Elimination

Good morning, friends! Happy Wednesday!

That title sounds more like one to a crime novel or reality tv show, but really, for today’s WIAW, I wanted to share with you the new diet I’ve taken on because of this unbearable acid reflux.

WIAW LogoHosted by Jenn of Peas and Crayons.

My allergist actually suggested this diet back in August, but my reflux wasn’t bad enough at that point for me to want to try it. And I say want because this diet has taken so much will power that it’s evident I’m suffering if I want to do this. So anyway, the whole process is essentially an elimination diet: I eat only certain foods, and after a number of weeks, I can re-introduce another food group to see if it gives me symptoms. If it does, I eliminate that food group for a while or, worse, forever.

The foods I need to completely stop eating:
– Dairy
– Eggs (already allergic)
– Nuts (already allergic)
– Soy
– Corn
– Gluten
– Potato
– Rye
– Beef
– Fish

And that means everything within that group or of that food, so things like corn starch, corn syrup, tofu, potato flakes, whey, barley, wheat, etc. are out. Following this has quite literally upended everything that I’ve known as far as food goes. There are so many aspects to it that it’s impossible for me to eat the same meal I would have before – including my beloved Greek yogurt in the mornings. It’s so frustrating.

However, my acid reflux was getting so bad that something had to happen. I was in such pain every day that my mood, exercise, and sleep were all affected. Plus, after a visit to the dentist, I learned that I’m at high risk of gingivitis, not because I have bad hygiene habits (quite the opposite, actually – I’m doing everything and more that they suggested), but because the acid is backing up all the way into my mouth, affecting my gums. Because it’s me (read: I have allergies), I knew the reflux had to do with food intolerance, so the next step was figuring out what food(s) are the problem. All that leads to this diet.

The foods I’m allowed to eat:
– Any kind of vegetable (but I’ve personally ruled out peppers, onions, and garlic, as I know they give me symptoms)
– Any kind of fruit (but I’ve ruled out oranges)
– Quinoa, rice, oatmeal
– Chicken
– Beans
– Water and tea (the diet says pop and coffee are allowed, but I know those give me problems, so those are out)

Now, with all that said, here’s a glimpse at what my daily eats might look like:

Breakfasts

Oatmeal or quinoa breakfast bowls. For a few days I was able to tolerate Greek yogurt in the morning (the only dairy I’d have all day), but noticed my reflux coming back.

refluxbreakfastquinoa

strawbgranolaquinoa

Lunches and Dinners

I’m not a huge fan of chicken, so beans have become my favorite source of protein. I also will eat rice and quinoa to increase protein and fiber in my meals. I’ve been eating a lot of vegetables, too, which helps with satiety. My lunches and dinners are frequently repeated meals, but at least there’s room to be creative. I don’t really find myself missing too much – except cheese. I miss cheese so much.

refluxdietlunchQuinoa with pasta sauce, green beans, kidney beans, and chicken.

butternutapplebakeA Butternut squash, Apple, and Cranberry Bake. I wasn’t the biggest fan of it, but decided to puree and freeze it to use in baked goods. :-)

refluxdietdinnerBrown rice pasta with pasta sauce, sweet potato (I really don’t think potato is the problem, and a sweet potato is different, right?), and asparagus.

Snacks

Do you know how difficult it is to find a snack that doesn’t contain one of the above ingredients? I can tell you: it’s very difficult. Fruit, homemade granola, applesauce, kale chips, and rice Chex have been my friends. I’ve also taken quite a liking to Honest Tea’s Half and Half tea.

honesttea

kale chips

Desserts

By far the hardest category to figure out. No ice cream, chocolate, cookies, or anything fun. Fruit is pretty much all I can do.

Have I noticed a difference?

ellahiding

As much as I hate to admit it, yes, I have. For a week I was strictly on this diet, not wavering once, and I had hardly any symptoms. When we went out to eat for my mom’s birthday, I had a few of the “bad” food groups, and almost immediately had symptoms. If I deviate even a little bit, I notice things. Now I just need to be patient enough to be on the diet for a week or two in order to re-introduce a food group.

Another interesting perk is that my cravings or desire to snack have dramatically reduced. I have a feeling it’s because I’m not eating wheat (which, I think, is addictive), but maybe part of it is because I’ve been forced to eat more “whole foods”. I haven’t really lost any weight, but the fact that I can eat a meal and not want to snack an hour after is definitely a good thing.

