Monday, January 12, 2015

My Journey to Health: Diets with Kelly Meding

Sleeping Lion. (Me, most days)
I'm tired. 

There are times my body feels like a lead weight. I *want* to do things. My mind is prepped for it; but I want to sleep.  A lot.

LOVE coffee
I thought depression. I mean, everyone is depressed. But, when I looked into it, I realized I wasn't  depressed. One of the biggest signs of being depressed is *not* caring any more. I care. I care a whole lot. So I could rule that one out. (Which is a relief...)

Was there something wrong with me Physically?  Nope. I'm fine. I have no actual pain. I can do everything I need to do. But really, I'd rather sleep, so I'm drinking coffee. lots of it. Which backfires when I have insomnia--and so the cycle begins.
Yoga. Ha..

This all affects the one thing that does help me: Working out. (Something I'm going to address in later posts). I'm doing some, but seriously, I talk myself out of it too much. Working out requires motivation. I love yoga, kettle bells, power lifting, and hiking. This isn't good. Especially drinking more coffee....

Let me refocus on diet. We all eat, we have to. You can't get around it, but it's like fueling a car, what you put in it is imperative.  If you don't put in the right kind of gas--say water, or oil, it doesn't work. It mucks up. This is the same with our bodies. We put junk in: Candy, Pizza, Fast Food, Cookies, Ice-cream,.... we get junk out:  Obesity, mental slowness, fatigue,joint pain, feeling hungry all the time--I could go on and on.   But DIET (panicking)  This means measuring and eating things that taste like cardboard. Oh no!  All is lost.....

Well, I'm not going on that diet, so I started researching there had to be an eating plan that would help me regain my taste buds, more importantly my energy.  But wow....

Cardboard diets...
There are SO many diets out there. They'll tell you things like low fat, salt free, sugar free, wheat free.  Then there are fad and crazy diets:  Fasts which you only drink shakes, three day diets, grapefruit diets. It's mind boggling.

But which ones actually work and make one feel better? This is highly individual; and what works for one doesn't work for another.  So, I'm going to ask a few people as I document what I am doing, about what diets they follow. Are they Vegan? No Sugar? No orange fruit? (OK, the last one, I just threw in there, but seriously there are some strange stuff).

How about gluten free? How does that work? I saw a post an author--Kelly Meding who documented her struggle with pain in her jaw; due to TMJ.  Inflammation exacerbated this; and wanting some relief she embarked on a Gluten Free diet.

Wheat is a "no" for Gluten Free
What's this Gluten Free Diet you say? It's wheat free; because there are many who are intolerant, or just plain have a sensitivity to it.  With the advent of GMO (Genetically Modified Organism)-- to make wheat hardier which also makes it harder to digest. Before you skewer me; I highly suggest you research this.  Those who suffer from Celiac disease (found mostly in European descent) become very ill eating gluten (click on Celiac Disease and you'll get a full over view.). But you don't have to get that sick to be intolerant to something like gluten (or anything else). You can have an inflammatory response. Symptoms can range from joint pain, to feeling bloated all the time, to a vague feeling of malaise. But are we even AWARE this is going on.

Kelly Meding
Kelly Meding (who writes the Dreg Series, an outstanding series--dark and emotive). She made the move to gluten free; because she wanted to feel better. On her Face book pages she wrote how her pain level with her TMJ hovered constantly around 8. She needed Advil and muscle relaxers to even get a smidgeon of relief. After two weeks of eliminating all things gluten the pain had decreased significantly--to a 4 and continues to improve months later (runs about a 3.5-4).  For anyone who has felt pain for long periods -- this is a miracle.

I asked her a few questions about it:

Did you prep to go gluten free?

Kelly Meding: No prep. I just decided I was tired of being in pain, so I went in whole hog. Cleaned out my pantry and fridge. Mostly I gave away good I couldn't eat, because I hate to waste it.

EPIC series...
Don't blame you at all, I hate wasting food as well. 

Many times when starting on diet like this I have heard of detox symptoms, have you had any?

