Valley Fever: Eating Well


There’s not much that makes eating well easier than getting a scary diagnosis! When I realized I was at a higher risk for dissemination because I’m a diabetic and I was on oral steroids for about a month during the initial phase of my VF pneumonia, I decided I was going to eat as well as possible in order to give my immune system whatever boost I could. For me that includes not going overboard on carbs because VF has made my difficult-to-control blood glucose levels even more difficult to control.

I’ve dabbled in various hip healthy eating fads.  I lost about 50 pounds following The Primal Blueprint in 2011. I’ve tried being a vegetarian, Paleo, Atkins, Perfect Health Diet, Southbeach, Weight Watchers, low-fat, low-carb, etc.  The “diet” that stabilizes my blood sugar the best is undoubtedly Primal.  I cut my A1c from 10.5 to 7.9 and my total cholesterol went from 175 to 170…eating a LOT of fat over a 9 month period.  My ratio improved but my triglycerides didn’t improve much (not sure why).

But anyhow…after being sick with VF for a couple months, my A1c was 11.5.  I was expecting around 10 based on my own readings, but the steroids and being really sick…not good.

But, blood sugar woes aside for a moment, I decided at diagnosis that I was going to do my best to stick with some of the philosophies of Nourishing Traditions (which happen to overlap with Primal quite a bit).   Namely, grass-fed and pastured meat, pastured eggs, organic whenever I can find it, home ferments, no processed foods, etc.  I already was doing this about 50%.  I decided to try to get that number to around 90%.  It’s a little less convenient and it’s a lot more expensive.  But I believe in it.  I won’t go into the why’s of it…if you’re compelled to do so, check out Sally Fallon’s book Nourishing Traditions.

One new thing I’ve tried (in addition to eating a LOT more veggies and fruit–in moderation–than I used to) is bone broth.  I’ve only made it with chicken but I’ve followed the method of roasting the chicken, using the meat for a meal and then making a good stock with the leftover bones (and organs if you have them).

It’s really very simple…I throw the chicken carcass in the crock pot with a couple big handfuls of baby carrots, celery with leaves and halved onions…plus salt and pepper.  I keep meaning to add garlic but keep forgetting!  Anyhow, this simmers in the crock pot for about 24 hours (longer if you want) and I pour the stock through a colander to remove the bones, meat, veggies, etc.  Then I run the broth through a very fine strainer (I bought a chinoa for straining yogurt…any mesh strainer with cheesecloth would do in a pinch!) and place it into 32oz jars and refrigerate.

I drink at least a pint of bone broth a day and I use it in my cooking.  It’s a wonderful, rich base for cream soups…just add half & half at the end.  🙂

I am more than convinced that the good, natural, unprocessed traditional foods I’m eating are playing a role in my recovery.  Maybe it’s coincidental, but I don’t think there’s any situation where eating good food could hurt!

And while I’m at it, I’d also recommend Kefir.  More probiotics than conventional yogurt.  And tasty.  I buy all-natural with cane sugar and fruit and honey.  I do want to try making my own–fermenting milk at room temperature is a little scary to me, but I’m sure I’ll eventually overcome my fear!!

 

 


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