[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false]I’m now solidly in Week 3 of my elimination diet (no gluten, no high FODMAP foods, no fun… just kidding… sort of). As much as I would like to assert that I felt my absolute best when living on Annie’s Shells & Cheese and Cool Ranch Doritos, the past few weeks are proving otherwise.
If Week 1 were a work by Victor Hugo, it would be Les Miserables. I had a raging headache the entire week, and felt compelled to slap the Diet Coke straight from the hands of people passing by. While I did my best to pack enough food for the day, inevitably I came home starving. And tempted to fall into a big bowl of hummus. I did adopt one very important habit during Week 1, though: consistently eating breakfast.
I’ve heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but then again, I grew up being told that Pluto was a planet. I’m a born skeptic. Regardless, I carved out time every morning for this meal– most important or not– and have stuck to gluten free cereal, unsweetened almond milk, heaps of fresh berries, and more bananas than any person should consume. While I’d rather spend that time getting stuff done (like working, or talking to my dog), It’s refreshing to not want to eat my keyboard during a mid-morning conference call.
Week 2 was a vast improvement over Week 1, but that’s not saying much, considering I felt like hell on wheels for the first seven days of the diet. By the second week, my deep longing for an IV drip of caffeine had waned, and I no longer sought physical violence against people who freely sipped the Diet Coke. Avoiding all caffeine has three major upsides:
- I’m sleeping better.
- I’ve eliminated the risk of hitting a pole at the Dunkin’ Donuts drive-through, resulting in a dangling side-view mirror… again. Yes, that really happened.
- If I can quit caffeine, I must be unstoppable. Maybe.
I survived a weekend away, thanks to a stash of low FODMAP foods and some careful selection at meal times. I was captain of the nerds with my handy allowed/not allowed food list always at the ready. More than anything, I have such a better appreciation for those dealing with allergies.
I gave myself a free pass (which is less cool than a fun pass) to eat a small portion of baked penne, and a bite of a brownie after my grandmother’s funeral. Oh, and a vodka and soda, light on the vodka, which is technically not forbidden… but not encouraged, either. I soon regretted that free pass, but hey. This is a learning process.
While I’ve experimented with various dairy-free, lactose-free, and gluten-free packaged foods, I’ve been trying to stick to unprocessed foods whenever possible. I’ve been packing salads, low FODMAP fruits and veggies, a bit of almond butter, sweet potatoes, precisely measured wedges of hard cheese (file this under confusing: brie is considered a hard cheese, according to my handy reference guide), and the occasional rice cracker or one of Lucy’s Cookies. Dinner has been similar.
When it comes to snacks, I find myself starring into the fridge, making eyes at the hummus and Greek yogurt. It’s kind of a bad scene. I broke out the mustard and Glutino pretzels for Game 6 of the Stanley Cup playoffs, though, and quite enjoyed the combination. I think this may be a lucky snack, so they will be on the table for Game 7 tonight, for sure. Plus, they taste good. And grainy mustard just plain old rules.
Week 3 has been the easiest so far, which makes sense. I tried another go at the free pass last night, when I arrived at my front door famished and exhausted. Rather than going all out (I think the baked penne from Week 2 hit just about every category on the ‘not allowed’ list), I limited myself to one forbidden column, grains, and experienced no side effects (and sadly, no vodka….). While I am tempted to press my luck… I am not willing to risk a whammy (…best game show of all time). Back to safe greens today.
I am (mostly) patiently waiting for the results of my blood work to come back, and am (fully) crossing my fingers that it will be clear what foods I should be avoiding from now on. In the meantime, though, I am feeling surprisingly better. I am much more conscious of cravings, my hunger levels, and how I feel after eating. I have gotten so much better at preparing food in advance, rather than leaving things to chance. With a week and a half to go, I’m thankful for this insight…. and I’m looking forward to a normal night out (at a restaurant that serves garlic and onions, preferably) soon.
- Local friends, I’ve got a night out with your name on it. The lovely Colleen at Eversave offered to give one On Tap for Today reader a free Save for a three course dinner for two at Fire + Ice in Cambridge.
To enter, leave a comment below. I will select a random winner tomorrow evening (Thursday, April 26) after 8 PM EST. If you’d rather send all your good luck to the Boston Bruins, you can purchase this sweet deal until midnight tonight.
Also On Tap for Today:
- LET’S GO, BRUINS! 🙂
- Popsicles in Prosecco: a match made in heaven
- Doing damage with my new label maker (watch out!)
What one food would you have trouble living without? (Be sure to indicate if you want to be entered to win the aforementioned giveway, ladies and gents.)