THE BUTTERFLY DIET & COOKBOOK
There is a Hidden Pandemic throughout the world of autoimmune diseases, such as Hashimoto’s Disease, Diabetes and Arthritis; degenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, and Multiple Sclerosis; cardiovascular diseases, such as Myocardial Infarction (heart attack) and Stroke; psychiatric disorders, such as Depression, Bipolar Disorder and Schizophrenia; and a host of other diseases and disorders such as, Autism, Obesity and Cancer; yet, I am living proof that it all can be prevented and beaten!
The following is an excerpt from my soon-to-be published book.
More than 700 million people around the world are now affected by an autoimmune disease, yet conventional medicine typically has little to offer in terms of treatment, Chris Kresser, M.S., L.Ac., Co-founder and President of the California Center for Functional Medicine.
In conventional medicine, the main focus is on managing the symptoms of the particular autoimmune disease because the belief is that it cannot be reversed. The first route would be to see your family doctor who then refers you to a specialist who focuses on the organ system that is being affected, for example, a dermatologist for Eczema; an endocrinologist for Hashimoto’s Disease; and a rheumatologist for Rheumatoid Arthritis, which is what happened to me. And because I have multiple autoimmune diseases, as many people do, I saw these different specialists, and each of whom prescribed a different medication. One of the main medications prescribed is for pain, and the pain medication that was ordered for me was Naproxen. However, managing the symptoms with these different medications did help to some degree by reducing some of the symptoms; but, the medications were not curing my autoimmune diseases, and neither were the medications preventing me from developing another autoimmune disease, or preventing me from a recurrence of cancer. And to make matters worse, these medications can cause many alarming side effects.
Currently there are no medical treatments available to prevent or cure autoimmune diseases, but it is my belief that there are lifestyle factors that can influence how these diseases develop, and therefore, provide hope by reversing the disease progression for those with these autoimmune diseases and other diseases, such as cancer.
I was tired of feeling unhealthy and not being able to live life to the fullest. I love to travel and have done a lot of travelling over the years, for work and also for pleasure, and I want to continue. I wasn’t ready to give up and accept what life has thrown at me. And so, I took matters into my own hands. My turning point was when I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Disease and both my family doctor and surgeon told me that there was no treatment for Hashimoto’s Disease and that once I had the surgery, I wouldn’t have the disease any longer. However, much to my amazement, after the surgery I still experienced the signs and symptoms! This was very confusing at the time, and the only rationale that I could come up with was that even though I no longer had my thyroid gland, my antibodies were still high in my body.
There were two main areas of focus for me. My first focus was on research. Each day I spent hours and hours on the computer researching as much as I could about Hashimoto’s Disease. And of course, in no time I learned that it is a disease of the immune system. And it wasn’t before long, that I discovered that there are many diseases that are caused by the immune system making antibodies, and attacking other parts of the body causing autoimmune diseases. And I realized that the main issue involved is inflammation! Dr. Dan Nuzum, a naturopathic physician, says, “There are a multitude of diseases, each with its own fancy-sounding diagnosis and corresponding drug. But as a doctor, I can tell you that virtually all major health conditions stem from one primary cause: chronic systemic inflammation.”
The second main focus was on me. I wanted to understand what was happening to my own body. And the one area that seemed to play a major role was food! In no time, I began to realize that certain foods caused me harm. When eaten, these foods caused major issues for me. It was like putting poison in my body, and in fact, this was exactly what was happening!
It was like a butterfly moment! I began to link the dots and very quickly came to understand that the foods that caused me most harm contained sugar! And, I realized that sugar played a major role in producing inflammation in my body, and consequently, caused many signs and symptoms. It was then that I had a huge awakening and understanding that autoimmune diseases are linked to inflammation, and that it was the sugar that caused me to have Hashimoto’s Disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and Eczema! I also truly believe that sugar played a major role with my thyroid gland developing Cancer. It was therefore, very important for me to watch my intake of sugar in foods and drinks, and consequently, to reduce or eliminate the inflammation in my body, and to slow down or stop the signs and symptoms of these autoimmune diseases, and if possible, to reverse them completely! I now had to make sure that I didn’t eat any more foods that caused inflammation. And so, the Butterfly Diet is born!
The first phase of the Butterfly Diet was taking place. I had to concentrate on the foods that gave me warning signs, and so, the Elimination Healing Phase was developed.
