Now that we’ve addressed Attitude and Detoxification, it’s time to talk about the third step in my recovery process. Diet! Whatever the outward expression of disease, the internal cause almost always relates to inflammation, leaky gut, acidosis, clogged up lymph system and a weakened immune system and diet plays an integral role in the development and healing of these conditions.
I’ve learned a great deal about healthy eating habits over the last 20 years due to migraine headaches, food sensitivities and more recently, Parkinson’s, and in my experience, homeostasis cannot be achieved without a healthy diet and that means eliminating sugar, junk food, fast food, dairy, wheat, artificial sweeteners, alcohol and the like. Essentially, anything that comes in a package. The human body simply wasn’t created to digest this stuff.
There are a number dietary options that can enhance the detoxification and healing process and the specific diet you choose may depend on your condition, location and personal preference, but to begin with it needs to be natural, and ideally, organic. That means fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and maybe, organic, grass-fed meat and wild caught fish. I say maybe meat and fish because there is no consensus as to whether they are healthy or not for human consumption. What is more, wild caught fish, especially the larger varieties like tuna and swordfish can be high in mercury and thus very toxic.
The same holds true for raw versus cooked foods. There are lots of supporters for both. My personal opinion, I think lightly steamed or sauteed veggies are fine, particularly in colder climates. The same thing with meat, don’t overcook it!
There are a number of diets that have the potential to restore the body to homeostasis:
- Vegetarian (includes some dairy)
- Vegan (excludes anything derived from an animal)
- Paleo (caveman diet)
Determining the ideal diet can be a challenging experience. Check out 100 different experts and you’ll get 100 different opinions, each supported by reams of data from various studies. It’s critically important to do your research and go with what feels right for you.
In September of 2013, after learning about Florida Naturopath, Dr Robert Morse, and his Frutarian diet approach to alkalining the body and detoxifying the lymph system, I decided to give it a go. Although I seemed to be detoxing, I lost a lot of weight and I was hungry and cold all the time, so I decided to take a different approach. In November, I transitioned to the Ketogenic diet because of it’s anti-inflammatory potential and because of the reported success it has shown in healing cancer and epilepsy. Also, because the Keto Diet is high in healthy fat, it is also high in healthy cholesterol which, contrary to popular belief, reportedly helps keep the brain healthy while slowing the progress of PD symptoms. What is more, according to Morse, cholesterol, helps neutralize acids, thus helping to keep the body in an alkaline state.
Between November and May of 2014, I alternated between the Frutarian and Keto diets and a combination of the two and after considerable trial and testing, realized that the high sugar fruit diet [even when combined with fats] was really messing me up [as were certain nuts and seeds, like walnuts … it seems my body is intolerant to certain foods], so I permanently adopted the modified Keto Diet. Soon after this switch I started to feel better.
My current high fat diet consists of the following:
- Glass of spring water … sometimes with organic apple cider vinegar
- Morning smoothie: 2-4 raw eggs [free run], half avocado, 2 – 4 tbsp olive oil, 2 – 4 tbsp coconut oil, plus various combinations of sunflower seeds, 8 – 10 brazil nuts, tbsp of chia seeds, sprinkle of cacao, sprinkle of organic coconut flakes, 2 tbsp ground flax seed and dash of baking soda [a great alkaliner]
- Mid-day: Bone broth soup as a consume or with veggies [I have this 1 – 3 times a week] and or organic buckwheat pancake [see recipe below]
- Dinner: Cooked buckwheat/quinoa, half avocado, spinach, broccoli or asparagus or green beans, sauerkraut, 1 tbsp olive oil, 3 – 4 oz wild caught fish or organic meat
- After karate: I may have organic olives and/or nuts and/or sauerkraut and/or cucumber and/or quinoa.
- I drink as much natural spring water as I can throughout the day.
One of the best things I have done for my diet and health is to add fermented foods, mainly sauerkraut … homemade. Fermented foods add healthy bacteria to the gastrointestinal tract which is essential for optimum gut health and a strong immune system [80% of the immune system … Immunoglobulin A … is situated in the mucosal lining of the GI tract]. The same is true for bone broth soups. They are full of minerals and nutrients and are great for bolstering gut health.
One last word on dairy and wheat (with the possible exception of organic butter). I avoid them because of the way they’re created and processed. They’re highly toxic and acidify the body. According to Dr Morse, they also clog up the lymph system. If you need more convincing to eliminate these foods, please read Kevin Trudeau’s book, Natural Cures.
I have taken a lot of different supplements, however, with the exception of calcium/magnesium/zinc [which keeps me from becoming constipated] and the two adrenal supports that helped me overcome a panic attack crisis earlier this year, I can’t quantify the benefits or say unequivocally that any other supplement helped me in the recovery process. Having said that, here are some additional supplements that I would recommend because of their health benefits:
- Multi vitamin – for general health, especially on the Keto Diet which may lack certain nutrients
- Vit C – strengthens immune system
- Vit D3 – strengthens immune system
- Vit B12 – helps in healthy regulation of the nervous system, reducing depression, stress, and brain shrinkage and helps maintain a healthy digestive system
- CoQ10 – reportedly helps with blood flow and brain health
- Omega 3 – important for brain function and healing neurological conditions
- Kidney support – important for keeping lymph flowing and removing metabolic waste
- Iodine – strengthens the thyroid gland which is involved in all metabolic function
As for specific brands, I really like Natural Factors. Otherwise, ask your naturopath or health food store for a good recommendation.
There’s no doubt in my mind that a natural, high fat diet has helped me begin to recover and I plan to continue on this diet until my recovery is complete.
Buckwheat pancake recipe:
- 1 cup organic buckwheat flour
- 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
- Sprinkle of sea salt
- Sprinkle coconut flakes
- Sprinkle of sunflower seeds
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons of organic olive oil
- Water to desired thickness
Mix all the items together and fry in a frying pan with organic coconut oil. Serve with organic sunflower butter.