Monday, February 22, 2010
Elimination Diet: Intro and Day 7 Update
Hello readers! Sorry we have both been so absent, but you know how life is - sometimes things are out of our control. But both Ally and I have been keeping up with our Starfish goals, and working hard towards a better us. We've both embarked on some fun things (soccer, basketball, elimination diet) recently so we can't wait to tell you all about them!
I mentioned it in an earlier post, but never really explained the Elimination/Detox diet that I (along with my cousin, Jenn) started last Monday, February 15th. Its a grueling 28 day "cleanse" during which time you abstain from caffeine, alcohol, all refined sugars, meat, dairy and pretty much anything else that tastes delicious. It's strict but everyone who has done it claims it so worth it. Essentially, its a 2 day smoothie fast followed by three phases in which foods that are irritating to your system are slowly introduced back into your diet. The goal of this is to allow your body time to create a decent healthy base by only consuming hypoallergenic foods and then to introduce the foods that have potential to cause reactions back into your diet to gauge your bodies response to the particular foods.
During the first 2 days you can only drink green smoothies comprised of apples, pears, kale, collard, cranberries, blueberries, ginger, cabbage, mint and parsely. Smoothie for beakfast, lunch and dinner. And lots of water and herbal tea. By the start of day two, you really want to eat something chewy, but no dice, just keep drinking the smoothie. Yum. Days one and two sucked.
During Phase 1 (which lasts from day 3 - 9), you can freely eat fruits and veggies (except citrus fruits and nightshades... I miss tomatoes....) and you can't have nuts. And still no meat, dairy, wheat or anything along those lines.
We are currently on Day 7. I am stoked I have made it this far. The hardest part thus far was the caffeine, or more accurately, the lack of it. By the end of Day 1 I had a raging headache (and can't take any OTC headache pills -- caffeine in those), and Day 2 was horrific. For 24 hours, my head/body yearned for caffeine, and practically throbbed because of the lack of it. But... I made it through. I drink copious amounts of herbal mint tea throughout the day and chamomile at night. Its actually quite pleasant. It makes me think it I should probably always be abstaining from caffeine, or at the very least, not drink the gallons daily that I do.
As we progressed into eating real food, my cousin and I had a blast trying new recipes and finding things that we could eat and still be compliant with the rules in Phase 1. I bought the Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook to aid us in this "quest," and it has turned out to be such an amazing resource. Its written by Ali Segersten and Tom Malterre (both Bastyr grad's and Bellingham residents -- Go Washington!), and it will forever be my kitchen bible. Its more than just recipes... Its a way of life. Honestly, the best $25 bucks I have spent in a long time. They also have a great recipe blog where they are constantly posting new, healthy and delicious recipes, as well as tips and tricks to get through their elimination diet. Many of my past "Tasty Tuesday" recipes are from their site.
So, we're onto Day 7. We eat a lot of brown rice, quinoa and greens. Yesterday I made a yummy pesto from scratch, its got a great garlic kick, and its been a great substitute for ranch or hummus with veggies (we can't eat garbanzo beans yet, but homemade hummus is definitely in my future when we get to Phase 3!!). Today's menu consisted of: smoothie and teff for breakfast; broccoli and carrots for a snack; Apple, Avocado and Seaweed Salad for lunch; and I am making Nori sushi rolls (with avocado, carrots, cabbage, green onions and cucumbers) with a Ginger Plum sauce I made. I love love love these Nori Rolls for dinner. I will be sharing the recipe with you all tomorrow, so you can enjoy it as well!
Other than the fact that we seriously have to plan meals and exercise self restraint when it comes to morning lattes and glasses of wine after work, I am so happy with this detox so far. I feel great, have much more energy that normal, and have lost 6 pounds in 7 days. AND I didn't ride or get to the gym last week because I tweaked my back and spent a few evenings getting acupuncture and chiropractic adjustments, so I am even more excited to see what the next couple of weeks brings as I start riding 5 nights a week and working out in the mornings again.
Wish me luck!