Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Food detective

I've danced around the idea of doing an elimination diet numerous times in the past. Usually when I've been in the grip of a particularly nasty bout of gut pain, or when my eczema has flared up badly (remember this?), or I've had some other tiresome and weird symptom causing me grief. I think about it, decide it's a good idea, but somehow never actually do it, because it just seems a bit too hard.

Well, crunch time has come. I need to do the detective work and figure out what foods, if any, are making my life hell. Sara has pointed me in the right direction and bestowed upon me her gems of wisdom based on her own experience. I've done hours of reading on the subject, and you know what? It's not that difficult. I've done Paleo, I've done strict Body-for-LIFE, I even did a nutty diet about four years ago that restricted me to a dozen or so foods - and I stuck that out for 16 weeks!

So how hard can it be to follow a plan that allows mainly fish and veggies with a little fruit for SIX DAYS? Of course, then there's the longer process of adding foods back in to see if anything causes a reaction, but the hardcore part is less than a week. Pfft.

I can't actually do it for a couple of weeks as it turns out, due to social commitments and impending minor surgery, but I figured the worst part was likely to be the caffeine withdrawal. So I thought I'd get a head start on that and deal with it now, weaning myself off coffee gradually. Good plan.

I only drink three cups most days, so I thought I'd see how I went with one yesterday morning instead of my usual two, and then maybe I wouldn't even need another in the afternoon or evening. Yeah, right! I got to about 3:00pm and was ....shall we say.... irritable? *ahem* And then there was the crashing headache. A long black dispatched that within about 10 minutes, so I think I can safely say it was caffeine withdrawal.

Maybe I actually drink more coffee than I think?


ss2306 said...

Ever tested your acid levels??

LizN said...

Enjoy the caffeine withdrawals ! Seriously, you'll feel better in a bit :)

Debstar said...

I want to give up coffee, I really do, but as the cat says 'I juz need it to function'. That goes for chocolate as well.

Sara said...

AND, less caffeine = better sleep. It is worth it. I don't get that mid-afternoon 'I need a coffee' thing anymore. I'm having one espresso every two days (pre-cardio and pre- weights, but not pre-yoga). Getting decaf beans made it easier because I didn't have to give up the habit. You can't use decaf beans on that diet though because you are supposed to avoid all bean lectins. After that, you can get right back to the habit but without the caffeine! Super.

Raechelle said...

Now I'm thinking I should try an elimination diet too...I have suffered bouts of IBS for years...I've tried cutting things out that I thought were the culprits...and of course talked to doctors about it...don't laugh I know waste of time!
But I should try from the bottom up maybe...rather than try to cut things out-just eat a plain sort of diet like you mention. And SLOWLY add things in. I SHOULD have done that after my last comp..but well, ya know!
I will check Sara link. :-)

Raechelle said...

thanks for that link!

Sara said...

I put a tag on there so you can find the elimination diet posts. Otherwise you have to scroll through all my self indulgent moaning before you get to the good stuff.

Kek said...

Good thinking ...I've updated the link now.

Shelley, I've done a bit of reading into acid/alkaline balance, but haven't got any further than that. Given the way I usually eat, I don't expect that I'm leaning towards the acidic end of the spectrum, but you never know. Something to think about another time...

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