Not much, but, maybe that’s a good thing for me with my innate ability to complicate the simplest of things and equal ability to get overwhelmed and discouraged. Of course you know I’ve made narrowing down the list about as complicated as possible by printing out multiple copies of the Whole30 downloadable shopping lists and looking at all the other sites with lists of foods to avoid and include for the other plans. That research had me looking up things like the Autoimmune Protocol Diet and the GAPS (Gut and Psychology Syndrome) Diet. Yep, I went down the web-based Paleo rabbit hole.
There were tears. Anxiety levels rose. My “give a damn” broke.
Foods I’m avoiding from now until I see the doctor again in three months to have my blood sugar and thyroid levels checked again:
- Sugar & sugar substitutes: This is an obvious one to erase from my lifestyle. I want to reverse the Type II Diabetes. It runs in my family on both sides, so, it’s a serious concern. Ergo, forgo sugar in all forms. Some research suggests a connection between sugar substitutes and increased blood glucose levels. There are also reports of causal effects or co-factors between some artificial sweeteners and other, more terminal diseases. Whether supporting scientific research has actually resolved any questions about their safety, I’m willing to forego the substitutes. They just taste wrong.
- Dairy: Whole30 eliminates dairy, so, I’ll see how I feel without dairy foods. I’m going to miss cheddar cheese and milk. However, since the cheese often goes in sandwiches and the milk goes with sweet, baked goods and those foods are also off the menu, then there’s no need for them, right? I think I’m going to bookmark this link to how to live without dairy.
- Grains: All kinds, in all forms, including rice and quinoa. Again, Whole30 is a grain-free way of eating. Certainly refined grains are bad for us. However, there are pros and cons to eating whole grains. Here’s a decent article about the subject. Since grains are linked to IBS and other GI symptoms and they’re high in carbs, which I need to avoid because of the diabetes, then, letting grains go is probably a very good idea, at least for a while. Let’s see how my tummy feels and what my A1C is in three months.
- Eggs & Nightshades: No peppers of any kind – sweet, spicy, or seed. No tomatoes or potatoes. Nothing that grows with the little, green “elf” hat. This may or may not be a thing contributing to my health issues. However, I know that I have a negative physical reaction to tomato based foods. I’ve never been a fan of any member of the pepper family. Potatoes are high in starch and are high carb, which is bad for diabetes. I’ve also never really been a fan of eggs.
- Seafood: Fresh fish, preferably wild-caught, and sustainable, etc. is the ideal. However, improperly stored and/or prepared fish is high in histamines and the freshest fish is the most expensive. Crustaceans are also high in histamines. No seafood for me!
- Canned and processed foods, citrus, and other histamine rich foods: No processed or canned meats, of any kind, including all seafood, allowed. Not sure I can give up bacon, except it’s expensive and not in my budget, anyway. No ground beef because it’s high in histamines. Pepperoni and salami are also out. *sigh* Since pizza and sandwiches are off the menu, that won’t be a problem, right? These are high histamine foods which might contribute to the allergy symptoms I experience year-round. Here is a chart of Histamine Intolerance symptoms. I have experienced a number of these things since late adolescence and early adulthood. Many of these things are lumped under the fibromyalgia diagnosis, which I first received in 1990, nearly 26 years ago. Maybe it’s time for me to do something about this.
Ok, now that I know what NOT to eat, it’s time to figure out what to eat and how to eat it
- Ruminants: What are those? According to Dictionary.com they’re even-toed, cud chewing animals. For dietary purposes, the list is: beef, buffalo, lamb, elk, venison, and the like. I’m sticking with beef, in limited quantities due to cost.
- Non-Ruminants: Pork, boar, rabbit . . . you get the idea. Pork it is.
- Poultry: Chicken, Turkey, Duck, etc. Chicken is the most likely staple for me. However, ’tis the season for turkey with the upcoming holidays, so that will likely be on the menu. Except that leftovers are a histamine no-no. Hmmm.
- Offal, aka Organ meats: Liver, Hearts, Kidneys, and other typically non-Standard American Diet friendly parts of the above named animals. Apparently, these are the super foods from the animal kingdom and are often inexpensive compared to the traditional portions of meat. Bones with marrow are included for homemade broth
Acorn Squash Endive Rhubarb
Bok Choy Frisee (Curly Endive) Romaine
Broccoli Rabe Green Beans Spaghetti Squash
Buttercup Squash Greens Sprouts
Butternut Squash Lettuce (all) Summer Squash
Carrots Parsnips Sweet Potato/Yams
Collard Greens Pumpkin Swiss Chard
Cucumber Radish Turnip
Delicata Squash Rutabega Zucchini
Blackberries Grapes (green/red) Pomegranate
Blueberries Melon (not watermelon) Raspberries
Exotic Fruits (No dried fruits because of histamines)
- Cooking Fats: Animal Fats, Clarified Butter, Coconut Oil, Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Eating Fats: Coconut – Butter, Meat/Flakes (no added sugars), Milk (canned); Olives (all)
- Herbs, Seasonings, & Spices: Fresh or dried leafy herbs. No seed based spices. No onions or garlic because they’re FODMAP foods. *sigh*
- Beverages: Water, sparkling water, seltzer water flavored with approved fruits
This is a very small list of foods, overall. However, it does meet nutritional needs. That being said, it is daunting for me since I’ve seldom, if ever, prepared any of the veggies; fruits tend to spoil in the fridge; and I’ve no idea how to cook without using garlic and onion, mostly because I’m not an experienced cook, at all.
Next up: Recipes and Menu planning. . . on a SNAP budget.