If You Want To Feel Better Read This

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Marta608, Jun 23, 2006.

  1. Marta608

    Marta608 Member

    Hello, friends. My other title didn't get many responses so I've revised this a bit and am trying a more direct approach. lol I really do want any of you who are discouraged with this illness to read this; not just my post but MATN's responses. My heart goes out to you but you really are the only one who can help you.

    If you've followed my story at all you recall that my wonderful new PA recommended a book to me on healthy eating called The Paleo Diet. Her husband is a rheumy and finds that this regimen helps the majority of his pain patients as well as following it himself. The library didn't have it so I amazon-ed it. (My PA also suggested I read Eat Right 4 Your Type which I already owned and it's helpful too but not as much, for me anyway, as The Paleo Diet.)

    The first thing I was amazed to see is that they recommend no salt at all added to your food or nothing with salt in it. Zero. Zip. Zilch. The CFS doc had told me years ago to use a lot of salt, even to drink a cup of boullion every day for the salt content! Hmmmmmm.

    But nothing ventured, nothing gained, right? RIGHT?!?!?

    So I tried it. And amazingly enough, I did sleep better and I have less pain! As the two weeks have progressed, I have more energy, my thinking is clearer, I breath more deeply and I've lost weight. (I'm not crazy about less weight but some people might be.) In addition to no salt, I have no butter, margerine, prepared foods, no dairy (eggs are OK if they have Omega-3 added as well as organic, plain yogurt on occasion), peanut butter, (I ate LOTS of natural p.b.), grains! or soy. And I thought I was a healthy eater!

    You can begin slowly and can have three Open Meals the first two weeks but I haven't done that. Cold turky, that's me, in more ways than one.

    My diet is now primarily a balance of lean animal protein, vegetables and fruits. I have as much as I can eat of those things, in balance for each meal and I can cheat occasoinally if I want to, just so it's the exception rather than the rule. I can sense that I will eventually not want other types of foods at all.

    It makes so much sense when you read it and, although you, like me, are probably fed up with reading all the different and eventually discouraging hype about this or that diet, this or that cure, this is the real thing, guys. Even after slight over two short weeks - the death of my sweet cat during that time and knowing I'm only beginning - I'm better. I'm really better! (I feel like Sally Field.)

    Also, have your vitamin D level checked. Research is showing that we need a lot more than was orginally thought, as much as 4,000 i.u. a day and most of us sure don't get that sitting here.

    OK. That's all I can do. Now it's up to you. I'll try to shut up about it, in fact, I will shut up about it.

    Here's to good health!!!

    [This Message was Edited on 06/24/2006]
  2. glenda2

    glenda2 New Member

    hi marta
    i guess i am slow did you do the salt thing and have less pain? and now you do not use salt in your diet? i love salt but can not have to much because i have menieres disease (along with fibro) so i don't add salt anymore but i still have to work on doing a no salt diet. the salt makes the fluid build up on my ears. i have lost alot of hearing in one ear because of it so i am trying.
  3. Marta608

    Marta608 Member

    Yes, better sleep and less pain. It seemed to happen about a week after I quit using salt. The "diet" may have an impact as well but I think the lack of salt was responsible at first.

    Anyone could try it and not do themselves any damage. Just try it for two weeks. You can squeeze fresh lemon over your food for zest. Of course you can't use lemon on popcorn but we're not suppose to eat popcorn anyway, at least no on this food plan.

    Let me know if you try it and how it works, OK?

  4. matn

    matn New Member


    I follow a similar diet to this and I have fully recovered. I was very ill. Please read my profile and good luck with your recent success.

  5. NyroFan

    NyroFan New Member

    I always have low sodium so crank it out with other foods.
    Baccalao is my best way to get salt---Portugese dried cod dried out. YOu keep changing the water over and over again and then boil it. You mix it up with sauteed sweet onioms
    and put it over rice.

    It's enough for salt for a week. Maybe a month.

    Salt really is so important, but I ain't drinkin' salt water.

    Meow Meow,
  6. Marta608

    Marta608 Member


    It took you 2.5 years to regain your health? What did you notice as a first improvement?

    We CLING to our ways of eating and drinking but I really think we need to turn away from all the processed foods out there. It's hard for a while; we've been trained to think we have to have them.

