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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Intentional Eating

Last month I came to the point where I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. Coming back from the HLAA convention in Milwaukee, I came down with a virus - my 4th one this year. Determined to improve my health, I started researching how to boost the immune system. It was easy to find information on the subject with a simple Google search. A bit more difficult is taking it to heart and putting it in practice.

I've embraced the idea of intentional eating. Taking into my body those foods known to improve immunity. I've been working on this for a month now and thought I would share with you some of the changes I have made. In the past, I have eaten fairly healthy but my good diet habits were being undermined by my conviction that having sodas or candy as well wouldn't hurt me. My biggest change has been to cut out white sugar where I can. Soft drinks and sweets are off limits now. I also quit drinking coffee. Not so much for the caffeine as for the junk I put into it to make it palatable.

Here are the foods I am eating/drinking as part of my regular meals:
  • Raw fruits/vegetables
  • Blueberries
  • Watermelon
  • Probiotic yogurt
  • Beef
  • Nuts
  • Spinach
  • Local honey
  • Green tea (decaffeinated)
  • Fresh lemon juice in water
  • V8 (low sodium)
  • Pomegranate juice
  • Echinachea tea
Note: these are NOT the only foods I'm eating - just the ones I have purposely added to my diet.

So far it seems to be working. I am feeling better. I've also gone back to using my neti pot to clear my nose of allergens. I still have fatigue that I attribute to my hearing loss. Taking a nap after work seems to help and doesn't prevent me from falling asleep at bedtime.

When I first started switching up my food intake, the pounds started coming off. I was really pleased about that as a side benefit I wasn't expecting . But as time has gone by my weight is creeping back up. Oh well.

Another side effect I experienced was getting a cold sore. This was most likely from my increased vitamin C intake. To counteract this I am taking a daily lysine supplement.

If anyone has any additional tips for improving immunity, especially those that have worked for you personally, I would love to hear from you. I have made a commitment to continue these changes for a whole year and then evaluate the results. When I was at the ENT doctor recently I asked why I was continually getting these viruses. Her response was that it's because I work in an enclosed environment. Well, I can't change that, but I will change what I can to improve my health.

1 comment:

kym said...

I do alot of the same things you do Sarah...I noticed a change in my fatigue level when I was drinking soda and eating more sugars...when I cut those out and added natural sugar (fruits) I felt better.

I can't quit my coffee. But I use a fat free creamer and no sugars or occasional sweet and low.

I also stopped eating all red meat and pork, it has only been a week so I haven't noticed any changes there. I've increased my raw veggie/fruit intake, water intake, and walking.

I feel better knowing I am doing these things...good luck to you...let me know how your making out!!