Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Love Yourself (with food!)

My room mate Emily and I have just embarked on a 6-8 week long 'elimination diet'. We both have had issues with our tummies in the past so we decided to give this a try to see how food impacts how we feel. I think we all know it can impact us a lot and this experience is definitely showing us how much.

The idea of the cleanse is that you eliminate all potential food sensitivities from your diet for the first three weeks. We have eliminated sugar, caffeine, wheat/gluten, dairy, red meat, alcohol, all processed foods and certain fruits and vegetables. After the three week period we will be introducing each food back one at a time (with 48 hours in between each food) and recording our body's response. If our body does not react at all we can continue to eat this food. Emily and I both suspect dairy will elicit a negative response.

We are now on day 7! It has been an interesting experience so far. Eating this way definitely requires one to be very prepared. We always have to have food ready to eat and snacks ready to go. We learned the "bring the snacks lesson" on a trip to Ikea just a few days ago. We had both eaten dinner before leaving (me a little before), and by the end of our visit I was absolutely starving. We were lucky enough to find some raw sunflower seeds for the trip back but I was surprised by how affected I was by the hunger. I could barely muster up the energy to talk, or to laugh. I felt weak and light headed and couldn't focus on anything else. Trying to get the heavy furniture in the house afterwards was quite the scene. Let's just say we will never leave the house again without snacks and water!

The first few days of the cleanse I felt quite tired throughout the day. I can't say I have had any major 'detox' symptoms except fatigue, a bit of mental fog and a couple of headaches. I can also say that I definitely have way less bloating. I feel lighter and my energy is definitely starting to increase towards the end of this week. I also notice I'm much hungrier than I have ever been and am eating snacks very often. I have also lost 5 pounds in the past 7 days which is pretty incredible!

I might say the most difficult aspect of this process for me is the mental aspect. I love food and eating so much that I have had a few moments longing the food I can not have. There have also been several conversations between Emily and I that begin with, "When this is done I'm going to eat/drink...". On the other hand- it is a challenge and an opportunity to create new recipes and eat in a way that is still satisfying and delicious. I am having fun thinking of new things for Emily and I to enjoy! In the end I hope this to be a rest for my body and a chance to truly get to know what foods effect me and how. It will be empowering in the end to be able to choose.

I told Emily today that it feels good to be putting so many amazing things into my body. We will see where this journey takes us!

  
                                         With a breakfast like this we're not doing too bad...
                                       Brazil nuts, water, cacao, coconut oil, maca, goji berry
                                          powder, cinnamon, agave and fresh bee pollen.

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