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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

McDougall conversion take 2

A while back I followed, generally, a low-fat, high-carb diet. Ornish and McDougall are doctors who have promoted this type diet for their patients and have achieved dramatic results conquering heart disease and other diseases. So I got into the habit of using water instead of oil for sauteeing, reducing fat in many ways. I was a nice weight and I had energy and most importantly my arthritis did not bother me much. But over time I let the fat back in. Not to mention other items, like white bread.

I remember several years ago when my then-tenant brought in a big bottle of olive oil and gave it to me. I wondered how long it would take me to use it up, because I simply did not use that much. Over time, though, I started using it rather lavishly, taking to heart the messages that this or that oil is "good" fat, and olive oil certainly was in that category.

Spurred on by my daughter's and son-in-law's recent attendance at a McDougall seminar, I decided to go back. Since then I have waxed and waned, given what I had to deal with (travel, for example), but now I am settling in with a fairly standard McDougall diet. I have two of his books (which include recipes) and have also looked up additional recipes online, and of course it is not difficult to convert a lot of dishes.

The good news is that I am in fact losing weight. I need to lose it to take pressure off my joints and thus stand a chance at relieving my arthritis. The bad news is that the pain persists. Right now I am suffering from hip pain that extends down my leg and often into my right foot as well. Walking has become painful much of the time, and the pain is sometimes not relieved all day long. In spite of eating quite healthily I still hurt.

So now I am considering doing an elimination diet for one week. This diet removes all likely allergens - for that may be what is going on - and if a food is a culprit in the inflammation this diet should show it up. After a week I should notice significant pain reduction.

It will be a challenge but the good part - the second good part - is that with McDougall plans there is no calorie counting, no portion control. I can eat when I want as much as I want. The food as a rule is filling but low-fat and generally low-calorie as well.

There are some things I have on hand that need to be eaten up so I may not achieve the full elimination diet the first day.

Have a look at the McDougall newsletter that explains this diet and lists the foods in it.

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