Thursday, October 9, 2008

The Diet Debate

There are two studies out there stating that Fibro sufferers could gain relief from their symptoms by changing their diet to mostly raw vegetables, or in other words, going vegan. One study is from Finland and the other is from North Carolina and both had their subjects eat a diet rich in raw vegetables and low on salt for about three months.

These two studies are wonderful news because it shows that Fibromyalgia can be relieved naturally. I've always believed this, but I'm not a vegan. Don't get me wrong-- fruits and veggies are very important in the diet, but I also believe that the other food groups are just as important for optimal health. I try to incorporate a balance of every food group in all of my meals and I eat healthy snacks in between. But even though I eat meat, you may wonder if I've added or cut anything out of my diet to help to ease the pain. And I have, I've cut out what my oldest daughter and I call fake food. Fake food is food that has been altered by chemicals and/or refining. About 80 percent of the foods you find in the supermarket today have been altered in some way according to Christine Craggs-Hinton, author of Fibromyalgia, A Natural Approach. And frankly, I truly believe she's right because I've read the labels of most of the boxed and canned foods out there in the isles and a good majority are filled with chemical ingredients that I can't pronouce. But not all of the labels contain bad things and some of that boxed and canned stuff is actually real food. So how does this sufferer tell the difference without having to read War and Peace? Well, I went organic.

The word organic today is just another term for real food, as my oldest daughter and I put it. A lot of organic food isn't as expensive as one might think. I have found many products that are at a reasonable price at some regular supermarkets and some at organic food stores like Trader Joe's and even Whole Foods. Consumers are demanding better quality products and that's driving down some of the costs. Another thing that markets are doing to lower cost is buying from local farms to lower transportation costs which in turn lower the cost of the food. I go into great detail about good organic products to buy in my book The Fibro Hand, but a basic rule of thumb is to just read the labels. If the list of ingredients are long, chances are it isn't organic. Good meats are easily found by buying ones that contain no hormones. If it's chicken products like eggs or stock, the best kind to get are free-range. Free- range means that the animal was not locked up in a cage when it was laying eggs or when it was feeding itself-- in other words-- it's life was good. If you are looking for fish to buy, look for the wild caught instead of farm raised because the wild caught is healthier. Fruits and vegetables can be purchased inexpensively too. For instance, some fruits like bananas, have a casing that covers the fruit. Pesticides won't be able to penetrate this casing, so it is okay to go for the non-organic variety in this case.

Eating well is a lifestyle choice and it can help with your Fibro pain if you try to eliminate certain chemicals and preservatives. One can only hope that there will be further studies on the diet so we sufferers have more information to help us in managing our pain so we can be fabulous.

Love and friendship,

Kimberley
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