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A Little Poisoning Along the Road to ME/CFS
Looking at my symptoms, many of which are far less these days and some are gone, it would be easy to figure that I'd just been dealing with some heavy-duty menopausal issues.
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ME/CFS and the Poverty Diet

Discussion in 'Phoenix Rising Articles' started by Mark, Jul 25, 2013.

  1. golden

    golden Senior Member

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    p.s. we can look fairly well , are relatively positive, i didnt smoke , drink or take drugs... needed healthful foods...

    there really isnt any meaty problem to address! Also , i will not become subservient to people. Thats an issue for people who specifically target the 'needy ' for maximum payback in desperate thanks.
     
    Jody likes this.
  2. rosie26

    rosie26 Senior Member

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    MeSci

    I don't drive, so always found it a real struggle carrying heavy things as it sets the inflammation off.

    I don't know if you have one of these but I bought one of those shopping trolleys with wheels you see the elderly ladies with, about two months ago. I bought a really nice pink/crimson one and I just love it.

    Mum said to me a couple of years ago "your too young to have one of those" (I am turning 50 this year) but having had ME and the struggles I have had carrying things, I thought "I just don't care, I am buying one" .

    And it has been fantastic, I notice people looking at me and they give me a nice smile. I feel very confident with it and I am noticing I think some more ladies my age with them. Wish I had bought one years ago. :)
     
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  3. Hope123

    Hope123 Senior Member

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    With the ME/CFS, I don't have much in the way of food restrictions and I am fortunate enough to have adequate resources to be able to buy the same things I did pre-CFS. But I do know about poverty and hunger having grown up poor on government benefits/ food banks and then later volunteering and donating to food banks.

    Where I live, the food banks have guidance on their websites and I would advise people to check them out if you are in a position to donate. Some say if you can, MONEY is better than giving them goods. That way, they can buy things like fresh fruit and veggies, food that is familiar to the people they serve (we got a lot of peanut butter growing up; as our family isn't US-originated, we had no idea what to do with it and it went to waste), and furthermore, get a bigger bank per buck by buying bulk foods than you ever can individually. Also, some food banks give out stuff like diapers and formula that people don't think about donating but that are often needed.

    And PLEASE do check them out if you need help. The places I volunteered at pre-illness: the volunteers came from all types of backgrounds (poor, rich, educated, not educated, etc.) and so did the people needing help. No one was judgmental and it's true, all types of people need help that you wouldn't expect if you just saw them on the street. This includes the elderly, students, single parents, un/ underemployed people, sick people, etc.

    For US residents, if you can get to a farmers' market, some now take the SNAP debit card.
    Put your Zip code in, select the farmer's market button, and find out which one is near you. Some websites specifically will say they take SNAP while for others, you can call to find out. If you go towards the end of the market day, there are deals to be had.
    http://www.localharvest.org/

    We're eating less meat in our household for health reasons and that definitely cuts down on grocery bills; also avoiding the middle market aisles of processed foods cuts down the bill.

    This website is no longer active but still might be useful:
    http://cheaphealthygood.blogspot.com/

    BTW, Rosie, you can tell your Mum that those "shopping carts" are used by fashionable young people/ families with kids, men, etc., not just the elderly, in San Francisco, New York, Seattle, Portland, and Los Angeles at famers markets especially when they don't want to drive and want to take say the subway instead. There are companies that make modern good looking ones with all types of designs.
     
  4. rosie26

    rosie26 Senior Member

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    Hope123

    That's great it is fashionable there.
    I try to look really "cool" with it here, the shopping trolley that is. So hope it catches on. :D x
     
  5. Little Bluestem

    Little Bluestem Senescent on the Illinois prairie, USA

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    US food banks only accept food in unbreakable packaging. I think there are two reasons for this.
    1) Packaged food does not need refrigeration, either by the food bank or the recipient.
    2) Packaged cannot be tampered with.

    I thought Jody was wanting to see more protein, fruits, and vegetables among the packaged food.

    When the local grocery store was collecting donations for the local food bank, they were collecting both food items and money for fresh food vouchers.
     
  6. Little Bluestem

    Little Bluestem Senescent on the Illinois prairie, USA

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    Some farmers' markets charge people with SNAP cards half price. This is definitely worth checking out if you have a SNAP card.
     
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  7. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

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    This was such a great original article.. thanks, it really did express how things are so well for many of us.

    "The problem with the food bank was that most of the food was processed, high carb, lots of bread, bagged noodles, boxed noodles with powdered sauces, boxes of cereal, potatoes, rice … None of which I can safely eat. "

    Ive found above to be the case too. I have severe insulin issues and nearly are a diabetic who's issues cant be controlled well with diet (my blood tests are getting worst and worst), the worst thing I could do is eat more carbs.

    The country town which Ive recently moved away from had nothing in the way of help for people needing food except to go to one of local churches and beg for help. Im not christian but twice I went to the church and did that but never did again cause it was useless.

