This post is the third in a series… please read part 1 and 2 so this makes sense.
Weeks 3-5: Project Fix Leaky Gut
“I can see clearly now…”
Today is Day 36. I can proudly say I haven’t cheated at all on what has been called a “horrific” diet, occasionally by me. Whenever I get weak (and that has happened on innumerable instances), I visualize shrimp, crab and lobster, which consistently cause my most severe allergic reactions. Then I imagine them dunked in delicious drawn butter in the hope I will find a cure that will let me enjoy them. It’s been a trip so far…
As far as how I feel, my circadian rhythms for sleep continue to be completely predictable. I do wake up like a “morning person” ready to take on the day (something pretty rare before now). I’m calm, awake like a kid on Christmas morning and less stressed. But on days when I have a cup of green tea (which has minimal caffeine), I get easily irritated. So I’m thinking once my gut is healed, I may not go back to caffeine on a regular basis. It’s a pretty fantastic feeling not to be chained to a morning cup of addiction. Herb tea has been my go-to morning beverage… mint, ginger, rooibos.
Snacks have been easier than I thought and I don’t really need to snack much. The extra fat and protein in my diet help satiate between meals. When I feel the urge, I eat homemade kale chips, prosciutto, and sweet potato chips (there’s an awesome brand cooked in coconut oil called Jackson’s Honest which has been highly addictive).
Day 30 was a big day, not only because I’d made it 30 days on a Game of Thrones-grade foodie-dungeon torture regime but because I had some salmon… without any allergic symptoms. I’m testing myself out every few weeks with my allergen ingredients (shellfish, avocado, almonds, fish sauce, sesame oil and salmon fed a diet of shrimp) to see how far I can push it.
I have experienced some strange stuff I’ll share in case you ever decide to try this.
1) My acne, which has plagued me since a pimply teenager, hasn’t really gotten better. On the cleanse forums, people gush, “Oh! My skin is soooo much better now that I eat clean!” and “My acne is completely cleared up.” Me? Nope… keeps on trucking like hormonal clockwork. I envy women with perfect skin. Perhaps a couple more weeks and things will turn around.
2) Plantain hash and taro root “hash” are not a substitute for potatoes at breakfast. Just don’t go there if you don’t have to. Green plantains don’t ever get soft and taro root is slimy… at least the little ones I was able to locate in my town. They both taste like tough, flavorless potatoes. Not much of a substitute, no matter what anyone says. I gave up trying to create something tasty with those starchy vegs and am now dedicated to bacon, sausage (those sautéed with vegetables), fruit, coconut yogurt, and/or a savory coconut muffin for breakfast. All other meals are fortunately not challenging to make so all is good there.
3) Although I’ve been unbelievably open-minded about new ingredients (so has my patient husband), rutabaga “fries” are thoroughly disgusting. One day, you’ll thank me for this information.
Another challenge: is finding stuff to do. I’ve had bouts of boredom lately, tied to the fact that everything in my life revolves around food and beverage. Especially in wine country. I like to hike, but it’s been cold, so I haven’t been hiking much. One afternoon in week 3 out on the Sonoma Coast has been the extent of hiking recently.
But I’ve been creative keeping my mind off of food and wine. Played mini golf, bowled, done yoga and Pilates, binged watched on Netflix, read a lot (about leaky gut), yardwork… anything to keep me occupied (planted tomatoes… hoping I can eat them by the time the little guys produce fruit). I’m realizing that I spend a lot of time with friends drinking and eating and when I’m not doing that, I’m thinking about it. Enlightening.