Starting from Scratch

Dear me, readers! We have got a ton of catching up to do. The last time we met, I was heading over to an integrative clinic to be tested for food sensitivities. I was feeling bummed about my newly discovered rosacea but also felt cautiously optimistic that a food sensitivity test would help unravel most of the mysteries of the universe for me…or at least indicate which foods I should be avoiding to maintain optimal health.

That’s not my cake, by the way. That’s the cheesecake that Marty bought himself on my birthday. I wasn’t able to indulge in anything sweet by then, and Marty has since left the dairy train as well.

Of course, because I had hoped and prayed beforehand that oats would not show up as a red flag on the test, guess which food I tested the worst, by far for? Yes, readers– you guessed it: rolled stinking oats. Other foods that came up in the “Probably Avoid” category included: garlic, onions, lemons (NOOOOOO!!), yeast, artichokes, potatoes, leeks, and– strangely enough– lettuce. (Honestly. Who on earth reacts to something as innocuous as lettuce? Only the cool kids, dear readers: only the cool kids.)

Vowing to adhere to the test recommendations, I promptly cut out all of those foods from my diet. I’m not going to lie– it was difficult, especially because we were in the height of harbour season and even the organic, vegan takeout place that we normally frequent in the summer has onions and garlic in basically everything. I stuck to it, though, crafting salads out of kale or spinach and dousing them in a makeshift apple cider vinaigrette, drinking green smoothies for breakfast every morning (the one main component of the Beauty Detox Solution that I was still able to maintain), and requesting onion-free options whenever we had to stoop low and order a dinner from the Noodle Box.

My skin slowly improved but was still a long way from clearing up completely before Labour Day hit. I did pretty well over the Labour Day weekend, food-wise, but then the stress of the whole summer collapsed on me. Before I knew it, Marty and I were declaring it our first day off after 51 straight days at work (!!), and we were riding our bikes 25km to the famed Butchart Gardens.

So what, I haven’t ridden longer than 5km for half a year? Let’s do this 50km round-trip ride!

En route to the Gardens, we stopped at the Red Barn Market, where I ordered a sandwich. My first slices of bread in nearly 2 months.

No condiments, mostly veg, but omg! There are two pieces of bread on that there sandwich!!

Emboldened by my bread-eating bad-assery, I ordered a whole apple pie on the way back and downed about a third of it before hauling myself back on the bike saddle and riding the rest of the way home. I know. I never would have thought that marble rye bread was a gateway drug, but there you have it. I suddenly– and unceremoniously– fell off that Holistic Health bandwagon hard.

At least the Gardens were beautiful

September and October were blurs of eating anything and everything I could get my hands on. I rationalized. A lot. I was craving something warm and satiating for breakfast, so I cooked up big pots of rolled oats every morning. They can’t be *that* bad for me; after all, they’re gluten free! I started making thick soups and stews using onions, garlic, and potatoes. Maybe the test was wrong! I ate a lot of cookies. What! Nobody’s perfect! Then, those brutal candida devils multiplied en masse in my gut  and  started rearing their ugly heads. My body became a living warzone, with my mind trying in desperation to resist incredible cravings for sweets, starches, and breads but my body roaring FEED ME SUGAR!!” with startling ferocity.

Recently, I took a simple, at-home saliva test for candida overgrowth, and when I failed it with remarkable speed and efficiency,  I knew what I had to do.

Not at our recent art exhibition, but notice the cutesy (or sickening/nauseating) matching outfits. Pink and brown couple for the win!

Obviously, I waited until after our art exhibition had opened, and then Marty and I embarked on an elimination diet together. We eliminated soy, dairy (him), corn, gluten, processed sugars, fruit (me), eggs, yeast, and all of the foods that tested high on our sensitivity tests. For two weeks, we will eat a clean diet and then will start introducing items back into our diets  individually to see if we show any adverse effects. So far, we’ve done a week, and I’m definitely noticing a positive difference.

