I made a fun quinoa strawberry mash this morning for breakfast. I even topped it with a tablespoon of almond butter (I have thing against nut butters on warm oatmeal, but for some reason decided to try it today)!
My quinoa mix contained:
- 1/3 cup quinoa, cooked with rice milk
- 5 large sliced strawberries
- Vanilla extract
- Toppings: flax and almond butter
To make the mix, I just cooked the first three ingredients together for about 8 minutes. Ta-da! So easy.
Last night, I mentioned that I am going try to implement three changes in my diet. In the past month, I have been experiencing physical and mental symptoms that alerted me to the fact that Iâ€™m doing something wrong.
Iâ€™ve dropped a few hints here and there, but Iâ€™ve been struggling emotionally for the last month. Thereâ€™s a few issues in my personal life that cannot really be discussed on the Internet that are causing me anxiety, stress, and sadness.
Perhaps as a result of these emotional struggles, my physical health has started to suffer. Iâ€™m having a lot of trouble sleeping â€“ I have issues falling asleep, staying asleep, and feeling rested when I wake up. As a result, Iâ€™ve been pounding coffee and tea in throughout the day, which in turn creates really bad headaches. Iâ€™ve been drinking more beer than usual, too â€“ sometimes just for fun with friends, but also sometimes to just deal with my emotions.
For an endurance athlete who has been exercising 5 â€“ 8 hours a week, not getting enough sleep is REALLY, REALLY bad. Iâ€™ve felt like a walking zombie, had trouble concentrating, struggled with my writing, and cried at the drop of a hat. This is not working!
One of the awesome things about Chinese medicine is that the doctors believe your emotional state has a strong impact on your physical health, which is obviously true for me right now! Last night, the doctors recommended that I make three small changes to my diet, which they believe will improve my physical health and make it a lot easier for me to handle my emotions.
SUGGESTED CHANGE #1: Drink warm water upon waking, and drink more warm/lukewarm water throughout the day. All of the doctors believe I am dehydrated, which is compounding my sleep issues and making me irritable. Although I drink enough water during exercise, Iâ€™m not drinking nearly enough during the day, and Iâ€™m counter-acting my water consumption by drinking so much caffeine. By starting the morning off with a cup of warm water, they say Iâ€™ll â€˜prepareâ€™ my stomach and intestines for food and it will be easier to digest breakfast.
MY THOUGHTS: This is an easy change that I can make without much effort. Iâ€™ll give it a shot! And I probably am dehydrated because I often wake up thirsty.
SUGGESTED CHANGE #2: Reduce the amount of caffeinated beverages, especially coffee. Iâ€™m dehydrating myself and adding to the vicious cycle of lack of sleep by artificially keeping myself alert during the day.
MY THOUGHTS: Although I never plan to give up coffee or tea entirely, I can understand why the amount of coffee/tea Iâ€™ve been drinking is probably not a great idea. I am going to try to cut back in hopes of improving my sleeping patterns. If I need a pick-me-up in the afternoon, Iâ€™ll go for a short walk.
SUGGESTED CHANGE #3: Eliminate dairy products. The doctors suggested that eating cold, damp foods like dairy impedes my ability to process and transform the other foods Iâ€™m eating into a viable source of energy. As a vegetarian, I use dairy products frequently as a meat replacement and source of protein â€“ sometimes eating dairy three times a day (I thought the doctor was going to kneel over and die when I said that). They also I start eating more fish.
MY THOUGHTS: I do not want to eliminate dairy from my diet the way I eliminated meat. I went Vegan for a Day for the blog and found it very hard to eat a completely dairy-free diet. I take pleasure in a lot of dairy products (cheese, yogurt, ice cream) and do not want to be a vegan at this point in my life. However, I can understand that I perhaps eat too much dairy. Iâ€™m going to try to slowly reduced the amount of dairy in my diet so that Iâ€™m eating one serving a day on average. Iâ€™ll have to get creative and find new ways to get my calcium and protein, but vegans all over the world do it every day, so it wonâ€™t be that hard.
Oh, and in regards to the suggestion I eat more fish, I told them I was a vegetarian and there was no way I was going to eat fish. Instead, they suggested eating more eggs. I like eggs! 🙂
Has a doctor ever recommended you make a dietary change? Did you take their recommendation at face value or do a version of the â€œmy thoughtsâ€? Whatâ€™s the most pivotal dietary change youâ€™ve ever made?