I want to share my failures and foibles with you as much as my successes. Iâ€™m human! I make mistakes in life and in my food choices. Being a health coach doesnâ€™t mean I eat the right thing all the time. Just like you, Iâ€™m always learning more about my body and how it responds to inputs.
Recently, I gave up chocolate. Crazy, I know. Dark chocolate is delicious, and itâ€™s high in antioxidants and fiber, plus low in sugar. Whatâ€™s not to like? Well, I did some blood testing and found out that chocolate is one of the foods that triggers my immune system to overreact. With an autoimmune disorder (Crohnâ€™s Disease), one of my health goals is to create an atmosphere in which my immune system can relax, so I want to minimize the foods and experiences that cause it to â€śflare.â€ť
So Iâ€™m not going to be eating chocolate for three months. Iâ€™ll give my immune system a break. Hopefully, when I reintroduce chocolate (and some other foods), my body will welcome them as friends and not as foes. Sometimes we all need a break â€“ even from things and people we love, right?
No chocolate? Ok. And I still need something sweet once in a while. Itâ€™s ok to have a treat now and then. I went to the local market and read all the ingredients on the various bars they sold. Many of them had flax seed, which is another food Iâ€™m avoiding now, so that limited the selection. I chose the Blueberry Pecan & Fiber KIND bar:
Ingredients : Almonds, blueberries (blueberry pieces, whole dried blueberries), raisins, pecans, honey, cashews, non GMO glucose, crisp rice, chicory fiber, soy lecithin.
Vitamins and Minerals : Vitamin A (0% DV), Vitamin C (2% DV), Calcium (4% DV), Iron (4% DV).
Serving Size : 1 Bar (40g) Calories : 180 Fat Calories : 90 Total Fat : 10g Saturated Fat : 1g Trans Fat : 0g Cholesterol : 0mg Sodium : 25mg Total Carb : 23g Dietary Fiber : 5g Sugars : 12g Protein : 3g
I reasoned that while 12 grams of sugar was fairly high for me, it would be compensated by the fat, fiber, and protein.
I was SO wrong! After lunch, I ate this bar for â€śdessert.â€ť Almost immediately, I got a pounding headache. Then, I began to feel anxious about everything in my life that was uncertain. Considerations that moments before hadnâ€™t worried me now felt like elephants and my life turned into the proverbial china shop.
In the middle of the work day, I called a friend to discuss these â€śproblems.â€ť And the rest of the day, I kept telling myself to â€ścalm down, breath, and stay present â€“ everything will be ok!â€ť
I knew that the sugar in the bar had caused this anxiety, but that didnâ€™t make the feeling less real in the moment. Just think how awful my life would be if I ate a bar like that or sugar in another form every day! And consider why so many kids are diagnosed with learning disorders or ADHD. How would their behavior and experience of life change if they started eating more protein and a lot less sugar?
What connections between food and mood can you start to see in your own life?
No more unKind bars for me!
Next time, I’ll have some Mary’s Gone Crackers with almond butter. I know that will keep my grounded and present in reality.
Eat well. Be well. Thrive.