. . . just please don't imitate Marlon Brando yelling, "STELLA!!" in A Streetcar Named Desire. And you can call me Stella because I'm getting my groove back. I'm starting with a little Wellness on Wednesday, aka WOW.
I try to be healthy, I do, I really do. I'm not rigid or crazy about it, though. I'm more of an everything in moderation kind of person, though I've strayed into the amazing world of "Paleo" eating. I won't use quotes any more when I say Paleo, just let it be known that I think it's a horrible name for a diet because it implies some sort of historical accuracy that is false. But let me back up to something I tried before that, something that is relevant because Nancy was doing something like this with the Whole 30 program. (I say was because caffeine isn't allowed and Nancy outed herself with caffeine on Instagram the other day, so she may have jumped ship.)
A couple of years ago I tried an eating plan that was based on eliminating food from your diet, then slowly adding things in to see what your body reacted to most strongly in terms of weight gain, illness, allergies, and, especially, inflammation. I was working with a nutritionist who had just written a book with this plan. Among other things, I had to weigh myself every single morning and report that, along with a bunch of other stuff, to her via email, and then she would respond. We also had phone conversations. I did okay for a couple of weeks, feeling miserable and not having any positive effects. Then one day my nutritionist told me that I was doing great and grilled chicken salad was very good for my body and I should eat it again. So I did, and I gained a pound or two, at which point she told me grilled chicken salad was very bad for my body and I shouldn't eat it again. When I pointed out that contradicted the advice she gave me the day before, she told me that my body was reactive to grilled chicken and lettuce and I could not ever eat those two things on consecutive days. Um, yeah. So I have a bias against this kind of junk science elimination diet crap.
Twice in the past year I have done online group fitness training with a diet component. The first time, I worked with a trainer that I did know in person in real life, and the diet was Paleo. And the trainer was absent, as in I believe that she only ran the group so that she could afford to go to Costa Rica for a month. She didn't post much in our private (oh, so exclusive!) Facebook group, the weekly webinars we were to attend with her were prerecorded from prior time she ran the group (Hint: if you are going to do this, then don't talk about the snow or the Red Sox or anything else that might clue the listeners in to the fact that this was recorded six months ago.), and the exercise routine was laughable. I got neither fitter nor thinner. I just got frustrated.
The second group had a less Paleo diet and more kickass workouts. And the trainer had an assistant who did all the online communicating with everyone, except in rare cases. This lady was so busy that she only scheduled her audio conferences when everyone was at work (or sleeping - it was an international group), so every time she scheduled an audio conference, her assistant cancelled it due to lack of interest. When I told her that the arm exercises that we were supposed to be doing on Tuesdays had reactivated my tendonitis, she did respond and ask me which arm exercises. That would have been somewhat meaningful if not for the fact that every damned woman in the group was given the exact same workout plan. The trainer might not have been keeping tabs on us, but we were communicating.
I don't think I would ever, ever do online nutritional or fitness coaching ever again, unless I had a whole lot of confidence in the person who was doing the coaching, and that's a high expectation. In all of the above three situations, I was given a comprehensive questionnaire that asked me all sorts of questions, mostly about various aspects of my health. I provided the following information on each one: I have tendonitis (both golfer's and tennis elbow) in my right arm, I am susceptible to kidney stones, and I have a family history of heart disease/high blood pressure/high cholesterol, though I have not ever had any issues with that. And each of these knuckleheads holding themselves out as credentialed experts has ignored that information.
The Paleo diet is the devil for me, because it is chock full of food that I cannot eat due to the fact that it's all full of oxalates, which will send me to the ER with kidney stones. A couple of months ago, I did learn that Paleo causes different kidney stone issues for me. I usually don't have issues until a stone gets stuck in my ureter, causing pain worse than childbirth. On a Paleo diet, no stones get stuck, but I vomited for days. When El Esposo took me to the ER this time, I was pleasantly surprised that people who haven't been able to keep anything down for days, even if their pain isn't a 10 on the little ER smiley face chart, get seen much much faster than people who are in horrible pain with kidney stones. I was in and out so quickly. The only thing that really held me up was the need to wait until I had enough bags of IV fluid pumped into me to be able to provide a urine sample.
So, I can't eat Paleo because it aggravates my kidney issues. The low oxalate diet to prevent kidney issues looks like it doubles as a list of things that give you heart disease. Given my family history, I can't eat that. I'm at a crossroads. Honestly, it's been almost two months since the last kidney episode and I still am not 100% normal. I was on a clear liquid diet for a while after that, then transitioned to BRAT (bananas, rice, applesauce, toast). I'm eating normal food again now, but I'm kind of losing interest in it because it all seems like it's going to cause some issue or another.
I have the kernel of a plan, and I'm going to need to work on growing it. That's what my WOW posts are going to be about, how I'm working on finding my way through a whole lot of complex and sometimes contradictory information about fitness and health to find what works for me.
Right now, I'm doing two things. Every morning, I'm drinking a detox drink: 8-12 ounces of water, 2T apple cider vinegar, 2T lemon juice, 1 tsp cinnamon, dash of cayenne pepper. And every night I'm drinking Yogi Tea detox tea for liver and kidneys. I'm going to try this for a couple of weeks to see if it helps at all.
Finally, there is one thing that I've been able to do for my health that makes me extremely happy. I have indoor and outdoor allergies, and have had them for about 30 years. So I've taken Contac, Actifed, Sudafed, Zyrtec, and/or Benadryl almost every day during that time (plus an ill fated experiment with the nasal spray Seldane, which was taken off the market because it caused cardiac issues). I am proud to say that I have taken allergy medicine only a couple of times since December, and those times were only because I was a little sneezy and had to go to a meeting at work where that would have been a distraction. I use my neti pot every morning and have found that consistently doing this has kept me pretty drug free. Score one!