Finding a Diet That Works For You
Last updated: June 2019
Do you ever get annoyed when people say they decreased their pain and inflammation by changing their diet? I mean seriously, if diet alone could rid us of our pain, wouldn’t everyone be doing it? Maybe you have tried one or two anti-inflammation diets and never noticed a difference or you found them to be too restrictive. Whatever your case may be, I am going to share how I found the perfect anti-inflammatory/pain diet that works with my body.
*Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. I am not issuing medical advice; I am just sharing my experience.*
After failing to follow or notice results from several anti-inflammatory diets, I decided to do a little experimenting. I began with journaling. Every day from the moment I woke up until I went to bed, I would write down how I felt and what I ate and drank throughout my day. I noted my pain levels in the morning, afternoon, and evening. In addition to this I would also keep track of how many naps I needed and their duration along with how many hours I was sleeping at night. After a week, I started looking for a correlation between what I was putting into my body and my pain levels. From there I would eliminate whatever food or beverage that was increasing pain and increase my intake of what wasn’t.
When I eliminated a food or beverage, it was only that specific item that I would get rid of. For example: if I noticed a spike in pain and fatigue after eating a croissant from Starbucks, I didn’t cut out all croissants, just the ones from that chain. The reason for this is because not all baked goods are made equally. While the croissant from Starbucks didn’t agree with my body, I had no issues with ones baked at my local grocery store. To give up croissants completely, I would have to discover that I am having the same reaction to the same item from various brands or restaurants. The only way I would give bread up completely is if I was truly gluten intolerant or had a negative reaction to all baked goods.
While I continued to journal my daily intake and pain levels I also began logging the items that were causing issues and if available their list of ingredients. From this list, I was able to cross check the ingredients in everything that had made me feel worse. It didn’t take long for me to discover what was triggering my pain. Gluten and real sugar weren’t a problem for me. My pain spikes were from artificial food coloring and flavoring (particularly high fructose corn syrup), along with a long list of preservatives.
Learning as I go
This process has led me to acknowledge that eating processed foods or anything that is not natural is a big NO-NO for my body. When I follow a raw and natural diet I am rewarded with less pain and more energy. I have now reached the point of no longer needing to journal. I can feel my joints swell and pain spike soon after eating something that I shouldn’t. The best part of my plan is that because I now recognize which foods trigger pain, I no longer desire them. Giving them up isn’t a punishment, it’s a reward.
My advice to you is to listen to your body and follow its lead. By the way, my process can also be followed even if you are already following a specific diet plan. Through my process, I discovered trigger foods that were included in the diets that had failed me.
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