Finding balance in nutrition

World Health Day: April 7th is World Health Day – so let’s talk about daily nutrition and diet. After your diagnosis, did you alter your diet or health routine? If so, how? How do you maintain a healthy regiment? #HAWMC

Diet is a tricky subject for the chronically ill. Many of us have found that changing out diet in certain ways makes us feel better, but many of us have found it doesn’t change anything at all. Yet we all hear the same commentary over and over:

  •  I’ve heard gluten caused (fill in the blank here), have you thought about giving that up?
  • GMO foods are causing your pain, you need to get food fresh from the farm (never mind that you live in an urban environment).
  • You shouldn’t drink pasteurized milk, that’s causing your pain. Go get your milk directly from an organic farmer.
  •  It’s not enough to eat fruit and vegetables, they have to be organic otherwise you’re just eating poison.
  • You can’t eat any processed foods at all, that’s what’s causing your health issues. You have to make everything from scratch. Never mind that you can barely function, changing your diet will cure you!
  • You need to go on a juice diet, tall your problems will go away. 
  • You need to go on a liver cleanse diet, you’re not really sick your liver is just backed up. 

The problem is that these solutions rarely fix everything for everyone, but doctors love you use them as a bludgeon to convince patients their pain is their fault. Yes gluten is bad for some people, but unless you have Celiac disease it’s probably not the cause of you pain. Yes processed foods aren’t best for your body, but unless you’re rich or live on a farm it’s impossible to never eat processed foods. What people forget is the key to nutrition is balance.

I have worked hard to find the right balance for my body. I have tried eliminating a lot of different foods to see if that makes a difference. I’m trying to eliminate as much processed foods as possible. If I can cook it from scratch I will. I also eat a lot more fruit and vegetables than I used to,  and I juice occasionally if I feel I need more nutrients.  I noticed soda greatly increased my pain so I’ve given up drinking it for the most part.  However, I still eat sugar because I want to. I still eat gluten because going gluten free did nothing for me. I don’t eat organic because I’m not independently wealthy. It’s all part of balanced eating.

It’s been a long learning process finding out what works for my body and I will probably continue to experiment with my diet some to see what works best. The key to nutrition for people with chronic illness is not following the current fad diet, but finding out what works for you.

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