In July 2011 I started reading the book Minding My Mitochondria by Dr. Terry Wahls. At about the same time I had a visit with a new naturopath and we reviewed a food allergy test I had done the prior year. After that appointment I decided to make some major changes in my diet.
In mid-July I became a gluten-free vegan. I also cut out garlic as that was identified as a food allergy, as were eggs. I've added more veggies and greens to my diet.
I had tried to be gluten-free and dairy-free several times before, and while it wasn't really difficult, I didn't stick with it. This time has been different. There have been a handful of events I've attended where I've had bread, or cheese. However, for the most part, I'm following the eating plan from Minding My Mitochondria and the results have been amazing.
I've noticed the following:
* Increased energy and less fatigue
* Better digestion - less constipation
* Improved gait and balance
* Better mood
* Less confusion/cognitive "fog"
* Better memory
All this from food? Ok, in the interest of full disclosure, I started LDN (low-dose naltrexone) at about the same time as I changed my diet in July 2011. This makes it difficult to tell whether the improvements were from LDN or the new diet. I found that LDN isn't for me. I was having some side effects and stopped taking it in mid-October. What is interesting is that all of the improvements above have stayed with me! So, yes, I believe it is the food!
I don't follow the Wahls eating plan from Minding my Mitochondria 100%. Here is how I'm different:
As a vegetarian, and now vegan, I don't eat any animal products.
I add a bit of grain here and there. My new favorite blend is Bhutanese red rice and quinoa cooked in the rice cooker (thanks to the Seattle restaurant Thrive for that yummy discovery!)
Other than that, I eat a lot more veggies and greens. I make a smoothie each morning in my Vitamix, and always have kale and chard in the fridge.
This new way of eating is so easy for me, because I've noticed such distinct differences in my health, especially my energy level. If you've thought about changing your diet and are hesitant to do so, I encourage you to give it a try. Several weeks is enough time to see if you feel better by improving your diet. Give it a try!
(See the "Minding My Mitochondria" page for links to Dr. Wahls information)