Noisy Deadlines

health

I’ve always had some dietary restrictions after I found out I was lactose intolerant years ago. It turned out I had acid reflux without even realizing it at the time. Some symptoms can be very similar to a cold (irritated throat, nose dripping, coughing), and after some exams I found out I had lactose intolerance, a hiatal hernia and acid reflux as a consequence.

That diagnosis made me change my diet and I started taking stomach medication: proton pump inhibitors (PPI). After a few years I got better and I tried to stop the medication on a daily basis, and only taking it if I knew I was having a meal that were outside my dietary restrictions. It worked for a while.

By that time I stopped consuming:

  • Coffee
  • Milk
  • Cheese
  • Soda
  • Alcohol
  • All carbonated beverages

Then life happened, I’d start eating something that would trigger my symptoms again, and I was back and forth with prescribed medication, over the counter antacids and diet changes to feel better.

A couple of years ago I tried a restrictive diet called “Fast Tract Diet” which seemed to work well for the symptoms, but I had cravings and in the end the diet was not sustainable to me. It was very similar to a keto diet, but with even more restrictions about starchy foods and carbs.

Anyway, I slacked off recently. I thought I was doing okay, I started consuming more tea, I felt that my lactose intolerance was not that bad anymore so I added cream in every cup of tea I had. I was eating more chocolate and more processed meats (like ham and sausages).

So for a few months I felt symptoms coming back, specially my throat being sore, my nose dripping with no apparent reason and dry coughs EVERY DAY. And also, bloating and indigestion. That was a huge red flag that I should have noticed earlier but I thought it was seasonal pollen allergy or something.

My 28 day restriction phase

I’m starting a diet that focuses on replacing high-acid foods with low-acid foods and eliminating trigger foods (Reference: The Acid Watcher Diet by Jonathan Aviv, MD, FACS.)

It’s a less restrictive diet for me, because it allows fruits and nuts and even small portions of whole wheat bread.

I already don’t consume: alcohol, coffee, carbonated beverages, vinegar and soda. Those are already off limits for me for some time now. And I don’t miss them at all.

Now, for 28 days I WON’T consume any of the following:

  • Tea (I will allow some herbal teas only)
  • Tomato, tomato sauce
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Bell peppers
  • Chocolate
  • Citrus fruits: lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit, pineapple
  • Processed foods / processed meats
  • Milk (I will replace it with Almond milk)

And I will consume fruits and vegetables with pH higher than 5.

I will work on a complete meal plan for the next weeks and see how it goes.

After the 28 days phase I will evaluate my symptoms, check how I feel and I will slowly reintroduce some foods I one at a time and see if they are triggers. If they are, I know I have to continue avoiding them.

#journal #diet #health

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By Noisy Deadlines Minimalist in progress, nerdy, introvert, skeptic. I don't leave without my e-reader.

There are things that impact my well-being directly. They are habits that grouped together can become rituals. If I stop doing one of those things, I start to feel off. My anxiety creeps in, I start to feel overwhelmed, I worry too much, my body hurts, I can’t have a good night’s sleep. Some of them are part of my daily habits, others are weekly or monthly habits. I get the best results when I do them regularly.

These are 10 important things I can’t leave without:

  1. Reading books + Book Club: I once wrote about the reasons I’m a reader. I enjoy it because it helps me deal with my busy mind. I’m always having ideas, questions, worries and plans. Reading works like a break: I get away from it all and dive into a different world, so it feels calming to me. It’s also a good concentration exercise. And combining reading with a Book Club makes it even more fun. I get a chance to discuss ideas with other people in a more structured/themed way. I read daily.

  2. Sleeping 7-8 hours a day: I need my sleep. Period. I aim for going to bed at 9:45pm and waking up at 5:15am. It can vary +/– 15 minutes. But I try to keep my sleep routine within this range. I never go to be after 10pm, and if I do I know I’ll be tired and cranky the next day.

  3. Exercise Daily / Yoga: I’ve had a history of debilitating back pain throughout my adult life. It was only after I started exercising regularly, for years, that I became pain free. I’ve learned my lesson: I need to move! So I have a mandatory daily routine: I stretch in the morning. I have a series of stretches I do everyday, no matter what. Then I try to combine it with a yoga session or a series of core strengthening exercises. I usually spend 20 minutes in the morning with this routine everyday. Whenever I can, I add walking, running, cycling, a longer yoga session in the evenings and weekends.

  4. Meditating every morning: I do a minimum of 10 minutes and combine it with my morning exercise, so it has become a ritual. Sometimes if I’m feeling overwhelmed later in the day I will add in another meditation session in the evening/before bed.

  5. Eating healthy and with care due to my gut problems: I have acid reflux and gastritis. It started after I joined the work force, so I think work stress had something to do with it. Anyway, I keep a restricted diet: no coffee, no carbonated drinks of any kind, no alcohol, no acidic foods, no spicy foods, low carbs, restrict lactose and eating in regular intervals. I know that when I indulge in one of those restrictions, my acid reflux flares up, so I home cook my own meals as much as I can and avoid eating out.

  6. Writing: I have a private journal and this blog. Writing gives me time for reflection and gratitude. It helps me clear my thoughts, calm my mind and understand my feelings. I’ve been trying to write daily (either on my private journal or my blog) and this habit seems to be the hardest to keep every day. I love it after I’m done but lately just getting started has been a struggle. I’m working on it.

  7. Having alone time: I’m an introvert so I need alone time once in a while. Reading a book qualifies as alone time to me, but also does listening to music or just sitting down with a cup of tea looking out a window. I need alone time more than ever after a work day with too many meetings, for example. Or even after a Book Club meeting, as much as I enjoy it, I need to recharge for the next couple days. So I try to space out social events.

  8. Listening to music: I remember a time when I would lay down in my bed and listen to a full album, non-stop, and would just look at the ceiling or close my eyes enjoying the music. Sometimes the album told a story, sometimes it made me cry or smile. This was before music streaming and AI generated playlists. I still listen to music, mostly while I’m cooking, exercising, working on something that requires concentration or cleaning the house. It’s usually rock, heavy metal and, lately, folk metal. I have a couple playlists I created myself. It’s rare for me to listen to a full album as I used to. That’s something I’ll start doing more.

  9. Going for walks: I think I underestimated the benefits of a long walk before the COVID-19 pandemic. With the COVID lockdowns, I started to regularly go out for a walk outdoors, since it was the only activity outside I could do safely. My partner joined me, so walking has become our “together-alone” time. It can either be around our neighborhood, in a park, a trail, by the river, doesn’t matter. But walking regularly is a great way to exercise and calm the mind. I prefer not to listen to music or podcasts or anything while walking.

  10. Touch base with family/friends: I’m an immigrant living in a country 10,000 km away from my homeland. It’s easy to feel alone and loose touch with loved ones because of the distance. Since I left Facebook/Instagram, I don’t get any updates or news from people over seas. I keep in touch with friends with messenger groups and I have regular scheduled video calls sessions with my family. Even though the pandemic made it harder to visit them in person, touching base with them regularly makes all the difference, even if it is virtual.

I didn’t know these things were important to me. It took me years and a lot of trial and error to understand the things that keep me a happy human being. Have you ever thought about it?

My favorite place in the morning: where my day starts

#noisymusings #health #habits

Thoughts? Discuss... if you have an account or email me


By Noisy Deadlines Minimalist in progress, nerdy, introvert, skeptic. I don't leave without my e-reader.