I'm on day 21ish of the elimination diet. I am losing enthusiasm for the slow pace of reintroducing foods, so I sort of reintroduced all of phase 3 at once, having experienced no symptoms with phase 2. At this point, I'm definitely going to hang on and stay off dairy, most grains, gluten, eggs, peanuts, caffeine, and refined sugar until I hit about 5 or 6 weeks, and then slowly reintroduce these in three day cycles.

The biggest challenge has been eating enough, and finding high caloric food that satisfies me. I even ate some lamb yesterday to satisfy that craving. I don't own a scale, but I've noticeably slimmed down, losing all the baby weight, and then all the late-twenties beer weight, and now I look a bit like I did when I tried to be vegan while living in the Georgia Tech dorms and subsisted on a very limited diet of huge mounds of salad, chickpeas and french fries, which in Georgia are the only things not cooked with ham.

Hungry. So. Very. Hungry.

M took Laurel to the baseball game, so I went grocery shopping in an uncharacteristically quiet and pensive manner and thought about Michael Pollan...in his book In Defense of Food, he advises to "eat food, not too much, mostly plants"  - which makes a lot of sense to me, except we mostly already do that. I have amaranth in my shopping basket, for goodness sakes. My daughter can identify vegetables like radishes and kale and ginger. Even at the Co-op, we're still "perimeter shoppers" . I don't usually spend a lot of time reading ingredients because our food doesn't have them. They just are ingredients.

And I still got sick.

I've been amazed downright hostile about how my gastroenterologist didn't give me very clear guidelines regarding diet. Your digestive tract digests food, right? So food would have to be a factor! But following the elimination diet has taught me that because I don't have diabetes or heart disease or high cholesterol or high blood pressure or a weight problem, I have historically not thought much about what I put into my body. I mostly ate plants, but I also didn't think twice about a donut here and there, or a latte on the way home from work to give me an afternoon boost. People bring leftover cake to work. I don't have time to make breakfast, so I grab an egg sandwich on the way. It all kind of adds up when you aren't really thinking about it. And food was feeding a lot of emotional cravings, as well as physical ones. It's a nice exercise in mindfulness to be forced to seek non-food comfort practices.

Last week, I didn't get enough sleep. I've tried to improve my sleep habits, since a year and a half of severe and chronic sleep deprivation (fussy infant + working mom = sleep disaster) really took its toll on me. However, in staying up a little too late for 3 nights in a row reminded me that even a "perfect" diet, will not be effective if I don't get enough rest.

My birthday is coming up in a few weeks and I'm declaring that 33 will be the year I get enough sleep every night. Whatever else happens with this diet, whatever I decide to eat or not eat, my next experiment is to see what happens when I actually sleep when tired, instead of always powering through.

1 comment:

eatthecookie said...

hang in there, it is worth your health! i'm glad you included a little meat for protein, how did it settle with you? after a few days of eating meat, i realized that it was the easiest thing for my body to digest. -but that's a really personal choice, too.