Embracing My Dietary Lifestyle Change
Last updated: August 2023
I realize that the food I consume significantly impacts my overall well-being and seizure control. A while back, I cut out added sugar. But during my pregnancy, sugar and I became friends again. Although I still watch my sugar intake, I don't focus on it as much as I used to.
Currently, I have a health coach through the Rally app, and we discuss various dietary approaches. After careful review, we found that I consumed too much sodium and dairy at times. Therefore, lower sodium and low dairy consumption need to become a habit, along with being gluten-free due to an allergy. These are the best fit for my needs. I'm excited to share how these adjustments to my diet have positively impacted my health.
Have you tried any of the below diets as part of your epilepsy management/treatment?
Disclaimer: The information shared here is not medical advice but rather the result of research and communication between my health coach and myself. Always consult with your healthcare provider for customized information.
What I learned about each dietary change
The recommended daily sodium intake ranges from 500mg to 2,000mg. As I examined my diet, I discovered that some days I unwittingly consumed up to 3,200mg of sodium. Frozen meals alone contain around 600mg of sodium, while a packet of Liquid I.V. contains 500mg. Just these 2 items already surpass half of my daily sodium allowance.1
If I indulged in chips or cashews (1 of my greatest loves), my sodium levels would continue to rise. Canned foods, another culprit, led to difficult choices like giving up my beloved canned corn.
Adhering to the recommended 3 cups of dairy per day is important for my overall well-being. However, it meant monitoring my sour cream consumption on tacos with care. A "dollop of Daisy" has become my guiding principle – just 1 scoop to cover 3 tacos. Adjusting to this change is taking time, but I'm grateful that vegan food options have improved.
Vegan cheese, like Cheo, is quite enjoyable, and Earth Balance provides a delicious butter alternative. Thankfully, almond milk and dairy-free coffee creamers satisfy my coffee cravings, even after a sleepless night with my newborn.
Living with a gluten allergy has been challenging. For years, I tried to ignore it due to my love of bread, but the side effects became impossible to ignore. Facing the reality of my allergy is still difficult. Here I am years after adjusting my diet, still reluctantly ignoring my love for croissants and sourdough bread.
Embracing my lifestyle change
Beginning this journey with a health coach has been life-changing. And the Rally health app has become a game changer in managing my epilepsy and maintaining my specialized diet. The app is a benefit offered through my husband's company health program, and I'm grateful for the support it provides.
With the app, I have access to a wealth of resources tailored to my needs. It allows me to set personalized health goals alongside my health coach, track my progress, and stay motivated in adhering to my gluten-free, low-sodium, and low-dairy lifestyle. Healthy recipes, meal planning tips, and grocery lists that align with my dietary restrictions are also available. And a community forum connects me with others on similar journeys, offering a supportive environment.
Staying consistent with epilepsy
One of the app's most helpful features is its reminders and notifications, ensuring I stay consistent with my dietary and medical routines, from epilepsy medication schedules to mealtimes and water intake. Looking at the my personalized insights and analytics empower me to make informed decisions about my health and having a personal health coach by my side is invaluable.
Feeling in charge of my health management
Since adopting my specialized diet, my life has transformed remarkably. I feel more in control of my health and empowered to take charge of my epilepsy management. My goal is to remain seizure-free, and with the help of my medication and dietary choices, I'm confident in my ability to achieve it.
I encourage anyone living with epilepsy or other health challenges to explore the potential benefits of specialized diets with their healthcare provider and consider using health apps to support their journey.
A true lifestyle change
For me, this is not a fad but a lifestyle change. I am living with epilepsy, and along with medication I want to nourish my body and mind, celebrate new beginnings, and continue my journey to seizure freedom with wellness and determination.
Always remember, you are not alone.
Since being diagnosed with epilepsy, has your memory been impacted?