My name is Dr. Russell Brokstein, chiropractor and owner of Hometown Family Wellness Center in downtown Freehold, NJ. I have been guiding patients in Freehold and nearby Marlboro, Manalapan, Howell, Colts Neck, Jackson, Morganville and other Monmouth County, New Jersey towns on dietary recommendations to help with their Fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome and restless leg syndrome. I feel it’s so important to help Fibromyalgia sufferers so I wrote several blogs about the different considerations for Fibromyalgia. You can see more of our blog posts on Fibromyalgia and other health topics by clicking: Chiropractor in Freehold NJ
So many people eat foods that are process and filled with chemicals. If you suffer with Fibromyalgia this is going to affect how you feel. It is so important that you eat less process foods such as white bread, white rice, desserts made with white bread and sugar, pastries, cookies and candies.
A processed diet is detrimental to someone with fibromyalgia because it doesn’t provide him or her with any living foods with quality nutritional content. From living foods you get life and life force.
Remember Yoda in Star Wars? He said, “May the force be with you!”
How do you get that force – that vitality? We get it from the foods we eat. If you eat foods that are processed, the life force has been processed out of them! If you eat live foods, such as foods that are not processed heavily or raw foods, you get foods with the life force left in them. Your vitality and your energy levels increase.
You can also think of a high performance car. If you put in low grade fuel, the car will not function as well, will break down more and cost more to fix. Your body is a high performance machine. You should be feeding it high quality fuel with high quality, non processed foods.
Another way we get that force, that vitality, is through chiropractic adjustments. The adjustment releases any pent-up vitality and sends it through the nervous system. That’s why people feel better after chiropractic adjustments.
One thing every fibromyalgia patient needs – more vitality! May the force be with us by getting our adjustments regularly and eating foods that aren’t processed!
Many people don’t know what a processed meat is: Processed meats include cold cuts, salami, and luncheon meats. An example of a non-processed meat would be baked chicken, broiled fish, a steak cooked on the grill or barbeque or any type of meat cooked in a crock pot or in soup. Those would be fine. Even tuna or salmon in a can would be okay.
All About Desserts
Fibromyalgia patients can continue to have desserts once in a while, but there are other things to look for. Simple desserts like fruit desserts are the best. A homemade apple or berry pie once in awhile is okay especially if you use whole grain flour and minimize the sugar in the ingredients. You’ll find it’s easy to cut the sugar in half or even cut it out completely from the recipes if you use another fruit with the apple or berry that is higher in sugar. For example, you could layer one half can of unsweetened pineapple rings over the apples and your sweet tooth will be satisfied from the wonderful sweetness provided in nature by the pineapple.
How to Get in More Vegetables is Always the Question
A nice big salad with four or more vegetables in it is an excellent way to accompany a meal. These vegetables could be lettuce, tomatoes, zucchini, onions, broccoli, cauliflower, radishes, chives, parsley, cilantro, and corn. Some people love to make a salad an entire meal by making up a great big salad and then adding about 4 oz. protein like beef, chicken or turkey along with a little cheese…hmm, it makes my mouth water just thinking about it.
Four ounces of meat is about the size of the average computer mouse or an average size fist.
You can add a low-fat low-carb dressing, then add a couple strips of fresh avocado. Have the salad with a slice of sourdough bread or whole grain bread to add some carbohydrates so you won’t be hungry in a few hours, and top off the salad meal with a dessert of frozen yogurt or kefir milk with fruit.
Kefir milk is a cultured milk product, just like yogurt. The difference is that kefir milk uses multiple strains of bacteria instead of just one found in yogurt. Kefir milk is thicker than yogurt but tastes similar to yogurt. I prefer that you drink the unflavored one because the flavored ones will usually have a lot of sugar added to them, and thus a lot more carbohydrates that you don’t need.
Because it is like yogurt, it helps with the intestines and digestion. Whey protein in milk is very healing to the intestinal tract. Many fibromyalgia patients have yeast infections in their gut, usually from eating too much sugar and processed foods. They can remedy this by stopping the processed foods and sugar, but they still have to heal the intestinal tract. Some researchers and health practitioners have found that patients with candida yeast infections have a condition called “leaky gut” where the yeast creates “holes” in their intestinal tract and this interferes with nutritional status. It can also lead to allergies because food proteins can leak into the bloodstream and are then attacked by the immune system. The intestines have to be healed in this situation.
Providing the good bacteria the intestines need to function properly and synthesize vitamins is a first step in the direction of healing. T he second step is using the healing effects of whey protein found in kefir milk that is considered a raw food. Some people opt to use whey protein shakes to accomplish similar results. It’s a pleasant addition to one’s day to have a few cups of kefir milk because it tastes good and is thick like a dessert.
Yogurt can taste a little sour if it’s without any flavor. How can we overcome the sour taste of kefir milk?
This is easily accomplished. Just add a few drops of lemon extract or add a squeeze of a real lemon into it, and the sour taste is gone!
The Protein Guidelines
Protein is very important to consume for a fibromyalgia patient.
A: Fixing a protein food is really a matter of only four steps:
1) take the meat out of the refrigerator
2) place it on the broiler pan or on the George Foreman Grill
3) sprinkle with some spices
4) turn it over after about 4 to 5 minutes
Sometimes we make cooking out to be this great big project in our head but really it’s not if you keep it simple. The simpler you cook, the more nutritious your food is.
