I can’t tell if I’m feeling so fragile and precious lately because I’m chumming up to the latent hypochondriac in me or because I really am fragile and precious. It’s tough to say.
It’s coming up to 2 whole months without dairy in my diet. The time, she flies! Not eating dairy has done wonders for my body (and especially for my skin, heaven bless me). I’ve noticed a real difference in terms of my energy levels (not so sluggish), my respiratory tract (not so phlegmy- sorry to be nasty), and my complexion (not so marred by acne anymore!) But, you know… I was expecting more of a change in my digestion. Again, sorry to be nasty, but I was hoping that eliminating dairy from my diet would spell the end of a lifetime of uncomfortable bloating and the occasional full-on abdominal distention at night. Alas, to my shock and disappointment: it hasn’t. Not completely, anyway. What gives?
As the weeks have gone by without butter, cheese, yogurt, and milk chocolate, I’ve noticed that my body seems to be sensitive to an astonishing range of other foods, too: complex foods, acidic foods, cold foods, starchy foods, soy foods, fibrous foods, fatty foods, food combinations, foods by themselves, etc., etc. Any fledgling aspirations of becoming a raw foodist are quashed when a simple salad nearly does me in, and things that didn’t seem to bother me before (e.g. my precious almond butter on a Ryvita cracker!) no longer sit well in my stomach. Chocolate is still OK in moderation– thank goodness!– but everything else is upsetting my diva of a digestive system.
I’m wondering if perhaps there is something larger at play here?
My best friend from high school was diagnosed with celiac disease a few months ago, and many of her symptoms were similar to mine. I also know people with Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, or general wheat sensitivities. Not surprisingly, many of them have/had symptoms similar to mine, too. I’m definitely not fishing for a lifetime of special foods and dietary restrictions (am I?), but you know, I’d also like to put an end to my uncomfortable/painful/awkward/unladylike digestive symptoms, too. My Baba had colon cancer when I was young, and if I can avoid that in my own lifetime, I’d be willing to give pretty much anything a try.
I don’t eat a whole lot of wheat right now, but I do eat a fair share of grains (some of which– barley, rye, oats– contain gluten or gluten cross-contamination). And raw food? Since when does a cucumber wreak havoc on my system? Things that do feel good to eat include brown rice, quinoa, and all sorts of blanched/lightly steamed vegetables: asparagus, snow peas, my all-time favourite kale, bell peppers, collard greens, green and yellow beans, and broccoli. So until I figure out what the heck is going on with every other food the planet has to offer, my menu is pretty much set. Mmmm…. kale!
Does anybody care to offer up an armchair diagnosis for my plethora of digestive symptoms (or, conversely, to tell my hypochondriac ass to give it a rest?) Obviously, I’ll be checking in with Dr. Fabulous to see what he thinks, but in the meantime, all of this is giving me some serious food for thought…