How to keep what you’re eating from eating you!
The key is beginning and staying with this neuropathy diet program!
One of the questions we frequently get, as neuropathy and pain patients begin to understand the impact their diet has on overall health, is, “What do I eat, and when?”
So what I’m doing today is to describe a typical day of meals and snacks, which is relatively easy to modify and add variety to on a regular basis.
Let’s start with breakfast: It is very important to consume some protein within one half hour of arising. The reason for this is that it helps stimulate metabolism, protein synthesis, and mental alertness. It also helps us burn fuel more efficiently. My favorite breakfast is a vegetable protein shake, using a dairy-free protein powder with almond or coconut milk. Another good breakfast is a serving of gluten-free granola, taking care to keep carbohydrates between 15 and 20g maximum. You could also use a measured serving of gluten-free steel-cut oatmeal.
No more than three hours later, have a snack again, not exceeding 15g of carbs. This could include one half apple or banana, seven or eight almonds for other nuts, et cetera. Packaged protein or nut bars can be fine, as long as the carb content is low.
Lunch should universally be some form of salad with protein. You can mix this up with your favorite greens. You could use baby spinach or mixes greens. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil, a few almonds or walnuts, and lean protein such as tuna, salmon, chicken or turkey. If you are vegan or vegetarian, you could use tofu or tempeh.
No more than three hours later, have an additional snack, just like your mid-morning.
When dinnertime comes, this is the time to emphasize non-starchy vegetables. Some of the best are cooked spinach, broiled or sautéed asparagus, cabbage, beets, squashes, yams and sweet potatoes, and so on.
Keep starches, such as rice and white potatoes, to a minimum.
Be sure to get in a high quality source of protein. Don’t be afraid to try things like hormone-free pork, beef, or, if available, fresh fish. Again, you could use a vegan alternative, just be careful of gluten and carb content.
Not more than three hours after dinner, have another snack.
This time, try a few gluten-free crackers with some almond butter. You can also try some sliced tofu. There are also low carbohydrate gluten-free cookies—just be careful not to eat the entire bag, which is easy to do! Another really good choice to satisfy your evening cravings is a small square of unsweetened dark chocolate.
So what’s NOT here?
Well there is no dairy, cheese, or yogurt. There is no bread; there are no snack foods, soda, or chips. There are no ice creams or pies for dessert. There are no fruit juices, candy, or other sweets.
Do you see where we are going here? The fact of the matter is the above list of foods is probably responsible for more ill health and disease than any other single factor in the modern developed world.
The key is beginning and staying with the program. Don’t worry about the very rare weekend, or party. Just always stay trying not to go berserk. Be especially careful during holiday periods.
Consume half your body weight in ounces of clear liquids, most especially water, during plenty any 24-hour period.
Be especially careful not to overdo coffee and tea. Limit alcohol consumption to occasional low sugar wine or beer, and very rarely stronger adult beverages.
Once you make a shift, you will realize how simple, easy and inexpensive this approach to eating–for neuropathy patients and anyone else–can be!
Share your recipes and ideas on our Facebook page, Beating Neuropathy!