    Thanks for posting and good luck with your book. Have you read The Paleo Diet? It would be a good idea to read it so you aren't repeating what they've said. We do want you to make money, after all. lol

  7. matn

    matn New Member

    Hello Marta:

    I think I have read almost all of the various diets books and I did read a summary of the Caveman Diet which is basically what I follow. My approach is based on the chemistry of the foods and beverages that are consumed, with the idea to eliminate those that cannot be processed (those that are foreign) to the body. The body can take a certain amount of challenges, but once a certain threshold is reached, we start to suffer from the effects. The good news is that if you make changes early enough, the damage can be repaired and our health will return (as did mine). We live in such are artificial state today, with food companies pushing products that are extremely unhealthy. On a biochemical level, we simply cannot make these substances benefit us and instead we consume an extradinary amount of energy trying to process them and eliminate them without doing too much harm to out bodies. These substances, dairy, gluten and soy comprise ~70 of the standard american diet (SAD diet) so its no wonder to me why almost everyone is ill with either CFS or autimummune diseases, obesity, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, neurological issues, etc. Please search the website for DOGTORJ (a vet)as he was able to eliminate almost all of these conditions in the animals he treated (as well as himself) with a healthy diet. Also, watch out for the horrible, processed oils that are a mainstay of the SAD. I only consume fish that contain oils and extra virgin cold pressed, organic olive oil. Also, no vinegar or commercial salt (although I will consume sea salt on occasion). I consume very little grains (only occasional rice ~ once/month) and I try to eat a lot of uncooked fruits (limited to avoid low blood sugar reactions)and low starch vegetables. I have never felt this good in my entire life, so from the day I was weaned from mothers milk, I was most likely consuming the things that would eventually lead to CFS.

    Best Wishes for a full recovery!

  8. Marta608

    Marta608 Member

    Thanks for taking the time to reply. It's making more and more sense to me every day. I'm also finding, as you have, ways to make the diet my own. I eat basically from the triad of meat, vegetables and fruits and yet don't feel deprived.

    What amazes me is that it's really so simple once you get past the psychological shock of realizing that you haven't been eating right for so many years. I thought my diet was healthy and it certainly was far healthier than many people's! Yet I can see now the ways in which I slid into what became unhealthy eating habits. It's a bit of a Catch-22; the more sick and tired you are, the less able you feel to prepare healthier foods. (The key, I've found is preparing in volume, then freezing and refrigerating.) It takes little time to feel a difference if you stick to it. It's as if we were actually starving our poor bodies to a slow death.

    This morning I woke up at 5:30 feeling rested and clear-headed. I got myself out in the early morning air to walk; I had a good breakfast of a hardboiled egg, some slices of turkey and a fresh pear, then continued on with my morning of laundry and cleaning. It's still early days so I'm a bit weary now and will take a short nap but I expect continued improvement.

    Thank you for your good wishes. I wish continued good health to you. You can bet I'm certainly doing my very best. Eleven years out of my life is far too many to waste.

    [This Message was Edited on 06/24/2006]
  9. Marta608

    Marta608 Member

    Why is it that posts with general "fun" questions, quizzes or OTs get more responses than something really helpful? Don't tell me that that this is actually more of a chit chat board now? Please don't tell me that we'd rather sit here and complain or chat than get healthy. I won't think that of us.

    Maybe it's a weekend thing.


    [This Message was Edited on 06/24/2006]
  10. Marta608

    Marta608 Member

    Hi, Lu!

    Of course I'm not a doctor, I just know what my PA recommended and it's working for me. I mean no salt for the most part, period. Not sprinkled on, not in purchased foods. This plan is more than fair, you can have thing like salt occasionally but as a general rule, if we follow the lean meat, veggies and fruit in balance at meals, we get healthier. (My CFS doc told me to increase salt, too, but that was 11 looooong unhealthy years ago so I was open to trying another route. I did gasp when she said it though...) Furthermore, it's not just about not eating salt.

    You'd understand it if you read the book. I wish I could get us a volume discount. lol Just try the "diet" for two weeks and see how you feel. Two weeks. That's all. If you don't feel better, then it wasn't for you but what do you have to lose? At least that's how I look at it.

  11. Marta608

    Marta608 Member

    Kudos to you! Please let us know how you do and consider the "diet" too if you don't already eat that way. It makes a big difference.

    Drink plenty of H2O. You won't get as thirsty without all the salt so you need to pay attention.


  12. SherylD

    SherylD Guest

    I am really interrested in this diet...I am stuggling from chemical sensitivity and everything I eat is affecting me..

    I am hardly using any salt and still thinking it is bothering me...Anything I eat bothers me...even fresh fruits...I almost get a drunk feeling...I am down to just eating organic apples..

    I am going to try to find this book..WHat is a normal day of eating for you?? I would love to know where to begin til I find the book..

    Thanks for your post..

  13. Marta608

    Marta608 Member

    And a good morning to you all!

    First, lurko: I've been thinking about you and want to remind you that the no-salt thing is just a part of the overall diet. The diet is very balanced so please follow the eating plan too. Just for two weeks, then decide. And if you'd feel better about it, talk to your naturapath or doctor.

