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Goodbye chocolate! Hello kale!

Posted Jan 04 2011 9:13pm
I hate to say this, but I think my CFS symptoms get worse when I eat sugary foods and large amounts of carbs. (Even if my carbs were gluten free grains, starchy veggies like butternut squash, fruit, and legumes.) As much as I love my dark chocolate, I have to say: so long Dagoba! Ever since I started getting more lacks with my diet, my symptoms increased. It was fun at first to eat whatever I wanted, and it was good for my mental health. However, I added in so much at once, I can't identify the culprit.

The new year seems like a good time to examine my diet more carefully. I want to make changes gradually and not shock my body. My plan for this week is to start with the serious offenders (also known as my favorite foods). I have eliminated sugar, grains, dairy, caffeine, and alcohol (I haven't had a drink in over a year, but I thought I'd throw that in the list since I'm continuing to give it up!) I really don't want to give up grains because I can get bored of eating eggs for breakfast every morning, but nevertheless... In a week or two, I'm also going to give up fruits, nuts, and starchy vegetables. At that point my plan will be to go pretty restrictive for a few weeks and see if I feel any better. I know I can live on a super restrictive diet because I've done it for a year. If I do feel better, I'm going to challenge foods one at a time and see what I can handle. I was looking back at my planner in August 2010 and noticed I was taking an hour long regular yoga class once or twice a week and walking 20 minutes a few days a week.... I want to get back there!!

The doctor I've been working with did a bunch of tests and discovered that my digestive system is very weak. I have low, low amounts of beneficial bacteria. He put me on some digestive aids and probiotics. I hope that by adding these supplements and changing my diet, I'll feel better. He is actually a doctor/nutritionist and one of the things he told me was to eat large amounts of leafy greens. I have found suateed kale/chard/beet greens is a good alternative to break up the monotony of eating leafy greens. It's the perfect side along with any protein. Tonight for dinner I had sauteed kale and wild salmon. It was a healthy, tasty, and colorful dinner. Here is the recipe so you can give a try!

Sauteed Greens with Garlic (2 servings)

Medium bunch of kale, green or red chard, beet greens
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2-3 garlic cloves, sliced
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
Celtic sea salt
Juice of half a lemon

1. Remove the stems and midribs from one medium bunch of kale , red or green chard, or beet greens. Cut any stems or midribs into half inch pieces. Coarsely chop the leaves. Rinse well, but do not dry!
2. Put a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add oil, garlic, and red pepper flakes and heat until the oil is fragrant and the garlic is just beginning to color.
3. Add the stems and ribs and season with salt. Cook stirring occasionally, until nearly tender, about 2 minutes.
4. Add the leaves and cook, partially covered, until both the leaves and stems are tender, 3-5 minutes more.
5. Season with huice of half a lemon. Taste again for salt.
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