Today has been tough digestively. I suffer from Gastroparesis, (GP) delayed gastric emptying. It’s an odd disease, seemingly going into remission for long stretches of time only to return with a vengeance. It means many of the foods I love are off-limits – salad, raw apples, bananas, steak, celery, (oh I miss celery), fresh green onions, cucumbers, I love cucumbers! So . . . in a bad flare, I drink Ensure, Boost, lowfat chocolate milk, and I eat string cheese and ice cream!
Most of my flares usually only last a couple of months but this current one has lasted almost a year. So I’ve had to rethink my health, my eating habits, and how I approach daily life with an illness that affects my energy levels, that makes it hard to stay hydrated, leaves me dizzy, gives me chest pain, makes my heart race. (Did you know there’s a connection or correlation between GP, acid reflux, and heart palpitations?)
It’s funny when I hear about people using fasting to diet. I’m forced to fast – to only eat small amounts each time I eat and to eat nothing after 4:30 p.m. It’s not to diet, it is my DIET, if that makes sense. Two totally different things.
A few months ago I remembered that my grandfather – an herbalist who used the plants and herbs he found in the forested hillsides around his home for healing – suffered from digestive issues. Every morning he drank a concoction made from roots and plants called “bitters” . . . his contained alcohol, a little of the moonshine my father made and sold each fall – but when I looked it up online, I saw it’s available with and without. I was excited to find a company that sells it, both ways, and I placed an order. Now each morning I start my day with a dose of bitters.
I also discovered that pickle juice helps nausea and dyspepsia. I now eat a dill pickle pop each night for my dinner or I drink a small amount of pickle juice. I love the taste and wish I could actually eat pickles, but they’re a no-no so I make do with the juice.
My day begins with the bitter, and at the end of the day, the sour!