    Sheryld, the beeoootiful lady: I read your profile and first, with hair that looks that good (drool) I can believe you're a hairdresser. I wish we lived closer but I'm up here in Michigan and I think your fee would be a bit steep for me with travel and all. ;>)

    I'm sure you have considered that your very job may be a big part of your illness with all the chemicals around you.

    It sounds to me - and I can't repeat enough that I'm not a doctor - that you have MCS. Do you, for example, use a chemical-killing rinse on that fruit before you eat it, the fruit that bothers you so much? They sell the stuff here in the grocery stores but I've seen a "recipe" on this board for a homebrew. There are also concoctions to use for cleaning instead of perfume-filled, commercial products. But I assume you know that already.

    I have a way to go yet. After all, eleven years of being sick affects everything about us. It will take more time and I can't rush my body's healing. I'm also 11 years older; who knows what "normal" feels like at this age? Soon the interesting challenge will be to find a life again. I've been so sick and therefore so isolated that I must begin finding friends and interest and involvements all over again. I don't think they'll be the same ones as before because I'm much more compassionate now. Different things are important. That's the good thing about this illness. It gives us time to find the real value in life.

    As for the book, I tried my local library but they didn't have it so I ordered it online from amazon. The total cost with delivery was $13.71. Can't beat that with a stick compared to all the $$$$$ I've spent on supplements that didn't work and I'd want my own copy for reference anyway.

    You just have to read the book. It's not hard reading at all, it even has recipes in it for each level of the diet although you'll swear that you just cooked enough for an army and here you are in the kitchen again.

    Last but not least, Haley: I drooled over your dog and your beautiful wooded setting in your profile. An accountant, ey? I am SO NOT an accountant.... I do thank you for the encouragement. I admit to getting discouraged trying to get the word out here when people seem to want only to chat. I understand that though; this illness makes for a lot of loneliness.

    Haley, this way of eating is geared to balance our natural bodies needs for nutrition. You might be very surprised at what all improves in your health. And if you don't get outside like you used to, do look into vitamin D.

    The book also suggests taking certain supplements, D being one of them. Others are vitamin E, fish oil supplements, selenium and vitamin C.

    Oh, I'm certainly not claiming its a cure-ALL and I'm sure going to begin massages again and look into accupuncture now that I have more energy and can make appointments. I'm going all out. But I've always believed that we've been given amazing bodies that will cure themselves if only given the right tools. I think this eating plan is one huge step in that tool box.

    Now here I am, blathering again. It's your fault, Haley. ;>) Good luck to you all with this, and please let me know how you're doing. I may not be here as much as I grow stronger - sitting for long periods of time is good for no one - but I will come back and check in from time to time.

    Hugs and best wishes,

    [This Message was Edited on 06/25/2006]
  14. Marta608

    Marta608 Member

    A certainty of life: Times change and we must change with them. <sigh> At least I'll bet you're very good at balancing your checkbook!

    And with your determination to heal, I just know that in time you'll be crunching numbers again. If you really want to....... ;>)

  15. jole

    jole Member

    Just got on the board a little while ago and read your post. Is this diet a little like the Atkins? I did it a few years before the FM and I felt better while I was on it.

    But I also have a problem with fresh fruit. I get either sick to my stomach or weak/shaky. Otherwise, the diet went well for me.

    Right now my cholesterol/lipids are high, and this could also be an answer to that problem as well, right?? Are there any veggies to be avoided? Any meats to be avoided? I'm ready to start! Now!.

    Just so tired of being tired. I have tried everything else, and the meds are doing me no good at all these days. Just adding to my pain and frustration.

    Count me in!

    Friends -

  16. Marta608

    Marta608 Member

    Good for you! You're ready to take charge!

    What you do first is order the book on amazon. As I said it's reasonably priced; it's a "large" paperback. While you're waiting for the book you have two options: If you live alone, eat the food you have in your freezer and refrigerator (bound to not make you feel better but it's dismal to consider tossing those things) - although you can have an three Open Meals a week to start if you want to and use them then. I had just stocked up on Stouffers, Lean Cuisines, oatmeal, rice cakes and natural peanut butter the week before I began. AWK! If you have a family in-house, you're all set. They can eat up all the food while you will NOT eat:

    Salt or salted products (check labels carefully)
    Processed foods (this means you'll cook more)
    Grains of any kind (makes for imbalance of your digestive system - not an "original food")
    Tuberous, starchy veggies, like potatoes and yams
    Dairy except eggs with Omega-3 added
    Legumes, this includes peanut butter and peas!
    Sugar and sugared products, natch.
    Sugar substitutes
    Fatty meats like bacon, chicken or turkey legs or thighs, any fatty cuts of meat or ground meat
    Soft drinks (sugar or sugar substitutes)
    Any oil but canola or olive oil (there are others but those are the best for you.)

