Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Food for thought: wrap up

Way back on April 24 I began an elimination diet. I cut out dairy, gluten, soy, and processed sugar. After a detox phase, I added each back one at a time and monitored my body’s reaction. Dairy went poorly. Gluten was fine, although I’ll be eating less of it moving forward. Soy was so uneventful I didn’t even blog about it. I can’t say I’ve added processed sugar back to my diet. I stopped craving it weeks ago, so I didn’t feel the need to re-introduce it. I’m satisfying my sweet tooth with tones of fruit and the occasional maple syrup dollop. When I tell people about the elimination diet they immediately ask if it was worth it. In a word, yes.

In addition to learning which foods my body likes and doesn’t like, I gleaned a few other things.

-Fruit is delicious.
-Dried fruit is too delicious to keep in the cupboards. Portion control is a bit of an issue.
-Roasted almond butter should be its own food group. Holy yum wow.
-My weight didn’t change, but my body didn’t feel as jiggly and my muscles looked more defined.
-Eating clean means you don’t need Tums.
- Food guilt is a waste of time. Make smart choices. Treat yourself. Enjoy every bite.

And so the elimination diet ends. On to the next challenge… more on that later.

SOTS wonders… would you try an elimination diet?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Food for thought: ahhh, gluten

Gluten returns! It’s been too many weeks to count since I’d had gluten thanks to my elimination diet. I recently got the gluten go-ahead and have now satisfied my avocado sandwich craving. Confession – I actually satisfied this craving multiple times in one day. My body rejoiced! There were no negative gluten reactions. Sadly, this only makes me more aware of how poorly my system handles dairy.

As hard as this is to type, I have decided to take a break from dairy. I’m not saying I’ll never eat cheese/yogurt again (that’s too much for my poor brain to handle), but I’m listening to my body and cutting it out for the time being.

Next up, soy makes a comeback.

SOTS wonders… what would be the most difficult food for you to give up?

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Returning to life as I knew it

It’s been a long time since I’ve done a proper recovery update. I’m happy to report that I’m doing much better. I have a few lingering symptoms – headaches with pressure changes and occasional dizziness. My head is less squishy. I realize that sounds weird, but it’s a very good sign. I’ve also had days without headaches. Hugely exciting! I had an MRI and all was clear, which means I’ll eventually make a full recovery.

Gone are the activity restrictions! The deal is that I can do whatever I want, but I have to stop if I get a headache. So far, I’ve been to the movies (caused a headache, but only a minor one) and a Jays game (major headache, but totally worth it). I’ve been more physically active and started strength training. My body is thrilled to be active again. If muscles could smile, believe me, mine would.

My doctors even gave me the go-ahead to search for a job. Frankly, I needed this. I’m going a bit nutty without a job. I feel like I don’t do anything all day long, which is frustrating for a Type A personality. I’ve promised myself that I won’t go back to being the work-obsessed blackberry-addicted crazy person I was before. After all, this is my quest for a balanced life.

SOTS wonders… how would you fill the days?

Monday, June 7, 2010

Food for thought: the return of dairy

It’s baaaaack. After five weeks without dairy, I’m working it back in to my diet. I was so excited. I bought my favourite yogurt - Liberte Plain Greek Yogurt. I added fresh raspberries. My mouth watered in anticipation. I carefully spooned out a perfect yogurt to berry ratio. AND…

It didn’t taste as good as I remember. HUH? I love this stuff. I know I do. I used to eat it every single day. Okay, mouthful two... good, but not the little slice of heaven I remember. Well, that’s strange.

I finished the bowl. I had another serving the next day. It started to taste better. I rekindled my love of yogurt. I thought to myself, “Whew. Thank goodness I can digest yogurt.”

Sadly the following day I had a very upset stomach. I’m really hoping it wasn’t the yogurt. I’m waiting a few days and giving my beloved Liberte another try. Please, please, please don’t let yogurt upset my stomach. I’m already saying so long, farewell to cheese. Must I also give up yogurt?

I have to admit it’s tough to tell exactly what caused the upset stomach. It could easily have been the dairy since it was the only unusual thing I ate that day, but I don’t want to write off yogurt before I’m certain it was the culprit. That said, it’s very tough to motivate yourself to eat more dairy when you suspect dairy is making you sick. Hmmm, I thought the hardest part of the elimination diet would be cutting things out. Turns out the hardest part is adding food back in. Who would have thought?

Also, I miss bread in a major way. I really want to eat an avocado sandwich. I’ve been thinking about it for days. Fingers-crossed the nutritionist tells me gluten is next.

SOTS wonders… BREAD! Seriously, it’s all I can think about right now.