So there we have it. My new, annoying, frustrating, boring, but helpful elimination diet.

If you have any suggestions of delicious foods I can enjoy, I’d be more than happy to hear them! :-)

Questions for the day:

Have you ever had to do an elimination diet?

Is it easy for you to admit things?

Any food suggestions??

:-)

As always, thanks for reading. Have a great day!

9 comments

  1. You’re getting creative with the stuff you can have! I hope you figure out the culprit soon so you can enjoy some more variety!

  2. Wow that’s quite a list of food you can’t eat. For me I’d really struggle with eggs. I adore scrambled egg and it’s always my go-to meal when I fancy something fairly easy.
    I hope you figure it out and you don’t have to give up too many foods you love!

  3. I had to do an elimination diet two years ago for some weird symptoms/skin allergies and I feel your pain!! You are SUCH a trooper. Those diets are so hard, but worth it to alleviate symptoms :/. Hang in there!

  4. I feel your pain – I did an elimination diet a couple of months back for my IBS and it was the longest four weeks ever! I couldn’t have any grains or rice so breakfast especially was a struggle – ended up with a lot of fruit/coconut milk/coconut oil smoothies. Recommended coconut yogurt too if you can get hold of it – really creamy and very low allergen. Luckily most things I’ve reintroduced so far have been fine but I’m still off dairy and grains for another few months – so looking forward to that first plate of cheese!

  5. A sweet potato is definitely different than a regular white potato. White potatoes are nightshades and can cause a whole host of problems for those of us with “sensitive” bodies. More like bodies on a war path, but you get the idea! ;)

    Let’s see if I can think of any ideas for you to shake things up a bit, though I must say your food looks great!

    Breakfast- quinoa flakes along with some coconut milk and sweetener makes a nice porridge. You could also do something savory for breakfast like a stir fry of sweet potatoes, spinach, beans, mushrooms, broccoli, zucchini, apples, chicken sausage (or maybe just some ground chicken since sausage has some seasonings you are staying away from). Someone mentioned coconut yogurt above, and there is also rice yogurt. I haven’t had either but if you like them that would be wonderful! (For coconut milk, TJs has a light milk without any added ingredients. Most contain corn and weird gums though). Maybe even some smoothies with brown rice or hemp protein powder (nutribiotic has one that is gum-free). On one of the pages that I liked, someone made a waffle from just a sweet potato (Grated sweet potato, stirred in some cinnamon, and put it in a thin layer in a coconut oiled waffle maker on low/medium for about 8 minutes. I have yet to try it to see if it really works, but they posted a picture and it sounds amazing).

    Lunch- quinoa salad jars, “snack plates” with carrot sticks, hummus, rice crackers, bean salad.

    Dinner- if you are missing cheese, you should try out Oh She Glow’s cheeze sauce. Make up some rice or quinoa pasta and go to town :) The butternut squash version is my favorite. While it’s still a little chilly out soups would be nice too! Although you’d want to maybe make some homemade chicken broth so you don’t have any gluten or veggies in it that you can’t have. Portobello steaks would be delicious too.

    Snacks- roasted veggie chips! Plaintain chips are delicious if you’ve never tried them. If pop bothers you, have you ever tried Zevia? It’s just a stevia-sweetened pop and it’s gluten-free so maybe you could try that. If the bubbles are what bother’s you, you could always crack it open and let it sit to fizz out.

    Desserts- Banana ice cream :) Banana ice cream sandwiches: http://www.blogilates.com/blog/2013/05/30/healthy-ice-cream-sandwich-recipe/ You could also just make a one ingredient frozen fruit sorbet. Popsicles. Baked oatmeal. Oh She Glows just posted a carrot cake baked oatmeal recipe that she said tastes like the real deal :) Toasted sweet potato ice cream: https://www.facebook.com/empoweredsustenance

    1. Whoops. This was the sweet potato ice cream: http://paleomg.com/sugar-detox-sweet-potato-ice-cream-toasted-walnuts/ And you could just leave out the ingredients you can’t have, which seem to be few.

  6. This new food regimen sounds incredibly challenging, yet I’m super impressed with all the really good looking meals you made, even the squash apple bake. I was thinking Madison might be a good resource for you, and I see she’s got it covered.

  7. […] I’m still struggling with my diet, trying to figure out what works and what doesn’t. […]

  8. Good grief girl! That’s quite a list of things to avoid. I’m glad you are noticing a difference though. Good luck!!

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