I had to stay home from church today because I couldn't walk. Again. I don't like it when I miss church meetings. I always feel like I am missing out. Because I am.
An interesting part of my illness is that I am not assimilating or digesting protein well. A side effect of that for me is arthritis symptoms. The culprit this time? Too many nuts. I was hungry one morning last week at work, so I went across the street to Rite Aid and got myself a can of cashews and ate the whole can in one sitting. Oops.
For the last several months, I haven't eaten any meat because of this problem I have with protein. It's not that I don't like meat. I do. But for right now, I am eating meat and other proteins "sparingly" (D&C 89:12). For all the trouble it's given me, I probably will eat proteins sparingly for the rest of my life, except for vegetable proteins which I seem to process well.
No, we will not be having a barbeque for Father's Day next Sunday, unless we barbeque veggie burgers. The idea probably depresses you hardcore carnivores, but it makes little sense for me to eat meat now.
For the most part, I have had very positive results from having a meatless, but nutrient dense, vegetable based diet. (I can't take credit for the phrase "nutrient dense." I got it from Dr. Joel Fuhrman's book, Eat to Live.) I have lost a lot of weight and my BMI is in line again (right now, it's 25.1; 24.9 is normal weight). As I have said before, I am sleeping much better than I have in years, and I have much better mental clarity. My wife and daughter are doing the diet as well now. Hurray.
An interesting side effect is that I have this odd, blistering, itching rash. It is small but shows up on my face, chest, stomach, hands, and legs. As best we can tell, it is part of the cleansing process. Body fat that you have been carrying for awhile can store toxins and other foreign matter such as metals, hiding them away to protect your body and perhaps because your body doesn't know what else to do with them. When you lose that fat, the toxins, etc. have to find a way out of your body because there is no place left to hide. Apparently they are escaping through my skin.
I have drugs I can take to help with my symptoms—steroids and Allopurinol. The new prescriptions are sitting on the top shelf of our medicine chest in our bathroom. I am reluctant to take them because of all the side effects I get from drugs, plus I don't like feeling "artificially flavored," if you know what I mean, especially when I am at work. (I realize that some of you reading this post feel that you have no other choice but to take medications for your illness. I have been there and I don't think that's wrong. It's just that the drugs are way too hard on me and I have been forced to to seek a different path.)
It's amazing to me how good vegetables taste when you aren't eating junk food frequently like I was last winter. Your body craves the "instant gratification" foods when you have them too often. Now I am craving broccoli and romaine lettuce. No kidding. I have eaten three salads today.
I've had a set back, yes, but I am not really discouraged. It is inconvenient to be sure, but I feel like I am on the right track with my eating and making headway convincing my body to behave—most of the time.
It has come clearly to my conscience that when I eat unhealthy foods with abandon, I am not treating my body as a temple (see 1 Corinthians 3:16–17.) My faith is sacred, as well as my covenants. The House of the Lord is sacred. So is my body. (Note to self: Remember that one.)
I am happy that I have proven to myself that I have more self-control that I thought I did. That feels good, and puts the sacrifice and physical pain in perspective. I pray that I will have the strength to endure to the end eating this way. I know I will live longer and be able to accomplish more if I do.
Life is short so eat well.