This is going to be all over the place. I thought about making it several different posts, but honestly, how much do you guys want to read about my food journey? :) So I’m lumping it all in one epic ramble.
I’m pleased to say that my detox was the most successful yet. I felt good while on it and was shocked that by eliminating gluten/wheat for just one week I could see a difference in my bloating. Typically after one of my normal meals (mostly vegetables + grain + protein) I find myself tremendously bloated and uncomfortable. The no gluten/wheat thing seemed to really help.
While I did not complete daily positive reflection, the few I did were good exercises and something that I think I’ll try to post on a regular basis here. Not a scheduled thing, so much as a way to end a post where I am particularly down and “Negative Nancy.”
I exercised daily which, of course, felt great. After about two months of regular exercise I’m staring to see improvements in my body. I look stronger, leaner and more toned. I still have a ways to go before I would put myself back at the level of fitness when I got married, but I feel like I’m on the right path.
As far as weight loss goes… I did not lose a pound. Which is frustrating but I’m choosing to look past it. Weight is a number. My BMI is healthy and my body is looking stronger. From now on I think I’ll omit weight tracking as an indicator of how I am progressing health-wise. The only thing I need to monitor weight for is to watch for a sudden, unintentional drop which can signal a major autoimmune flareup. (When I had my first huge flare my weight dropped below 118 for the first time since I was 16. Not a good place for a 5 foot 6 inch woman with my frame to be.
PCOS and The Autoimmune Fiasco
As we all know from my recent posts, Dr. B has determined I most certainly do have PCOS and has urged me to try a PCOS diet plan and greatly reduce my soy consumption. Within a week of this I also am informed by the rheumatologist and retina specialist that I have some new skin “things” that are potentially autoimmune-related and some inflammation in my left eye. Crap. Just when I feel like I’m getting a handle on my health I get sent back to Start.
Over the past few days I have scoured Google for information on going gluten-free for uveitis, general autoimmune disease and PCOS. From what I have found it looks like I have little to loose and a ton to gain from giving it a try. Worst case scenario - I give up toast for 6 months and am still sick. Fine. Then I get toast back. Best case scenario - I give up toast for 6 months and find restored health, fewer or no flares and ovaries that resemble ovaries and not big sacks of garbage. Win.
I dread giving up my pescatarian status. Not eating “land mammal,” as I say, has become part of my identity and I am having a hard time coming to terms with changing. Not that there is anything wrong with people who choose to eat meat and dairy, it just isn’t my shtick.
However, with my already limited diet due to allergies (no dairy, treenuts, peanuts or shellfish) and then the elimination of gluten and serious reduction of soy, I’m left with little choice. I need to eat chicken. Ugh. Yes, I know I can, and will, buy organic, hormone-free, free-range “happy” chickens, but still. Is any animal raised specifically for slaughter really “happy?” How can I guarantee that my chicken actually got to roam around and pal with other chickens without actually visiting the farm? Furthermore, I find chickens to be ADORABLE! How can I eat something so damn cute?
Because I have to, that’s why. Tonight will be my first “chickening.” I’m going to make fajitas and hope that all the veggies and seasonings will mask the yucky taste of chicken. I’m also going to hit up the local farmers market and see if there are any truly free-range farmers who would be ok with me popping in and checking out their practice. Yes, I’m really that crazy. Wait, no, I’m really that passionate about fair treatment of animals.
The Nuts-and-Bolts of My Plan
So here is the rough outline of this new dietary venture.
- I am committing to trying a gluten-free lifestyle for 6 months. My body needs time to recover from this flare, the miscarriage, blah blah blah before I can expect true results. I think 6 months should give that to me. If anyone has advice otherwise, please feel free to share.
- I will continue eating a variety of fresh vegetables, organic when I can afford it. (NOTE: We genuinely cannot afford a 100% organic lifestyle.)
- I will replace soy milk with Flax Milk – which is GF, vegan, nut-free, and has actual nutrients, unlike a lot of rice milks. It is also not terrible tasting.
- I use soy milk in my coffee and love it. I am experimenting with other options right now and working to find a good compromise. So far coconut creamer is the best substitute.
- I will allow myself soy in tofu or tempeh form once or twice a week. This is because I love tofu. I love it so freaking much I eat it raw as a snack. Delicious.
- I will eat chicken, wild-caught low mercury fish and plentiful beans for protein. I will also continue
choking downeating free-range eggs from local farmers.
- I will continue to avoid Earth Balance and processed fats.
- I will cook with olive oil, sesame oil, coconut oil, etc.
- I will follow the “EZ” Diet for PCOS, which falls in-line nicely with going gluten-free.
- I will limit alcohol consumption to red wine once or twice a week. I will stop drinking beer unless it is gluten-free. This is a very sad statement but I desperately want to be better.
I think that is the basic gist of things right now. This is a “work-in-progress” change that I realize won’t happen overnight. This weekend I’m going to map out my meals for next week and clear out things in the fridge and cupboards that do not fit with the diet. I have already been finishing things off this week that won’t be replaced – like the soy milk. Mr. Husband is joining me in going gluten-free after hearing a report on NPR about a gluten-free lifestyle helping those with AADD (Adult Attention Deficit Disorder), although he will likely not be as strict as I.
These are a lot of big changes for a girl who is not particularly fond of change, but I’m confident I can be successful and, hopefully, find some relief from uveitis/autoimmune and PCOS. Time will tell. This weekend I’ll be adding a new section to the blog so folks can follow my weekly meal planning and such without annoying my other readers with daily “What I Ate” and grocery list posts.
Whew, that was a lot writing. If you made it this far you deserve a treat. How about some hug-able toast?