Over the years I've experimented with many types of diets on myself and on my patients. I've tried raw vegetarian, carnivore and everything else in between. In the end I found that the best approach for people with fibromyalgia is joyful eating. That is based on you becoming consciously aware of what your body really needs. Instead of giving you a bunch of dietary rules, which I know you'll end up not following, I simply teach you how to listen to your body. Of course you can't jump from not listening to your body to being an expert at it so we do it in four steps.
Hydration: connect with your sense of thirst
Ancestral Eating: less junk, more nutrition
Metabolism: balance carbs, proteins, fats
Ayurveda: eat right for your body type
Dr. Fereydoon Batmanghelidj (affectionately know as Dr. Batman) linked dehydration to the cause of a variety of diseases. He believed that, “People are most likely not sick, they’re only thirsty.” To stay healthy he suggested drinking a minimum daily amount of water based on body weight.
As we become more and more chronically ill we begin to lose touch with our bodies; and one of the first signs of this disconnection is a loss of our sense of thirst. Reconnecting with our sense of thirst is the first step we can take to helps us listen to our bodies and live more in the present moment.
In the 1930s a dentist named Weston A. Price spent ten years traveling the world studying the diets and health of traditional communities. Wherever he came across people that followed a traditional way of life and ate a traditional diet he found that they were not only exceptionally healthy but also very happy and content. In contrast, communities that had started to eat processed foods showed signs of physical and mental degeneration.
The healthiest communities of the world ate completely different foods but they all followed certain common practices, such as eating seasonally, and they all prized the same super foods. More here.
In 1968 Dr. William Donald Kelly, a dentist from Dallas Texas, was diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer and was given months to live. At the time Dr. Kelly lived almost entirely on junk food so his mother stepped in and got him eating fresh fruit, vegetables, nuts, and whole grains. Within months his doctor pronounced him cancer free. He lived another 40 years until the age of 79.
Soon after his wife also became seriously ill. She tried the same vegetable diet but this only aggravated her condition. Out of desperation Dr. Kelly put her on a diet high in meat. To their great surprise her health improved dramatically. Intrigued by this Dr. Kelly started doing extensive research into the relationship between food and health.
Kelly found that people with naturally slim builds (ectomorphs) tended to do well on a diet high in carbohydrates and low in proteins. People with large or round builds (endomorphs) tended to do well on a diet high in proteins and low in carbohydrates. People with average or muscular builds (mesomorphs) tended to do well on a balanced diet. Read more.
Ayurveda is an Indian system of healing that dates back 5,000 years. The beauty of the Ayurvedic diet is that it doesn’t focus on abstract dietary factors such as calorie count. Instead it emphasizes at the sensual qualities of food: the five tastes and also the physical properties: dry or oily, heavy or light, hot or cold, soft or hard. This makes ayurvedic nutritional guidelines easy and enjoyable.
People with fibromyalgia tend to live too much in their heads, and have to some degree, lost touch with the inner wisdom of their bodies. Paying attention to the taste, quality and sensuality of food helps them reconnect with their inner wisdom. It brings them back into their bodies, and back into the present in a healthy way. Ayurveda provides the perfect guidlines for listneing to your body and eating more sensually.