Saturday, October 31, 2009

Medical Food Diet

For those of you who know me well, you know that if I am dieting it's a cause for alarm, and you may ask me when is the last time you have spoken to your sponsor. So to ease your mind a bit, this was my doctors idea not mine. I'm finished being a slave to dieting and calorie counting.

Before I was diagnosed with POTS I was diagnosed with RA. The medicine I was taking to help lower the inflammation between my joints could no longer be taken because of the issues with my heart, so I was then given a prescription for Naproxin, which I have been on for over two years now. I needed to see my doctor because my perscription had run out, so I scheduled my appointment.

My doctor walked into the exam room and must of seen "easy sell" on my face, or maybe it was the designer purse and shoes I bought before my divorce, whatever it was I was to become the lucky victim of her sales pitch. My doctor looked at my file, and proceeded with the concerned doctor, "so Michele how's the arthritis doing?" she asks. I tell her I'm in pain daily, but the Naproxin does help. She proceeds to tell me that she didn't want me to continue with the Naproxin because of other adverse side effects to my body. She then suggests that diet and a medical supplement might help. She explained why it would be a good idea to change to a healthier diet, and being a bit of a health nut, I jumped on board.

The doctor left the room, and soon a nurse with a plastic jar labeled "medical food", a bottle of vitamins and a pamphlet walked into the room. I should have known anything labeled "medical food" had to be bad. She gave me a five minute spiel about following the diet to a tee, and being the great dieter I am, I told her I was up to the challenge. The nurse put the "medical food" (large plastic jar), vitamins and pamphlet into a fancy bag and charge me a large some of money and sent me on my way. I think I might have been labeled a sucker at that point. But I was going to do this sucker or not!

I get home and began reading the ins and outs of this medical diet that's suppose to relieve my inflammation along with other health benefits, the more I read the more sceptical I became. No milk and no wheat, I'm thinking "I'm sure there's oat bread out there, and I'm sure rice or almond milk will do the trick". it also says no sugar or chocolate, I'm thinking "This sounds bad, but I'm sure I can find a substitute for sugar (no honey either)," no caffeine and no red meat, "hm this may be a little more difficult than I thought, but I'll adjust, and in 26 days I can slowly re-introduce the foods I miss". I decide to begin the diet on Sunday so I can shop for the ingredients on Saturday.

Saturday arrives, and I'm armed with my shopping guide, and a positive attitude. I get to my regular grocery store, I spend an hour in the bread aisle, there is not one single bread without wheat in the aisle! I decide to go to a specialty grocery store later in the day, surely they'll have what I need. I find the rice milk and almond milk, then add stevia (natures calorie free sweetener), along with the many other things that are on my list and head for home a bit exhausted.

Well it's time to do a taste test on the rice milk verses almond milk, I'm expecting them to be tasty, I like rice and almonds, so they must be yummy. I try out the almond milk, yuck! So I taste the rice milk, it has to be good, it's vanilla flavored! I give it a taste, and decide it's the more palatable choice, though no comparison to my beloved milk.

I decide I have to purchase the non-wheat bread, so I head for store # 2, I'm also looking for oat or rice cereal with no sugar. Can't find the cereal products, so I head for the bread aisle, after 20 minutes of searching I find a brown rice bread, and grab it quickly from the shelf, I almost drop the bread on my foot, and fear that the weight of the bread might break something so I take a giant step backwards. I pick the bread off the floor and drop it into my cart feeling joyful that I have found at least one item on my list. I quickly head for the cashier, who chuckles at the weight of my bread, but I'm just relieved I have bread to eat for breakfast.

I take my bread proudly home, and read the label to be double sure there is notheing taboo in the bread. I discover that the bread is made with natural juices and I'm delighted, so I give it a taste. How would I describe it, there is no description for it. It almost tasted like flavored cardboard, and when it landed in my stomach you could almost hear it land with a "thump". I'm still thinking postive and decide that tomorrow I would toast it and add apple butter.

Well it's Sunday, my first day of this new diet. I wake up to my usual nausia and light headedness, but I'll be fine once I eat. I open up the plastic jar marked "medical food", and am shocked to see that the powdery substance resembles the color of baby poo (mustard yellow). And when I smell it I think to myself "oh this is bad", my rose colored glasses I often wear could not hide the truth that this "medical food" was going to be a challenge. So I open my freezer and took out the mangos and peaches that will surely cover up any bad taste that this mustard colored powder could have. I make my shake which now resembles baby poo in a blender, and I poor it into my glass. I take my first taste, and the look on my face had to show the disgust at this aweful stuff I had just took a sip of. There was no hiding the terrible taste of the baby poo colored powder, it was aweful! I tell myself "don't give up Michele, you can do this, remember it's a diet, you are the reigning queen of dieting, you can't let this stuff win". So I take two more sips, then my nausia soon overtakes any willpower I may have had, and I soon resemble Mount St. Helen's, up comes the "medical food" shake. So I lay down for about an hour.
I get up, still believing that I can still at least do the diet thing, I knew I could never put the "medical baby poo" in my mouth again. So I head for the kitchen with an "I can do this attitude", and proceed to toast the brown rice bread, and heat up water for my herbal tea. The tea is ready, I add stevia and the rice milk. I spread apple butter on the toast, and begin to eat my breakfast (if you could call it that). The tea is terrible, the sweetener is worse, my toast tastes like sweetened cardboard, and again Mt. St. Helens errupts, and I lose my breakfast to my porcelain lover.

I didn't need a brick to fall on my head to tell me that this diet wasn't going to work for me. There is no way my body could survive on this diet, but it does give me a new appreciation for what people with dietary issues go through daily. Now you may be wondering what I plan to do with my 5 lb. loaf of bread, I've made a list;
1.Make homes for the homeless using the bread as bricks, if they get hungry they can eat their home.
2. Carry it in the car or leave it on the side of my bed, and use it as a weapon.
3. Firemen could use it to break into houses, just throw it at any window.
4. Use it as a door stop.
5. Buy a second loaf and use it as a weight for weight lifting.
6. Use it as a paper weight.
7. Stack them along riverbanks to stop flooding.
I think you get the picture.
Hello milk and wheat, hola coffee and Chai latte tea, guten tag sugar and meat, I did miss you, even if it was only for an hour or two. I have a new appreciation for my delicious food. Good bye "diet food" may you never cross my path again!

Always inspired,


  1. LOL..I know the sort of food you are talking about Michele, not only is it YUK it costs a fortune..I am glad you stopped, any of us with DS have lost and given enough up in our lives, without giving up the little things we have left to enjoy..I tried every thing 12 years ago when i first got sick, none of it changed a thing or helped. As long as you have a healthy diet, that is all that matters & i think we have all earned the right to a bit of chocolate & certainly need a coffee to keep us going..Fantastic yet again Michele...
    Trace :0) :0) :0)

  2. thanks for bringing a smile to my day yet again :)