    They'd give me a tiny little box and it was completely filled with things I couldnt use.. pasta, porriage (I can eat it due its carbs) rice, tea bags, sugar, coffee, biscuits .. with maybe two or three things in the whole lot I could eat eg 4 eggs, a can of soup, a can of carrots and peas. No meat (I dont think there was even tuna in it or spam in that food lot), no fresh veg at all. The effort I had to go to (numerous phone calls, sharing my sob story and then going to the place) for just a few eggs and a can of soup.. well wasnt worth it.

    IF I was able to get to the next town to a government agency and have a appointment and fill out a ton of paperwork on my situation (they'd go throu your bills etc), then I could 2-3 times per year get a voucher thing which allowed me to get food up to a certain amount at the supermarket in a shop. (They'd also pay some bills which in turn then you could use the money you would of had to spend on your bills to shop).

    anyway..that was the only options .. oh other then salvos could also bring one a hamper a few times. (included tuna but once again.. more then two thirds of the things I couldnt eat.

    At xmas.. the Freemasons would give me a HUGE food hamper (that one had a whole chicken and other things in theirs.. but once again, biscuits, chocolates, pop tarts and all yummy things..cause it was a xmas hamper.. Anyway, their hamper with all the things I couldnt eat.. I used to wrap those up and use them for my christmas presents to give others.. so it was very helpful to me still.. t i was so so grateful for the big chicken (i'd would arrive frozen) and the other things I could eat in their hamper i used to get once a year.

    Cause of the situation of no food bank where I lived... I grow what I could.. very simple growing things to help supplement my diet. Im still doing that now and right now have a cauliflower ready to be picked. Things like tomatoes, broad beans can be very easy to grow. If growing veg is too hard.. grow herbs like parsely and have with scrambled eggs to get some more nutrition.
    ..............

    I once went to a food bank with my sister .. and noticed that lots of food was rotten (so that experience was similar to alexs). The bread was so stale it was more like week old bread. One was better off buying the sales things at the supermarket.
     
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  8. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6

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    Brilliant - way to go! Trouble is, even permaculture requires some energy to maintain, doesn't it? I used to grow quite a lot of veg but stopped because I didn't have the time and energy to spare - I had/have to use it all trying to earn a little money. I am now growing things that are very low-maintenance, e.g. apples, blackcurrants, and trying to grow gooseberries but not much luck with fruit so far! Plus Chinese bramble but no fruit yet. There are also wild strawberries, wild raspberries, wild blackberries and wild salad leaves (e.g. cornsalad and garlic mustard) growing in the area, which I pick when I see them. All organic of course! Am going to try growing lettuce and cucumber in my new conservatory. The key thing is to be able to maintain and pick the crops without having to bend or crouch.

    Freshly-picked food is much more tasty and nutritious.
     
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  9. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6

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    Yes, I got one years ago - it's brilliant. I often see apparently able-bodied people struggling with shopping and I think - and sometimes say with a smile "You need one of these!" I think I detect a little envy in their faces...

    It's the association with age that puts people off, I think. But years ago no one had suitcases on trolleys; now it's common. Like you - I don't really care what people think as much as I did when younger. It's a case of - I need this, I want this, and I am having it and using it. :p It would be stupid not to just because people will think about you in a certain way - let them!

    If 'funky' designs were more widespread they might become the norm for people shopping on foot. Especially as bans on plastic carrier bags are being introduced.
     
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  10. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6

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    By the way, someone told me about this site that sells short-dated UK food cheap:

    http://www.approvedfood.co.uk/

    I haven't used it but it is recommended by the finance expert Martyn Lewis so is presumably OK.

    Supermarkets throw away scandalous amounts of usable food. There is a movement called Freeganism in which people scavenge from supermarket and restaurant skips and so get perfectly-good food for nothing.
     
    Jody likes this.
  11. golden

    golden Senior Member

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    I was going to mention the fine art of skipping :)

    That food site is very helpful thanks MeSci - some ok pet foods.

    Forraging can also be pleasant. There maybe a local Forraging group around too ...
     
    Jody likes this.
  12. jimells

    jimells Senior Member

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    These policies are not accidental. In the U.S. the Golden Rule is "He who has the Gold makes the Rules" and a corollary is "Work or Starve". Why would a society evolve in this direction? The short answer is, to keep us quiet and obedient. The message is quite clear that if we don't "follow all the rules" we won't have a job, and we'll end up on the street. Of course the rules change all the time, that keeps us off-balance, unsure of where the next blow will land.

    Employer-based health insurance shows how this works. A huge number of people stay in really crappy jobs just to keep the health insurance, to have access to the medical industry. If a group of workers somehow overcome mutual distrust and actually organize enough to go on strike, the first thing that happens is their health insurance is cutoff. That's pretty tough if one has a family to take care of.

