Many layers of emotions were happening at the same time. Some things were getting very serious – grocery shopping, preparing food, cooking food, cleaning up. They were never fun for me in the past. Now on a limited diet, my eating choices looked bleak. I didn’t like the taste of the things I could eat and I did miss the things I could not eat.
To make things worse, I had agreed to blood tests to determine food allergies. As it turns out, I am allergic to thirty healthful foods that I like. So at that point, I was deep into deprivation.
Dr. P’s philosophy was that any allergy indicates inflammation. If my body is fighting inflammation, it is not able to fight cancer. So I gave them up, along with all dairy, all grains (bread, pasta, rice, crackers), and all sugar with only a little fruit allowed under certain conditions.
At first, I did not look forward to meals. My only snacks were vegetables, or a few almonds. Many times a day I had to monitor myself to avoid getting cranky.
Ilona began visiting more often, coming to my rescue. With her support of me and her love of cooking, I realized that I could do this. Without Ilona I think I might have starved to death, or wanted to. Forever I am grateful to her. Ilona bought new recipe books, and obtained healthful recipes on http:www.epicurious.com
Added to my food choices are dozens of delicious healthy foods that I did not appreciate before. For that I am grateful. The scale kept going down and weight was sliding off me.
Also, I use many substitutions. Instead of noodles, I use either spaghetti squash or shaved zucchini. Instead of potato chips, I make kale chips. Instead of cows’ milk, I use unsweetend almond milk.
One downside was that the range, the oven, and the floor would need cleaning when Ilona and I would get done. All that extra preparation and clean up consumes a great deal of time. It reminded me why I had cut corners on cooking. After all, I am an entrepreneur preparing and delivering my relationship coaching business. I didn’t have time for all this.
It would make sense for me to slow down. Yet, with this background of uncertainty about my health, with the ambiguity about different doctors’ perspectives, and with upsets around loss of free time, all this sent me into overdrive. I took on even more. This wasn’t the first time this pattern occurred.
Before the cancer diagnosis, my plan was to launch my second book Breaking Through Concrete: The Gift of Having Mentally Ill Parents. So in the summer of transforming my food choices, I increased my workload by creating and marketing a Blog Talk Radio Program called The Spiritual Journey of Mental Illness. That required finding, enrolling, scheduling, researching, reminding, interviewing, and completing with experts. For each program, I educated myself on the particular topic within the mental illness field that each expert wanted to discuss. That was not all I needed to learn. I taught myself how to interview people, and how to use the technology.
The Blog Talk Radio Program was an effort to get a more compassionate understanding about mental illness out to the world before publishing my upcoming book. While the first interview went quite well, my friend Sheila told me that I didn’t even mention my book. We laughed together. It was fine. My book was not the main message I wanted people to get.