Elimination Diet and Overall Health Update

I haven’t posted much lately and you may want to know why. Well, it’s pretty simple. The elimination diet has been pretty routine for me. With the exception of last week, where I had to be a vegan who didn’t eat grains. Last week was miserable. Fruit, vegetables and beans only got really old really fast. I got through it only through sheer force of will.

For the most part, starting this coming Saturday, my dietary intake will consist of fruit (with the exception of bananas, watermelon, pineapple and mango), vegetables (with the exception of yucca, tomatoes, potatoes, peppers and eggplant), beans, beef, pork, fish (no shellfish but I’m allergic anyhow), chicken, turkey, and lamb. I’m hopeful that in a few weeks I can test the waters with some coffee (decaf) and some nuts as well as some local honey.

But for now, this is my LIFESTYLE.

That’s what’s also become routine — a lack of understanding as to why I’m doing this and when I can “change” what I’m eating. Celiac and wheat/gluten sensitivity does not just go away. This isn’t Jenny Craig or Weight Watchers and isn’t about how much weight you can lose quickly and then go back to eating copious amounts of ice cream and Alfredo sauces.

That’s why I say that this is a total lifestyle change. This is forever.

For those people that think I’m starving, I have to tell you this — I’M NOT. I eat very well. But when faced with what most of us eat on a routine basis, yeah, I guess it appears that I don’t. That is because I don’t eat very much that comes in a jar, can, box or package. Here’s what I eat that comes in packaging: natural applesauce (no sugar or sugar substitutes are added), olive oil, olives, beans, coconut water, sauerkraut (cans only — the jars have sulfites added to retain color), coconut milk, apple cider vinegar, some spices, salt and pepper, the occasional bagged lettuce or cabbage mix and the occasional can of tuna fish. I suppose I should start eating sardines but I haven’t been able to do it yet. I also can drink Kombucha and I haven’t found one that fits my needs. That’s it. Everything else I eat is from the outside aisles of the store and I totally skip the dairy aisle. The majority of my cart is fruit and veg.

I know I can get a little preachy sometimes about the changes I’ve made but here’s why. You guys see the outward changes. I’ve lost 20 pounds in the last 12 weeks. I see the inward changes that you don’t see however. I see that my IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) which has plagued me my entire life seems to have mostly disappeared (and at 53 that’s a long time). I have gotten rid of the stomach “bloat”. I see that my skin is better. I see that I have energy and that I’m calmer and less anxious. I’ve been told that I “glow” and I suppose I do. At Evo last night someone told me that I looked happy and yes, I have to say I feel happy.

Losing weight has helped me feel stronger too. Since starting this diet, I have been able to do lower trap pulls by myself. Now, some of that has just been doggedly working on my strength but I have no doubt that not having to deadlift that extra 20 pounds of body fat has helped. That I feel so much better also helped. My endurance, not the best, has improved. Hopefully next week we will get another pinch test for my body fat composition. Last pinch was about 4 months ago and I had already lost 16% and that’s before this elimination and the 20 pound loss.

Again, LIFESTYLE change.

What do I still miss? Pizza, pasta, tomatoes (although not as much as I thought I would miss tomatoes), coffee, cheesecake, fried rice. I miss nuts too. But you adapt. I’ve started making a really great hummus without tahini. I even cook chickpeas with spices, garlic, onion, mint and lemon and call it mashed falafel. It is now one of my favorite meals. I really enjoy my vegetables and my grill pan has given me some wonderful grilled veg (Vidalia onions grilled — O.M.G.!!!).

I miss going out to restaurants and ordering straight off the menu. Now eating out is much more frustrating. I have a few places that seem to be easier to deal with though and I give them business whenever possible. I get annoyed at restaurants that upcharge me for adding a salad or vegetables when I’ve asked them to not give me bread or a bun, or potatoes, or tomatoes, or cheese, or croutons, or nuts. One restaurant tried to charge me $14 for a hamburger with a piece of lettuce. After I pointed out that I didn’t get the fries, the bun or the tomatoes or pickle, they charged me $7.50. I would have paid the $14 because that’s where we were and I was starving but I was pleased they finally figured it out.

Eating home has become much more enjoyable again.

I believe that I can continue this for a lifetime. It’s about my overall health and that is worth everything. For those that think I have impinged my quality of life, I say oh no! I have done just the opposite.

So please excuse me if I grin like the Cheshire Cat or if I sound preachy. I just want you to feel as good as I do. Here’s to a long life with great health.

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