    With the horrible 'Obamacare' law, companies can now penalize employees if they smoke tobacco, don't lose weight, don't hit a target for cholesterol numbers, etc. And that's just a start. No one knows where these new rules will stop. This is will shift more costs to already anxious, underpaid workers. If workers don't like the new rules, too bad, "There's a hundred people lined up outside desperate for your job and willing to work for half your rate."

    Why would a food bank require a government certification of poverty? They've bought into the idea that there are hordes of 'freeloaders' who might 'get more than they deserve'. It's too much trouble for every little food bank to screen everybody, so they let the government do it, and indirectly cede even more power to the bureaucrats, allowing them to influence who gets help even from private sector charities.

    The phony issue of 'freeloaders' is very big in the U.S. This also serves the important purpurse of keeping working people fighting amongst themselves, instead of shining a bright light on the criminal conspiracy known as 'Wall Street' and their faithful servants in Washington.

    While fighting for disability benefits I qualified for $200 a month in food stamps, and I ate pretty good despite a long list of foods to avoid. Now that I have won my disability claim, I am too wealthy to get food stamps, which effectively reduces the disability benefit by 20%. So food is a real problem now, as there are fewer and fewer foods that I can tolerate. The irony is that I can tolerate the traditional American diet of 'meat-and-potatoes', except I don't really like meat very much, I can't afford to buy more than a tiny amount, and the produce in the local stores is truly awful.

    Jody, thanks for your timely article. I listen to CBC Radio One every day. Stories like yours never make it to the airwaves. All Canadians should be ashamed. Unfortunately it's a very safe bet to say that the figurative soup lines will continue to grow as the Wall Street (and Bay Street) Thugs continue to tighten the vise.
     
    golden likes this.
  13. Jody

    Jody Senior Member

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    Hope,

    Some great information here. Thanks for posting it all. :)
     
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  14. Jody

    Jody Senior Member

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    MeSci,

    More good information.:)
     
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  15. Jody

    Jody Senior Member

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    Little Bluestem,

    I was thinking that, yes. I can see it poses some real problems in terms of perishability, etc.

    Our food bank provided fresh foods, but I reckon the size of the food bank, the amount of turnover from the number of visitors, etc. may have been instrumental in this working well.
     
  16. Jody

    Jody Senior Member

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    Jimells,

    At one time I would have disagreed with you on some of what you've said but from the vantage point of being chronic for so long, and reading the news from that perspective ... well, it changes what you see that's for sure. Things I would have dismissed before getting sick now really stand out, like the treatment of poverty and illness, especially in the U.S. but my country Canada is not above reproach in its dealings either.
     
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  17. caledonia

    caledonia

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    This is why I went with a permaculture style garden - no digging! You put compost right on the ground and plant in that. Previous to that, I used some homemade Earthbox style containers. Both are great for ME/CFS style gardening (less labor, more food).
     
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  18. Jody

    Jody Senior Member

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    Good idea.:) I am not planting much this year, a few pots and a plastic tub container hold most of it. Just fill it with potting soil and this other stuff that I can't remember the name of ... :) We have a small area that was dug up before, so just a little spading was needed there.

    It's amazing how little dirt some plants need. I had planted watermelons before I was sick one year, and I guess a seed must have fallen on a little clump of dirt outside of the garden. None of the watermelons got very big but the vine that grew from that bit of dirt on concrete was just as big as the rest, and the tiny watermelon was as big as the other. Baby watermelons are just about the sweetest thing I've ever tasted.:)
     
  19. caledonia

    caledonia

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    I'm on my first year with the permaculture, but so far, so good. Once it's set up, I haven't even had to water. I weeded one time just the other day. I need to adjust the mulch in a few spots to block these weeds, then I shouldn't need to weed at all. In the fall, all I need to do is add another layer of compost on top. There are plenty of leaves in my yard for this, so it's free.

    I got a couple of handfuls of blueberries this year, and the flavor was amazing!
     
  20. beaker

    beaker CFS/ME 1986

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    I too am on the low energy diet. I could eat better if I could fix food or had someone to do it for me. I know I am lucky to not be on the Poverty diet or worse, and am aware my circumstances could change in a flash to change that.

    I am also limited by what my body will allow me to eat. There are many "healthy" foods that I cannot digest or that cause a flare in symptoms or my IC.

    I end up eating a lot of greek yogurt, salads, lots of fresh raw fruits and veggies, and cereal(eta wholegrain ). Once in awhile I am well enough to make a big pot of soup in the crockpot, which I then freeze in portions.

    I sometimes feel very discouraged by well meaning folk who tell me ( or I read about it on me/cfids sites ) if I ate this or that it would help my overall immune system, etc... No doubt. But of course, they don't offer to cook for me either !

    I wish I had the means to feed those on the poverty diet or worse. In this day and age, it is a disgrace that it exists.
     
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