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Friday, April 26, 2013
Day 1: Elimination Diet Worries and Woes
Today is the first day of my new elimination diet. Under guidance of my chiropractor, I am starting a three-week anti-yeast, fungus, and mold diet. Ever since the toxic mold in my old apartment in 2011, I haven't been quite right. Although not constantly in pain, I do feel like I am sick 4 or 5 days out of the week. I still go about my life, but I am not ever feeling 100% and haven't been for a long time. I have been to so many doctors, had so many tests, and took so many pills that I pretty much gave up on traditional medicine around December. I started seeing this chiro at the beginning of the year and besides the molds (which are still in my system according to blood work) my chiropractor says my adrenals, stomach, and gut are all in need of help. Since everything is connected within your body, I think he has finally convinced me that I need to do something to get my body in check. I am not a total believer of these alternative medicines yet, but we will see how I feel in a month. Whether or not I believe what my chiro is telling me, he listens to me. This is more than I can say about most of the doctors I have seen in the past year.

I just turned 35 and I use a nebulizer breathing treatment twice a day. I feel like a damn old lady on oxygen. I travel frequently so try explaining why a healthy-looking young female has this machine with wires and switches and 20-40 viles of medication in her carry-on bag. It always makes for an interesting conversation, to say the least. I am on PPI (proton pump inhibitors) for acid reflux but I have no traditional reflux symptoms like heartburn. My ENT said it was silent reflux which manifests itself in me as asthma symptoms and constant hoarseness in my throat. The dosage of PPI I was on in the beginning had me lose 9 lbs in 10 weeks. Everyone always says they want to lose ten pounds, but for someone that has pretty much been the same weight since college this was alarming. Basically, I want to get off the PPIs and treat the cause not the symptoms anymore. The doctor reduced my dosage but I am still on the PPIs and don't want to be anymore.

In comes the new diet as suggested by my doctor. I was diagnosed with Celiac as a toddler so I don't remember making the switch to gluten-free. My parents obviously prepared my food so I didn't have to do anything but eat the safe foods they gave me. This is the first time EVER that I have to seriously eliminate anything from my diet. I did make some changes when I went on the acid reflux medication (no caffeine, chocolate, onions, peppers, tomatoes, and any other triggers) but this new diet seems HUGE to me. I love sweets. As a blogger, I am sent samples all of the time and I eat those samples and then some. I travel and love seeking out new gluten-free bakeries in the cities I am in. I love chips and snacks and if I didn't go to the gym 3 or 4 times a week, I think I would be "as fat as a house" as my grandma Peggy would always say about her sweet tooth as well.

Today is Day 1 of the anti-yeast, fungus, mold diet. This means meats/fowl/fish, veggies, limited grains,  legumes, some nuts, and seeds are allowed. This means absolutely no sugar in any form, no fruit, no dairy, no alcohol, no fermented foods, processed meats, yeast, and snack foods are allowed. The fruit is going to be the hardest, I think. That and sugar is in EVERYTHING! Don't believe me, read the ingredients of your packaged gluten-free food. Where there is no gluten, there is sugar and lots of it. Sugar in mayonnaise. I had no idea! I am also taking some supplements on direction of my doctor as well as my normal medications (for now), vitamins, and a pro-biotic.

Last night, I gorged myself on nachos for dinner with not one but two desserts. I went to bed feeling overfull and not great. I cleaned out my cupboards to remove anything that might be tempting as well as isolated things in my fridge and freezer that I cannot eat. I am such a snacker that I physically had to move snacks to a place I wouldn't just mindlessly reach for them when I was hungry or bored. This is what I needed to do for me and might seem extreme but it is the only way I think I can control myself.

I want to use this blog to vent, hold me accountable, and share my progress with my readers. But I also need your help. I want you to share your recipes, favorite websites, and tips with me. I need your support to go through this. I know so many of you have gone gluten-free as adults so you have already made this major life change. Remember, I was a child and have no recollection of changing my diet. I think I nee to make a meal plan for the first time in my life and figure out what I am going to eat days in advance. This freaks me out a bit.

It is now 10am and I haven't had any food to eat yet today. My normal morning starts with a huge bowl of gluten-free cereal and a fruit smoothie. I am at a loss on how to start this but know I should eat something. The idea of eating chicken for breakfast just seems too weird to me. Ugh. ok. here I go...

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Anonymous Maryann J said...

I am currently on day 10 of a 30 day autoimmune elimination diet. The only things allowed are meat, fish, poultry, veggies (but no nightshades) and limited fruit. It is tough, but the prospective health benefits totally outweigh the deprivation. There are some pretty good paleo sites out there, which I will gather for you. You can do this, you are a strong woman!

Anonymous HemHaw said...

I feel the same way about alternative medicine, but I have my first appointment with an integrated medicine MD coming up. I just got frustrated with being tossed from specialist to specialist (for continued symptoms even after Celiac diagnosis, going gluten-free, and cutting out processed food along with a bunch of common allergens). The psychology of deprivation is pretty intense, and I have to constantly remind myself that food is my medicine and nourishment, not just something to stick in my mouth when I feel blue or to use as social lubricant. I have done 2 very rigid elimination diets, and likely have another one coming. It is very hard, but it is amazing how your taste buds change. Pureeing cooked vegetables with herbs and using this as a sauce makes meals more interesting. I LOVE my vegetable spiralizer- it makes noodles out of zucchini, sweet potato, daikon radish, etc. Roasted cauliflower with seasonings (e.g. cinnamon & nutmeg, or Italian spice blend) is an awesome snack. Think of sweeter vegetables as desserts, such as pumpkin or sweet potato with cinnamon. Almond butter also has a naturally sweet taste. There are several recipes out there for nut-based cheeses, sauces, and milk. Soups and crockpot dishes can also liven up your menu. While I can't handle them, legumes are quite versatile based on the number of recipes I see online. If you are allowed eggs, then this also opens lots of doors. Hang in there, and know that other bloggers are in a similar boat and have your back!

Anonymous Mary said...

Wish you had a Pinterest button!

Blogger Jennifer Fugo said...

Good luck! I remember talking to you about this when we met back in the Fall. Taking sugar out of your diet is really hard for GF folks, but it will make such a huge difference in your health. Let me know if you need any suggestions as I've been working with clients on this exact topic for the last year with my cleanse protocol. You can totally do this!

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