Elimination Diet: Days 1 & 2

20130908-154651.jpgAbout two months ago, I started really looking into my diet and seeing what I could do to minimize some chronic health issues. This all was soon before I was leaving for England for six weeks, so it was mostly experimentation with some new recipes and tracking GI activity, mood swings, and energy levels. Through this trial dietary change, I discovered that I’m quite likely fructose intolerant and have a significant intolerance to onions. Those were the most glaringly obvious ones, but I know there are more. However, there were too many variables without going on a proper elimination diet. After reading some horror stories of gluten, sugar, and dairy withdrawals, I decided to wait until after my trip to the UK to do one properly.

I told myself not to worry, as I’d be walking so much in London I wouldn’t put on any weight. For the first two weeks, I stuck more or less to my new reduced-gluten/dairy/sugar diet and ate a lot of whole, fresh foods. Then I went to Ireland and spent a week with family, attended a wedding, and ate a lot of PB&J, fresh carrots, and sweet potatoes. I had such a lovely time with my sister and her family not worrying about food, I vowed to lose my anxiety around caloric intake for good. Well, I paid for that, even with all the walking. Upon returning to London, I put away my food diary and calorie counting app and just ate when I was hungry. Sometimes yummy things like Cornish pastys and vegetarian bangers and mash, others even yummier things like muesli (totally addicted, btw) and stuffed zucchini. Overall, except for the chips here and here (how can you visit England without indulging in chips!) and a half pint of Guinness here and there (how can you visit Ireland without indulging in Guinness!), my diet was still quite healthy. The difference was in the amounts, I’m afraid. Without counting calories, not to mention my inability to comprehend how much 100mg was, I stopped with portion control.

After four weeks of not counting calories, even with walking or cycling between 4-10 miles a day, I knew I had put on weight. To my horror upon my arrival home Thursday night, I saw that I had put on TEN POUNDS! And to think two months ago I was freaking out over three.

Not okay.

Strangely, I’m not terribly upset about it. I know it will come back off as I get settled and move through this proper elimination diet. In fact, just after the first day, I was already down five of those ten, likely water weight and other GI issues from the antibiotics I briefly took after my emergency root canal. I keep reminding myself I did what was necessary to survive in a foreign country alone. Pass the muesli please!

OMG, I sure do miss muesli.

I’m on day two of The Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen’s 28-DayElimination Diet, which means I’m still in green smoothie fast mode. The book, The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook, which includes the complete 28-day Elimination Diet is on its way from Amazon,and I’ll have that by Tuesday with more information. As of now, I’m following their website for guidance. I’ve had nothing but green smoothies for about 48 hours, and I feel pretty good. After having a smoothie with an apple and pear in it, I confirmed my suspicion of fructose intolerance. Throughout my life, whenever I have an apple or a pear I feel inexplicably tired soon thereafter, and often hungrier than before I ate it. The same happens in the green smoothies containing these high-fructose fruits. As I don’t have the book yet, I’m not really clear at how much of these smoothies I’m supposed to have, but since I’m also dealing with jet lag, I’ve decided to have them as often as I’m hungry.

I’m feeling rather good so far, although I’m anticipating some withdrawal symptoms from wheat and sugar, especially, over the coming weeks. Things are moving through my body again. I feel happier than usual, but sometimes tired in the middle of the day still tired. I’m listening to my body and relaxing or napping as needed. Mental clarity and the ability to focus comes and goes, so I’m still finding it difficult to read. I am looking forward to eating some solid food again tomorrow. I think I’ll start the day with some roasted sweet potato along with another green smoothie to break the fast, then perhaps Spiced Pumpkin Soup for lunch after some Blueberry Syrup with Rice and Quinoa for a midmorning snack.

I had my final mocha Friday morning, and I won’t be having another until the challenge phase in four weeks (EEEEK!!!). Still not quite sure how I’ll survive that long without my beloved mochas, but I’m determined to lose these 10 lbs and discover if food allergies/intolerances is exacerbating or even causing my life-long struggle with depression and anxiety. No doubt the foundation of those things are in the trauma, as I’ve been diagnosed with Complex PTSD, but it can’t hurt to see if I can make those dark clouds a little lighter while I work on recovering from the traumas.

Please consider joining me on this journey to better health.

I’ll be checking in often to give you updates of how the diet is working for me and to share some yummy, healthy recipes. Plus, Ethan and I are finishing up Spirit of the Otherworld this and next month, the fifth and final Rowan of the Wood novel. It should be available by Christmas.

May you all find peace.

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