A Metaphysical Approach to Diet and Nutrition
So I mentioned in one of my first blog posts that I was about to go on a low-carb diet for my chronic fatigue syndrome. I've eaten a paleoish diet on and off for ten years including phases where I completely rejected a dietary approach to healing and ate whatever I craved: fast food, wild food, the whole gamut. That nutritive promiscuity didn't appear to serve me (what's the opposite of orthorexia? orthomania?) and starting in 2014 I resumed eating a pretty strict paleo diet. In 2015 I gradually began eliminating even more things that I appeared to be sensitive to like eggs. Next, I cut down on the sweetest fruits and starchy vegetables and then finally all fruits. So these days I eat meat, nuts and seeds, fats, and non-starchy vegetables. It has been an ultra-slow process of refinement.
I have been on this low-carb/low-starch diet for a month or so. Along with the diet I am doing a candida cleanse regimen of antibiotic herbs. You might be thinking really? Candida? That's so passé. What about heavy metals? What about neurotransmitter support? What about adrenal and thyroid issues? What about mineral balance? That's what I thought when guru Kevin first suggested we go down the road of candida cleansing and gut rehabilitation. Why should I choose this approach above all the others out there? It took some convincing but here I am.
I hesitate to write about diet and nutrition for several reasons:
1) I don't have any concrete proof in the form of symptom remission that my diet is working and it is more fun to write about something which you are sure might help people because it has helped you.
2) I don't want people to get the impression that I think diet is the best way to heal all their ailments. It is the slow road. Not the express lane. I think psycho-spiritual issues lie at the core of most diseases and that it is silly to address diet alone without looking into them. But I have looked into my issues and because of the peculiarities of who I am, this obscene diet is the best approach to raising my vibration enough to make my life good enough to convince a certain stubborn, traumatized part of my psyche that life is worth living, at which point more fundamental energetic healing will be able to take hold. Along with my writing practice and a few other things it is the best stop-gap measure.
3) I don't like to buy into too much dogma. I remain agnostic on the best human diet at this point. I personally hope to someday be able to eat not just the full-range of paleo foods but all whole, healthy foods. I expect that as super sensitive person I will always have to be extra careful about what I consume, and that there is really no excuse for anyone routinely eating toxic junk. On my ideal fantasy planet all of the food everywhere has the quality of the best home cooked meal or the healthiest 10% of what is available in an organic grocery store. All of these heavily processed items full of additives or excess sugar just shouldn't exist. HOWEVER, I suspect that when someone is at the top of their game they should be able to process the occasional Tastykake.
WHY THIS DIET?
There are a lot of purportedly healing diets out there: Raw foods, Body Ecology, green smoothies, juice fasting, plant-based diets, autoimmune paleo...why choose this one? Well, you see, Kevin also has a chronic illness (maybe you are aware that lots of healers have difficulty healing their own stuff). He has fairly bad multiple chemical sensitivity and electromagnetic sensitivity. I have moderate chronic fatigue with only mild chemical sensitivity, but in many ways our illnesses are the same. Are these diseases part and parcel of being a super sensitive, empathic person? No, but it's definitely one of the hazards of the job.
Anyway, Kevin's always been just about two steps ahead of me with the diet stuff. Just far enough to act as a guide. At one point I was trying to do some elimination testing following Tom Malterre's program. Kevin and I would discuss what I was eating and my symptoms but I was always eating weird things like roasted bay nuts and cholla buds and drinking random herbal teas and he would tell me my diet was too complicated for him to give any intuitive guidance on, which was frustrating for all parties. Eventually I was like, "Just tell me what YOU eat then!" So we devised a plan based on his diet. As someone even more sensitive than me in certain ways it was likely to be pretty safe.
FOLLOWING THE SIGNS
How then did Kevin choose his diet? To some extent through evaluating all the most prescient and convincing literature on the topic of healing these diseases, but also through synchronicity. I've never heard of someone else taking a synchronistic approach to diet, especially when it comes to each food and not just the diet as a whole. I mean it would be reasonable to assume that someone out there has been wondering, say, "What diet should I try to cure my cancer?" and later that week saw a documentary television show on someone who cured their cancer with a macrobiotic diet, found a free book on macrobiotics on the library reject table, and overheard some people talking about macrobiotics in the checkout line at the supermarket, and then decided that these were all signs they should follow.
