“Nothing tastes better than skinny feels.” -Kate Moss
Everything does. Chocolate cake tastes better than skinny feels. Ribs taste better than skinny feels. Two boxes of Cheez-It’s in one sitting taste better than skinny feels.
This is the blog post that I have been dreading for months since my diagnosis of Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD). That’s right, my diseases have progressed to the point where I have to….
Yes, the time has come. I have read a lot of research about how people feel practically cured of their autoimmune disease symptoms after cutting out the bad foods. It is time to say goodbye to my beloveds: sugar, processed foods, sugar, an excess of carbs, and sugar.
There is no greater love than the one I share with cake. Except for the love that I share with cupcakes. Because who wouldn’t love their favorite food, just molded into tinier versions with perfect proportions of cake fluff to frosting. However, my love is unrequited. These foods are destroying my body.
The craziest foods that you would never expect are stocked with sugar, which is the poor health culprit. Coleslaw (damn mayonnaise), white bread (they cram 3 GRAMS of sugar into a slice of processed white bread), canned tomato sauce, yogurt. The list goes on. Just flip around bottles, cans, and boxes of food in your fridge to read the ingredients on the back. If sugar is listed as one of the first few ingredients, then there is a problem (WHY IS THERE SO MUCH SUGAR IN BAKED BEANS).
A common question asked is “But I’m thin! And I rarely drink! How do I have fatty liver disease?!” Lean Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease. It’s a thing. Look it up. It’s for those of us who are fit weight-wise, do not and have not abused alcohol, but also may indulge in a less-than-perfect diet. It’s hard to blame ourselves, given the ingredients that are allowed to taint our everyday foods. But for us with a diagnosis, we have to be so much more careful about what we ingest, and how often.
You may have discovered fatty liver disease from a biopsy, alerted to you by elevated liver enzymes. That was my story. I started having destruction of my liver because of the toxins and chemicals I was unknowingly ingesting in my favorite foods. Luckily for me, my fatty liver had caused damage that was reversible if I took my diet seriously. Months later, my liver enzymes all came back normal and I didn’t feel the characteristic liver ache that so many of us know too well. I will notice that if I eat lots of sweets in a few days, that ache will return and I just know that my liver enzymes are elevated.
Ready for some crazy statistics? Here is an excerpt from an article written by Dr. Alan Christianson and found on Integrative Health’s website (the link to the amazingly informative article is at the end of this blog post- check it out). “When researchers examined 70 such biopsies from healthy relatives hoping to donate liver tissue to a loved one who needed a liver transplant, they found 38.5% of the healthy relatives had fatty liver disease. Another study found that elderly individuals who were hospitalized for non-liver causes had a 46% chance of having fatty liver disease. If that’s not enough, the rates of fatty liver in obese populations may be as high as 90%.”
The best part of having fatty liver disease, though, is the ability to have control over it. We can actually manage this disease with sheer willpower and commitment to betting our lifestyles. For me, though, eliminating sugar from my diet was truly a nightmare. Because I relied on it psychologically. Bad day? I need a cookie to pick me up. Good day? I deserve an ice cream cone to celebrate! I used my bad foods as an excuse to cure an emotional need. Ironic, isn’t it, that I developed a physical illness from that coping mechanism. I utilized these harmful foods to make me feel better emotionally, but I was literally destroying a perfectly good organ in the process.
If you struggle with Lean Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease, I implore you to examine your diet and why it is so. When you go to eat foods that you know are harmful to your healing and prolonged improved health, ask yourself, “why am I eating this?” Are you hungry and this is the only food that exists on the planet? Or are you sad, anxious, bored? Don’t let your emotional mind erode your physical body. When you put down that snack loaded with sugar, take a moment to praise yourself. These destructive foods aren’t helping us, or making us feel better. They are destroying us. Stay strong, and stay true to bettering yourself both physically and emotionally. And pray daily for Betty Crocker to create a sugar-free chocolate cake recipe that actually tastes good.
Want more information & some tips to manage and even reverse fatty liver disease? Check out this awesome and informative article: https://www.integrativehealthcare.com/fatty-liver-disease/