I’m trying to keep our meals really simple, but what’s struck me at this point is how much I usually rely on Bragg’s Liquid Aminos (soy) to season our foods. I’m literally lost without it. There have been no soups to speak of lately, mainly because I can’t figure out how to make them (as) delicious without a base of onions and garlic, and I also haven’t been eating any cold salads for this 2-week period. I usually make my salad dressings with lemon (out), Bragg’s (out), and apple cider vinegar (out for Marty), so I’ll have to wait until we challenge those foods to see whether salads will come back into regular rotation.

Mostly, I’m ready to feel like myself again, and if an elimination diet will help me get there, so be it. What about you, dear readers: Have you ever done an elimination diet? Any suggestions or tips? Is there a particular food that you’d be lost without?

 

66 responses

  1. I’ve had two rounds of allergy tests in my life, and they each showed different food allergies (which I’ve heard isn’t supposed to happen—food allergies aren’t supposed to change). Reconstructing my diet, I realized all the foods I had a positive reaction to were the things I had eaten the week before I was tested. The conclusion that I came to was, seriously, “EVERYTHING in moderation.” If I vary my diet and don’t eat the same things too consistently or too often, I’m apparently better off. So far, so good. An egg today, but not for a few days. Squash for dinner tonight, then not again ’til next week. A little chocolate now, but not tomorrow. It helps!

    Maybe you should try being re-tested after you’ve eliminated the triggers you tested positive for this time.

    • Great advice, Cindy. I figured that lettuce showed up because I was eating a lettuce-based salad every day before the test, so now I mix up my greens on a regular basis. Same thing goes for oats. I have been eating oatmeal EVERY MORNING for over a decade, so obviously my body needs a loooong break from it.

      Moderation is such a worthy ideal. Do you ever find it hard to prep foods if you know you shouldn’t make enough to last you a week in leftovers? That’s my problem. I always want to prepare enough food to last me through an apocalypse. 🙂

      • Me too, Dana! I always make a ton of the same dish on Sunday so that I can bring it for lunch almost every day during the week. I just don’t have enough time to cook something different every day, but I COMPLETELY agree with Cindy that my body feels so much better when I consume different foods and lots of variety every day. Sometimes I wish I lived in a different time period where the expectations for how much I need to get done during a single day were not so high. *sigh*

        • So true, Christina. For some reason, eating the same dish/foods for a while brings me a lot of comfort, too. I guess I’m a creature of habit, so I like the predictability of eating certain foods at certain meals. (Hence, eating oatmeal for breakfast for 10 years straight.) Variety is nice, but sometimes *too* much variety feels scary! I’m learning to break the mold, though. Baby steps! 🙂

          • Oh, my goodness, Dana! I swear we are cut from the same cloth! Everything you said above is me to a tee. I too have eaten oatmeal for breakfast every morning for the past 10+ years, but just recently (the past couple months) switched to quick cooking quinoa flakes (just like quick oats)…but again, I supposed that’s not variety, but I too like the predictability of it. And I find myself craving that morning bowl of quinoa flakes with banana, goji berries, ground flax, almond milk, etc…

            • QUINOA FLAKES! Why didn’t I think of this? I was all upset because I couldn’t enjoy barley, rye, spelt, or kamut flakes in the morning because of the gluten. Quinoa flakes to the rescue!! (I’ve been eating regular cooked quinoa or millet in the mornings on this elimination diet, but it’s totally not the same as flakes.) Can’t wait to rustle some up!

              • I’m so glad I mentioned it 😀 I buy quinoa flakes in bulk at Rainbow Grocery, but I know that you can buy them packaged as well if your local natural foods store doesn’t carry them in bulk. I hope you enjoy them!

              • Me, too! I knew that they made quinoa flakes but haven’t bought them in ages. I’ll have to head to my grocery store STAT to test them out again. Thanks!

