in Blog

What I’ve learned after 3 weeks on an elimination diet

I wrote up some tips for spoonies here. If you’re eliminating gluten, dairy, corn, and soy, and you have limited energy, check those out.

In the past, I’ve been too scared to try eliminating any particular food for more than a week. The reason was two-fold: one, I have such limited energy and I perceived dietary restrictions as being lots of extra work and two, I really like dietary indulgences. I savor good food. I think having something tasty is a great pleasure in life. And I tend to be a person who is fairly well-behaved (drinking rarely, staying away from drugs that aren’t prescribed to me, OTC, or caffeine, avoiding smoking, almost never going to parties). I think because I have so few indulgences, good food and laziness feel extra special to me. (Having limited energy does not equal being lazy. But sometimes, even when I do have a bit of energy, I give myself a lazy day.)

This time, I knew it would be different, because I’d have my health coach Monica to talk me through the plan, and to check in with me on how it’s going (an extra big deal since she’s going to have a little one any day now! so it’s very nice that she takes the time to email me). I’ve found those ways to deal with the diet that I mentioned in the tips post linked earlier. But I’ve learned some other things, too.

I’ve learned that I can be very happy with a salad, if I put the right things in it. I’ve learned that locally produced meats are amazing. I’ve learned that sometimes you really want butter, not olive oil or coconut oil, and that is a good time to use bacon grease if you happen to have it on hand.

My big takeaway, that I hope will stay with me even after I’m done adding foods back in and seeing what does or doesn’t make me feel bad, is that if I’m willing to do a little work and carefully budget, I can get high quality ingredients and make myself things that are not only just as indulgent as any foods I was eating before this, but tastier. Obviously, I shouldn’t subsist on a diet of Izze and Lara bars, or even home-made almond flour muffins (though anything made with almond flour is going to be much lower in sugar than any other baked good). But I hope that I’ve given myself a good foundation for expanding my diet to include a wider variety of healthier foods, without feeling deprived of the junk food I ate so often in the past. And I’ve learned that I don’t need to be afraid of changing my diet. I won’t starve, eat something that will make me feel bad because I decide it’s worth it, or live off of pistachios and fruit (though that has served as lunch a few times in the past 3 weeks).