Friday, April 23, 2010

Food for thought

Over the last few years, I’ve been trying to learn more about nutrition. What I should eat. What I should avoid. Sounds easy, right? It turns out learning about nutrition is no simple task. You have to wade through a ton of marketing, gimmicks, and tag lines to find out what should actually end up on your plate.

Thanks to Michael Pollan, Dr. Oz, and a variety of bloggers, I have a much better sense of what’s healthy. Now I need to know what works specifically for my body. I met with a nutritionist this week to review my eating habits. I’m an octo-lavo vegetarian who relies heavily on soy and carbs. Oh, and my diet is chock-full of sugar.

The nutritionist issued a challenge: eliminate soy, dairy, gluten, and sugar (fruit is fine) for the next three weeks. Then I’ll add each food group back in one at a time to see if I have any intolerance. I’m also supposed to add protein smoothies into my life and start eating whole eggs instead of just whites.

The challenge starts tomorrow. I’ve stocked my cupboards. I’m working on a meal plan (well, I will be as soon as I’m done this post). Despite being outwardly prepared, I’m scared. I love yogurt and muesli and tofu and SUGAR! I can’t believe I’m going to give them up. I haven’t tried a challenge like this before, but I realize that if I want to understand my body (and I do) I need to give this a shot. Plus, I’d like to prove to myself that I can make choices based on my body’s needs: not my emotional wants. I’m curious to see the results.

I need to make myself accountable, so I'll be posting updates on SOTS. Deep breath, and here we go!

SOTS wonders… have you done an elimination diet? What did you learn about yourself?


  1. At one point in my life, I had eliminated artificial sweeteners. Coming from the girl who is a self-proclaimed Diet soda addict, it was VERY hard to give up. Especially when I realized that it was in practically everything that I ate.

    However, after a couple of weeks sans-artificial sugar, I discovered that I wasn't very hungry. That all my cravings for real sugar went away. I also stopped obsessing and thinking about food all the time.

    Unfortunately, I've slipped back into using artificial sweeteners again, but the few weeks that I spent without them was a very eye-opening experience.

    Good luck with your change! :)

  2. I've never tried an elimination diet, I don't find I'm sensitive to anything, so I've never really thought about trying one. Would be interesting though! Good luck :)

  3. I am sensitive to both dairy and wheat - my face gets puffy from both! I am going on a clean eating plan- I just started today!

  4. I did the elimination diet last year and my naturopath will most-likely ask me to do it again this year. For me, it takes a lot of mental preparation breaking up with wheat and dairy (particularly cheese).