Friday, January 20, 2012

Food.

Food.

The joy of food. The joy of cooking. Things that just melt in your mouth.

When you have forcing functions that have caused you eliminate things from you're diet, food can become an intimidating part of your life. A nightmare at times. The joy, can be stripped out. The melt can seem to go away. No butter? No bread? No...brie?

Finding out that I cannot have certain foods was bit of trial-and-error for me. I did not get a conclusive: "You have X and so therefore, you cannot have Y." Unfortunately this is not how many gastrointestinal problems are treated. It is typically: "You have IBS or IBD and you cannot have certain foods- I suggest you try a few diets and see what triggers your symptoms. Stick to a diet that works for you."

OK, great, thanks doc.

Dairy was relatively easy, I had eliminated it out of my diet (for the most part) in '09. Gluten was a bit trickier and at one point I thought- I use to be able to eat gluten and I was fine, I'm just going to start eating it again. I remember the day that I made that decision. It felt like the best decision I ever made. I was in Maine on vacation with myself, took myself out to dinner and enjoyed an amazing meal with glutenous bread (and wine). It was as if I was flirting with my food- one bite at a time.

Two weeks in and I felt awful. Alright, guess that didn't work. Trying new diets can really test your patience and their are A LOT out there. Not only did I need a diet that eased my GI issues, I have had run-ins with several other internal issues as well that I needed to learn how to manage.

The IC diet, the Endometriosis diet, the Blood Type diet, the Paleo diet and the list goes on. The search for the 'perfect diet' lead to a food obsession. Actually, it was more of a fear. Food phobia.

Will that make me sick? Can I eat that? I wonder how long that's been sitting out? What's the expiration date? If eat I this, will I be OK to sit in my next meeting? There was a time where I would suffer through the afternoon hours of a day in so much pain that I could hardly focus. Finding myself flat on the floor in agony when I came home from work. I would spend hours of my day worrying about food. Planning out my meals so that I wouldn't eat something that could potentially make me sick. When you don't know exactly what ails you, it can be a slow and frustrating process.

I had to stop obsessing. Relax. And know that I can only do what I know is best for my body. Not what a website, book or even a doctor says. Really listen to my body. And know that not every stomach upset is a setback. Living in food fear lead me to be in a state of physical and emotional turmoil. One of the biggest obstacles I had to overcome was being OK with my new way of living (I prefer this over the word diet). Not in the sense that I wasn't OK with it with myself but going out was a challenge because I had the sense that people thought that I was eating the I was to lose weight, being pretentious etc. and I constantly felt that I had to defend myself.

Nonsense. I came to the conclusion that I will not eat something out of respect for people. I'm sorry, I can't eat your brownie, your homemade bread, your wildly delicious cheese dip. And that's OK. And you know what? It was OK, no one ever really takes offense ( at least no the people I surround myself with ) because they love me and accept it. It was just something I had to concur within myself.

I've found that diets can be a nice 'guideline.' We have heard it a thousand times over but everyone truly is different. There are elements of almost every diet that I have tried that work very well for me. If I fell under one, it would be the Paleo Diet. I have a few items that I eat that are non-paleo that I have found work well for my body. (These items are: Chickpeas, potatoes, oats and brown rice- in moderation of course). So, I do about 85/15 paleo.

I do have my theories of way the Paleo diet is probably the best choice and why dairy should be eliminated or very limited in everyone's diet but I will leave those for a later post ;)

This time last year I was in a much different space (emotionally), now I have become excited about food again. No-Bake's with almond butter? Yes, please. Coconut banana bread? Yum! My pallet has changed. I crave different things. And, different things melt in my mouth. Like Coconut Macaroons...


Thoughts to be continued...

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