Protein is really important in your diet as it’s essential to build new healthy cells. Do you want to have the building blocks for your body to make hormones? Do you want to look healthy and not waste away. Do you want your body to carry minerals to all the cells. Do you want to have enough brain power to think clearly. Do you want your muscles to have the energy they need to build and maintain their structure. Then it’s important that you consume enough protein in your diet!
If you are a vegetarian you can get enough protein but it’s more difficult. The bottom line is that the amino acid sequences in protein are highly preferred by the body. When the protein is digested, it’s broken down into amino acid sequences that are used specifically in metabolic reactions throughout the entire body. With vegetarianism, your body has to add sequences together to build them. It’s more difficult to build them than to break them down.
One nutrient, vitamin B12 is very difficult to find in a vegetarian diet. Vegetarians will tell you that there are non-meat sources high in vitamin B12; however, the truth is that the vitamin B12 in these sources such as blue green algae is not absorbed well in the body.
Another thing to consider is that if you want to spend less time in the kitchen, eat high quality meats such as chicken, turkey, fish, beef, pork, wild meats, eggs and dairy products. They’re a lot easier to fix than spending time planning and cooking beans, rice, legumes such as lentils.
I find that a lot of vegetarians are really not vegetarians. They’re eating processed foods that are marketed to vegetarians. Tofu is a very processed protein, a far cry from real soybeans. Tofu ice cream does not count as a protein! It’s processed and it’s also very high in the glycemic index, which means that your body produces a lot of insulin after eating it. Tofu hot dogs are also processed, as is tofu turkey!
High Carbs? Low Carbs?
You can still eat carbs, just try to limit them, especially if you have blood sugar problems. Limiting them means eat half as many as you eat now. The average person eats 4 to 5 servings of carbohydrates at every meal: the bread in a sandwich counts as two, corn is another serving, and a dessert is another one to two servings.
The quickest way to have no energy is to eat a meal of carbs. Then time how long it takes for you to experience lack of energy, fatigue, loss of concentration, headaches, and maybe even irritability. Here are a couple of high carb meals and how to change them into more balanced meals:
Hi carb breakfast: granola, raisins, milk, toast with butter, orange juice
Balanced breakfast: granola, milk, half a slice of toast with butter, one egg
Hi carb lunch: subway sandwich, French fries or chips, coleslaw, chocolate chip cookies, pepsi.
Balanced lunch: subway sandwich with only half the amount of bread or no bread at all, half a serving of French fries or chips, coleslaw, one chocolate chip cookie, half a glass of milk.
Making changes to more balanced meals can change your life and your energy levels very quickly. It makes you feel more well-balanced emotionally.
Some people have heard about chemicals and preservatives accumlating in the body of fibromyalgia patients. There was a review in 2001 of four fibromyalgia case studies that was pretty enlightening. The researchers found that fibromyalgia symptoms were relieved when monosodium glutamate levels were dropped in the diet. Monosodium glutamate is also called MSG. I t’s an active ingredient in a lot of foods. If changing something as simple as reducing MSG in the diet can relieve symptoms, why not check all the labels on the cans and boxes of foods in your house one night, maybe as a family activity? Get rid of them. See how you feel over the next few days.
There are other alternative health care professionals who believe that the more chemicals and preservatives you can get out of your diet, the better off you will be. This makes perfect sense. We weren’t created with chemicals and preservatives! Free up the space in your cells! I compare this to the process of cleaning one’s house. Doesn’t it feel good to be able to walk from room to room with nothing obstructing your floors? The extra space gives you a sort of mental freedom, doesn’t it? Now imagine how your cells will feel once the garbage of chemicals and preservatives are gone.
There are other things to think about when changing your diet. Always have at least one food that’s fresh at every meal. This can be very simple, like adding a fresh tomato or sprinkling a handful of parsley or cilantro on top of a meal.
Some people start juicing fruits and vegetables. This is always a good idea since most of us never get enough fruits and vegetables. If you do this, you’ll want to focus on the vegetables more than the fruits for several reasons. First of all, the fruits can raise the blood sugar levels. A good majority of people in our society already has high blood sugar levels or are a step away from diabetes. If you juice fruits, limit the amount of juice you drink to 1/2 cup a day.
Juicing vegetables is another matter. Help yourself to 8 or 10 oz of fresh vegetable juice per day. This could be tomato-green pepper-carrot juice, tomato-cucumber juice, celery-green pepper-carrot parsley juice and many other wonderful combinations. You’ll only get healthier with these!
Juices add life force to any meal. May the energizing force of whole unprocessed foods be with you!
I hope these dietary guidelines are helpful for you in relieving your Fibromyalgia. It’s just one of the many steps in taking back your life from suffering with Fibromyalgia. Adding in exercise, proper sleep, mental well being and most importantly an optimally functioning nervous system with chiropractic care will bring you to enjoying your normal daily activities and make you feel like a person once again.
Watch out for future Fibromyalgia blog posts as I will cover exercise recommendations and sleep recommendations. Until then, if you would like our special Fibromyalgia consultation and evaluation, contact our office at 732-780-0044 and check out our website: www.ChiropractorFreehold.com