Next, I needed to detox my body, and detox I did. Needless to say, I was prepared for the possibility of having to endure withdrawal symptoms. And the withdrawal symptoms did show their ugly heads, but I felt good about it all, because I knew that these were excellent signs! It meant that the toxins were leaving my body! And so, the second phase of the Butterfly Diet was born, the Cleansing Healing Phase.
Because there are so many different foods containg sugar, I knew I had to come up with a plan for taking back some of the foods to see how well my body would tolerate them. And therefore, learning to pay attention to the signs and symptoms of my body, and recognizing what foods triggered my flare-ups were of utmost importance. And so, the Reintroduction Healing Phase of the Butterfly Diet was established. During this phase of the diet I was cautious to limit certain foods that I feared would jeopardize my health.
According to Dr. Ben Johnson, an acclaimed integrative oncologist in San Diego, California, U.S.A., diet is the number one factor for good health. He believes that sugar and sugar spikes are huge causal factors for Alzheimer’s, as well as Diabetes and Cancer. A sugar spike occurs when we eat a certain substance, and it spikes the blood sugar more than 20 points, causing damage to the body. He states that blood sugar management is critical not only in his treatment of Alzheimer’s and Cancer patients, but in all of his practice. He says, “Sugar spikes cause damage everywhere, from the brain, to the pancreas, to our blood vessels, our capillaries, nerves, and sugar feeding cancer cells. Sugar spikes are one of the unhealthiest that we can do in life.” Dr. Michael Snyder, Chair of the Stanford University School of Medicine’s Genetics Department, California, U.S.A. states, “There are lots of folks running around with their glucose levels spiking, and they don’t even know it.” A study by Dr. Snyder and other researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine, reveals that blood sugar spikes are a problem because high blood sugar levels, especially when prolonged, can contribute to cardiovascular disease risk and a tendency to develop insulin resistance. He goes on to say that the amount of sugar in a person’s blood is not constant; it ebbs and flows depending on what the person has eaten that day, down to the specific kind of carbohydrate, for example, rice, breads and potatoes. Dr. Snyder conducted a sub-study in which thirty participants using the continuous glucose monitor alternated between three breakfast meals: a bowl of cornflakes with milk, a peanut butter sandwich, and a protein bar. The results were startling! After eating one or more of the meals, more than half of the group, whose prior blood sugar tests showed that they were healthy, spiked at the same levels as those of people who were pre-diabetic or diabetic. And what is more startling is that nearly every one of the participants spiked after eating the cornflakes with milk! “We saw that 80 percent of our participants spiked after eating a bowl of cornflakes and milk. Make of that what you will, but my own personal belief is it’s probably not such a great thing for everyone to be eating,” says Dr. Snyder.
Chronic inflammation has been linked to not only autoimmune diseases, but also to heart disease, depression, Alzheimer’s disease, autism and cancer! Dr. Michael Gandal, at the University of California, Los Angeles, U.S.A., states that emerging evidence indicates that levels of brain inflammation are increased in Autism Spectrum Disorders. Also, according to Michael Karin, a molecular biologist at the University of California, San Diego, U.S.A., says, “When inflammation goes on for a long time, it can stimulate the growth of cancer cells. This chronic inflammation also inhibits people’s immunity, suppressing the ability of the immune system to recognize cancer as foreign and reject it.” It is therefore extremely important to fully understand the impact that inflammation and toxicity can have on your body.
Today the Butterfly Diet is regarded as a powerful weapon against the war on all of the autoimmune diseases, degenerative diseases, cardiovascular diseases, psychiatric disorders, and a host of other diseases and disorders, including obesity, autism and cancer!
Dr. Brooke Goldner, Temple University School of Medicine, Pennsylvania, U.S.A., an internationally recognized expert in healing chronic disease with plant-based nutrition says that eliminating the most inflammatory, unhealthy foods from your diet can reverse your disease and save your life.
The Butterfly Diet is an anti-inflammatory diet which mainly consists of a low-sugar, low-sodium, low-saturated fat diet that is designed to focus on highly nutritious, healthy, anti-inflammatory foods with health benefits evident from a medical perspective. The main principle of this diet is to remove sugar and any other inflammatory foods in order to reduce or eliminate the inflammation in your body that is causing you harm. There are many different foods that can cause inflammation; however, it is my belief that it is the sugar in these foods that is the main culprit.
This diet doesn't restrict you to a daily allotment of calories and portion sizes. Although, while weight loss is not the primary intent of this diet, it’s an added bonus while curbing sugar. It is important to understand that in order to be truly successful and to reduce or eliminate your signs and symptoms regarding your disease or disorder, you must be truly committed.