Diet Update

Last month, I wrote about my experimentation with the Elimination Diet. I reintroduced wheat in late May with negative effects (terrible acne) and have once again eliminated wheat and gluten from my diet. I'm mostly grain-free, once in a while eating some corn pasta or using a little gluten-free flour mixture when I'm making something, but for the most part, grains are out and meat is in. Yep, I'm eating chicken, fish and meat on a fairly regular basis, although still mostly cooking vegetarian at home. I lost about 5 pounds or so while on the Elimination Diet, and really, I would not want to lose any more, having already lost 15-20 pounds over the course of the year. My biggest reason for introducing meat was to stop any further weight loss. I'm eating dairy right now, but I have a feeling that some of that disagrees with me as well. I'll probably cut out certain inflammatory dairy foods. I've read some interesting things about the pasteurization process being problematic for some people, so I might try sticking with raw milk and cheese for a while and see what happens there. The biggest thing I've noticed is without grains, my blood sugar doesn't seem to swoop and dive as it once did. I've lost the intense craving for baked goods and alcohol. I also tend to reach for healthier snacks in general...carrots with hummus, raw almonds, green smoothies, etc. My skin is clearing up, and I have more energy.

 Doing the elimination diet was not as hard as one would think. I didn't make it through a full two days of green smoothies, but I learned my lesson that you need to make a LOT of green smoothies and pretty much drink them all day. Or plan it around some kind of retreat weekend, instead of the algebra-teaching-toddler-chasing daily grind. The phase 1 was actually kind of nice because it was so limiting that you eat pretty much the same things for a week or two and are not tempted by junk food. I lost patience with the phase 2 and 3, and didn't really take advantage of the opportunity to isolate more foods that I may have trouble with. At some point in the future, I will do this again and look at tree nuts, peanuts, and soy more closely. I'm lucky to live across the street from the East End Food Co-op, where foods are clearly labeled with ingredients and origin. 

When I began suffering from mystery-gastrointestinal-auto-immune-disease last year, I did not find many answers from conventional medicine. I had a colonoscopy, endoscopy, CT scan, ultrasound of my entire abdomen and many, many blood panels. They found nothing, called it IBS and gave me Omeprazole (prilosec), Prochlorperazine (compazine) and Dicylcomine (an anti-spasmodic). My doctor could not give me a definitive diet to follow, foods to avoid, or even a method for figuring out what, if any, foods were irritating to me. I have to admit that I'm a bad patient, because I never took any of the pills. Instead, I started a regime of acupuncture and Mayan abdominal massage, as well as tinkering with my diet in the most methodical way I could.

 You can read about the plan I followed here I'm definitely not offering medical advice, but you know if you take any of the drugs I mentioned above, the side effects are nothing short of frightening, so you might want to consider alternative options. I'd be happy to answer more specific questions about this journey. It's definitely not over, but I feel like I'm on the right path.

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