August 26, 2016

Losing To Win


As an individual of Italian descent, pasta and bread were dietary staples with strong emotional attachments. The aromas of my mother’s Sunday “gravy” simmering (we call “sauce” “gravy”),coupled with the scents of the fresh bread my father picked up from our local bakery, still conjure strong emotional responses from me. Imagine my shock and horror when my immunologist informed me to give up white flour and white bread! Are you kidding me?!?! This must be some kind of cruel attempt at humor in his part. Sadly, as I soon learned, not only was it not a joke, he was right. It was not easy, and my mother couldn’t understand why I was eating only the meatballs without pasta and not “dunking” the crispy Italian bread into the gravy. Gone were morning cereals and bagels. Eggs were the norm. No more sandwiches- salads were in. Not only did I begin to feel better physically, but after a month, my blood work showed improvement. I was still fatigued, but not as fatigued. My spleen still throbbed. I was by no means ready to run a marathon, but I saw glimpses of hope. Some 16 years later, my husband and I still adhere to a SMART CARB diet: low glycemic foods and whole grains . Through the years, dietary choices have increased at the market. There are low carb breads and cereals. And while we do not eat white pasta, we thoroughly enjoy Dreamfields pasta with our Sunday gravy! Mom is thrilled!!

This is not to say, I do not cheat. I know my parameters. If we are at an Italian restaurant, and I can not resist the bread, I drizzle it with olive oil as the good fats in the olive oil slow down the absorption of carbohydrates. However, I am still my own worst enemy at times. For example, last Friday my husband and I indulged in pizza. My parameters are 2 slices. I had 4. The next day, I had a food hangover. My head was fuzzy, my elbows hurt, and I felt spacey. I immediately went for an Atkins shake and bar, took a walk, and told myself this too shall pass. And it did.

By giving up white flour, I slowly gained my health back and am stronger than ever.



  1. Cara Misiurski, Ph.D. says:

    Again, great post. I love that each post covers a completely different topic. I also was raised in an Italian family who ate some sort of pasta every single day. When I think back to that I am thankful to my parents because now I would do anything not to eat pasta!!! LOL