So far I’ve completed the first two steps of the 5 step plan to heal inflammation and am 3 weeks into the 3rd step!
The first step is a 2 week gear up. At this time you get rid of foods that aren’t approved. You mentally prepare and fill up your cupboards will all the delicious, nutritious food you’ll use for the rest of the plan. Step 2 is a 2 week step in which you start to phase foods out of your diet. Days 1-5 you eliminate fried foods, margarine, vegetable shortening, hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated veggie oils, processed foods, food coloring, preservatives, sugar and other sweeteners, brown sugar, cane juice, cane sugar, fructose, glucose, lactose, malt, maltose, mannitol, raw sugar, sorbitol, sucanat, sucrose, sweet’n’low, turbinado sugar, white sugar, yellow sugar and candy. Days 6-10 you cut out corn and corn products (ie. crackers, muffins, cereals, tacos, etc), high fructose corn syrup, soups and sauces containing corn starch, wheat products, butter, cheese, ice cream, milk, yogurt, and all alcoholic beverages. Days 11-14 you temporarily cut out foods that have potential allergy/inflammation triggers. These foods are things like nightshade veggies (ie. eggplant, peppers, potatoes, tomatoes), peanuts, unfermented soy, the rest of gluten grains, bananas and oranges.
Step 3 is to keep a very strict diet for 8 weeks to allow your digestive track to heal itself. You’re allowed to eat everything that’s left after the above elimination schedule… I came to realize that the majority of my diet is comprised in the foods that have been eliminated. Once the 8 weeks are over then you begin to reintroduce foods back into your diet. Basically like how you introduce foods to a baby. The first week you bring back tomatoes. You eat it cooked one day, then wait 3 days, then eat it raw. During this week you can see how the food reacts in your body!
I have been pleasantly surprised with how well these last 3 weeks have gone. I’ve now officially finished 3 out of my 8 weeks on the strict part of the program. I’m SLOWLY learning how to use different ingredients (examples – Almond flour, arrowroot, coconut oil) and have been finding some very yummy recipes. Using fresh herbs and spices make dishes more flavorful and can really bring a dish to life.
People keep asking me if I feel a difference yet… and I’m not sure. I can say for sure that within the past week I didn’t have a day where I woke up in the morning and didn’t want to get out of bed (like so many other weeks previously). I still get extremely tired if I’m out and about for a few hours, but my dermatologist and chiropractor (whom both have done this) say it takes about 4 weeks to really feel the full effects. I’m really hoping it can bring my energy levels up! That has been my main complaint recently.
My digestive systems seems to be working … more… normally. Although there have been a few nights where my stomach hasn’t felt good. BUT you have to take that with a grain of salt because my stomach always bothers me. I’m hoping once my digestive system gets a reboot my tummy aches will be long gone! Cross your fingers!!
The hardest thing about being on such a strict diet is that it’s hard to eat outside of my house. And if you’re in a rush… I’m grabbing a piece of fruit. There’s really nothing grab n go unless you prep ahead. I’ve found that restaurants and stores are starting to cater to gluten free folks. In some grocery stores, for instance Trader Joe’s, you can get a list of all the pre-approved gluten free food items in the store. There are special sections on menus at some restaurants that point out the gf foods. While that is awesome, since I still can’t eat dairy or sugar most of these meals end up not being on my list at the current moment. I have felt extremely awkward being ridiculously picky about what foods are in a meal and what it’s cooked in. My family and friends have been supportive about it, but I feel like the waitress walks away from the table and is like ‘realllllly girl?’.
I’ve been trying to be resourceful though. One chinese take out meal’s brown rice ended up as a brown rice apple bake the following day! An anti-pasta plate of delicious grilled veggies ended up being a really yummy rice dish for lunch. It’s really all about getting creative in the kitchen with the limited foods I can consume at the moment.
I look forward to the next 5 weeks, BUT to be completely honest I’m reallllly nervous about Thanksgiving and Christmas. This past weekend I went to my cousin’s 10th birthday and found I really couldn’t eat anything at all (except some cut up apples and veggies.). I’m thinking I’m going to have to prepare my own food ahead of time and bring it to eat. Where ever I end up eating Thanksgiving dinner (whether it’s my Aunt’s house or at Brad’s parent’s house) I hope they realize that I’m not trying to offend anybody! I’m just trying to get healthy naturally – and for that I cannot be sorry!
Look forward to more recipes coming your way! Also, in the new few weeks I will be adding a whole new section on the blog for the anti-inflammation lifestyle. Look for it- it’s currently in progress!
Wishing You A Pain Free Day!