Elimination Diet: Day 5 – Week 3 & Reintroduction Phase

So…Days 5 through 21 were SSDD in the elimination diet world.  Some days were “hangrier” than others and eventually the diet became my new normal.  I’ve even started getting excited for certain meals that I’ve grown to love.  Except for one thing:  rice.  I haven’t touched rice since mid-way through Week 2.  I just can’t.  I’ve latched myself like a leech onto sweet potatoes and I can’t get enough.  So those have become my “carb” of choice for savory meals.  I’m pretty sure only half of the roasted sweet potatoes make it into the storage container since I pick them right off the roasting pan.  Hashtag: Obsessed. 

I only had 1 or 2 severe toddler-like melt downs as the result of hanger.  One hit on a Friday night as I was driving home from returning a few things to various stores (I didn’t have anything ready to go for supper and was extra hungry that day) and all I saw on the drive home were pizza deliveries EVERYWHERE.  Naturally, I felt a pinch of rage, jealousy, bitterness, & envy. Those emotions on top of hunger created a monstrous reaction. 

As the end of Week 3 wrapped up and I started planning which foods to add to my “reintro” phase, I started feeling a little nervous.  I’ve been feeling so good I was afraid to test the waters.  What if one of the foods sends me into an inflammation spiral or flare?  Eventually I came to my senses that any “issue” would resolve itself in 1-3 days since I had been building a 3-week foundation of anti-inflammatory food & healing my intestines. 

Here’s how reintro goes, until I’ve added ALL the foods:  Eat new food at all meals on Day 1, note any and ALL symptoms (tiredness, headaches, mood, intestinal symptoms, etc.), back to base diet for Day 2 & 3 (continue to note symptoms), if all is good this food can be added to my base diet (if not, try, try again) & start the reintro of another food.  I can’t even tell you how long this will take…

My first food choice? Many assumed it would be something absolutely wonderful: chocolate, bread, coffee (!!!), etc.  But no, I chose eggs. Snooze, right? But really…my body has been NEEDING more substantial calories, fat, & protein. If I have to “snack” on chicken one more time, I might do something so bad I don’t even know what it is yet. Eggs are filled with vital nutrients to keep us full, heal our bodies (yay, choline!), and build our muscle. Plus, eggs give me 1 million options (really, I counted) at every meal.  Turns out, eating 7 eggs in one day causes a sulfur build up that may or may not result in bloating & gas.  But (good news), in moderation, I tolerate them just fine 🙂

Also next on the list: tea.  Not coffee, but black caffeinated tea.  I have LONGED for coffee.  My office is just steps from a Starbucks.  I see people sipping the delicious-ness every. single. day.  However, my body has really brainwashed me and I knew coffee would be too much, too fast. Still, even in Week 5 and as far out as I can see, coffee won’t be introduced for a while.  Coffee is a little harsh on the digestive tract…even in those that don’t have IBD issues. So it’s still on the “Foods to Add” List. 

Other foods I’ve tried thus far include almond butter & bison. Please notice how random my food reintros are: but I’m to be adding foods that I suspect caused little to no problems before this diet began.  Bison, a much lighter (& tastier) version of red meat, did not cause me the nausea beef has so it was added early.  And believe me, it tastes great at every meal. While it’s definitely more of a “treat” than a regular diet option, I’m glad it’s back among the yummy weekend supper options.

Almond butter is still up in the air (the symptoms I was experiencing could have been caused from a myriad of other things) so I’ll try it again this week or next. I can’t live without nut butters (probably moreso than coffee) so it’s just GOT to work.

One thing’s for sure: there’s no way I could be training for any race during this diet.  If anyone has, I applaud you. While I can complete workouts and generally feel that I have more energy & recover more quickly (inflammation is bad stuff, mk?), I run out of steam quickly during a run. I’ve been maintaining 10-15 miles each week but it hasn’t been pretty.

Stay tuned for a recap of Week 5 (after Week 5, obviously)… 

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