Well, I promised you a month of food-related beading blogs to go alongside my Marvellous Diet. So, I thought I would start with a topic that is also vaguely serious. I had a plan in mind, but wasn’t sure what to call this blog. So, I started testing some ideas on google and do you know what I discovered? There is a real thing called the Bead Diet!
How cool is that? Before you ask, it has nothing to do with the beads that we all use. I have no idea whether or not it works. So, I’m neither advocating nor discouraging it. If you want to find out what it is, here is the website I stumbled upon.
The Bead Diet I want to promote
What I actually want to write about is my own bead diet and how it relates to my real diet. Why do I want to write about this? Well, because I know there are a few of you out there who may find this helpful.
So, I’m going to give you a taste of my beaded food using the photos throughout this blog post. If you want to skip the diet part and go straight to the beading, then you can find all my beaded food patterns here>>
My real diet
If you are one of my regular followers, the you’ll know I started beading as a result of becoming ill. I was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome in 2003, after collapsing a few months earlier. I’m not going to cover the illness again here. I wrote a whole series of posts about that back in November. So, if you want to know more about it, check out the links on this page>>
Basically, I have spent fifteen – going on sixteen – years learning how to manage the illness and trying to recover. All with varying degrees of success, I might add! So, this is something that will be with me for life, but it may not incapacitate me for life.
One of the most important tools for managing the illness is diet. I’m not talking about weight management, but about nutrition. Basically, food is the fuel we put into our bodies. Just like a car, if you fill your body with second-rate or even ‘wrong’ fuel, it will break down or stop functioning altogether.
Now, CFS aside, we are all of us bombarded constantly with advice on food. Should we be eating 5 a day or should it be 10? Is dark chocolate a super food? What is a super food? Is a glass of wine good for you or bad for you? It’s information overload and literally every single person you speak to has different advice to offer.
I don’t even know how many diet programs are on the market these days.
Personally, I have now been working with a clinic to treat my CFS for almost a year. They offer multiple approaches, but I have been focusing on nutrition. So, that has been about the food/drink I consume and also taking supplements to try and get my body’s vitamins and minerals up to the right levels.
The clinic began by testing me, so I am taking supplements and eating food based on what my body needs. (I am deficient in quite a few key vitamins and minerals, so this will be impairing my body’s ability to function well. In theory, if I correct those imbalances, then my body will heal).
It sounds straightforward and it is certainly helping. But as with everything, it’s not black and white.
I don’t want to go into too much detail because I know this is very tailored to me personally. So what works for me may not work for you. But, if you do want a starting point, then the common threads I’ve found that seem to suit everyone with CFS are these:
- stop eating sugar
- avoid gluten
- avoid dairy
- eat plenty of fruit and veg, but keep the emphasis on the veg because the fruit has a high sugar content
- drink lots of water and avoid caffeine and alcohol
My advice to you
So, if you are living with any chronic illness, I would say it is worth looking at your nutrition and seeing if changing that can help. It’s not a cure and, I won’t lie, it’s not easy. You are going to need a lot of self-discipline and will-power. But I find, if I can see results, then that self-discipline is a lot easier to embrace because of the rewards it brings.
I am currently taking 20 tablets, 1 liquid and 1 powder supplement every day. I sometimes feel like I need a PhD to remember how and when to take all these! Then, I am also currently (temporarily) following a FODMAP diet.
My more permanent diet is Paleo (Stone Age).
I’m deliberately not going to go into details on this because I don’t want to suggest that I have all (any of?) the answers. If you really want to know more, then you can google those.
My big message is, there is no one diet that is perfect for everyone. It would be lovely if there was, but the unfortunate fact is, if you want to find the diet that works for you, then you are going to have to do your own research. By which, I mean, trial and error.
Yes, read about those diets, but don’t just follow them blindly unless they seem to have something to offer you personally. And if you do decide to follow a particular regime, then make sure you keep an eye on how it makes you feel. If you don’t feel better on it, then it may just not be right for you.
I also suggest using the help of a qualified nutritionist so you get professional guidance, if you can.
Why my bead diet?
Is it a coincidence then that the food I bead is also the food I can’t eat in real life?
I don’t know. I’ll leave that to the psychologists amongst you to debate! When I am choosing food to bead, I am looking for two qualities. Shape and colour.
Why? You may well ask. Well, when we enjoy and recognise real food, we are enjoying how it looks, how it smells and how it tastes.
When you’re thinking about the bead diet, the food is only recognisable by the way it looks. So, that means picking food that has a distinctive shape and colour.
I have also spent many hours hunting for beads in just the right shade to look realistic!
So, I often get people suggesting foods that I could make. But not all of them are practical because they don’t have a sufficiently distinctive shape or colour.
These days, I walk round supermarkets considering how well food will translate into a beading project!
So, to come back to my original question. I don’t seem to have made much fruit and veg. Yet these would translate well into beading projects. So, yes, maybe I am just a little fixated on forbidden food! But hey, at least it’s healthy, so maybe you should try it too…
Why you should try the bead diet
Food aside, the bead diet, done my way, will prove very healthy for you. Although nutrition is critical to good health, so is smiling, having fun and relaxing.
So, I know you will be relaxing and having fun as you make your beaded food. I hope the bead diet will also make you smile.
Next time, I’m going to talk a bit about the design that has gone into one of my beaded food projects. So, until then, I’ll leave you to ponder the bead diet and diets in general…