Hello, out there!
If you’ve stumbled on this blog, then that means you probably Googled something along the lines of eating well; eating for an illness; or how to eat healthy.
My name is Angela. I’m a nurse. I work primarily with patients who have eating disorders. I’ve always been interested in food and more importantly, on how food impacts our day-to-day wellness. Lately, this interest has moved from professional to personal.
I have hypothyroidism (low thyroid function), depression, and anxiety, all of which have been formally diagnosed by doctors. Earlier this year, I had acute pancreatitis caused by my gallbladder spitting out a gallstone.
In short, I’m a bit of a mess right now.
Nice to meet you.
Why am I telling you all this? Because I don’t want to come off as a lecturer here. I’m just another human being trying to feel better, even with the baggage of dealing with chronic illnesses. I’m in pursuit of genuine happiness and I hope we at least have that in common!
My personal and professional ventures have brought me to a point where I’m wondering: Does changing what you eat really change the way you feel? We hear those stories all the time, but it does seem like there are a lot of differing opinions out there. One minute, coffee is great for you and the next, coffee is horrible and you should stop drinking it right away.
I work nights, so for now readers, the coffee must stay.
In the midst of searching for all the “right” foods, a lot more questions come up than answers. How are we supposed to know what to trust? What is “good” food versus “bad” food? Is what we’re eating making us feel better or worse?
This blog is a first step for me to try and answer some of those questions. Please allow me to explain.
Let’s start with what to trust. When it comes to YOUR well-being, the best person to ask is … YOU! That’s right, reader; I think that you know your body and your brain better than anyone else possibly could. After all, you’ve been in there your whole life, haven’t you? Medical professionals know a lot about the body and the brain, but ultimately, if something is or isn’t working for you, the feedback is going to come from you. In my quest to practice what I preach, I’m hoping to trust my gut a lot more – metaphorically and literally.
Information on food is everywhere. There are tons of television shows centered on food and don’t even get me started on that addictive Tasty app! If you want to know how to make something, where to buy it, or when it’s in season, you’re a quick Google search away! The problem is when we get down to whether a food is “good” or “bad,” there’s a lot of debate. Some people swear by eating nuts and seeds, but what about everyone out there with allergies? Certain diets sell all-or-nothing ideas, but can really limit your shopping list and your recipe repertoire.
When it comes to “good” or “bad,” the most consistent information I have is this: The Fresher, the Better. Processed foods are not your friends (or mine), but they are more affordable and in the interest of keeping up the honesty, I do have some boxed and canned things in my own supply at home.
It feels really good to admit that to you.
Finally, whether or not a food is making things better or worse really comes down to actually eating the food and then gauging how you feel. Macaroni and cheese is one of my favorite things ever, but for every happy bite while I’m eating, I think this foodstuff might just negatively impact my gut, my bowels, and even my anxiety. It’s all about trying the food and then paying attention. Your body will tell you if something doesn’t work, but bear in mind that if the food is new for you, you may have to try it a few times so that your body has time to adjust (unless of course you are severely allergic, in which case once is definitely enough).
While macaroni and cheese may not make me feel well in excess, I do believe in quality of life. If doughnuts make you happy, then enjoy a doughnut every so often! Just because you felt bad when you ate three of them doesn’t mean you can’t have one on special occasions. It’s not just about what you eat, but how often, and what else you eat in a given day to offset a food that might make you feel sluggish with a food that gives you a lot of energy.
What This Blog Is
The human body is constantly trying to maintain homeostasis (if you can find a way to play that one in Scrabble, you will win every time).
Homeostasis is basically the body’s way of keeping everything in balance. What’s interesting is that when you learn anatomy or study the human body, everything is compartmentalized by system. You learn the digestive system, reproductive system, nervous system, and all the others, but individually. The truth is that the entire body – one system – is always interacting to try and compensate for where you are, what you’re doing, and yes, what you’ve eaten.
This blog is a way to observe how food works within the whole system of the body, mine specifically, to affect my hypothyroidism, depression, or anxiety. Occasionally, a food or nutrient featured in the Spotlight might work for or against multiple diagnoses.
This blog is my exploration of my own do’s and don’ts for the kitchen. I’m hoping to inspire some of you to try this at home!
What it’s Not
This is not a diet blog. I am not going to get up on a soapbox and tell you that gluten or dairy or carbs were brought to earth from the devil and are causing every major illness that exists. I don’t think it’s that simple.
That said, if you find in your own journey that swearing off gluten, or dairy, or carbs has been helpful for you, I promise not to make fun of you for that. Whatever works for you and keeps you happy gives me hope that I can do it too.
We all deserve to be happy.
This blog is not giving advice on weight loss or gain, nor should it be treated as gospel. I will be providing links to any sources that I use so that you can determine for yourself if something can be trusted or whether you have more questions. If you want to know how to lose weight and maintain it, there are plenty of blogs, books, and resources available for you.
This blog is not a replacement for medical care. I am a nurse, but I am not YOUR nurse and I am definitely not a doctor. If something feels better, let your doctor know. If something feels worse, see the doctor. If you want to start or stop a medication, see the doctor. They know more about your health than I do and will depend on that valuable feedback I mentioned to help you decide how to optimize your own wellness.
I will be sharing my findings pretty candidly, but feel free to gloss over certain parts to find “the meat” of what you’re looking for (which may involve actual meat). Remember that if a Spotlight food I tried didn’t produce a change in my symptoms, that doesn’t mean it won’t work for you.
My hope is that this blog will help me on my own path toward feeling better, but that some of you might be inspired to keep track of your own food habits too. The more, the merrier and I think it’s pretty clear that I am looking for merriment in more of my life.
Won’t you please join me?
For more information on how I will be sharing with you, read How it Works.