On 29th May I wrote the following:-
I made a mistake and told someone not to drink coffee as I thought it was part of the healthy diet, it turns out that I was told not to drink coffee because it is acidic and my condition was GERD – an acidic condition. Now I think coffee is a stimulating drink – extreme yin, so it is discouraged – mb does not like big swings on their yin-yang balance. But on investigation coffee has some healing properties. It is high in anti-oxidants – very positive, and its bitter taste is good for diabetes. However they speak of moderate coffee drinking at 5 cups a day as being good for you, personally I can’t see that.
I can remember drinking coffee to excess when I was on alcohol. The coffee must somehow have balanced the alcohol but both encouraged eating sweet stuff. It wasn’t good. On top of that I was getting headaches which I associated with my stomach – probably the first signs of GERD. Apparently coffee is good for the head but alcohol definitely isn’t – at that time my food input was so mixed up it is hard to judge what was going on.
Here is an interesting clip with an Ayurvedic perspective ion drinking coffee – seems well balanced to me:-
But that has changed, now my intake is good. I just want to mention eating propane. My GERD doctor told me to avoid flavourings but as I wasn’t buying processed foods that didn’t come into it. I have started making muesli cake so decided to add vanilla. Online I bought some organic vanilla essence, and the cake was nice so I bought some vanilla essence from the cake shop. I got the ingredients translated – propylene glycol 50%. Apparently this stuff preserves the flavour, but when I looked it up it is propane. So the flavouring is half propane and 1/3 vanilla. I emptied the bottle. Aaggh! No more vanilla unless it is online organic. You have to be so careful of anything that doesn’t come out of the ground.
I have just started watching “Food Matters”, it is looking good so far. It begins with Hippocrates describing food as medicine and the innate ability of the body to heal. As the movie describes we have come a long way from that. The movie promotes a nutritional approach but there is an emphasis on raw foods – 51 % of our food to be raw. I am far from that but do I agree? I have just started the carrot slush every day – half a large carrot grated with 300 cl of water in the blender, the rawness of the carrot keeps the enzymes for the stomach to help with the GERD. But I was warned off a raw food diet because the body needs some food that has been cooked. I am approx 25% raw. Do I need to increase raw? Food Matters says yes, but do I?
Also water is something I have been remiss about.
Next year August (2013) is 7 years since I started healthy eating. Whilst I have been quite disciplined, probably in the early stages I could have been better. It is time to evaluate as in 7 years the body should have rejuvenated itself. Definitely the worst thing is the coughing and mucus.
Well these initial thoughts have triggered a major change in eating. I had thought drastic changes were over, even to the extent that I made a complacent comment to a friend and adviser.
The first major change is the water, and I don’t know how I missed it. My massage doctor told me I should drink 8 glasses of water a day – 2 litres – to help the chi, that was enough incentive for me. Then I started reading about this amount of water, and I don’t know how I missed it. I assess it as water lubricating the system keeping everything flowing. Especially mucus. I have always felt that there might be clogged mucus in my system, hence my trying to cough solid mucus stuck in my passages somewhere. Anyway already the mucus is easier. I even had a detox reaction to the water. My stool was much looser but my stomach didn’t feel so good – it was a couple of days. And I had migraines for years. I have read several times that the lack of water gave headaches but as I was healthy I felt the liquid intake was OK. Far from true. One RAW guy, David Wolfe, said that the water helped clean out the system, and recommended a litre first thing. I seem to be managing that easily. My massage doctor said warm water for the chi, so I take a flask to bed!! Water, how stupid was I?
Food Matters made me think give raw a go, so I have looked online and downloaded recipes. They take time to make but I have found them invigorating – raw food raw energy. My first day was a disaster breaking the food processor, requiring a rush trip up to Chantaburi the next day. I had wasted 3000 on a Cuizimate that I had already taken back once – had it three months. The new one is going well and with the blender I am making raw food. A typical meal is 2 or 3 portions together with a heated staple – brown rice, polenta, brown rice vermicelli. As yet I am not going 100% raw, will still visit the healthy restaurants I have found vegetarian food and hoi (shellfish). And my cakes are getting delicious with the addition of raw cacao and coffee.
Cooking raw means completely different preparation and I don’t have a routine yet. The preparation is more intense and requires more planning. Yet once ready making a meal is actually quicker. I have found some veg OK raw – broccoli mushrooms spring onions, so prepare sauce. Other veg like aubergines and squash work well with a marinade, and that requires 24 hours. The local market makes bags of mixed salad and I make a dressing, this mixture needs work on the dressing – more liquid. The pressed salad is going well, adding pineapple and raisins makes it fruity and healthy. Then there is the yam mashed potato and soy gravy. That required soaking almonds 24 hours and then yam carrots and stuff in the blender. And of course there is the kimchee. So all-in-all more work even though the meals are quicker. What a change!!
Initially starting my diet 6 years ago I didn’t fancy raw, I expect it was too difficult for my system – now the body is loving the balance of raw and cooked I have established so far. Must look for good recipes.
Update July 23
I found a dilemma yesterday. When I went to buy my prison pak (organic vegetables from Khao Rakam) I saw some very nice winged beans but didn’t buy them because I wouldn’t eat them. Why? Because I usually ate them cooked. So I am now going to cook some green vegetables as well as the staple (brown rice, brown noodles or polenta). Eating raw reduced the amount I ate, and I conclude that because there were more accessible vitamins I needed to eat less. At the same time I have been taking the Chinese herbs for the cold and damp and that doesn’t encourage appetite either. I have lost 2 kg so still 2 kg over BMI. I equate excess weight with potential disease but I feel these herbs dealing with the cold and damp are unseating that disease potential – there is less mucus now. Raw foods are healthier – no personal doubts, but if it means I don’t eat enough greens then it is not healthy. I have found many raw food dishes that are delicious, but like somtam and kimchee they are root veg or else they are salads. I am not keen on the marinated veg. Apart from eating out the cake and ruce were the only cooked elements so I would say that I was 4/5 raw at home. Meals will now be rice and cooked greens with raw food dishes, and I will on balance still be 55% raw – definitely believe more than 1/2 raw.
This decision was reinforced later in the day. I went to give blood. Shame on me I have never done it before, I did it because I needed to know my blood group for the new …….job aaggh! Anyway my haemoglobin count was 13.2 – too low so they wouldn’t accept my blood. I looked up why it was low – I was low in plant-based foods and low in iron. Now the iron I had been getting from hoi – shellfish, and I had reduced protein levels. And there was also iron in leafy veg, and although I had increased lettuce intake my leafy-greens were down. So back to include hoi and leafy greens in diet.