New Year = New Beginnings and Healing
As some people might already know, I have suffered from a chronic illness for the last 6 years. The symptoms that arise from this condition can severely limit my day to day activities. I have tried many many different things to heal, including traditional medical treatments and alternative modalities of healing, but there are still one or two untested dietary regimes that could possibly help with my SIBO.
Along with the SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth), I have also been diagnosed with NAFLD (none alcohol related fatty liver disease) which is a condition that has caused scaring on my liver and manifests in me as an inability to process toxins in the way a healthy liver would. For example, hangovers come a day late for me as I am basically still drunk all of the following day. The hangover will last for 3-4 days, and for all intent and purposes, leave me unable to function for days. So giving up alcohol is high on my list of resolutions.
My New Year Resolutions
- Give up alcohol completely - this one is a no brainer. I really shouldn't have been drinking at all over the last few years after this diagnosis of NAFLD but life sometimes brings stresses that cause us to make bad decisions. Part of this resolution ties in with another I will be making about being more mindful, and regimented, in making the right choices for my health.
- Trial the ketogenic diet - this is one of the few diets I haven't tried in relation to trying to heal my SIBO. The Keto diet follows a plan of reducing carbohydrate intake to a very low level while focusing on eating lean protein and healthy fats. This process puts the body into a state of ketosis, as state where the body switches to burning stored fats as the main source of energy. Let me clarify one thing though, I am not doing this diet to lose weight! Although weight loss might be a happy side effect, I am doing this diet to see if it helps with my daily symptoms of extreme fatigue, brain fog and nausea. Many people report an improvement in cognitive function and improvements to certain debilitating conditions after following the Keto diet for a period of time. This is my hope, that after a few months of a ketogenic diet I will see some major improvements in my symptoms and can think about experimenting with fermented foods to try and address the imbalance of good/bad bacteria in my gut.
- Give up sugar and coffee - both caffeine and sugar can be major contributors to inflammation in the body. One of my symptoms from the SIBO is extreme abdominal bloating - seriously, my stomach blows up to the size of a basketball after eating while the rest of me remains normal - so I'm hoping that cutting caffeine and sugar may help.
- Intelligent supplement regime - I will be taking milk thistle (helps heal the liver) in combination with vitamin E which increases it's efficacy. I am also going to keep up a practice of taking ginger before bed to help stimulate the MMC (migrating motor complex) that keeps food moving through the digestive system.
- Daily Yoga, mindfulness and meditation - stress is one of the biggest contributors to diseases like SIBO where the gut/brain connection has malfunctioned. There are many studies out there about this phenomenon, and what many people don't know is that the walls of the small intestine are made up of the same type of cells as the brain. Your gut is literally like your second brain, although it is concerned more in the management of the motor actions of the body than conceptualization and thought. This intention to limit the influence of stress in my life through meditation, will be part of a holistic effort to limit or remove the various factors that are perpetuating my condition.
- Exercise 3 times/week - suffering with chronic fatigue can severely limit you but I am fairly confident I could manage this goal. Some people may scoff at all this and say 'you could exercise daily if you pushed yourself too.' Wrong! I have trained for, and run an Olympic length triathlon in the past. 9 years ago I was three stone lighter, worked two jobs and completed the Liverpool triathlon after just 6 months of training having never even run a 10 k in my life. I know exactly what it takes to train every day and I'm far from that level of fitness. This resolution is meant to compliment the others in encouraging my body to heal, it is the one resolution that if I can't hit the required 3/week target I won't worry too much. As long as I'm focused on trying to achieve my exercise targets, and am actively striving for them, I will be happy.
- My final, and perhaps most important, resolution is to finish the first draft of my novel. As I (hopefully) see improvements in my symptoms from the dietary changes and exercise regime, I really want to crack on and produce a manuscript for submission to publishing houses and literary agents. The novel I have been working on is the first in a fantasy trilogy and I have completed most of the sub-creation and 20,000 words of the planned 80,000 for a complete paperback novel.
My Plans for Steem
To be honest, shifting my writing focus to finishing the novel will mean less time for writing lengthy articles and blogs on steem. However, I want to keep creating valuable contentand contributing to steem daily.
Inspired by the article I wrote yesterday called Poetry 101 - Haiku Vs Senryu - The Aesthetics of Form thought I might do another Month of Haiku to add to the library of quality poetry that many great poets have produced on steem.
I've also been considering sharing videos of a recent 21 day abundance meditation course I undertook with the @naturalmedicine community using Dtube or 3Speak. Apart from those ideas I don't really have anything set in stone content-wise, apart from to continue to buck the trend of steem related content, and continue to deliver creative posts with a more artistic focus.
So... please wish me luck with the resolutions, and Happy New Year Steemians ✨