eating better really IS helping (much to my chagrin)

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by satchya, May 20, 2009.

  1. satchya

    satchya New Member

    I hate admitting this, but eating better actually is helping my pain levels. I have been a sugar and carb fiend all my life. For some reason since I started the topamax I just can't stand the stuff. I can stomach some protein, veggies are fine, soy shakes made with skim milk (believe it or not, ewww I would have thought previously). I am okay with some fruit, but can only finish a little at a time. Maybe I will get over it, but I am eating the "healthiest" (i.e., least sugar and "junk food") of my life. I am so thirsty all the time, I drink water all the time, even keep it by my bed for the middle of the night. Diet coke tastes strange, so I don't drink nearly as much.

    I am down to 1 1/2 lortab a day from 4 a day on the 5th of this month. I still have pain, and I still have fatigue, but I have an overall sleeker healthier feeling, if that makes any sense at all. I don't know if it does. It's sort of an inner glow. I don't know how else to describe it. I would never have made it to this point without topamax because I have TRIED to eat healthy like this before and could never make it more than a few days in a row without slipping up badly. But I DO feel better without the junk in my body.

    JEANSKI New Member

    I know what you are saying. I know that my sugar and carb intake is fueling my pain and fatigue. It's not a cure or will take away all the symptoms but it sure does help. I don't know much about topamax but am going to look into it. I also have an appt with my endo. and want to ask her about what I can do about my cravings. She thinks I already have insulin resistance and has made suggestions but I was not comfortable with what she had recommended at that point. But I believe I need to give it another go, do some research on my own and see if we can come to some agreement. I know I need to do SOMETHING and soon! I am approaching 300 lbs and feel the worst I have felt in a LONG time.
  3. pearls

    pearls New Member

    Well, we are like every other living thing on this planet in that if you feed a plant or animal a healthy diet, it is much healthier. Why should it be any different with us? And why should our contemporary, junk-food diet, which was never the norm over our history, sustain us?

    Here's a simple start to a healthier diet:

    Every single morning, I eat slow-cooked oatmeal, covered with chopped, raw walnuts, a half a banana and, in season, a handful or two of unsweetened strawberries. I sweeten the oatmeal with five drops of stevia (wonderful, naturally sweet stuff - buy it at a health-food store), and also add a half teaspoon of vanilla, some salt and a small handful of raisins. If I add the strawberries, I also add a few drops of stevia to the milk that goes over the oatmeal. Instant oatmeal is high on the glycemic scale, so use at least the five-minute kind.

    Since I do this every morning, I have all the steps down pat. So the process is easy. I used to detest oatmeal. Now I look forward to my oatmeal every morning. It keeps me full so I don't feel the urge to snack mid-morning.

    -Pearl S.
  4. satchya

    satchya New Member


    I really, really don't mean this to be snarky, but for some of us, this kind of wisdom is not so easy to follow without a LOT of help. I know, I've tried for years and years. For some reason this new medication I'm on is making it much easier. Don't know why, don't care, it just is. But for many of us it's not as simple as trotting down to the local health food store and changing our eating habits completely.

    My oldest daughter was born without my sweet tooth. From babyhood she's literally been one of those people who would rather have half an apple for dessert than ice cream. She hates birthday cake, for goodness sakes! She wouldn't eat "fattening" food if her life depended on it. Her favorite lunch is a lean turkey sandwich on whole wheat hold the mayo (and lots of green leafy lettuce.) She was BORN with those taste buds. My husband is the same way. My younger two children have my taste buds.

    I was sharing my recent experience for those who are like me, who may have to be dragged kicking and screaming to healthier eating. Giving them a heads up that they may want to talk to their doctor about adding something like topamax if it gives them the boost they need to make the change they need to. (And no, I swear I'm not a topamax drug rep in sheep's clothing). lol

    It's not that I didn't KNOW better already for goodness sakes. It's not like the message about eating healthy is actually news to any of us.
  5. xchocoholic

    xchocoholic New Member


    I had to chuckle when I read this. "dragging kicking and screaming" . I'm a health nut now but I certainly wouldn't be if didnt' have to be. My digestive tract gave out on me (probably celiac disease) back in 2005 which meant I had to give up gluten, dairy, etc.

    I cried for the first 6 months to a year after getting on this diet whenever I got around food that I couldn't eat anymore. I was sooo embarrassed when I went out to dinner with my family and cried when they got their delicious meals and I got my puny, bland food ...

    I feel better without any high glycemic food in my diet. I just found an article recently that said omega 3s help with this ... I'll get that link ...

    I haven't looked up topomax yet. I gather it helps with cravings though ...

    Anways just wanted to let you know I can empathize and I enjoyed your post ... hang in there ... it's hard to stay on a diet with all the temptations out there ... Marcia

    Here it is ... but I also posted a new thread on it and edited it so we could read it easier ...

    Funny story .. Before I knew anything about foods and nutrition, one of my doctors recommended the rotation diet to me and I jokingly replied that I only ate Taco Bell on Monday, Wednesday and Friday ... geesh ... lol

    [This Message was Edited on 05/21/2009]
  6. pearls

    pearls New Member

    Forgive me if my comments are a bit irritating. I'm sure I'd be irritated, too. But this subject is too important to ignore. I used to eat quite a lot of junky food, but have found that starting with the breakfast I described above really goes a long way to curbing appetites and desire for sugary treats.

