What food would you give up to be healthy?
I think it depends on how sick you are and how badly you want to be healthy. At this point, I will eat or not eat whatever in order to be healthy.
It has been a struggle since I last wrote Giving Up Grain Part 1. Figuring out what is causing digestive distress is truly trial and error. I probably should have gone back to my doctor sooner, but after the last two interactions with her, I did not believe she could help me. I felt like I was on my own.
Disclaimer: Trying super hard not be too descriptive while still giving a picture of my health.
When I first gave up grains, I noticed a dramatic change in my health. All the nightly bloating and abdominal pains were gone. And I felt a lot better for about a week or so and then things started to go down hill. I wasn’t really convinced all grains were bad and tried to go with simply gluten free. Mostly this was a hopeful attempt to still eat close to what I called “normal.” Maybe it was ok to eat quinoa and rice still? No and no. In fact, now that I was grain/gluten free I was having almost worse symptoms with abnormal bowel movements everyday. I decided to research a digestive enzyme.
In case you didn’t know, there are like a thousand different kinds of digestive enzymes. It is pretty overwhelming. I decided to pick one that was an overall enzyme. I’m supposed to take three
horse pills tablets twice a day. Gag. I decided since I’m small that maybe I could get away with only two twice a day. About the time the enzymes came in the mail, is when it dawned on me that since I switched to paleo I had been eating a LOT more eggs. I was using them in all the paleo recipes for things like paleo muffins (mostly egg based), paleo tortillas (aka egg crepes), paleo breakfast casserole (eggs, eggs, eggs). It seemed logical to try eliminating eggs.
Giving up eggs really puts a damper on breakfast, but I was finally starting to feel better.
And then, I also gave up nuts. I really didn’t used to eat nuts very often, but when I switched to paleo I was going to almonds and other nut-based granolas for snacks. I still eat peanut butter which is technically not paleo since peanuts are a legume. I don’t care. I’m just trying to find foods that don’t make me ill.
So there I was not eating grains, eggs, or nuts and Starving all the time. My GI system was still recovering from all the foods that had been irritating my bowels and I was getting frustrated. So I finally made an appointment with my doctor. All I wanted was for her to do some tests and send me to a specialist. Well, long story short, I got what I wanted. She doesn’t know what I have but wants to say it’s IBS. I got my referral to the Gastroenterologist and got sent home with things from the lab to collect samples.
Now I’m like, Great! They will finally see what’s wrong with me. Uh, huh….And then, for the next four days after picking up the collection kit, I am perfectly healthy. What?! I guess I had given my body enough time to start healing my gut. Well, I really want them to see the unhealthy me because I’m not sure if what I’m doing (eliminating eggs, grain, nuts + taking the enzymes) is what I should be doing. So I sabotaged myself. I stopped taking the enzyme and ate eggs everyday. I was so happy. Yay! Real Breakfast again! I even had some bread and crackers. Yep. That did the trick. So Sick again. I never thought I would say this, but I was so glad to stop eating eggs. I turned in my samples and now three days later I’m still recovering. And I’m even more determined to stick to my grain free, egg free, nut free diet.
I don’t miss any of the foods that I gave up. I miss the convenience of those foods. Eating without grains, eggs, and nuts takes a lot of planning. And the problem is these foods don’t make me sick right after eating them. It’s often hours later. So sometimes I want to just eat whatever because I’m starving and then deal with the consequences later. It’s a real struggle and it has affected my running and my training.
Anyway I have an appoint with the GI specialist and hopefully he can help me. I think I have some food sensitivities, but it would be nice to have some tests done to pinpoint the actual issue versus my guesses.
So that’s the health news here for now. Just taking it one day at a time.