    This may sound as if you can't eat anything but that's not true. You can have, in balance, as much lean animal protein like turkey breast, most fish, chicken breast, pork loin and a lot of others; vegetables and fruits as you can hold. For you, I'd start with the less sugary fruits like apples as you know. Also avocado, just-ripe bananas, grapefruit, berries - and you'll flavor foods with fresh squeezed lemons and limes. Experiment. You will tailor this diet to YOU and your body. If you're allergic to shellfish, of course, you won't include shellfish in your meals, etc.

    You can have nuts, the amount depends on whether or not you wish to lose weight - nuts are fattening after 2 oz. You can also snack on 2 oz. of dried fruits a day and hard boiled eggs (up to 6 a week), raw veggies with special dips, avacados, tomatoes and some dried fish if you care for it.

    There is a section about a woman who had CFS (page 73) who is now well because of this diet. When you get the book, turn to that page first.

    I simply would love to type out the book for you here but that's not possible and you need the book. You can begin as I did with eliminating salt and eating the triad of foods: protein, veggies, fruits - the same amount of each at each meal until the book arrives.

    After a period of time, you can add back foods watching carefullly to see how your body reacts to them, and you can have a special snack now and then, or eat out occasionally without guilt. You might not feel as well afterward but that's part of learning about YOUR body's needs.

    I don't know where you live but unless you're outside no less than 15 minutes a day in the sun, you need to add D to your regimen. I take 2,000 units a day and will probably go higher for a time, to 4,000 units. You doctor needs to monitor your D levels.

    Good luck to you! Let me know how you do. It might seem a bit frustrating at first as you go to reach for your favorite comfort foods, but as your body feels the difference, you'll have that to motivate you.

    Whew! Now begin and have faith.


    Oh, and no, not at all like Adkins. You can eat a balanced diet and Adkins is not. Adkins is also full of fat which is not really long-term healthy for us. You probably felt better with more meat in your diet though.
    [This Message was Edited on 06/25/2006]
  17. Marta608

    Marta608 Member

    Can't shut me up, can you?

    As I scroll down the posts on the board I see so many folks agonizing over their medications and supplements, how bad they feel, what to do about this or that stress in their life. Why not spend that energy working on your diet which would then improve your health?

    We need to remember that being sick, thinking sick, can get to be a habit. Don't yell at me, think about it; it's true. We choose whether to think positively or negatively about our life and we act accordingly.

    I know; nag, nag, nag.

    This is really a bump in disguise. Aren't you glad?
  18. SherylD

    SherylD Guest

    I know that my job is causing a lot of my illness...I have just recently quit working after doing hair for 16 years..I was also raised in it my whole like because my Mom was a hair stylist too...She worked in our home just like I do...

    I am afraid for what the chemicals will do to my family too...With having it in my house it is hard to avoid...

    I have already cut back on my salt...I was down to just sprinkling it on my food..But I have been having terrible swelling for a while now...I am hoping if I cut it out all together it will get rid of the swelling..It is scary and very uncomfortable...

    Not to add that my mouth is raw most of the time and I think it is from the salt..I can just get a little tiny bit and it makes my mouth and lips burn...At least I think that is what it's from..I will find out when I cut it out..

    What if it is something that just naturally has salt??? Do you avoid that too??

    I understand you wanting to help and nobody responding...I have posted stuff in the past about positive things or things that have helped and nobody really responds...It is very frustrating...I love to hear what helps people! And I am game for trying anything that would help me to not feel like crap everyday...Especially when it is just a change in the diet!

    So thanks for posting!
  19. SherylD

    SherylD Guest

    You say you feel better..Which I think is sooo great...I am so happy for you..But in what ways do you feel better??
  20. Scapper

    Scapper New Member

    I have to say I'm surprised about the salt. Recently I've actually been upping my salt (sea salt) due to the posts here regarding alkalizing and it helping to bring up blood pressure when low.

    Is this diet a spin off of Atkins?

    I too have Eat Right For Your Type (I'm type O), which is pretty much Atkins style. I've failed miserably in the past. Eating zero carbs feels very deprivational....but I'm at the point where I'm willing to eat nails to feel better!!

    Seeing your post makes me wonder if I should at least give it another try. I've been sick 12 years with cfids and I feel as if it has taken everything. Seeing that you've been sick for so long and could actually feel better from adjusting your food is simply amazing.

    Do you allow any snacks, other than fruits/veggies?????

    On another note, I wouldn't be put off that a lot of people missed this. Weekends can be a bit different on the board.

    Keep us posted on your success :