Monthly Archives: November 2013

A Long Road Ahead

It’s been a while since I’ve posted any recipes here and there’s a good reason for that.

A month or two after I started mixing up homemade gluten-free baking mix from one of my favorite GF blogs, I started having a few  health issues. My digestive system started acting as if I was eating gluten again. My eczema was flaring up terribly. These flare ups were normally restricted to eating one of the foods I’d already eliminated from my diet.

Now, I’m not the kind of person who is going to waste things I’ve already paid for. Apart from being frugal, I just don’t have the kind of money that allows me to toss stuff out. This meant I kept on eating the GF mix and other things we had on hand while mentally I took a step back and tried to figure out what I could do for my poor body. Hence the lack of recipes. It’s just not appealing to try new recipes and share them when they make you feel awful.

Research indicated a few things for me. Firstly, that I could potentially have a problem with more grains than just those containing gluten. That would certainly explain the problems with the GF baking mix.

Then I came across information on a skin condition called hidradenitis suppurativa on a Celiac board. I’d never heard of it before, but I definitely have it. My dermatologist was just one of the many who don’t know what the condition is and therefore couldn’t give their patients an appropriate diagnosis. Looking into this skin condition I came across many accounts of individuals who found relief by cutting out nightshades all together. I already had been diagnosed with sensitivities to tomatoes and chili peppers, so it didn’t seem like a stretch that other nightshades might be a problem for me as well.

All of this led me to The Paleo Diet and Whole 30. While learning what I could about these diets I came to the conclusion that doing Whole 30 along with the added removal of nightshades could potentially help me figure out what foods I needed to eliminate permanently from my diet.

So on October 1st my diet drastically changed. Goodbye grains, dairy, legumes, sugar, and nightshades.

If I’m honest, I expected to find one or two things that I couldn’t tolerate. But for the most part, I thought my diet would be able to go back to the way it was before the 30 days. Unfortunately, that isn’t going to be the case. Perhaps my body needs longer to heal or maybe it’s just never going to be able to tolerate certain things.

So here is the list of additional foods that at this point cause me physical problems:

  1. Dairy–within 20-30 minutes of eating it my nose is completely congested.
  2. Corn–there had better be a bathroom handy within a few hours of consuming. (Sorry, that may be TMI.)
  3. Nightshades, and specifically potatoes–the hidradenitis suppurativa had cleared up completely until I consumed potatoes. Then it started to flare again.
  4. Beans–you know that wonderful old saying, “Bean, beans the wonder fruit, the more you eat the more you…” It’s not just embarrassing, but painful.
  5. Alcohol–I don’t know anyone who likes to be a human furnace who looks like a beet.
  6. Squash–butternut squash and pumpkin just in the last few days have been causing me painful GI distress. I’m hoping and praying that this is an issue of over consumption and that I’ll be able to eat it in moderation after a fast from the stuff.

As you can see this is a serious shift in the way I need to eat.

I’m trying to be positive about all of this change, because while doing the Whole 30 I felt better than I have in years. I was sleeping soundly without a sleep aid for 7-9 hours a night. Allergy medication was no longer necessary, nor was Mucinex to make my head drain. The hidradenitis suppurativa clearing up is a serious blessing, as I’ve suffered from it for roughly half of my life. And to top it all off I lost 15 pounds–much of which I know was water weight, but still encouraging.

Even as I try and stay positive, I feel a little like I’m drowning. It’s all just so overwhelming. But I do want to say that I still plan to post here when I have something to share. I’ve already been experimenting with recipes–such as trying to give homemade sausage a bit of heat without any peppers. That said, the types of recipes will obviously have to change. And I might share more about my struggle with this new way of eating, because I may need an outlet and perhaps my struggles can help someone else.

Cheers

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