For months, and I means months, Tabitha has been at me to go on a very low carb diet, basically meat and vegetables. “Try it,” she urges me, just for a month. “I think you’ll be amazed.”
Tabitha, by the way, is the psychiatric nurse practitioner I’ve been seeing since January, the one who has been weaning me off Effexor, and providing me with supplements so I can improve my energy, sleep and mood. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’ll know there have been some ups and downs along the way, but I’m doing much better than I was last winter.
Friday I went back to see her again, after the addition of metformin (for pre-diabetes) to my chemical stew sent me straight into depression and insomnia. By the time I saw her, I was feeling C R A Z Y, especially because I was only sleeping three hours a night. Not just crazy, but kind of desperate too. So maybe that’s why I told her, somewhat grudgingly, “Okay, fine, then. I’ll do one month no grains, no sugar, very little fruit.”
She beamed at me. I rolled my eyes. Did I really just agree to that? Me, lover of rice and popcorn and tortilla chips and oatmeal and whole grain toast with my husband’s homemade plum jam on top? Me, proud gardener who just harvested her first 15 pounds of delicious red potatoes?
So that’s what I’m doing. Since it turned out I had not had anything but kale and eggs for breakfast that Friday morning, I figured I had already started and might as well just keep going straight on with no “I’ll start later” ideas.
Today is Tuesday, so it’s been five days. So far, so good. Well, let’s be honest, I had a glass of wine Saturday evening because there was about one glass left in a bottle of pinot gris in the fridge, and we can’t be wasteful! And in the middle of the day today, when I’d had my lettuce wrap for lunch and still felt a bit hungry, I did eat 10 tortilla chips. But only 10, in the whole five days. I even went to the pumpkin patch with my husband and smelled but did not partake of the elephant ears and kettle corn.
The hardest thing is eating enough to feel full. My husband made a huge pot of minestrone, because he knows I love it, and he left out the pasta we usually put in it. I’ve been eating that and grilled chicken, along with roasted carrots and brussels sprouts and even half a sweet potato as a treat (Tabitha says that’s allowed). But I am surprised by how hungry I’ll feel not that much later.
I can’t do a lot of paleo dishes because I have a nut allergy. (Yes, pretty much all nuts send me scurrying for my epi-pen.) I’m going to need to get creative though. Typically I’m a person who likes a lot of variety in my meals, though sometimes that has just meant variety in what I throw in my stir-fry or taco (now no rice though and no tortillas, so that’s a challenge as well).
I’m determined to do this because 1) maybe it will help bring my A1C levels down; 2) it would be helpful to have more energy; 2) I’m already five days into it, so that’s five days down from thirty, might as well keep going, right?
Tabitha can get a little religious about the “eating clean” and supplements stuff. I’m a bit of a skeptic myself, with a tendency to think we should all eat a variety of foods, preferably as few processed foods as possible, and get some exercise. But what I’ve been doing hasn’t made me healthy. I have the prediabetes–perilously close to diabetes, in fact–as well as gallstones and chronic foot pain and stiff joints and low energy, not to mention how hard it is to get free of depression. It seems like it’s a good time to see if this will make a difference for me.
Words of advice, anyone? I’ll take some words of encouragement, too.