              • i keep staring at the box of these, they are tiny boxes…
                is it like corn flakes? or more like a cream of wheat type thing, meant for cooking and hot cereals? I can still have quinoa, the oats, even gluten free don’t seem to be going over very well(though perhaps I might try moderation) hehe

              • I think they are meant to be cooked like oatmeal or cream of wheat. (They might be dry and nasty eaten plain, but maybe if you soak them in enough almond milk, they’d be good to go.)

  2. Interesting observation from Cindy. If our body is in a “reactive” state, it may read as whatever happens to already be in it.
    I can’t help wonder what role general stress can play in our entire digestive system. The balance of mind/body/spirit is often precarious according to a whole host of subjective factors.
    Dana, you score big points for already being so in-tune with the workings of your body and its nutritional likes and dislikes. The elimination diet sounds like a smart way to learn even more.

    • Thanks for the comment, Dean. Stress plays a huge role in digestion, and definitely influences what we feel like eating (and how much!) I’m surprised at how well I did this summer overall, considering the stress and fatigue factors, but I know I’ll do even better now that it’s the off season. 🙂

      The elimination diet has been really interesting so far. I’m just keeping my fingers crossed for lemons and Bragg’s to pass the re-introduction test. Everything else (including onions and garlic), I think I’d be okay without over the long term. I’ll eat like a true Buddhist!

        • I know! My body is still figuring out that ‘good’ stress and ‘bad’ stress essentially cause the same reactions on a physiological level. I totally need to relax and zen-out WAY more than I currently do. Combat that adrenaline rush!

    • Thanks so much! I’ve already noticed a huge difference in terms of indigestion and bloating. I used to feel 8-months-pregnant-sort-of-bloated every single night (when I was back on the bread and pie train), so getting back to a more comfortable existence has been a huge plus. I’ll report back once foods have been introduced again!

  3. I probably need an elimination diet. I probably especially need to eliminate caffeine, but alas…that is so hard. I feel for you, dear Dana. Life can be tough when we want to eat the garden of bounty. Wishing you luck! Hoping you figure out what makes your body feel top notch.

    • I appreciate it, Kathy. We were technically supposed to eliminate caffeine as well, but I couldn’t bear the look of shock and horror on Marty’s face when I mentioned the possibility of taking out his morning coffee. 🙂 I am sans caffeine already, but I know from previous experience that taking it out can be BRUTAL on the body. Headaches galore!

  4. Goodness, Dana, what ARE you able to eat? I’m fearful there’s not enough left to have a healthy, balanced diet. I don’t think I could do it, so KUDOS to you. Hope all of this goes well. I just wonder how much the deprivation for so long impacted the severity of your relapse–if that’s what you call it–the “for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction” thing.
    Hugs,
    Kathy

    • There’s actually a surprising amount of food that I can still eat, but it still doesn’t make it any easier to be without some of my favourite staples. I’ve been eating either quinoa, millet, or buckwheat for breakfast (with almond milk and cinnamon), almond butter on celery and sweet pepper sticks as a snack, steamed veggies on everything, and either a stir fry, veggie chili, or gluten free pasta with homemade tomato sauce for dinner. I’ve actually surprised myself by making up a couple of FAB recipes to suit the limitations of the elimination program. Necessity is truly the mother of invention in this case!

      As far as my ‘relapse’ goes, I think it was mostly stress and fatigue (work-related, not diet-related) that caused me to head back to convenience foods. I was actually feeling really energetic and ‘clean’ all summer, but every now and then, buying a sandwich just seems easier than washing/prepping/chopping/arranging a bunch of veggies for a homemade meal. Sad excuse, I know, but breads and baked goods don’t make me feel good (ever!), and I should know that about my body already. Slow learner, I guess. 😉

    • LOVE Indian food! I’ve been preparing pseudo-Indian dishes for our dinners, but (of course) Marty is testing for both chickpeas and lentils after the elimination phase, which complicates matters a bit more. Hopefully, I’ll “pass” with onions and garlic, and he’ll “pass” with legumes, so then we can make a full-on dahl or curry dish. Fingers crossed!