    About fish oil, I take fish oil three times a day, and eat half of a large avocado on most days in addition to eating nuts. Avocados and nuts are very satisfying because they taste so good and because they are high in oil. But this kind of oil is good for you.

    I also eat a lot of fruit, including a side on every lunch plate of plain, cut fruit, such as a half orange, apple slices, or some melon cubes. Fruit has a sugar content, but when you are getting the whole fruit, the sugar is minimized, particularly if you are eating it at the same time as some protein. It makes fixing lunch a lot easier to just slice up some fruit for a side dish.

    Some people say that fruit, avocados and nuts are expensive. But compared to junk foods, they are really a good deal: very satisfying and very good for you. If you have room for a few fruit trees in your yard, they are well worth it. The fruit is better, for one thing, than most of what you can buy. If you live in a climate that supports orange trees, plant one! I eat wonderful oranges from before Christmas all the way through May from my one, naval orange tree. No other tree can approach oranges for a long season.

    [This Message was Edited on 05/21/2009]
  7. xchocoholic

    xchocoholic New Member


    I'm glad this works for you but if anyone with a blood glucose problem ate this for breakfast this would send their glucose levels soaring in 30 minutes to an hour. And would lead to a huge crash after that. Ultimately this would lead to insulin resistance and diabetes as it would wear out the pancreas over time.

    This kind of food also feeds candida and many of us have a problem with that too.

    Most of the time my breakfast consists of meats and veggies but lately I've been getting by with bacon, eggs and a piece of flax bread that I make myself. I can't eat any fruit at this point without feeling horrible ...

    Just something to consider if this kind of food makes you feel worse. Marcia
  8. LindaJones

    LindaJones New Member

    eating a healthy diet is a lot of work
    I feel like I need to hire someone to help me with grocery shopping and cooking
  9. Janalynn

    Janalynn New Member

    How long have you been on Topamax? I had the same "feelings" or experience when I first started it. Unfortunately it didn't last and since the natural feelings of eating certain foods went away, I didn't remain diligent.

    I was prescribed Topamax for Fibro (it's in the same family as Lyrica and Neurontin, couldn't take those). Many people who have migraines are given Topamax. It's common that certain foods will taste really strange, especially carbonated beverages while on T. I remember my oatmeal tasting metallic.

    The Topamax helped my upper arm stiffness in the morning - also helped my sleep some. I also lost weight the first month. I didn't have a headache for over 6 months.

    I don't know why I take it anymore really, except my Doc doesn't want to make any changes right now. I'm having horrific and I mean BAD headaches, my sleep isn't helped by it anymore and it doesn't do much for Fibro pain....and the weight loss...was found.

    I used to eat VERY healthy and had a great exercise routine. Almost addicted to Tae Bo. (before my pain got to this degree)
    It feels good mentally to eat well. I don't think it's that hard if you think 'basics'. I have to stay away from a lot of carbs and those I do eat, need to be wheat.

    You have reminded me to get back on the ball. I've been eating like crap lately, tons of pain, no energy to 'move' or exercise and the weight gain, although not huge, is getting me down.

    I guess a point I wanted to make is....keep it up out of habit and your own willpower. The topamax may not keep you going in that direction after a while.
  10. pearls

    pearls New Member

    What part of my breakfast would make anyone's blood glucose levels soar? I eat the slower cooking oatmeal sweetened with stevia. The slower cooking oatmeal is lower on the glycemic index than the instant variety, and the stevia has no effect on blood glucose. Perhaps you are worried about the raisins. But a few raisins along with the proteins and so forth won't add much of a glycemic load. The nuts don't add to the glycemic load. In fact, their effect is quite the opposite. Adding some whole fruit (not separated out into juice) should not cause a problem because they are whole and eaten with the oatmeal. I add low fat milk. That's it.

    This is not a breakfast of donuts and coffee. That would cause a crash. The oatmeal as I describe it takes a long time to digest, and so there is no glycemic rush. There are lots of nutrients in fruits that are needed even if a person has problems with blood sugar. I've been eating this breakfast for the past two years at least because my husband and I wanted to lose weight. Along with exercise, it did just that because it is so satisfying, we haven't felt the need to snack before lunch. In fact, this kind of breakfast will keep your afternoon need to nosh in check, as well.

  11. xchocoholic

    xchocoholic New Member

    Sorry, I didn't mean to sound like an alarmist. I should've said that my blood glucose levels would soar if I ate this many carbs for breakfast. I forget that not all of us are super sensitive to carbs especially fruit. I'd be in a carb induced stupor within 20 - 30 minutes of eating this for breakfast and drinking strong coffee to stay awake for the next couple of hours.

    Actually, I couldn't have gotten away with this in my 30's (20 years ago) before getting CFS either. I've been hypoglycemic since then ...

    Like I said if it works for you that's great .. oatmeal and fruit are healthy food choices. I have to have a good protein source, like steak, bacon or eggs to feel energized in the morning.

  12. pearls

    pearls New Member

    Got it.