When you’ve been seeing patients as long as I have, you hear it all. Really, try and shock me, I dare ya. And when it comes to food, there are certain things that I know almost everyone will freak about.
It goes like this.
Patient: Hmmm… so this is the plan, huh, doc?
Me: Yup, that’s the plan that will get those numbers back to normal and the inflammation out of your body.
Patient: Well, is there an Italian version?
Me: (Thought bubble…. Ha ha, funny. But why isn’t he smiling? And why is he just staring at me?)
Patient, after a long pause: You see, Doc, I’m Italian, and this program is just not going to fly. I mean, no pizza…?
Me: No, not “no” pizza. No pizza right now. Say not now. Not never. We have to get the pro-inflammatory foods out of your diet, the anti-inflammatory foods in.
Patient: So, pizza just once a week then…?
By the way, this was an actual conversation with the nicest man. But his bio-markers were not good. He had elevated blood sugar, high cholesterol, and hidden inflammation. He needed to make changes or he’d be heading for disaster.
However, I could totally understand where he was coming from. While I’m all about clean eating, I also know that there’s cultural nutrition to consider. Certain cultures are hardwired for certain foods, so there’s a major emotional component to eating. I know I have the fondest memories of Sundays at my Grandma’s, where she’d roll up homemade cavatelli until her hands swelled, and we’d bathe her pasta in the most beautiful sauce (called “gravy”), which is probably why pasta will be my favorite food until I die.
Remember, when you’re cleaning up your diet, there are two very important principles to understand.
- Say NOT NOW… not “I can NEVER have that again.” When you’re presented with a food that will not serve you well at that particular time, you say to yourself… not now. It trains your brain in a different way than thinking you can never have that food again.
- There is a clean version of just about anything you are craving. Even pizza.
If it’s pizza you want, no prob. I’m presenting you with the cleanest pizza on this side of the ocean. Enjoy!
Keep thinking big and living bold!