A couple of weeks ago, I spent seven days on the Ultra Simple Diet, ( http://drhyman.com/downloads/UltraSimpleCompanion.pdf). Then last week I decided to embark on the Minimalist Challenge (http://www.theminimalists.com/game/). After four months on a pretty predictable routine, these activities have been worthwhile digressions.
The Ultra Simple Diet was an experiment suggested by a new doctor I am seeing — she practices Integrative Medicine which means that she is open to traditional Western medicine, but also finds value in using supplements — vitamins, minerals, and herbs, believes that nutrition can impact health, and generally just thinks that there are a variety of ways to approach physical issues. The first time I saw her, she listened to me talk for an hour and then suggested we start with the Ultra Simple Diet to eliminate all foods that have been known to cause inflammation. After two years of seeing doctors who believe that medication is the only route to deal with my symptoms of fatigue, pain, stiffness, etc., I was willing to give it a try.
Last week I reported that I had not been miraculously healed. After further evaluation, I believe that I am feeling better than I have in a while. Specifically, I have more energy. Yesterday I got up, did my devotion, wrote my blog, listed a dozen or more books for sale on Amazon, tidied the house, ran to Target, then to the library, and stopped to get a haircut. After that I went to the Post Office, then the drug store, then to two thrift stores to donate items and look for a couple of things. I then came home, took the dog on a short walk, made dinner — baked fish, kale chips, fried potatoes, and fresh veggies — and took a break to eat dinner with my family. Finally, I listed several items on eBay, did a little more tidying and then read for a while before I was ready to go to sleep. Did you notice anything? No rest. No nap. No junk TV. Guys, I wasn’t tired. I was energized.
I have resumed some of my regular diet, but I am doing it cautiously. For one thing, I am still drinking one cup of green tea every day. It’s not horrible. I have done a little bit of research on its benefits and I think they are enough to warrant drinking one cup a day. I have also more than quadrupled my intake of magnesium and added a pretty significant dose of Vitamin D. Finally, I am still starting each morning with the UltraInflam shake — the doctor recommended that we keep some things the same while I experiment with adding foods back. And, just for your information, I have NOT run right back to coffee. So far, I have only had 1-2 cups of black tea each afternoon. And that’s all I want.
Interesting, isn’t it?
And guys, as far as the Minimalist Challenge goes, it hasn’t been difficult to let go of one, or two, or three, or four, or five, or six things each day. I haven’t even had to look outside my office yet. (And, I still haven’t dusted!) It’s actually quite freeing to let things go. I am actually looking forward to tomorrow and getting rid of seven things. As the clutter has cleared from my desk, I more clearly see what remains — pictures of my family, my Bible study materials, a candle, writing supplies.
Re-evaluating my diet and paring down my possessions–not typical December activities for me. Historically, December has been about indulging and acquiring. But, you know, neither has left me feeling content. And, maybe, if I am being honest, it has typically made me feel a little overwhelmed. And feeling overwhelmed, has typically just caused me to dig deeper into my soldiering.
This Next Chapter continues to be a journey of discovering what I’ve been missing, what I’ve been doing wrong, and what I could be doing to live a healthier life. I know I can’t live on rice and vegetables alone, and I will never give away both of my copies of Five Smooth Stones, but I can and will continue to make adjustments that take me further away from soldiering, and draw me closer to a life of being still.
Do not conform to the patterns of this world,
but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is —
His good, pleasing, and perfect will.