The First Step is the Hardest
Clean out Your Cupboards
The trick for me to stay on track is to simply not have poor food choices readily available. So, I clean out and get rid of (or do not re-stock) foods I should not be eating. This means when the Doritos are gone, I am done with them. Parting is such sweet sorrow, but I know I will thank myself in a week or two.
Get a Food Journal and Use It Daily
Logging what you eat is boring but worth the time and effort once you begin to pinpoint what is causing you more pain and suffering. Knowledge is power, and since everybody is different, you need to know what you personally should avoid eating.
We also tend to forget all the bad stuff we are eating until we see it in writing. Once you know you have to write it down in your journal, it makes you accountable and you may find you think twice about your choices.
Buy Good Food and Make Them Easily Accessible
You need to have a supply of healthy foods (organic veggies and fruit for example) and they need to be washed and chopped so you can quickly grab them and snack. Sometimes the prep-work needed with these healthier foods is what stops me from grabbing them for a quick bite to eat, so I do that right after I shop for them.
If they are already washed and ready to eat, they are the easy choice for me in a moment of snacking weakness. Other good choices include foods that naturally contain good fats, like in cold-water fish and walnuts, and protein-rich foods, like lean meats.
Look Closely at Common Trigger Foods
As I said, not everyone is affected the same way by certain foods, but many people with fibromyalgia find that pain can be fueled by eating things like:
- Nitrates. This is a preservative found in hotdogs, sandwich meats, bacon and even wine. There are certain natural brands of these products you can buy that do not contain nitrates.
- Sugar or high fructose corn syrup. This also includes anything high in carbs, which of course turns into sugar in the body.
- Dairy. I have never cut out dairy completely (I love cheese) but I limit my consumption and it does seem to help.
- Gluten. Many people with fibromyalgia say going gluten-free has made a huge difference in their pain, but it takes a big commitment. Gluten is in things you might not think twice about. I try and limit my consumption, but have not been able to stick with gluten-free for very long.
- Preservatives, artificial sweeteners, artificial flavorings and food coloring. Natural is best. Avoid foods that can stay fresh for several weeks, contain dyes, and have ingredients in them you cannot easily pronounce. Artificial sweeteners are the worst for fibromyalgia patients and really should be avoided completely.
Though you probably won’t see or feel the results of healthy eating for a couple of weeks, or even up to a couple of months, I personally have felt the results and know that it can make life much easier in terms of fibro pain and fatigue.
I urge you to join me and commit to start healthier eating today, or if you are like me, you will probably put it off and never start. Fight for better health! Fuel your body with what it needs to limit fibromyalgia and its effect on your life.