This post is well past due and it’s time for an update as to why I’ve been MIA the last few weeks. I had an unexpected change of events. I thought I was on my way to resuming life as usual. I finally had my appetite back and I was ready to start blogging about food again. Unfortunately, while my appetite was agreeable to enjoying all the foods I knew and loved, my body was not. I was not bouncing back and I was having some lingering symptoms that were not being resolved.
Embarking on an Elimination Diet
After some doctor appointments and research, it was becoming evident that whatever I had come in contact with had really done a number on my digestive system and it needed time to recover. This meant going on an elimination / low residue diet to give my gut time to heal. Also, this should help me determine if I had developed any food allergies or sensitivities.
To be honest, after this all sunk in it hit me kind of hard. The list of foods I had to avoid was much longer than the list of foods I could eat. It meant now, if I ate something that wasn’t from the produce section I had to diligently read labels and check ingredients. Reading labels wasn’t a new thing to me. In fact, I often check ingredients when I shop. My routine was to buy healthy foods for eating at home and treat myself when I went out to eat. The daunting aspect of this was the fact that if I want to do this right, I have to consistently adhere to this diet for the next several weeks. No “cheat” days, no weekend splurges.
The other aspect that made this a bit depressing was the fact that SO much of socialization centers around food! Think about it, the majority of the time when you meet up with friends and family it’s centered around food. My eating out was definitely going to be curtailed for a bit; or at the very least, I was going to be severely limited in what I could order.
Overcoming the Feeling of Overwhelm
But, there’s always something to be thankful for. I still have my health and I’m not struggling with a debilitating disease. I’m just learning to be more creative with meal planning and recipes. It’s also a good learning experience. I’ve researched and taken in more information on healing foods and supplements. And in the grand scheme of things, several weeks is NOT that long.
Once I was able to get things in perspective the diet wasn’t as overwhelming. Thankfully, the internet is a wonderful resource for recipe ideas. I’ve come across some other blogs and websites that specialize in diets similar to mine. I’m also learning to be creative in the kitchen and modify recipes to fit within my plan. So, while this hasn’t been convenient, it has been educational and a good challenge to brush up on my culinary skills.
The good news is, I’m already beginning to see a bit of improvement! The more troubling symptom has gone away and I’m beginning to feel more like myself. I still have a ways to go. Some days are better than others; but you have to start somewhere. 😀
This experience has also given me a greater understanding and sympathy for individuals who have food allergies and diet-related health issues. While what I’ve experienced has been nowhere near what so many experience, I’ve acquired a great deal of respect and admiration for those who have to live with these issues. It’s also made me aware of how isolating these diagnoses can make one feel. Going forward I want to be more sensitive and accommodating to friends and acquaintances whose diets are limited by health conditions.
Discovering Delicious Recipes that Fit the Plan
While I won’t be able to post restaurant reviews for the time being, I hope to be able to share some of my meals with you. I’ve actually discovered some tasty recipes and food combinations. While some may be a bit unconventional, I’ve found recipes that make eating a pleasurable experience again. As long as I’m enjoying what I’m eating it makes this process much easier and, at times, a bit of a fun challenge.
If you’re curious as to what one eats on an elimination diet, or happen to be on an elimination diet yourself, check back in. I’ve already found some recipes delicious enough to prepare for company and I’ll be sharing those in the upcoming weeks. As a preview, here is a photo of a rich and comforting garlic soup I recently made.