Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Naturopathic and...loving it?

So, for the past year I've been worried about cholesterol, losing weight, all of that crap. I lost a bit of weight over the winter, and the cholesterol numbers have come down a bit...

Well, I decided to do something about my health beyond going to the doctor for yet another blood draw (to be followed by a letter advising me to observe a "low cholesterol diet", exercise, etc.). I decided to take Kirsten's referral to see her ND over at Natural Healthcare Northwest.

So...I have been off coffee and all other sources of caffeine for the past five days...for the first time in fifteen years! It is humbling to see how dependent I've been on this chemical, and the ritual behaviors I associate with it. The no-caffeine bit has been the weirdest and most profound part of my treatment so far.

I am observing a restricted diet designed to cut out chemicals that could cause inflammation of the GI...but, this isn't just about inflammation or making HDL and LDL charts go up-and-down. I am finally dealing with the emotional coping mechanisms that I have associated with food and drink my entire life. Ah, I could go on for pages about that stuff...suffice it to say that I am beginning to see why I eat what I eat, and it is humbling and...enlightening? Indeed. Diet and exercise are parts of this treatment, as is the taking of various supplements: fish oil, liquid vitamin B complexes, mineral supplements, etc.

The diet part of the treatment has become my favorite part (minus the prohibition of coffee, chocolate and bagels, ehhh). I cook with Kirsten much more than I used to, and she is supportive of my aim. I suspect she might like hanging out with me a bit more now that I'm not riding caffeinated and blood-sugar-spiked highs and crashes all day.

The no-caffeine bit uncomfortably reminds me of quitting cigarettes and nicotine back in '99. I'll let you know how it goes.