My phase one recipes have finally come to an end. If you're new to my blog, you can read more about the elimination diet I'm doing here. If not, you know that this is a "28" day elimination diet. I'm currently on day 31. I've learned that lemons, almonds, and maple syrup seem to be a problem for me. I tried maple syrup again two days ago, and ended up with a ridiculous headache that still hasn't gone away. Of course after being sugar free for a few weeks, I'm sure it was quite a shock to my body. I miss cheese like it's my long lost best friend, and I bought my boyfriend Valentine's Day cheesecake, partly just so I could stare longingly at it. I'm a bit pitiful these days. While being gluten-free always seemed like a fun challenge to me, right now I'm just feeling challenged.
The good thing is that I've become very in tune with my body and what it likes and doesn't like. The bad news is there seems to be very little my body actually likes. I'm waiting to hear back from my doctor after taking a food allergy test, and I'll be meeting with a gastroenterologist next week to see if he can shine any light on what's going on. My own online research points to candida and/or leaky gut. Leaky gut? Who wants something called Leaky Gut?! I've tried a few crazy things to calm my stomach down. Things I probably shouldn't tell you about, like pureeing my food so it's easier on my digestion. Yes, I ate baby food for a day. And it actually did help. But it tasted gross, so I'm not doing that again. Do you know how gross pureed chicken is? I don't even know what I was thinking that day. Do you think I'm crazy yet? My boyfriend says it's cute. I'm not so sure.
I've also started taking probiotics (Thanks for the advice, Jessica!), enzymes, a vitamin B complex, and vitamin D. Originally, I was trying not to take any supplements so that I would know exactly what was going into my body. Eventually my headaches forced me to the grocery store where I spent more money that I ever wanted to on supplements. I have noticed the enzymes making a difference though, and I'm taking it on faith that the other supplements can only help as well. For anyone looking for vitamins that are allergen-free, Blue Bonnet is pretty much everything free.
As for my mental health, I'm a bit of a perfectionist. I was always that student who did exactly what the teacher told her to. I follow rules a bit too religiously for my own good sometimes. So when I started this diet, I wanted to do it perfectly. Unfortunately I've realized that extremely restricting diets aren't the best match for a former binge eater. I had a little "ah ha" moment the other day after crying to my mom on the phone about how I couldn't eat anything. I realized that I would never be as strict with any of my weight loss clients or as unforgiving as I have been with myself. I'm very compassionate with my clients. Not so much with myself. So I've decided to practice a little of that compassion, and give myself a break. I'm going to continue to add in foods one at a time, but I may add in some challenge phase foods, like eggs, before I finish up adding everything from phase three. I've got enough on my plate working full-time and going to school part-time. Stressing myself out over food is the last thing I need to be doing right now.
Oh yes, and the lentil burger recipe. I've made these twice while on the elimination diet, and it was a revelation the first time I had it. Of course I was dying to put ketchup on it, but avocado worked just fine. If you can eat eggs, I definitely recommend adding one to the mixture so it holds together better. If not, you can avoid having them crumble (like they did a bit in the picture below) by making sure you don't overprocess them. You want the mixture to be lumpy, not completely smooth after you've processed them.
Lentil Quinoa Burgers
2 cups cooked lentils (save the liquid)
1 carrot, chopped
1 cup fresh parsley
1/2 tsp dried cilantro
1/2 tsp sea salt
4 Tbsps. lentil cooking liquid (or water)
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
1 1/2 - 2 cups cooked quinoa
- Add all ingredients except the sunflower seeds and quinoa to the food processor. Process just until mixed and lumpy. Add in sunflower seeds and process another 30 seconds. Put mixture into a large mixing bowl.
- Stir quinoa into the mixture until evenly mixed. Form into patties.
- In a pan, saute 1 tsp. olive oil and cook burgers until browned, a few minutes per side.
This post is linked to Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays.