Things were always going to come to a head.
I realise that it’s time I took control of my health. Well, at least the aspects that I can anyway. And that starts with my DIET.
Now, I don’t have a particularly bad diet. Like a lot of people my age, I eat reasonably healthily but do indulge from time to time. I love good coffee, and I like a drink and the odd takeaway. But nothing too drastic – it’s not liking I’m tucking into a greasy kebab after downing 10 pints every night.
With my sarcoidosis, I have tried various things in the past such as cutting out wheat for a month, no dairy for a month, no alcohol and the like. But nothing really worked. The impact was minimal if anything at all. So I would just return to my normal diet after experimenting, removing this and that from my diet.
However, since my cancer diagnosis, I’ve started googling for foods and diets that might help me cope with it, to help me keep it a bay. And I’ve come across a few truly inspiring people and websites that have helped to reignite my desire to treat my cancer and sarcoidosis with diet and nutrition. People like Ella Woodward who writes the Deliciously Ella blog who has used food to rid herself completely of Postural Tachycardia Syndrome (which has a few similarities to sarcoidosis); Jane Plant who has remained cancer free for over 10 years now by a radical change in her diet; and the Norwegian Sarcoidosis Association who regularly give out good advice on anti-inflammatory foods that help sarcoid and foods to avoid.
Time to Reboot Kim
Just how do you reboot Kim exactly? Obviously it’s not going to be easy and will require determination and resolve. But you have to start somewhere…
So, after some research, I’m starting with the Alkaline Diet for 2 weeks. This diet is hardcore: eating alkaline-rich foods can help your body maintain healthy pH levels which improve digestion, skin tone and mood as well as weight loss amongst other things. Some people claim that it cures cancer and other serious diseases like osteoporosis.
The theory: almost all the foods we eat are supposedly broken down into either an acidic or alkaline base, called ‘ash’. And because our blood is slightly alkaline, with a normal pH of between 7.35 and 7.45, our diet should reflect this. But with our diets we eat way too many ‘acid-forming’ foods — wheat, dairy, meat, seafood, sugar, coffee, tea, fizzy drinks and alcohol. And this causes a pH imbalance which disrupts our body’s ability to regulate itself leading to all manner of health problems, big and small.
Certain food groups are considered acidic, alkaline or neutral:
- Acidic: Meat, poultry, fish, dairy, eggs, grains and alcohol.
- Neutral: Natural fats, starches and sugars.
- Alkaline: Fruits, nuts, legumes and vegetables.
Celebs love it, which immediately makes me suspicious, but I’ve decided to give it a go. Anyway, what harm can it do in a couple of weeks?
It’s pretty restrictive. For me, the cornerstone of this diet will be 2 green smoothies per day – one in the morning and one in the evening. The rest of my meals will be vegetable-rich – salads, soups and stews mainly.
A Diet for Life
Then I’ll move to a less restrictive diet of my own design which amounts to the following:
- No refined sugar – just the naturally occurring stuff
- No wheat
- No dairy
- No smoked, dyed or cured foods like salmon and bacon.
- No caffeine – so there’s goes my coffee
- No alcohol – so no more Jack Daniels
So, as you may have worked out, I’ll be doing a hell of a lot more cooking for myself from now on. I’m going to stick to the 2 green smoothies a day routine too. Finger-licking good.
And this, hopefully, will be for my entire life from here on in…
Will I be able to stick to it? Will I give in and have a sneaky coffee here, a chocolate bar there? What the fuck will I order in restaurants and cafes? And I’ll be a right pain in the arse when I go to dinner at friends houses?
Where’s the Evidence?
And, crucially, what is the evidence that these diets will actually work? And by how much? If you start trawling the internet you’ll soon discover that there are plenty of claims and counter-claims; advocates and detractors in equal measure. Some zealots are almost religious in their beliefs in the power of diet; others overly-dismissive in their condemnation.
So the bottom line is I’m not sure. But I feel I have nothing to lose.
If nothing more, I’ll be a little healthier than I was before.
So now I’m drug free for however much longer and starting a life-changing diet.