What and how you eat
    The Food Pyramid
    Counting calories: a key to diet literacy
    Your activity level
    The best form of exercise
    Chart your weight
    Sustainable agriculture
    Medical condition
    On hunger
    On eating out
    On cooking
    On addiction
    Food as love
    Spiritual Vegetarianism
    On temptation and resolve
    Six months report
    Dieting as meditation
 Grapevine Revisited
 Christmas Letter

This website is now published on my mobileme account. Any opinions expressed, however, are totally my responsibility.

The original website was published through the courtesy of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

Jim Andris, Sept. 17, 2003.

Medical Condition

This reflection on my own personal experience is intended to point out the obvious: your medical condition affects your diet, and your diet affects your medical condition.

Perhaps an even more important point is that given the will and proper methods to change to a more healthy diet, this approach may well be the most powerful healing tool you have available. At the same time, you must proceed with reason, caution and good medical advice, every step of the way. In my own life, I have a history of zealously using a new approach to health and diet and then finding that my body could not keep up with the pace I had set for it, and became injured or ill.

Consider these more or less established facts:

  1. A high percentage of diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease is caused or aggravated by overweight tending to obesity.
  2. There is a clear link between some forms of cancer and environmental and food contaminants.
  3. Walking just 30 minutes a day three times a week has been also been shown to lower the need for insulin in diabetics, to lower blood pressure, and to improve cardiovascular fitness.
  4. Overweight tending to obesity reduces life expectancy by years and years.
  5. Sedentary lifestyle reduces considerably the probability of surviving a first heart attack.

If these facts don't make you want to loose weight and exercise, nothing will. But let me tell you about some other health problems I have solved through diet.


I have had gout since I was in my early twenties. Uric acid deposits out in your joints, and can be excruciating if left untreated. It is still a very misunderstood disease. We don't kid diabetics about their sugar consumption, but I can assure you, we kid people with gout about their "rich and excessive lifestyle." Over the forty-five years I have lived with and treated my gout (assisted by varous physicians), I have discovered the following helpful dietary practices.

  1. Maintain an intake of six to eight glasses of water a day.
  2. Approximate a vegetarian diet. Occasional meat or fish is ok, but no more than 4 oz. at a sitting, probably once a day.
  3. Don't consume alcohol excessively (maximum 2-4 drinks per week), and basically avoid beer.
  4. Don't stress your body out beyond normal exercise.
  5. Get a good night's rest.
  6. You can expect a gout attack if a chronic irritating illness remains with you more than several days.
  7. And lately, I have concluded, avoid overweight.

As you can see, this is no recipe for sainthood, but you won't score any points with your bingeing friends. They'll see you as an old stick-in-the-mud.

And occasionally I still get out of balance and then I have to go to the doctor and get various forms of medication to get me back in balance.