My parents called me a "carbo-holic" growing up and would withhold bread rolls from me as a method of cruel and unusual punishment when we would go out to dinner (at this point in my life I was entirely too old to be punished that way...high school, ouch). Anyway, it was highly effective and to me was more inhumane to my teenage mind than being grounded. So at first going gluten-free seemed like another form of torture that I would have to endure thanks to Lyme, but I soon learned that this new diet would make a major impact in my health and the way I felt on a daily basis.
After one week of cutting out all gluten from my diet I was ecstatic--I felt so good that I was convinced I was cured. I do not have Celiac's disease, but most Lyme patients suffer from some form of gluten-intolerance and I certainly fall under that category. What exactly is gluten-free? Click here to find out more.
Once I began treatment, I realized that the only thing I had control over in my life was what I put in my body. So I began a hard-core "Lyme" diet that consists of aspects of the Paleo Diet and the Super Immunity Diet, among others. Unless the cavemen had access to it, I will not touch it. This means no food that comes in any type of packaging. I only eat organic fruits and veggies from local farms. I am on an intense juicing regimen (which will be another blog post...there is "juicing" and then there is juicing) and eat clean. I try to eat raw (or barely cooked) vegetables for the most part and have started to cut meat slowly out of my diet. I also am 98% dairy free, save a few delicious cheeses that I enjoy every once in a while. Quinoa (keen-wa) has saved me from intense carb cravings and is also an excellent source of protein. You can even find Quinoa pasta and spaghetti--a great replacement when you are craving carbs!
I drink only water, coconut water, and healing herbal teas, aside from the juicing. I get the teas from my Ayuverdic specialist, who blends them herself (after much demand, I will be writing a lengthy blog about her and her healing methods that have been so significant in my healing process). This means no caffeine, alcohol, etc.
So exactly why am I going to such lengths to control my diet? Sugar. The Lyme Spirochetes LOVE sugar and they feed on it. So starving them of it makes them weaker. I suffer the proof of this when I decide to "cheat"...within hours my Lyme symptoms begin to flare up and I pay for it for a few days at the least.
Practicing the belief that food can be medicine is great for everyone. It is preventative medicine, gives you healthy hair, skin, and nails, fights aging, and makes you feel better in general. Plus it is a great way to detox and get all of the kill-off toxins out of your body if you have Lyme. When you take away all of the 'easy' foods that are bad for you, you realize the plethora of options that nature herself has given us. Conventional wisdom says cutting so many things out of your diet leaves you with nothing to eat, but when you 'let thy food by thy medicine' you realize that with creativity your options are endless.
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Update: Check out this incredible article on Foods with antimicrobial properties. Food IS Medicine! I think you will be surprised about some of them...click here to read more about food that works as antibiotics.