Sunday, May 25, 2014

Part 5 of 7 Identifying non-food triggers in emotional eating - Illness

Part 5 of 7 non-food triggers in emotional eating - Illness
The first part of the series links are below.

Part 4:  Identifying non-food emotional eating- Anger 
Part 3: Identifying non food emotional eating- Avoidance: decisions, problems, & dreaded discussions
Part 2: Identifying non-food emotional eating- Stress
Part 1 :  Identifying non-food emotional eating triggers: Being Tired.
I can feel myself getting triggered by my emotional eating when I am sick with either a cold, virus, or just plain old stomach flu.  ** Please note, I'm not taking major illnesses here like cancer treatments, etc- that's a whole different category ***
The great news:  I rarely get sick anymore! 
The new normal: 
  • Maybe 1 cold virus a year compared to 1-4. Duration is much shorter
  • Maybe 1 day of nausea a year. GI virus. Doesn't last long
  • Maybe 1 ear infection every other year. Happens. I used to get either a sinus or ear infection after EVERY cold. A big change!
The reality: When I do get sick, I can crave carbs, big time. Saltines, chicken noodle soup, Coke (gasp!) toast, juice. All my old stand-by's for food during illness.  Those old neuro pathways run super deep. Wheat and sugar trigger my emotional/binge eating like nothing else.  Trust me, my body "does not need" saltines and grape juice or coke to feel better. It's my disease showing up to hook me back into the cycle. 
 If I have binge urges during illness, I stop and call BS on that. I call it quick and without regrets "Oh, that's the old coping methods coming back to hook me back into illness. NOPE! "
I have no doubt that Sugar and Grains kept me sick and my immune system not working well for years.  There's no way in blazes I'm going back to that hellish nightmare. Here's another example of why being tough, not moderate is a good strategy for me.
Being sick is no excuse for me to not eat well. My fastest path to feeling well again is to eat low-inflammatory foods within my food template, sleep, and see the doc when needed. Antibiotics for infections. Repopulate my gut with good bacteria and get recovered fast.
100% coconut water, homemade chicken broth with onions

What works now:
1. Eating a low-inflammatory food template... yes, Paleo-ish is my best defense. I get sick less often
2. Modifying the food template when I do get sick, but sticking within it. Think
  • Bone broth (aka chicken broth)- homemade, diluted organic chicken stock from Costco. I keep frozen bone broth on hand, and a box or two of the Costco Organic Chicken stock, also.
  • Coconut water for an upset stomach
  • Light soups and stews- think chicken with veggies in the crockpot
  • Ginger tea
  • Internet searches for other ideas: what sounds good will pop up immediately. 
3. Sleep as much as possible
4. See the doctor sooner rather than later if I know I've got an infection.
5. Being really critical of over the counter meds. Some meds are high carb, high sugar, etc. I'll try a lot of natural remedies now. Cheaper, too!
What did not work in the past:
1. Eating the SAD diet. The Standard American Diet (low fat, higher carbs, sugars, grains) was not a good match for my immune system. Eating this way caused me to be sick much more often.
2. Eating my emotional / binge foods while sick.
3. Not sleeping well or prioritizing sleep
4. Waiting to go to the doctor and not putting myself first and making it a priority.
5. Using cough drops and other medicines that were higher carb/sugar and artificial junk.
 Okay, if you have other ways you take care of yourself that helps you keep the train on the tracks: feel free to comment!


  1. 100% agree self perpetuating cycles in past for me too.

    Many things I thought were illnesses were actually secondary conditions (migraines, GI, female issues, etc).

    Most of those were being caused by what I ate.

    I got myself in very bad pain loops which I then "fed" and they continued looping.

    This was a HUGE factor in my obesity.

    Good post, good series.

  2. Thanks, Vickie! I'm certain I was sick due to what I was eating many times in the past. What a tough cycle to be stuck in... ugh! Those loops. Thanks for stopping by the blog.