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Archive for November 25th, 2009

I think that possibly the worst thing you can do is the thing that you know better than to do. 

For those of you scratching your head at the above sentence, let me explain. 

I have Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, or GERD.  I’ve had it for 20 years or better, with my first attack coming my senior year of college.  Over the years I’ve been able to treat it with over-the-counter medications and lots of Tums.  But since I hit that magic age of 40 I’ve had to go for the big guns — prescription meds. 

I am not a good medicine-taker.  I absolutely hate the fact that I have to swallow a pill every day in order for my body to work as it is designed to do.  Oh, I know, boo hoo hoo, you poor dear thing.  You have to take ONE pill.  How do you ever survive it?   And I’m not so stupid as to not realize that there are people out there who have to take fistfuls of pills just to remain vertical and I am just being a big fat baby about this.  It feels a little bit like weakness to me, that I can’t just muscle past it. 

I don’t think I would make a very good addict.  I don’t like being dependent on a substance. 

The next logical step, and one that has already been suggested to me by my doctor, is that I change my diet. 

Which would look like this:   

Food Group Foods To Avoid
Fruit • Orange juice
• Lemon
• Lemonade
• Grapefruit juice
• Cranberry juice
• Tomato
Vegetables • Mashed potatoes
• French fries
• Onion, raw
Meat • Ground beef, chuck
• Marbled sirloin
• Chicken nuggets
• Buffalo wings
Dairy • Sour cream
• Milk shake
• Ice cream
• Cottage cheese, regular
Grains • Macaroni and cheese
• Spaghetti with sauce
Beverages • Liquor
• Wine
• Coffee, decaffeinated or regular
• Tea, decaffeinated or regular
Fats / Oils • Salad dressing, creamy
• Salad dressing, oil & vinegar
Sweets / Desserts • Butter cookie, high-fat
• Brownie
• Chocolate
• Doughnut
• Corn chips
• Potato chips, regular

Folks, that’s pretty much my entire diet.  That’s the stuff I like. 

You do a little research and find that a GERD-friendly diet consists of stuff like grilled skinless chicken breasts and mineral water.  Broccoli, cabbage, peas.  Perhaps I should start marking the days by scratching hashmarks into the wall. 

There is a dynamic in all of this that is easy to overlook, and that’s the brain-gut connection.  Most of us have experienced that stomach-churning feeling that comes with being nervous about something.  It’s the same connection that triggers my reflux — my brain starts spinning wildly over upsetting things and the next thing you know I’ve got heartburn and/or stomach cramps.  And I don’t know about you, but when I’m upset, I eat.  A lot of the wrong things. 

(And yes I understand the connection between all of this and the 17 pounds I have packed on in the past two years.) 

So what do I do about all this?  Hm?  Well, I guess for starters I could just calm down.  And I could probably suck it up and start eating better/less.  And going to the gym more. 

But first there is the small matter of turkey and dressing and pie. 

 

— Mox

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