      In the meantime, I’m actually trying to mimic a lot of recipes from a Buddhist restaurant here in town. All of their dishes are vegan and onion/garlic-free. Granted, they seem to use a lot of soy, but I can be creative. When it comes to food prep, I only need step-by-step instructions on how to eat summer and autumn fruits. Ha. 🙂

      • This is starting to sound like a modern-day version of Jack Sprat. I hope you both pass with most of your favorite foods.

        Oh, and I see that you followed my advice and ate an apple pie, which eventually led you to the elimination diet. You’re welcome. 🙂

  5. If one doesn’t carefully rotate the “safe” foods, they can and will become allergens! I also want to ask if you saw a ‘real’ allergist. But, I won’t. Food issues are a biatch! 😀
    Good luck!

    • So true, Elisa. I don’t have any true food “allergies”, but I (obviously) have a ton of rotating sensitivities. My test wasn’t performed by an actual allergist– it was a naturopath– but I wasn’t going into the test for any rock solid proof of anything. It was more just to get a baseline of where I might want to start looking in my diet for ‘culprits’, so the non-real allergy test worked just fine for me. 🙂

      What gets me is that certain people can eat processed, junky crap for their whole life without experiencing many adverse effects, and then other people who eat pretty healthily end up crippled by seemingly good-for-you foods. Where’s the justice in that?

    • Hahaha, Tori– I’m sure that’s not true. I remember one of my friends in junior high school had to do a full-on candida cleanse for 9 solid months (!!). I always thought it would be impossible to live (well) on such a restricted diet, but now that I’m in almost the same boat, I’ve realized there’s actually still a ton of foods I can eat without any ill effects. The real troopers out there are PARENTS like you. I’d never be able to do it! 😉

  6. I’ve had to do a fair amount of elimination diets in my time, and I think allergies and intolerances can change depending on many things, including stresses and the strength of your immune system.

    For example, I’ve become allergic to garlic and am sensitive to the rest of the other alliums (this was after 3 bouts of flu one after the other!). What I’ve found is using white cabbage as if it was an onion eg sautéing it, gives the kind of oniony taste to the dish.

    Also, look up Hare Krishna recipes. They don’t use onion or garlic either. I went to their restaurant once, and the food was very tasty. Also, I recommend Anila’s Sauces. They are garlic and onion free curry sauces, with all natural (vegetarian, possibly vegan) ingredients.

    I make a red cabbage salad, which is very satisfying. Shred red cabbage, bung in any other crunchy veg, like radishes, carrots, celery, cucumber. You can add coriander leaves for flavour. I put mead vinegar and olive oil on. If you can’t tolerate vinegar or lemons, how about limes?

    Good luck!

    • Thanks for the great advice, Nic! I think that food sensitivities can change as well– it’s more the allergies that stick around.

      The cabbage in lieu of onion idea sounds great, as does the Hare Krishna suggestion. Marty and I ate at a Hare Krishna restaurant a lot when we were last in Prague– there’s not much else that caters to vegetarians/vegans in the land of meat and sausage. Heh.

      Unfortunately, lemon registered as the ‘least’ sensitive of the citrus fruits for me, and the rest (all types of oranges, limes, and grapefruits) were almost as bad as oats for me. I’m not surprised by this, because my middle sister developed pretty severe citrus sensitivities a while back. I’m only interested in testing for lemons, though– the rest of the citrus fruits I can live without pretty easily.

