Food for Thought
Recently many incoming questions and consultations have included interest in diet. A few weeks ago I wrote about abstaining from grains, which probably generated the trend. Now I feel I should give some background and share my opinions.
First and foremost, my emphasis is always on qigong and working with the body/mind connection. The Paleo diet I am currently following and finding helpful was not something I used when I healed from Parkinson’s. I healed anyway. The diet I was following at the time, and had been following for years, with various degrees of intensity, is the candida diet. Here’s why. In the mid 1990’s, almost overnight, I went from having a fit, attractive body to a weight gain of over 100 pounds. I had aches, pains, fatigue ad infinitum, along with a nausea/hunger sensation, like having a chronic nasty case of flu. All the doctor could find was elevated liver enzymes, which, after testing, did not appear to be hepatitis. I was finally referred to a hepatologist who ordered a liver biopsy which was sent to the Mayo Clinic in the hopes that a diagnosis would be found through their matching data bank. No such event occurred. At that point the hepatologist asked me if I would consider using some very strong medication with many unwanted side-effects. That was not what I considered a viable solution.
Frustrated, yet persistent, I began to research on my own. I learned about candida, such a lovely name for such a systemic nuisance. My profile seemed to fit the descriptions I was finding. Among the diagnostic criteria: vaginal infections of the fungal nature in early adulthood, digestive distress, toenail fungus of big toes, often losing the nail as a recurrent process. Further reading revealed that although candida often manifested in fairly mild ways, it could go systemic, effecting any and all organs. This candida condition was also linked to autism (many readers know I have an autistic son), ADHD, depression, fatigue, migraine, skin rashes, and numerous other chronic conditions. A candida diet was offered as treatment, and I followed it, with with fluctuating fervor, for many years. Basically the diet prohibited foods containing yeast, gluten, sugar, alcohol, fermentation, carbonation, caffeine, most dairy, as well as items like peanuts, mushrooms, and foods that could house fungus or mold. As I followed the diet my condition improved and weight dropped off in commensurate fashion. (There were several books of a practical nature by Dr. William Crook which I found very helpful in implementing my plan.)
A year of two after my recovery from Parkinson’s, I was reading Dr. Robert Rodgers’ book, “Pioneers of Recovery,” and happened upon an interesting find. In a chapter entitled “The Candida Connection: Lidia”, Lidia discusses how as she was working on her own health issues, she found a link to candida, and then traced this link as possibly being connected to her husband’s condition. He began treatment for candida and his PD symptoms began to reverse.
I have provided just a cursory glance at candida, along with some names and titles. If this resonates for you, I encourage you to continue to explore on your own. Now I need to share the final part of my dealings with the candida issue. Long after my recovery from candida, both big toenails continued to fall off and re-apppear cyclically. However, shortly after I initiated qigong practice and my recovery from PD began, the toenails returned to normal and have remained that way. Haola! That’s what I mean about keeping your main focus and energy on qigong. I find diet helpful, but regular, mindful, dedicated qigong practice is the basis of my health and recovery process.
MORE FOOD FACTS:
According to findings in “The Omni Diet” by Tana Amen, RN:
The herb Rosemary is helpful for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties as well as improved circulation and digestion. It also helps protect “cognitive decline decline associated with dementia and may provide new hope in the treatment of Parkinson’s Disease.”
Food to Avoid: (according to Deepak Chopra)
In one way or another each of these categories shortchanges optimum nutrition, to say the least.
I am off to celebrate Mother’s Day with my family, and I sincerely hope none of them reads this before we meet for brunch today. When I began blogging I had no idea about how much of my personal life I would share, and I know my peeps would blush, as I do now, at the fact that I recounted intimate fungal facts on the internet. Sometimes doing what one one believes to be right, necessary, helpful, isn’t easy. Do it anyway!
Haola everyone 🙂