So, it has been a few weeks since I finished my elimination diet. I have been meaning to write and tell you all what I thought, but I just haven't gotten to it. So, here it is.
I am amazed how much of a difference eating strictly whole foods and cutting out problem foods (like those that cause allergies most commonly) has changed the way I feel. I finished my 28 days on October 16th. At that point I was feeling fantastic. I still was not eating gluten, dairy, red meat, yeast, and a few others. The problem I ran into was that we were planning a trip to Boise to celebrate my Father's birthday. Since we were traveling it was assumed that we would be eating in restaurants at least 2 or more times a day for the entire weekend. The way the elimination diet works is to challenge a single "problem" food every 3 days. This presented a problem for me since I would have time to challenge each of these foods that I would likely encounter on this trip.
So what did I do? I decided to just give myself permission to eat and then after the trip to return to the diet I was on for two weeks to allow my system to recoup and then challenge the foods one at a time. The reason the foods even need to be challenged is to find out which one might be causing you pain, fatigue, etc. Up to this point I had not really found a culprit other than refined sugars and flours.
It was nice to see my family this last weekend, but the entire trip wrecked havoc on my system. I went from having energy and feeling great to feeling more sluggish and having more headaches and more pain with each successive meal. By the time we started the drive home I was feeling so miserable I didn't think I would ever eat again.
To be honest I'm thankful that there was such a stark difference in the way that I felt. I now know how much of an impact my healthy diet was having on me. Not only did I lose 17 pounds during my 28 days, but I had energy to get through my entire day. My mood was improved, and the pain that has been my constant companion for so long was almost completely gone. After this weekend I see how incredibly important it is for me to continue down the path that I began.
On a note unrelated to the way I feel physically, I want to tell you how much fun I have been having learning to cook in a new way. This is shocking to me because I DO NOT like to cook. That's right. I occasionally get in the mood to bake, but cooking, not so much. I have been baking and cooking and loving that everything I make is healthy and good for me and my family. It has created a whole new relationship with food that I never knew I could have. You may recall my complaining that my relationship with food was not so fun before, but now, well, let's just say that food and I are getting along just fine these days.
So I would like to tell you all that I think making changes to our daily diet is crucial to feeling better physically. For me, a dramatic change was necessary, however, I have been changing the diet of my entire family much more slowly. You can't expect a one year old to suddenly love vegetables after all. I have found that in most cases just making small changes, like switching to whole wheat rather than white, one at a time is much better for life long change. Look at your own diet and see what you can start changing. You'll feel great and be so glad that you did it.