      Thanks again for the info! I might have to give that crunchy salad a rotation in tonight’s dinner. I can sprinkle lemon/flax oil on Marty’s portion and apple cider vinegar/flax oil on mine. 🙂

  7. Oh, honey! I was so excited to see a new post from you in my RSS Feeds and open it to find this incredible challenge you are going through!! Eating issues… They’re so damn tricky and elusive…

    I think you hit on something in your replies to other comments that I have found useful, especially in elimination diet situations: Make a list of what you CAN eat. There ARE a surprising number of foods out there (real, true, living foods). I must confess, though, that removing onions and garlic would definitely be pretty challenging for me! I’ve slid a little on my dairy prohibition – not as a regular practice but in discreet instances. I’ve also fallen head over heels back off the caffeine-free wagon. The problem is that neither gives me trouble right away – the issues arise when I hit that part of my cycle just before I start. I turn into a person I barely recognize for a couple days and the impact is greatest on the people I profess to love the most. *shakes head sadly* We’ll all get where we want to be one day, right???

    Hugs from the deep South – stay warm up there, y’all!

    P.S. On a lighter note… I’m doing NaNoWriMo this month and am almost at the 17,000-word mark of the 50,000 words in 30 days challenge. Yay me!!

    • Hey Michelle– congrats on the NaNoWriMo accomplishment. I’m proud and envious all at once!

      My list of “allowed” foods is actually pretty extensive, so I’m not feeling *too* sorry for myself. It’s just an adjustment to do without my regular staples, but (as this past week has proven), it’s not an impossible challenge to overcome. I already get to start challenging foods next Sunday (starting with lemon!), so it will go by really quickly. Any foods that ‘pass’ can be added into regular rotation right away, so I’m confident that our list of acceptable foods will grow fairly quickly.

    • It could be worse, Laurie. I think the ultimate nail in the coffin for me would be rice. I’ve been a sucker for rice since I was really young, and one of my best friends and I initially bonded over the fact that we both enjoyed rice for breakfast every now and then. 😉

      Bread-eating bad-assery has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? Glad you enjoyed!

  8. Oh my gosh, Dana, I’m so sorry for/proud of you! I can’t believe all the foods you have to give up. That you are actually doing it, even with occasional lapses, is great.

    I have been on a refined sugar binge for months and I know it’s bad for me – I don’t feel good, but as you so eloquently noted, my head and body are fighting.

    You go, go, go girl!

    • Sugar binges are the worst! I don’t understand why they can continue for so long, even when we feel gross (mentally and physically). I blame yeast. Yeast is my new found scapegoat for all of the world’s problems. Weight issues? BLAME YEAST! War in the Middle East? BLAME YEAST!, etc., etc.

      • I could totally get behind you on this movement. Yeast is the DEVIL! Feel like it’s to blame for many of the food issues I’ve had over the last year as well. Have tried to get it under control, but may have to try out one of these saliva tests in the near future…

        • Hey Jenn– some people question the validity of the saliva tests and liken them to old wives’ tales, but Kimberly Snyder (among others) recommends doing the test just to get a baseline re: whether yeast is an issue or not. You can also answer one of those online self questionnaires, which I failed spectacularly as well. Ha.

          Yeast is super difficult to get under control, especially because it is so adaptive and sneaky. The main thing is getting ALL SUGAR (and sweeteners) out for a period of time, because that is their main food source. I’ll also be doing a candida cleanse kit, which has a bunch of antifungal and antimicrobial herbs. Good times!

  9. I had to laugh at your ‘bread-eating bad-assery’. Don’t beat yourself up too bad. The elimination diet sounds so hard. How did you do it? You are amazing. I’m thinking my husband has to do something drastic with his diet for sure.

    OK…and me. Yes, me, too. (sigh). I think if I could somehow slooooowly cut out sugary things I’d feel much better. It’s just a matter of retraining myself and being more conscious of what I eat every meal. I do manage to cut down on bread and pasta. It’s the dairy I crave too much. Milk, cream in my coffee, etc. I love soy milk though, but not sure if I’m overdoing the soy now. Dammit! It’s sooo hard, Dana! Help meeeee…..

    • I think the elimination diet is only hard in the context of our fast-paced, convenient-food-eating society. The notion that eating whole grains and plenty of veg posed any difficulty whatsoever would have been laughable 100 or even 75 years ago. How times have changed! I seem to have settled into the elimination phase quite nicely and am actually appreciating more simple meals and ingredients. (I am such a nerd!)

