Friday, March 12, 2010

Just say yes to the juice, babeh!

Being raised in the suburbs of southern California by two working parents, one of whom was a teacher, I was no stranger to both eating and preparing home cooked meals. That said, I was also radically acquainted with, in fact one could almost say I was addicted to, fast and packaged food and beverages. 

Knowing diabetes and obesity ran on my father's side of the family, my mother worked diligently to keep my sister and I away from processed sugars and fatty foods for as long as possible. In my case, a whole 5 years. Although I do not think it would ever have occurred to her that the "healthy whole grain" breads we ate could actually be the cause of my morning stomach problems, I now have cause to wonder. Still, she and our neighbors enjoyed trading secrets to make healthy food children would love, recipes without sugar, and produce from their gardens for as long as I could remember. I fondly remember helping garden and even picking tomatoe bugs out of  one family's yard. They grew zucchinis which my mother cooked into moist and delicous bread, and the father made his own peanut butter. There is nothing like fresh, warm nut butter!

Of course according to my mother this blissful bubble of good foods was all ruined the day my father put sugar on my cereal. At first I cried because I thought it was salt and did not want salt on my breakfast cereal. Soon I caught on, and my sugar addiction began. But until I was about 5, fresh squeezed juice, fruits as snacks, buttered toast, and healthy eating was a big part of the daily routine.  Eventually I took to morning bouts of nausea and stomach pain. The doctors told her that I had an "overly acidic stomach" and should avoid citric acid such as the juices we usually had for breakfast. Man did I miss my apple juice, strawberries, and oranges!

After over a year of intractable migraines, friends dying from or surviving cancer at unprecedented rates, and a strange group of symptoms and physical challenges myself, I have gone through every medical treatment the neurologists can think of, and am STILL in constant pain. Chronic pain isn't new to me as I've been living with Fibromyalgia Syndrome for over 19 years, so I have developed coping mechanisms. However, over a year of migraines is insane! My doctors were running out of options, and I decided that I would try anything healthy that people had found worked for them so as to avoid botox injections. Botox injections are a current favored treatment for migraine pain which has to be repeated on a regular basis in order to keep the pain away. I hold nothing against people who choose that route, but for me, it seems dangerous to intentionally  inject toxins under my skin, and I'd rather avoid it if possible.

At the same time that a friend mentioned celiac disease, another sent me two movie recommendations about Gerson's Therapy. I particularly enjoyed the documentary entitled "The Beautiful Truth." Because of watching the videos we ordered a book by Dr Gerson's daughter about the treatment, and began pouring over the information it contained. An eye opener to be sure! I am happy to say that my MRIs came back negative for brain tumors, and I have not been found to have cancer. We celebrate that fact gratefully. But Dr Gerson first developed the diet for himself because of the same sort of intractable migraines I have been lived with since November 2008, so we have been pondering his thoughts on salt and the wonders of apple/carrot juice to name a few.

About two years ago, a dear friend of mine got a new juicer and, knowing that I enjoy fruit juice and was working on eating healthier, asked if I would like his old one. Since then it has not been used often enough, until now. I have to step outside while the juicer runs so that Carlie can run it for me because the noise feels like it is drilling through my skull and that my brain has melted by the time the juice is ready. But organic carrots and apples when juiced are sweet and wonderful! I have found my replacement for caffeine free coke, and this one is healthy! We bought some juicy blood oranges and tangelos on sale at the neighborhood market where local farmers sell their goods and will be trying other juices soon.

I am feeling inspired, energized and hopeful. I was able to exercise today and found I had lost another 2 pounds just since I started drinking apple/carrot juice instead of a sweet soda. If healthy eating tastes this good then this is something I can do.


Lynn said...

It can be frustrating when healthy foods bother you. I was eating a lot of whole wheat before I knew I had celiac. I also grew up in the 50's, so while my mom cooked dinner every night we also ate processed foods. I did like Trix cereal and Kool Aid and Reddi Whip and you name it. But I was also a vegtable lover. Sticking to fish, beans, veggies and fruit for the most part sounds easy but I still like some junk food too. Keep at it.

Sean-Michael said...

yes exactly. I want to eat healthier, but I also want to enjoy the occasional "Junk food" I actually was given a link with some interesting information on junk foods that are gluten free, I'll post an entry about it soon.