Saturday, March 7, 2009

Day 54: Visit to the Doctor

So, it's been nearly two months now on the allergy-free diet. I'm still plugging away. Two months without dairy, wheat, oats, corn, most grains, soy, peanuts, sugar or any preservatives, artificial flavors, or MSG.

And I'm actually enjoying myself.

I know, can you believe it? Someone said to me the other day that I must be pretty committed to it to do it. I don't know that it is so much committed as desperate and grateful and a little bit crazy all rolled into one. It is nice to feel better.

I went back to the doctor today. We chatted about it and how I was doing. I did complain because I'm supposed to be off all citrus (limes, lemons, oranges, grapefruit) too and I've not been as strict about that one. I really like lemons and limes. I also like whining when something seems particularly hard. I got no love from the doc. She just smiled and said "Do it anyway."

Okay, then.

The next question was "how much longer?" Oh, three or four months. Then likely another allergy/sensitivity test to determine the next step.

I tried to start this elimination diet twice before and both times I crashed after about three weeks. Fortunately, those crashes taught me some valuable information for this attempt.

  • Do not deprive yourself. I've always had the mentality in the past that I just ignore what I can't eat. In fact, I wouldn't even look at a food item if I wasn't "supposed" to have it or if it wasn't healthy. All that led to was tunnel vision--literally--in the grocery store because 90% of what I walked by was something I didn't want to put in my shopping cart. Well, that behavior has flown the coop and I threw it out gladly. Now, I make sure I indulge regularly in treats and goodies. If a treat or goodie is being served that contains a food I don't eat right now, then I try to figure out a way to modify the recipe and make my own version of that food. Then I don't go around wishing for it. Which is why I've eaten things like blueberry muffins, chocolate cake, candy bars and chocolate chip cookies the last few weeks. Did I mention that I'm not really big on deprivation?
  • Indulge in sensory pleasure: I was sitting in class the other day and the girl in front of me kept snacking on a big bag of Swedish fish. I started automatically to not look at the food and not think about it, but then I changed my mind and just gave in to a big, old craving for those tiny, red gummy candies. I don't know what it is about this allergy thing but I seem to have a particular sensitive spot for Swedish fish--an item that I rarely ate before this. Maybe it is the texture or the sweetness or the combination of the two? Whatever it was, I just indulged. I sniffed the air for their scent. I imagined having a big, old bag for myself too and then . . . I took the thought one step further and remembered how I felt often after indulging like that: headachy, irritable, tired. Is that really what I wanted from that experience? And then once I took the thought through the end result, I realized I was REALLY HUNGRY and had not eaten lunch. Aaaah. Sure sign of a craving for sugar will hit when I starve myself.
And that was my big revelation for the day. 

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