      Don’t even get me started on dairy. I used to call myself the Dairy Queen because I was full-on addicted to anything produced by a cow’s teats. When I was told to cut it out my diet to deal with lingering acne issues, I was positive that it would be an impossible challenge. That was almost three years ago now, and I”m proud to say I haven’t had any dairy since then (except maybe the occasional bit of butter in somebody else’s cooking). It is SUPER HARD to do at first, but once you get rolling, it’s actually not so bad. I’m at a point now where I wouldn’t even add it back in if I could. Crazy! I know!

      Finally: soy. In my experience, soy is just as congesting and phlegm-causing as cow dairy is. I totally think it’s possible to overdo it on soy as well. Have you ever tried almond or coconut milk? Both are super yummy (and apparently have my snobbish seal of approval)! Okay. Off the soapbox now…

  10. I have to give you credit for being able to figure all this out. just reading made hungry. I have never tried an elimination diet, but there are definitely foods I eat that I should not. I could live on carbs alone. Bread rice pasta are my comfort foods and don’t get me started on chocolate. I wish you luck in finding what will make you feel better. cheers

    • Thanks, Lesley! I used to live off of a straight carb diet, too. (Maybe that’s partly why my GI system is so effed up now!) I’ve been off of bread, but brown rice and gluten free (rice or quinoa) pastas are still in heavy rotation here. I actually made THE BEST makeshift pesto last night to put on some brown rice pasta with sauteed vegetables. Dang it, I felt like a Champion Master Chef and gobbled that dish up QUICK!

        • I don’t think carbs, in general, are a bad thing. I wouldn’t ever cut them out completely or even do a ‘low carb’ diet. All nutrients are critical in our diets!

          Some carbs are better than others, though. If you don’t already use whole grains (brown rice, quinoa, millet, buckwheat, amaranth, etc.) I would switch over to them (instead of white rice, white pasta, etc.) The whole grains contain a lot more fiber than processed grains, so you don’t need to eat as much of them before you feel full. Plus, they don’t contribute to a huge spike in blood sugar levels, either.

          I also like to practically drown my carbs in steamed veggies or a stirfry of sorts. Somewhere at the bottom of my mound of greens, I promise you there are carbs, but it’s like a treasure hunt of eating good-for-you veggies to find them. (Am I the only one who uses swashbuckling metaphors for eating veggies? SUCH A NERD!)

    • Hey Dean! Elimination diet goes GREAT! I’m feeling really good physically and mentally– and I am totally impressing myself with my mad culinary skillz. Modesty has gone out the window– I’m an effin’ AWESOME cook! 🙂

      Re: probiotics. Marty and I take a probiotic supplement every morning on an empty stomach, and we both eat between 1/2 cup and 1 cup of raw sauerkraut with either lunch or dinner every day as well, It seems to be working well, and ever since I discovered raw kraut made with red cabbage, shredded beets, and caraway seeds, my life has been divine. I can’t get enough of that stuff!

  11. I thought I had it bad by eliminating gluten and dairy! I would have been lost without oatmeals as well. And lemon and fruit. All I know is that is takes at least 6-12 weeks or something for the gluten and dairy to really leave your system – which is why that diet is so painful – you have to wait that long just to START the reintroduction!

    Sometimes I wish I had results with that diet – for reasons you know. And other times I’m so freaking glad it didn’t change anything for me. I love bread and cheese too much to live without it.

    Keep me posted on how you’re doing.

    • Thankfully, Marty and I aren’t doing the super hardcore version of an elimination diet. We’re doing the half-assed 2-week program! We just finished 2 weeks without all of the ingredients I listed, and then on Sunday, both of us re-introduced our first challenge ingredient (eggs for him, lemons for me). Both of us ‘passed’ the first test (HUZZAH FOR CITRUS!), and we’ll attempt another re-introduction tomorrow and every 3 days afterward until all of our suspect ingredients are challenged.

