eat right and enjoy it

moving away from GERD to surviving and thriving on a plant-based diet: follow me and learn from my challenges and as I take this journey


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Fine Tuning My Brain

Eating a plant-based diet is a little different than the blood type diet.  At least on the blood type diet I still had my best friend – meat.  I had to educate myself and fine tune my brain so that I could embrace this new way of eating.  I finally came to the conclusion that I had to part ways with meat because of its’ acid producing qualities.
I learned that it would be better for my stomach if my body was more alkaline rather than acidic.

Initially, I cried when I thought about being on plant-based diet and these were my thoughts:

  • I’m not crazy about vegetables, I barely think about them
  • How much salad can a person eat in one day?
  • Vegetable have no taste – whatsoever
  • How can I survive on vegetables alone?
  • My hair will fall out
  • I love meat
  • I don’t know how to be any other way

As you can see from the thoughts I had, I was very ignorant about the benefits and rewards of a plant-based diet.  I had to fine tune my brain and make a commitment to my health.  Instead of focusing on my taste buds and the foods I will have to eliminate from my diet,  I made the choice to focus on the beautiful nutrient-based, whole foods surrounding me and that were readily available to nourish my body and take care of my stomach.  Will I miss the taste of a juicy hamburger or the crunch of buttery fried fish? probably, maybe, especially if I smell them,  but I am tired of being tired and sick of being sick.  I think this is the path I should take now and I am embracing it.  So far I feel better, I look better and most importantly I feel my stomach is happier and I’m actually doing something to help heal it besides taking a pill everyday.

As with any new venture encouragement is needed.  I find encouragement in the results I’ve experienced in my body and in my favorite documentaries:
“Forks over Knives”, “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead”, “Hungry For A Change” to name a few.  Books such as:  Kris Carr’s “Crazy, Sexy, Diet”,  Dr. Koufman’s “Acid Reflux Diet” and the countless recipes and information I’ve researched online.  All of these  have helped me walk confidently on this less traveled, and often misunderstood road.

 


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What Had Happened Was . . .

I have been suffering with GERD which is short for Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease for several years. Gastroesophageal refers to the stomach and esophagus. Reflux means to flow back or return. Therefore, gastroesophageal reflux is the return of the stomach’s contents back up into the esophagus.

In normal digestion, the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) opens to allow food to pass into the stomach and closes to prevent food and acidic stomach juices from flowing back into the esophagus. Gastroesophageal reflux occurs when the LES is weak or relaxes inappropriately, allowing the stomach’s contents to flow up into the esophagus.  The symptoms I have been experiencing because of GERD are:

  • a very sore and painful throat (like someone hit me in the throat feeling) this was constant
  • numerous sinus issues (2 very bad sinus infections in the past 3 years) itchy nose, post nasal drip
  • slight cough and throat clearing
  • sensation of having a lump in my throat
  • constant burping
  • pain in my chest
  • feeling like my stomach was taking too long to digest my food
  • at night I could feel the acid gurgling in my throat, every night

All of these symptoms were ongoing – they never stopped, despite the fact that I was on prescription medication for GERD for over 5 years – this was prescribed my Gastroenterologist.  Twice within a 2 month period, my severe sore throat sent me to the doctor, one was an Internist the other a specialist, an Ear, Nose, Throat (ENT) doctor.  Both prescribed a one-week course of antibiotics – I took this medication and there was no improvement either time.  Two months later I went to a different ENT who ordered a scan of my sinuses and the scan came back showing that I had nothing to be concerned about.  That confirmed that the GERD was causing my sinus problems.  By now I was sick, tired, and fed up.  I was sick of the sinus issues and the feeling the acid in my throat at night, I was tired of not finding any relief, and I was fed up that the medication that I had been taking for so long was no longer working and I’m not sure if it ever did.  On top of all that the last ENT I visited said that the medication I had been taking was found to cause dementia in patients with long term use and that I should consider surgery – I was done.

I immediately made an appointment with my Gastroenterologist because the last time I was there I did not have the throat issues I have now, so I wanted to have an Endoscopy (a nonsurgical procedure used to examine a person’s digestive tract) in order to find out the condition of my esophagus and stomach. I made my appointment 6 weeks away because I wanted to take time to try a few things on my own. 

I did some research online and came across this: Until the Thin Lady Sings – I-cured-myself-from-gerd-acid.html, so I decided to do a detox and then after the detox I would tweak my diet so that I was not just eating right for my blood type but for me more importantly for my GERD.  I went to the book store and found a book on an Acid Reflux Diet – Dr. Koufman’s Acid Reflux Diet.  In this book there was a section on doing an Acid Reflux Detox.  I bought the book and did the two-week detox.  During this detox I used the Dr. Schulte’s intestinal cleansing supplements formula’s 1 and 2, and I basically subsisted on fresh vegetables that I juiced each morning and ate as salads for dinner and I also a vegan lunch.  Some details for those 2 weeks:

  •  I juiced a wide variety of green vegetables
  • I avoided any vegetable that was or might be a trigger for acid reflux such as:  garlic, onion, tomatoes, peppers (whatever was listed in the book)
  • or course no caffeinated or carbonated beverages or alcohol or tobacco
  • no animal foods or by products such as dairy or eggs
  • If I wanted fruit I only ate bananas and melons (per the book), and I did not eat them with anything else and preferably an hour before or after anything else I ate
  • I primarily drank highly alkaline water PH9-10 and I drank a lot of it (get the book and you’ll find out why)
  • I used Manuka Honey  – this is a medicinal type of honey to soothe my irritated throat (it costs a lot more than regular honey but I didn’t care if it was going to help)
  • I did not eat anything after 6:00 pm – even  if my last meal was at 3:00
  • I elevated the head of my bed and slept in a semi sitting position

Note:  2 weeks before the detox I had already starting reducing the amount of meat I was consuming, If I ate meat at all, it was just on the weekends, so it made it easier to do the detox.

Results:  immediately after the detox my throat felt a whole lot better, I no longer had the pain in my chest, I felt a lot better in general and I lost 10 pounds.  I am still suffering with the post nasal drip and sore throat but they have both definitely improved.  I have an upcoming appointment with my Gastroenterologist in the meantime I will continue my plant-based diet avoiding meat, dairy, sugar and processed foods. I am still juicing my vegetables in the morning, drinking the alkaline water, using the Manuka Honey, not eating past 6:00pm (this gives my food at least 4 hours to digest before I retire for the evening) and sleeping with my upper body elevated. I know there is some controversy as to whether O positive blood types should be vegan/vegetarian or not, but I try to take the best from both worlds with an emphasis on doing whatever helps my GERD.