Friday, January 30, 2015

head vs heart vs stomach

As I've referenced a few times, I've never been the healthiest kid in the room. And while I still don't describe myself as sickly, are are many times in my life I've been insanely sick. It's always just been the way it is. It got better for awhile, after I started drinking a regular amount of water every day, but it is slowly becoming obvious that that was a temporary solution... and I really don't like the idea of what really needs to happen: I need to radically change my diet.

And by radically, I do mean radical. Starting with the elimination diet, which really means you eat rice, veggies, poultry, and fish for 3 weeks. No coffee, black tea, alcohol. No dairy. No beef or pork. No gluten. No corn. Probably no eggs, I just can't remember right now. Definitely no sugar. Um...yea. I know.

The idea is you eliminate the common triggers of food allergies/sensitivities, and then slowly introduce foods back in and see what causes a reaction... and the reaction could be anything from a runny nose to sleep troubles to a skin rash. From what I can tell, it's more a overall feeling, like you just don't feel as good after eating the offending food. And it does make sense to me-- we are what we eat, and a lot of what Americans eat is really not good for us at all. But it is yummy, which is why this is an overwhelming thing to consider.

I know I could do it more easily if I lived alone, but let's all thank our lucky stars that I don't, because me starved for human companionship is even worse than me starved for potato chips. We've never subscribed to the separate meals way of living-- whomever cooks, cooks for everyone, even if it's not everyone's favorite. I know if would I benefit from this elimination nonsense, my family would too, but I also don't know that subjecting them to that is fair either. Three weeks isn't that long, but the reintroduction phase is described as longer... and it is a long time to do it alone.

I know that I would feel a lot better in 2 months if I commit, but that is a daunting thought. In 2 months we go to Spain, and I'm not sure I want to deal with some crazy diet in a place where I can't speak the language. I also don't want to have wasted 2 months of eliminating and have to start all over again. But I also think I'm stalling, and hoping if I ignore it long enough it'll just go away...

It's not going away, but I'm not sure I'm ready to leave my rich American diet behind. But every time a common cold turns into sinusitis, or my digestion gives me fits, or it feels like something is stuck in my throat, I know what I should do now, and most likely will do relatively soon. (Hedging my bets, right 'til the end...) This must be what it feels like to quit smoking: you know you'll feel better after you've quit, but the time between smoking and being a non-smoker is hell. And nobody likes to enter hell willingly.

Part of me is hoping I can skip the elimination diet and just have the allergist tell me what I am, in fact, reacting to so I can quit eating that and skip the trial and error piece. Then it's just the sugar addiction to battle, which again, is a lot like nicotine in terms of it's hold over you...

It's true, what they say, about ignorance.

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