Hello, Cheryl and Peter!
I decided to respond to your posts because I feel I have something important to say about diet.
Let me start off by saying that I have a complicated body. I have not had a gall bladder since my mid-twenties, about 30 years. I also have celiac disease, an autoimmune condition that prevents me from processing gluten. I also have MD, Lyme, Bartenella, and Babesia. Prior to recently, I have never known how to eat properly for my body, and I am still learning every single day. That’s part of the reason why my gut is as compromised as it is and why I haven’t been able to progress on the protocol as much as I would have liked after 24 months.
I did keto for two years. Some of you will remember what happened to me about a year into following the keto diet. I suddenly developed pretty major stomach issues: stomach cramps when I ate, terrible acid reflux, periodic constipation or diarrhea, pain when I swallowed...trips to the emergency room, invasive esophageal procedures, and GI specialists who did nothing to help me. Prior to that, I had been soaring along and thought I would be better in a year or so. I should have listened to my body then, but I did not. I was too scared and honestly did not know what else to do.
I will say this for keto. It taught me to live without sugar and alcohol. It definitely kept me off gluten, which is like poison to my system. It also kept me off dairy, which a lot of people with celiac disease cannot tolerate—including myself.
What I didn’t realize is that all those oils and fats caught up with me really fast. I didn’t know that, without a gall bladder, I would not be able to process a lot of the foods that keto requires. It was like putting additional fire on a gut that was already a raging forest fire! And I kept doing keto for another full year.
I now know that I cannot eat that way, so I have started to follow the rainbow diet. I started about a month ago, and the results have been rather remarkable. My body has special needs—everyone’s body does. I do believe that it will always be absolutely essential, for the rest of the life that God grants me, to stay off processed sugar, alcohol, gluten, dairy, corn, soy, perhaps meats, certain nuts, and some other foods. The rainbow diet has allowed me to add back some selected gluten-free grains and beans to my diet, as well as a lot of root vegetables. Right now, I have eliminated meats other than fish and seafood. Without a gall bladder, I have difficulty breaking down most meats. In essence, right now, I am pretty much a vegetarian. I don’t think I will always need to be, but right now I am doing everything possible to heal my compromised gut, and that includes special supplementation (largely from Logos) that targets all my gut issues.
In just less than a month, I have seen some dramatic improvements. Most amazing is that my bowel movements are literally like clockwork in the morning. That has never been the case my entire life. My gut motility has noticeably accelerated: food doesn’t sit and fester, undigested. I am hungry again. My body feels calmer, especially my skin. I am a lot less anxious and depressed. My brain fog has improved.
I have also started deep breathing exercises, 15 seconds every hour. I also eat at a ridiculously slow pace and chew my food thoroughly before I swallow so that my tummy has a lot less work to do. For 32 years as a teacher, I had to devour my lunch (any of the teachers on the forum know EXACTLY what I am talking about!), and that instilled a terrible habit. I also don’t eat anything after dinner, especially not in the middle of the night—another bad habit that I have had to break. I hydrate so much better, too.
My husbands and stepsons have all noticed the difference in me. Although I often eat differently than they do, which is a bit more work at dinner, I take every opportunity to educate all of them about how to eat better, even though none of them really want to listen. But they are internalizing what I say. My older stepson, who is 16, is on the spectrum, and I absolutely know his gut is a huge mess. I’m not going to win that battle right now, though, and I have to focus on my own health.
In the end, I just want everyone to know that everyone is different. The body fluctuates on a daily basis, and what works for one person doesn’t necessarily work for another. I wish I had known all this two years ago, but perhaps doing keto had some benefits that I needed early on.
This journey has taught me so much...and I have committed myself to doing whatever I need to do to get better. I want to be a success story. Someday, I want to look back on all of this and say that I was an incredible warrior who overcame an amazing number of obstacles. I know one thing for sure. I will never give up. Once I have retrained my body how to work properly, I feel confident that the finish line will be in sight.
I keep all of you in my daily thoughts and prayers. Please never give up. Allow God to guide your journey. Ultimately, He is the greatest healer.
With much love and sincerity,
Thank you for the very kind words and for your thoughtful reply.
I believe it is very true that no diet is right for everybody. I know Mel always tells us that it is best to keep a food journal, as different foods affect people in different ways. Of course some things, like refined carbohydrates, are not good for anybody who has a toxic disease. But even foods that are considered healthy, like blueberries for example, might be great for one person to eat and another person might have a reaction to them. So it is true that we must pay attention to our bodies, see how we react to each food we eat, and go from there.
It was very interesting to learn on your call, plus you mentioned in your response to me, that important strains of good gut flora need healthy, unprocessed grains for food. That is so important to be aware of, so that we don't cut out healthy carbs but instead learn to make good food choices, as you mentioned in your post.
Thank you for telling me about the Rainbow Diet. It certainly is very pretty to look at! Mel did a great job of finding a very nice, colorful, informative picture of the Rainbow Diet to post.
I noticed on the call last week (7/4) you said that you prefer healthy butter to cook with over oils (I can't remember if you named a certain type of butter. I use Kerrygold pure Irish butter from grass fed cows.) You mentioned that refined oils can cause inflammation. Does that include even healthy oils, such as coconut oil and olive oil? Can they cause inflammation too?
Thank you very much for all of the great information, Peter. I am looking forward to hearing you and Robert Scott Bell on the Saturday conference call (7/11/20).
Proverbs 4:5-9 (NIV)
Get wisdom, get understanding;
do not forget my words or turn away from them.
Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you;
love her, and she will watch over you.
The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom.
Though it cost all you have, get understanding.
Cherish her, and she will exalt you;
embrace her, and she will honor you.
She will give you a garland to grace your head
and present you with a glorious crown.