 Kelly Meding: I don't think I had any real detox symptoms. [An important] one is making sure I'm getting enough fiber. Honestly the biggest challenge is telling people why I can't eat something/ordering in a restaurant. My first time, I think the waitress thought I was nuts because I asked what they used to thicken one of the soups.

That is a hard one--eating out. Glad you didn't go through detox! 

Have you slipped up since you started? Do you use alternative things to bread? 

Kelly MedingI haven't knowingly slipped up. Gluten can be in things that aren't necessarily wheat product, like GMO enhance products. I'm trying to remember all of the things to look for, but I also try to avoid too much processed, pre-made stuff. It's expensive, and still not really good for you. 

That's the hard part---looking at the details...

Kelly MedingI'm still trying for a gluten-free bread that makes a good grilled cheese. I haven't found one yet. But some of the gluten-free pastas, crackers, and cookies are excellent. 

The one thing I was impressed about--she stepped out and did it. She's not going back. She feels better and is not going to slip. Amazing I say, because it's hard to eliminate anything. Very hard. Especially food, because, well--it's ALL around us. 

Which "diet" would be the best one for me. I've been on plenty; no suger, low fat, and they all didn't resonate, or make me feel much better (except the no sugar--I did feel a bit peppier).  I know changing what I eat is not whole thing; there are other things I need to do, but it's one of the hardest initially. 

LOTS of veges..
The eating plan I settled on was made to help you find out what you are intolerant to. A eating plan which eliminates every additive, processed foods, and sugar. I wanted to restart my body; to learn what exactly feeds it well. It's basically a "Clean Eating" diet, very similar to Paleo, but a bit more stringent. 

It's called the Whole30 program    <---click on this for the link. (I've been calling it the Healthy 30. Add memory to my list of things I want to correct)

It's only for thirty days--then you start adding in foods, examine how they make you feel and if you feel off; you know you are sensitive to it. 

I think the hardest thing about this diet is NO dairy. No cheese. Nada. No sugars, fake, real, or imagined, no alcohol.  Only vegetables, fruits, and meat. That's it.

What sold me on this?  I can have my coffee and tea. I can have potatoes.  (Sad. I am that shallow...)

I cannot have anything with soy, peanut, bean etc (and it explains it all in there). No french fries or chips. I'm not upset about this, but it does encourage lots of good fat.

Better yet--this is for health, this isn't for weight. No weighing. Nothing. This I can do. I'm tired of the diets that make me feel hungry all the time.

30 days. That's it. Can I do it? Really?  To really not have all the things I enjoy...Pizza...

Yes. I. Can.

Although, I really will miss Cream. But I will prevail. I may take before and after pictures. Do I dare post them? I dunno.....

But join me on this journey. See how I deal with the 30 days. Will I feel better? I dunno--I'm going to find out.  There is cost -- because I've heard the excuse that diets are too expensive to go on (Heck, I agree!)  But, I'm determined and I'll share with you how I am doing it.

Are you doing anything to improve your diet? Do you think it will work?
If you have done a diet--how did it make you feel?

 All photos from:



  1. Interesting stuff, isn't it? We've been trying gluten free (mainly for my daughter). We've found that Aldi's bread is the best. Not sure about grilled cheese though! :)

    My GI doc recommended the low FODMAP diet for some intestinal problems. I've been playing with that as well. If you Google it, you'll see lots of lists of foods. And actually, the reason we're doing gluten free is not for the gluten but for the carbs in the wheat.

    So many things to think about! Can't wait to see how you feel and what you discover.

  2. Thanks so much Missy!, I looked into the FODMAP diet, and that is extremely interesting--and amazing how are bodies are reacting to things. It's my opinion eventually, diets will be tailored to what our bodies respond to the most--for example some people cannot tolerate meat (I can). Others beans.

    And I think Gluten free isn't all that bad of diet--I think most would benefit from it. How long have you been on this? Is it hard for you?

    It's day 1. I'm surviving so far. :)