Finding My Balance With Food

With all the people out there who are still resolved to stick to strict New Year’s resolutions centered around their eating habits, or those who have thrown in the towel because they slipped up once or twice, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about finding my balance with food.

 

Eggs, peas, carrots, and mushroom chicken sausage

Eggs, peas, carrots, and mushroom chicken sausage

 

 

Many readers will remember that back in October, I mentioned having some stomach problems that led to experimenting with cutting out different types of food and to testing for more allergies or other potential issues. I’m not the only one dealing with this, and actually reading Emily’s recent posts about her own troubles leads me to believe that doctors sometimes don’t have all the answers. So, in an effort to figure out what might be going on I’ve decided to try a basic three-week elimination diet with no grains, dairy, soy, or alcohol (and limited added sugars). I typically eat many gluten free grains like oats and brown rice, and a fair amount of dairy in the form of cheese, yogurt, and ice cream, so it is a significant change.

 

Whole30 grocery haul

 

 

I was hesitant to try an elimination at first. I’ve come a long way from where I was even a year ago, when I wrote my first post about my past struggles during National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, but the idea of purposely restricting entire food groups for reasons other than a severe allergy (which I already have to do) worried me. I enjoy cooking and eating, but thinking about food all the time isn’t necessarily healthy. I feel like Sarah does listening to people proclaim that eliminating this or that is the only way to achieve good health. I’ve accepted that I probably don’t need to lose those extra 5 pounds, often the reason people do elimination diets.

 

"I go the distance for skinny jeans." Not me!

“I go the distance for skinny jeans.” Not me!

 

 

But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that what’s going on with me is a health issue, and an elimination is a potential treatment. I’m not doing it to lose weight. It’s not a diet. It’s a way of eating for a little while that might lead to some answers and feeling better thereafter. It’s for these reasons that I decided not to attempt a strict Whole30 – well, that and the fact that given my allergies to foods other than wheat (avocados, oranges, pineapples, tree nuts) I’d be going overboard. I also didn’t want to restrict myself unnecessarily. So I’m just eliminating the major inflammatory food groups, and allowing myself any and all substitutes.

 

 

Baked Quinoa Flax Cake and sunflower butter

Baked Quinoa Flax Cake with Enjoy Life chocolate chips and sunflower butter

 

 

 

I’ll be checking back in about how it’s going, both in my WIAW posts and weekly recaps, and I’m hopeful that things will be looking up. Until then, happy eating!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have you ever done an elimination for health issues?

 

What’s your take on plans like the Whole30?

 

Favorite elimination friendly treat recipe?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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21 thoughts on “Finding My Balance With Food

  1. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with elimination diets as long as the mentality behind them is right. Like you said, they really CAN be a way to treat a lot of underlying conditions, and that’s what you’re doing. I’ve had to ease up on some foods to manage my eczema, and eliminating some of the foods that seemed to trigger it really did help. Hope you manage to get some answers as well!

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  2. I think elimination diets are a truly wonderful tool.

    I AM trying to lose those last 5 lbs, but I wouldn’t do an elimination diet to do it.

    I don’t really think I have any food sensitivities, but I’m already careful and limit dairy and gluten. I don’t cut them out completely, but I feel it’s healthier to limit them. It’s really unfortunately that cheese tastes so good — it’s much easier to limit other forms of dairy now that there are so many alternatives.

    I hope it gives you the answers you’re looking for.

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  3. I think my next step in trying to solve my eczema is going to be an elimination diet, but being pregnant I don’t feel comfortable doing it right now (plus, cravings.) I think that elimination diets is done smart and not with an intent to lose weight or something are a great idea for targeting food intolerances and allergies – I had to to a minor version of one when my first son was born to determine his milk and soy allergry.

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  4. I think your health is (and should be) by far the strongest motivation if you eliminate certain food groups. Personally, I am hesitant to follow certain food plans, but if I feel that certain foods aren’t the best for my body, I don’t mind eliminating them at all.

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  5. I’ve never done the Whole 30 or an elimination diet. I’ve thought of doing it a couple times, but I think God has me in a place of healing and recovery right now, and right now, that doesn’t really include a diet. But I think the Whole 30 sounds like one of the most non-restrictive, wholesome elimination diets out there. There are so many different opinions on it, but none of them are disparaging.

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  6. I hope this gives you some answers. It sounds like you’re doing it for good, well thought out reasons.

    I’m lucky in that I’ve never had food allergies or sensitivities or weight issues, so I’ve never tried Whole30 or any of the other diets because I just haven’t had a need to. But I have been trying to be more mindful about my eating and cut out foods that don’t make me feel good. Our local radio station recently did a story on a woman who started a cafe or coop or something with food made from all whole and local ingredients. She was talking about the lack of healthy eating and how our bodies tell us something isn’t right with that “bleh” feeling we get after eating certain things…but we’ve become so used to that “bleh” feeling we often just tune it out. I’m making more of an effort to listen to how I feel after eating to make better choices: do I feel full? Satisfied? Lethargic and bleh? Hungry or craving again an hour later? etc. I know the biggest culprits are excessive dairy, fried/processed stuff and red meat, so I’m trying to cut back in those areas as my first step.

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  7. I have a problem with people continually using the word “diet” like a nasty four letter word. A diet is just what you eat. I think it’s perfectly normal to find what works for you to fuel your life. I hope you do find what works for you! I had to try out some different things as I was having some issues when I traveled for work. For me it was that I needed to cut out meat when I travel. I have no clue why, but it works and I still get a well balanced diet in that keeps me going.

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  8. I really hope you get some answers from this “experiment.” You have the right mindset behind it….health (and happiness, which is often correlated) is the reason for the change. Plus, it most likely isn’t forever. Just a reset and temporary elimination of the inflammatory foods. Will be thinking about you πŸ™‚

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  9. I guess I don’t even view these types of diets as “elimination diets” but rather just diets for optimal health! I see no problem with trying out different diet plans and finding what works for you! Mindset is everything, and I definitely believe that if you have a mindset that you are doing it for weightless instead of health, you can run into trouble. Godlike on this journey and I hope you find the foods that fuel your life & give you optimal health!

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  10. This is totally an experiment and what most bloggers are talking about right now is that everyone is different and reacts differently! Thank goodness we all realize that and aren’t trying to fit into what those health magazines mark as “normal” πŸ˜‰

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  11. My husband was having health problems. The doctor narrowed it down to a preservative, but he didn’t know which one. Instead of looking at eating more whole foods, he was given medicine. We started our own journey into eating whole foods and removing preservatives from our diet. His health problems have been completely eliminated.

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  12. I had stomach issues myself towards the end of the year and the doctor had no answers for me. It can be extremely frustrating and discouraging. I didn’t get any answers with eliminating different foods, but luckily the stomach issues went away on their own. Hopefully your issues go away and you can get ice cream back in your diet soon! (Priorities πŸ˜‰ )

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  13. I can totally relate to everything you’re saying here. I’ve done the low-FODMAP diet for IBS, which was developed in Australia, and found that it has really helped with my symptoms, but like you, I’m highly ambivalent about it. With my history of eating disorder, I also know myself and I know how easy it is to fall into unhealthy mentalities about food. Re-introducing foods after you’ve done the elimination diet is really important, which is what I’m trying to focus on now. Wishing you all the best of luck! Those tummy symptoms really can be the worst! (especially when you’re trying to be active)

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