Thursday, 31 December 2020

More on the Anti Inflammatory Diet

 About a fortnight ago, I told you about Dr Donald Thomas' Anti-inflammatory Diet.

I've been following it since then, and so far, I've been finding it quite easy.

I have not yet shown any signs of losing any weight. (I still weigh in at 101kg.) I don't know about how seriously we need to take that warning that the diet should only be followed by people who can afford to lose weight.

The major challenge I think many people will have is only eating during an eight hour period of the day - fasting for 16 hours.  I'm delaying breakfast until 10am, and making sure I eat a light dinner shortly before 6pm.  I'm making lunch, any time between midday and 2pm, my main meal of the day.

I was already gluten free (to relieve irritable bowel symptoms), so that didn't phase me at all.  The recommended cheeses, yoghurt, etc, I've found in lactose free variations so I can eat them without causing reflux. I do still get some sniffle and blocked nose issues eating lactose-free dairy products, but that's nothing an antihistamine can't fix.

I didn't give up nightshade vegetables (tomatoes, potatoes, etc), because they don't seem to cause me any issues, and Dr Thomas' diet post only said to avoid them if you flare after eating them.

Giving up red meat hasn't really bothered me much. I did eat some at Christmas - and gave myself permission to eat pretty much whatever I wanted out of what was on offer at Christmas.  (It was a lot - my daughter and her partner cooked, and they made sure to make gluten free and lactose free variations of most things for me.) Otherwise, I pretty much just went back to the foods I was eating when I was vegetarian.  Strangely enough, I had gone back to eating meat when my GP told me to stop eating gluten, because I was afraid of running out of things I could eat - but now I'm used to being gluten free - going back to a mostly plant-based diet isn't really that bad.

Keeping chicken/turkey to two meals a week isn't that difficult, and I haven't eaten either at all in the past week, in the previous week I had a couple of meals out and opted for chicken then.

In case you're trying this, and having trouble knowing what to eat, here's a couple of suggestions.

Meatless bolognaise (no set measurements, go with your taste - I just chuck stuff in):

  • A handful of dried red lentils washed (put them in a strainer and run the tap over them),
  • A little bit of olive oil (a teaspoon or two is enough)
  • Onion
  • Your choice of any (or all) of the following vegetables; finely diced: capsicum, carrot, celery, mushroom, tomato, garlic, broccoli, cauliflower, olives
  • Red wine (optional)
  • Passata (tomato puree), or you could use a can of crushed tomatoes
  • Your choice of any (or all) of these herbs; chives, oregano, parsley, basil, chilli
  1. Cook onion (and fresh garlic if using), with olive oil over a low heat until onion is translucent.
  2. Add all the other ingredients, bring to the boil, then simmer slowly until lentils and vegetables are tender and sauce is thick.
  3. Serve with your favourite gluten free pasta, and a topping with grated parmesian.
  4. If making lasagne - layer the bolognaise between lasagne sheets, then top with cottage cheese, sprinkle with black pepper and a little nutmeg, and then a layer of grated cheese.  Bake in a medium oven for half a hour.

Ways to serve a cold potato

The whole cooked, then chilled, potato not sounding great? Try one of these:

  • Make potato salad. Mix your diced cold potatoes with mayonnaise, chopped hard boiled egg, perhaps some cold peas, parsley, spring onion, whatever takes your fancy.
  • Cook potato in the jacket, cut in half and chill. Serve potato halves topped with a mix of cottage cheese and tuna, or cottage cheese and finely cut gherkin.
  • Minted potatoes.  Add a sprig of mint to the water when you boil diced potatoes.  Once cooked, drain the potatoes, and pour over them a dressing of: half a cup of boiling water, half a cup of white spirit vinegar, a teaspoon of sugar and a teaspoon of dried mint.  Chill, and serve with a salad.

Want a really quick meal?
  • Drain, then wash a can of four-bean mix. (Empty the can into a strainer, then run under a tap until the water stops foaming.) This is your protein.  Finely chop a carrot, a stick of celery, a gherkin. Dress with a teaspoon each of olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  Serves 1-2, depending how hungry you are.
  • Toast a couple of slices of mixed grain gluten free bread. (Mixed grain GF breads will almost always have linseed in them, you don't need to go looking specifically for ones that say they have linseed.) Spread with avocado, and top with tomato and cheese (any type of cheese from the diet will do).

OK.  I'll give you some other recipes over the next few weeks.

So far, this diet hasn't changed my pain and fatigue, but I'm going to stick with it, to give it a proper go, and I admit I haven't added in exercise yet.  I'm trying to decide if I'm brave enough to go back to a pubic pool for hydrotherapy - COVID is very much under control here in Queensland, so the risk is minimal, but even minimal risks bother me to some extent.

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