I’m so excited. I found my Fibromyalgia Cookbook. It has been missing for months. Well, it hasn’t actually been missing. I just haven’t looked in the right place. After all this time, I figured it had been thrown out with the newspapers, and I was just about to order another, when I had an epiphany. My magazine rack — I looked down, and there it was in all its pretty red, white, and green colors, with a few stick-on bookmarks peeping out from the pages. Whoa! I laughed out loud. Obviously I had been reading it and then tucked it in the rack, where I knew it wouldn’t get lost. You know how that goes.
I am excited to have this back again because in addition to the good recipes, it contains loads of useful information on how and why to eat non-inflammatory foods. As you probably know, inflammation is the cause of much if not all of our pain and disease. So tonight it will be ginger shrimp, minus the bean sprouts, which I don’t have. There is always something missing from my pantry, but the dish will be good anyway. Ginger is a great anti-inflammatory in addition to being very flavorful.
At this point, I want to remind my readers that I reviewed this book many months ago. I won’t try to repeat all of that, but you can go back and check it out again it if you wish.
My own journey with fibromyalgia has led me to a pretty comfortable place. The pain is very well controlled with prescription medication, and the insomnia is alleviated by natural dietary supplements. Because I am getting more and better sleep, I feel less fatigue and brain fog. For a while I was sleeping no more than three hours and sometimes getting no sleep at all. The doctor prescribed a common sleep drug, but I did not get that filled because I want to limit the number of drugs I take. I believed I could find a more natural supplement, and I did. It is a combination of theanine and melatonin that I get at the pharmacy. In addition to the above, I am making a strong attempt to alter my diet, and thus the excitement over finding this cook book.
Please understand that my dietary changes are very difficult to maintain, and I am not very good at it. I personally think that changing one’s diet is one of the hardest things to do, sort of like learning Mandarin Chinese. But sometimes even small changes can reap great rewards. When I turn to the section Basic Guidelines, I note some of the things I have done that have made a difference in the way I feel, which is much better than since being diagnosed three years ago. The following is a summary of recommendations:
- Drink eight 8-oz glasses of water daily. The author states that “it is imperative for fibromyalgia sufferers to drink lots of water.”
- Switch from white flour to spelt flour. This whole wheat flour is more tasty and nutritious, is organic and unbleached. Many who are wheat and gluten sensitive are able to tolerate spelt, plus it is higher in B-vitamins, fiber, proteins, and several amino acids. White flour invokes an inflammatory response, causing pain.
- Use red bell peppers instead of green. Green peppers contain a substance called solanine that affects enzyme function in the muscles, causing pain.
- Use brown rice, which is high in fiber, Vitamin B6, thiamine (vital to nerve function), magnesium, copper, and zinc.
- Ginger, rosemary, oregano, pepper, and thyme are powerful antioxidants.
- A diet rich in complex phytonutrients and antioxidants is essential in reducing pain and fatigue, as well as improving mental outlook. FM patients are “in dire need” of a diet rich in these foods.
- Avoid caffeine, sugar, and red meat.
- Use low-fat dairy and eat unprocessed food, lots of it.
I try to follow these rules, but I really do like my coffee in the morning and a good burger every now and then. And I have not quite given up sugar. But I keep trying because I believe an anti-inflammatory diet can improve my quality of life.