Good Morning! 5-Months ago I received test results proving that I have food sensitivities to Gluten, Dairy, and Eggs. I told you I would update you about my progress so here I am!
A picture tells a thousand words: Here are my before and after pictures:
- Day 1: Found out about my food sensitivities and was advised to no longer eat them. I had to stop eating all gluten, dairy, and eggs. This includes items that say “Manufactured in a facility that contains…”
- Day 2: Relieved to have an answer! Cleaned out my cupboards with resolve!
- Week 2: Crazy frustrated can’t find anything to eat anywhere. Whole Foods is my new best friend. In a ton of pain. Can’t even walk more than to the water cooler without feeling like I’m going to need to be rushed to the hospital any second.
- Month 1: In sooo much pain! Maybe it IS appendicitis after all! Called Dr. Wangen. He said that this is very common and it gets worse before it gets better. I have to go through “withdrawl” symptoms before my body can heal. Hang in there! Discovered that birth control pills have milk in them. (see Tired of Birth Control Pills?) Ugh… Stopped taking them immediately!
- Month 2: Still in a lot of pain. Isn’t it supposed to be better now? I’m totally burnt out on cooking since I can’t eat out anymore and my kitchen is a disaster from all the cooking. I’m feeling a bit depressed that it will be impossible for me to ever travel or even visit my parents without doing tons of prep and bringing coolers with me. Ugh…I also discovered that the “bulk” food-bins at whole foods could have come into contact with my contaminants at and stage. They also don’t clean the scoops before putting them in other bins. No more bulk goods for me!
- Month 3: I see a small, dim light at the end of a long and winding tunnel. I still have pain, but it isn’t as severe as it used to be. I have one to two days per week when I feel only minor pain- the rest are still painful. I’ve been able to start exercising again though! Could it be working? I also discovered that a lot of my chapsticks/lipsticks may have gluten or dairy in them and that I should avoid licking envelopes. Also can’t eat anything that says “natural flavor. What is with all the hidden ingredients?? The list continues….
- Month 4: It’s working! I can sometimes be pain-free for a week at a time! I’ve also discovered that I can always order a steak and baked potato loaded with veggies and olive oil at a restaurant so I’m not completely confined to my home cooking. At this rate, I’m already starting to feel hope for the future of my health and happiness! I did watch Garret eat a pizza one night though and drooled with envy.
Month 5: I feel completely transformed and know that it will only get better from here. I have tons of energy and am starting to plan trips, runs, and ramping up my yoga with new-found fervor! I ran a 12k without any pain. Not only that, but I CAN eat out! And thanks to my local grocery store (The Good Earth) I can stop by the prepared foods section on my way home and pick up comfort food that I can eat. They even have gluten-free/dairy-free pizza loaded with veggies (and its GOOD). I still have pain from time to time but I can tell it’s when something might be slightly out of wack (as in I order something iffy at a restaurant or they don’t know what they are doing). Even then though- the pain is only SUPER minor and only lasts for a day! AWESOME!
I now feel complete confidence and through pinterest have discovered amazing meals that I can make. I used to feel uncomfortable making requests to friends or waiters and so I would go to my friend’s house for dinner but not eat anything until I got home. That is NOT fun. Now I let friends know upfront and I’ve found that they actually prefer to make something that suits you rather than have you drink wine all night. I don’t feel restricted at all. I also don’t pack my food anymore since I now realize I can eat at almost any restaurant, I just have to know what to order.
Here are some tricks I learned:
- Make reservations on Open Table! This is one of the best discoveries I have made! When my husband and I want to go out, I make a reservation through opentable.com which allows you to include a note. I include specific instructions on what I can’t eat. So far I have been completely impressed. Since the restaurant gets to know before hand- they have time to prepare. I have even had chefs bring me a completely personalized menu or plan my meal in advance so that I can still eat something exquisite. Sometimes they circle everything on a menu that I can eat. So helpful!! I love it! Open table also lets you leave a thank you note online so if they did a good job, I always express my thanks for making my evening stress free!
- Almost any burger joint will put your burger between lettuce instead of buns (and they almost always cook in oil and not butter- but you can always check).
- Steak is always a good goto if the menu is mostly contaminants. Just make sure it’s cooked in oil. Not with butter.
- I follow Paleo and Gluten Free boards on Pinterest when I need some more cooking options. Don’t want to get in a rut!
- Saveur Magazine features food from around the world that I have found are mostly fine to eat (or require only minor substitutions)
- Almost all chips and guacamole at happy hours are fine as long as they use corn chips.
- Don’t ever order fried food since the vats most likely touch other items. But you can make french fries, tater tots, and other goodies at home in the oven!
- Chipotle is an awesome goto for roadtrips! They post all their allergen info!
- When I ever do crave something from my past (like French Dip Sandwiches) I can order bread from Mariposa Bakery and they deliver to my house. And the bread is good! (and its gluten, dairy, and egg free!)
- Say you are allergic to wheat. Don’t say that you are gluten-free. Sometimes waiter’s don’t take that seriously. They think you are saying you are just on a diet.
I’ll keep you posted with more about my journey as I go!!! Have a good week!