Monday, September 9, 2013

Catching Up

Gosh it's been a LONG time since my last post. Truth is, I wrote an awesome one back in July and Blogger lost it. I got mad and discouraged and am finally past it. Phew. That post was about the Elimination Diet that James and I did earlier this summer. We eliminated corn, soy, dairy, wheat, eggs, alcohol, caffeine, citrus, nightshades (tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, eggplant, etc), and chocolate (the horror!) for 3 straight weeks and then reintroduced one eliminated food every 3 days for the next couple months. It's estimated that 70% of us have a food sensitivity and most of us live life everyday ignorant to what food(s) is making us feel like crap. While the purpose wasn't weight loss, we both shed a few pounds and felt more energized during the diet.

Background: Food sensitivities are different from allergies and intolerances. An allergic reaction is usually instant and serious, like when people can't breath after eating peanuts or shellfish. You've likely heard of these kinds of allergies as well as intolerances like lactose intolerance, which is pretty common, especially as we get older. But a sensitivity can be subtle and can take up to 72 hours (the amount of time it takes your body to fully digest) to feel. If you think about your daily diet, you probably expose yourself to most, if not all of the common food triggers within a 3-day period. Eliminating them all and then reintroducing one at a time is a great way to experiment with yourself and to learn more about your body. Sensitivities can cause everything from joint or muscle pain to headaches to fogginess and mood swings. They can cause skin conditions, upset stomach,

I learned that dairy, wheat, and nightshades all have adverse effects on my digestion. As soon as I reintroduced them, my heartburn returned and I just didn't feel as good as when I wasn't eating them. My skin also broke out shortly after reintroducing dairy. Will I eliminate them completely every day? No. But will I limit them and pick and choose carefully when I eat them? Yes. I think all processed grains (any kind of flour) and caffeine also negatively impacted my mental clarity. I'm really sensitive to caffeine, which I've known for a while but have often ignored, favoring a rich latte to an elevated heart rate, sleeplessness and headaches. I'd like to think I'm getting better at controlling my coffee impulse, but check back in a few weeks once I'm in the thick of the semester. ;-)

So, what have I been eating lately? Here's a peak at some of my favorite elimination diet friendly meals (excuse the photo quality):
We gained an appreciation for brown rice pasta! Here, served with sauteed morels, farm fresh asparagus, and fresh herbs
We grilled lots of veggies. 
We didn't eat the farmer, but his greens were delish!


Fish w braised fennel, sauteed baby bok choi (superfood).
Side of millet

Traveling was not easy.

We ate lots of fish (discovered arctic char) & sauteed veggies.
TONS of fresh herbs to season.

We served grilled swordfish and zucchini with a
side of quinoa to some friends who came over for dinner.
2 salads started the meal: Crab + Mango and Cucumber + String Bean
More grilled summer squash! 
Scallops might be the best part of living in New England.
Smoothie in a Bowl!

Lunch at Life Alive. Only meal out during Elimination.
Thank god for summer (squash)!

Vegan and Gluten Free Mac and Cheese with Spinach. It was to die for.

OYSTERS!  Ate em before I thought about taking a picture of them!
Brown Rice Pasta tossed with sauteed zucchinini, squash flowers, and cannelini beans. And lots of garlic. YUM!
More scallops. PS: I like searing them in equal parts olive and coconut oil. Great alternative to butter.