat/drink them. The hard part is not feeling deprived of the things I love...However, I have found that in moderation these things really don't effect me - for example, I could have a small bite of something sweet and feel fine, but if I eat a whole piece of cake I feel the effects...I could have a tiny coffee and feel fine, but if I have three cups of tea, a coffee, and another cup of tea the caffeine starts to really effect me. Now, I know the rule of "everything in moderation", but you can't tell me that you honestly think about that when you sit down to have a muffin or a piece of cake! (Is a whole piece of cake REALLY excessive? I don't think so...but then again, everything is relative to the individual. What might be okay for you, may cause me misery...One really does have to find what works for their individual needs.)

So, I am continuing my quest for health and happiness...I am daily adjusting my diet and working towards eliminating that which makes me feel bad, and only including what my body can tolerate in order to feel the best that I can feel. I think it is highly important that people treat their bodies kindly and listen to those subtle hints that your body is trying to tell you to back off on some things even if it IS your favorite!

My mantra this week:
"Tune in to the subtle hints your body is sending out in this present moment, and embrace that message in order to find your true health." ~ Namaste

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