Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Elimination Diet: Day Four

I've been struggling for a couple of months with a general fatigue that has not seemed to respond to dietary, sleep, or stress changes. Until now. For some reason, I didn't include this fatigue in my list of reasons for trying the elimination diet. Perhaps because I assumed that it was a vitamin deficiency and didn't think eliminating something from my diet would be the answer; rather, I thought I needed to add something in. But I'm starting to think I might be wrong.

2pm is generally about the time when I begin to fade. But on the first day of my elimination diet (during the smoothie cleanse), I suddenly had a burst of energy right around then. Unfortunately, after that I also got a horrible headache that sent me to bed early. On Sunday (still doing the smoothie cleanse), I woke up feeling very weak and woozy. I spent most of the day on the couch drinking smoothies and water. Until 2pm. Then suddenly I started to feel better and have more energy. Not as much as the day before, but still enough to force me out of the house for a walk in the rain.

On Monday, I had to work all day, so I brought my lunch and dinner as usual. I found myself in a great mood, and feeling energized all day. I didn't experience my normal early afternoon crash, and had no problem working until nine. I was very excited to eat again, but found that I couldn't eat much; nor did I want to. The last time I tried fasting, I caved and ate udon noodles to break the fast. That was such a shock to my system, I felt like a log all day! This time, I wanted to treat my body right and eat light throughout the day. I started with a green smoothie. Have I mentioned that I can't eat bananas right now? Unfortunately for me, I am really not a fan of smoothies without bananas. Eventually, I found a combination of spinach, lettuce, apple, and frozen raspberries that works for me, but I would be lying if I said I love it.

I also made vegetarian sushi that tasted like my own little piece of heaven. Seriously. I'm having it again for dinner tonight! In fact, I had to remind myself of that when I wanted it for lunch today (I had a salad with lentils instead). Instead of just using rice here, I mixed brown rice and quinoa together. Then I used avocado, baked sweet potato, and raw carrots for the filling. So simple and easy to make! I had a couple of pieces of these with my smoothie for breakfast Monday morning, then noshed on them all day.

I also made some lentils with carrots, and a salad of lettuce and herbs with carrots, pears, and avocados. Yum! However, I noticed two things after I ate the salad. One, I started feeling a little tired, although not as much as usual. Two, my left rib pain started acting up, and I was actually in a lot of pain by the time I left work. I'm eating salad again now though, so I can see if the same thing happens.

And as for today? I'm still feeling pretty good. I had a smoothie and some sweet potato for breakfast, then got in a good hour and a half of yoga. After that, I had a delicious pear with sunflower seed butter. I've never had this before, and I had to search to find a brand that didn't have any form of sugar in it, but I think I like it. It's like peanut butter. With a twist. For lunch, I just had my salad, and I keep reminding myself to drink water, as I often forget.

Before I head off to get more errands done, I also want to mention something interesting that came out of the smoothie cleanse that I would not have expected. I've always had a fear of being hungry, in large part because I went through a phase in high school where I would get so nauseous I would vomit if I didn't eat every couple of hours. In retrospect, I think I must have been going through some sort of growth spurt, and just needed to eat more. But ever since then, the second I feel a twinge of either hunger or nausea, I immediately find something to eat. If there's nothing to eat, I panic. My biggest concern about doing the smoothie cleanse was that I would experience that same nausea and not be able to keep the smoothies down. But that didn't happen at all. I barely felt nauseous, and I realized that my body can go without food much longer than I give it credit for. I think...just maybe...I got over my fear of being hungry. And this is a very good thing.


Just Call Me Zippy said...

Food sensitivites are the pits! In addition to gluten, I know I still come in contact with a "something" that affects me. (bloating and pain just under my left rib.) The problem with having sensitivities vs. allergies is that something I ate two days may be causing today's problem.

I wonder if I am still getting trace amounts of gluten from somewhere and over a few days time it adds up. (Thinking about replacing my coffeepot.) I just haven't had the stamina to try another elimination diet. It's hard enough avoiding gluten and, like you, I have a huge fear of having nothing to eat. (I hoard Larabars. Seriously! They are stashed at work, home, car, purse, camera bag..etc.)

I'll be interested to see what you find out. I hope you have better luck at pinpointing the culprit with your elimination diet than I had with mine.

Iris said...

Zippy, don't you hate that left rib pain! It's nice to talk to someone who knows what it is, but what an annoying little thing!

Lauren said...

The rib pain. I know what you're talking about. I used to get bands across my ribs - that was actually the reason my Dad took me to the hospital the first time. I haven't had that in a year or more though, so thats always good =D.

I also completely get the fatigue. I used to crash the second I got home on the couch (assuming I made it through the day, of course). Salt pills was that odd final key, although I am sure doing something like this would help as well - I have been doing much much better =D.

In terms of eating often, I feel less solid when I don't eat often enough - like almost lightheaded, but I feel it in my limbs. That probably doesn't make much sense ;D.

I hope that this diet gives clarity and makes you feel fantastic!

Tasty Eats At Home said...

Interesting that you mention the hunger and fear of hunger. I have the same behavior. When I was a teen, I would get lightheaded and dizzy if I didn't eat in time. So I got so used to making sure I eat - almost as if I'll starve if I don't. I even eat when I'm sick - I once told my husband, right before I went gluten-free, about how I feel hungry right after eating, like there was a burning. I am considering a cleanse/elimination diet to find out those lingering "triggers" that are keeping me from being as healthy as possible. I wish you luck throughout this process!

lynn @ the actors diet said...

interesting. sometimes i get that nausea/hunger thing too.

fartygirl said...

That sushi looks amazing. Thanks for helping me decide what to eat for dinner! <3

fartygirl said...

Btw. I drink the same smoothie every day... Sorry to hear it's not workin' for ya. Maybe it would be better with some stevia?

Amy said...

Thanks for your elimination diet recipes. My husband and I are on the first week and coming across good recipes is a big help! We are big banana smoothie fans too, so lots of smoothies is harder for us that we thought it would be =)

Iris said...

Good luck, Amy! Glad you're enjoying the recipes!



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