But how many people are paying close enough attention to notice, "You know, every time I go to buy fruit something bad happens to me. First I got a flat tire on my bike, then I saw a fight break out while I was carrying the fruit home, then my refrigerator stopped working after I put the fruit in it". Sounds a bit unusual, but everything is a reflection, and that is seriously the amount of attention to detail that Kevin and I use to monitor where our energy is at in relation to what we are doing. Might seem crazy making but really it just becomes second nature, like developing a search pattern for identifying mushrooms or tracks hiding on the forest floor. You establish a baseline, and eventually these little positive and negative synchronicities just pop out at you.
It was basically this same logical/synchronistic approach that led Kevin and then myself to candida cleansing as a dietary adjunct. I was thinking about going to a functional medicine doctor and getting tested for real to see what all gut, hormonal, and detox issues I have, but I couldn't really afford it. (I am on the wait list with Dr. Amy Myers who I think is top notch). After much back and forth Kevin and I decided that it would be just as efficient and effective to come up with our own plan for me based on intuition and science. He was convinced that by now that gut healing was absolutely central to both our maladies and the first thing that should be addressed (again, I was suspicious this emphasis on digestive wellness was nothing more than a hip trend with candida as its scapegoat, but eventually came around).
A lot of the plan we came up with loosely follows the work of clinical nutritionist Christa Orecchio. But isn't the same. I have affiliate links to her anti-candida program and Diane Sanfilippo's 21-Day Sugar Detox in the sidebar because I totally think they are both really smart, lovely ladies and fully believe what they have to offer is probably helpful and sufficient for most somewhat less sensitive, less complicated people. If you buy those plans you'll get all kinds of detailed information, education, support, and recipes, but I'll share with you for free what Kevin and I are doing. Our version is a bit different, for example the diet is even more low-carb and often becomes ketogenic for me, even though I'm not necessarily trying to be ketogenic. I just really like fat.
I was adamant that Kevin help me choose not just the exact supplements but the exact brands and doses for the anti-candida plan because I have WAY too much trouble making decisions. Some things I went with the the most expensive high-quality manufacturers and others, where it didn't seem critical, with middle-of-the road brands. I should note that there is a lot of overlap between substances that kill candida, parasites, h. pylori, and other gut bugs so I'm using the word candida a bit loosely to describe a variety of intestinal dysbiosis.
I don't know how long I'll be on this. Probably a lot longer than your average candida-kill which is around 6 weeks. There is some danger in long-term restrictive dieting. It could cause nutritional deficiencies or metabolism suppression, but I'm not worried about that. I'll continue to watch my body for adverse effects or signs I should go off the diet. I have not only normal biofeedback but synchronicity on my side.
THE SUPER SENSITIVE HUMAN PROTOCOL
What I eat: A limited paleo diet that includes all meats, canned salmon and sardines, bone broth, organ meats, nuts, seeds, fats (animal-based and olive oil, red palm oil, cocoa butter, etc.), non-starchy vegetables including nightshades (celery, cucumbers, greens, brassicas, peppers, tomatoes, onions, etc.), coconut products, avocado, lemon...
What I do not eat: All sugar products, sweet fruits, starchy vegetables (potatoes, squashes, plantain, etc.), green beans, peas, carrots, beets, mushrooms, fermented foods, vinegar, dairy, grains, soy, eggs, nitrates, additives, preservatives...
I know some of these things contradict other diets but lines must be drawn, decisions must be made, intuitions must be followed. This is simply what has evolved.
As for supplements, the table I made for myself below shows more or less what I take. Most of the anti-fungals I use on a rotation to keep the buggers on their toes, i.e. four days of caprylic acid followed by four days of oregano oil and so on. I started some of these things at a lower dose but didn't experience any serious die-off symptoms, so raised them to the current level. Sometimes I take 1/2 tablespoon bentonite clay and 1/2 tablespoon diatomaceous earth instead of the psyllium husk. Sometimes I drink pau d'arco tea as well as take the pills. All in all this plan costs about $200/month.
Oh and I buy all these things from Amazon. If you inspired to purchase them you can support my blogging efforts by purchasing through my affiliate link here.