What’s in Your Food?

Posted by piphunt on June 17, 2011 in Adventures of Pip, Fitness |

It’s been a frustrating past year to say the least. As if eating gluten free wasn’t challenging enough, imagine your body starting to feel worse and worse, even though you thought you knew what was making you sick. I’ve battled with motivation, with change, and with wanting that change. At the end of the day, I sometimes to wish I could just go to the toaster and make a nice crisp piece of toast with butter and marmalade. I wish that I didn’t have to think amount whether eating grains was worth it, whether the butter was going to make me feel sick this time, or if the marmalade has too much sugar. Any given day, my food could react in a 100 different ways.  Some days it’s enough to make me go home and eat a pint of ice cream, because then at least I know why I feel sick and won’t be left writing down seemingly pattern-less symptoms.

But this isn’t about how hard it is,  or how much it can suck. It’s about the changes I’ve made and continue to make. It’s about how I get on with my life day to day instead of crawling into bed with the curtains closed when I feel crummy.

 

After the Ski Salt Lake Shoot Out and  running my body ragged I decided I couldn’t take it anymore. Something had to chance. The first step was an elimination diet. This wasn’t the most fun thing I’ve ever done, but it was effective, and essentially a personal science experiment. For six weeks I ate an entirely fun- free diet (to borrow Andy Sabatier’s terminolgy):

Weeks 1 & 2: veggies,  protein, Olive oil, Coconut oil, and mild spices/herbs. No starches except for sweet potatoes.

Week 3: Slowly add nut, seeds and legumes back into diet. Only one new item per day, preferably ever other day.

Week 4: Fruit, only one new item per day/ every other day

Week 5: Dairy

Week 6: Grains, although in my case, I’m still not going ANYWHERE near gluten.

 

Throughout the elimination diet, I kept a detailed food diary, including day to day descriptions of how I felt, slept, how I reacted to every new food I added into my diet. Yes, I felt a little bit better, but I still didn’t find the magic “key” I was looking for. Apparently, healing your gut is much more difficult and takes longer than six weeks. Damn it.

 

Skip ahead, it’s June, I’m not eating the way I was before I started the elimination diet and I’m not sure if I ever will again, and I’m learning to be ok with that. I’ve noticed that dairy can make me feel sick, although not always and that corn and rice also don’t agree with me. Funnily enough, it’s tortilla chips that are standing in the way of eliminating corn, the salty, crunchy deliciousness gets me every time. I have a doctor’s appointment in July (yes, that is the EARLIEST I could get in) and until then, I’m trying to stay clean and resist my urges to eat a “normal” diet.

 

But today, today I found some hope. It may not be me that is so weird and defective afterall, but the food. I’ve always been curious as to why I feel a MILLION times better when I’m in the U.K., even though I eat more sugar and grains while I’m over there (hello Sainsbury’s Free From Section, how can anyone say no?). Today, some of my questions were answered when I stumbled upon Robyn O’brien’s Ted Talk Video  discussing why food allergies are on the rise. I encourage anyone who is curious about what is really in their food (even their corn on the cob) to watch this movie. My next stop? The Unhealthy Truth, Robyn Obrien’s acclaimed book, because now I really want to know what additional proteins are added to GMO food.

I love food, I’m ready for it to love me back.

 

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