      Fortunately for us, gluten didn’t raise a flag for either of us in any of our other sensitivity readouts, so we’re fine trying to reintroduce it without taking it out for a full 3-4 months beforehand. THANK GOODNESS! I think the main lesson learned is to rotate foods as much as possible and to keep a giant variety in our diet. Even though I passed the lemon reintroduction test, for example, I doubt I’ll ever go back to my daily lemon/ginger tea ritual… as much as I miss it. Oh, well! It definitely could be worse.

    • It’s not all glum, chum! I’m feeling strangely cheery in spite of everything, and this program also gives me supremely geeky opportunities to feel SO EXCITED about things like lemons and artichoke hearts. 🙂 Seriously– I was like a little kid on Christmas Eve the other day when I got to wake up and squeeze a half lemon into a glass of warm water. You’d think I was winning the lottery or something!

      Simple pleasures, simple minds. Heh.

    • It’s actually not so bad. Thank goodness I don’t have a nut allergy, though. Almonds (plain, almond milk, almond butter) have been mealtime saviours! Today we are reintroducing glutinous grains like barley, rye, spelt, and kamut. Fingers crossed for a pass!

      Thanks for liking the matching outfits, too. I love doing it but it also makes me sort of sick at the same time! (Who dresses to match their partner??)

  12. Dear Dana da Dietician,
    any experience with Kombucha, a cultured tea containing active enymes, probiotics, antioxidants, etc. ? Caught my eye recently and seems popular in the health supplement/foods field. A new formula up for development in Canada won over the investors on Dragon’s Den lastnite.
    Also, perhaps a dumbish question re: your rosacea; have you had your wisdom teeth out?
    Dyspeptic Dean

    • Hey Dean,
      My mom and middle sister both ‘grow’ their own kombucha at home and swear by the stuff, but I haven’t tried it yet and probably would prefer to do it myself vs. by it at the store. It’s just how I roll. I think that store bought kombucha is fine as long as there aren’t whopping amounts of added sugars.

      And yes– I had my wisdom teeth out when I was 22. Nearly a decade ago.

  13. After a long weekend of total gluttony in which I suspended all of the good eating habits I have developed, I could use an elimination diet. I feel as though I need to eliminate all food for about a week or three. Maybe a month. Or three.

    You and Marty are probably adding things back by now. I do hope onions and garlic work out. I don’t know how I’d cook without them, especially soups. That’s got to be quite a challenge. I enjoyed your photos and humor, as usual, and hey… cute matching outfits. 😀

    • Haha. Sometimes I feel like eliminating all food– period– too, but the less extreme elimination-format diet seems to work well. Yes, we have started challenging ingredients, and I’m so excited to have ‘passed’ with lemon! Alas, gluten will have to be re-tested because I didn’t feel great on it, and both Marty and I will have to re-test garlic, too. Bah. (But 1 pass out of 3 challenges is better than a total fail… right?)

      We’ve been dealing with a lot of non-diet stress lately, so I don’t know how much our nerves are affecting the challenge results. Hopefully by the time we get around to re-testing ingredients, our recent worries will have dissolved and we can get a clearer understanding of whether those ingredients work well with our systems or not. (There’s always something, right?) Tomorrow’s test: onions! Fingers crossed for a solid pass. 🙂

      • Yay for lemons! I’m so happy to hear this for you, Dana! And, again, I agree with you on the stress thing—that can always complicate these sorts of tests, but it sounds like you’ve got it sorted out by how you’ve setup the retesting. Good luck with the rest of your tests!!

        • Thanks, Christina! Lemons were #1 on my “Please Pass” list, so as long as that one’s in the bag, everything else should be doable, regardless of whether I pass or fail. I’ve been making hummus, guac, and a vegan pesto without any garlic lately, and I’m amazed to discover that I don’t really miss it that much. (Plus I *definitely* don’t miss garlic breath. At all.)

  14. Pingback: Elimination Diets: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly | zona pellucida

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