When my doctor told me I’d have to go on a super strict elimination diet for my skin issues (see my prior article), disappointment, hesitation, and frustration were the immediate feelings I felt. I mean, food is a giant part of my life. It’s more than just a hobby, it’s a part of who I am as a person. Sure, I have three major food allergies I’m aware of, but for someone to say, “you can’t eat this anymore because of a food insensitivity,” it honestly makes me feel a little empty.
Once I received the list of what I can eat and can’t eat (see below), I did what I do in my spare time-research. Researching for recipes to make the few foods I could safely eat, researching on how to make my autoimmune symptoms decrease faster, and researching on other blogs (my absolute favorite is G&E) for their AIP/elimination diet. (Oh and before you ask, AIP stands for Autoimmune protocol. In simple terms, a stricter paleo diet that doesn’t include foods that might increase inflammatory symptoms.) After reading my leaky gut articles and putting together grocery lists, I felt armed and ready to hit the grocery store that weekend.
Although I was confident walking in, my heart began to crumble as I grabbed a cart. To smell and SEE all of the delicious hot-bar food and the bakery items is crushing – Especially since most of the food I would normally eat is off limits. Instead of getting my staple items (chickpeas, tortilla chips, nuts, salsa, sauces, etc.), my cart was loaded with vegetables, fruits, protein, and kombucha. I know it sounds like I’m whining because it is a good amount of food. But knowing that I can barely put spices or any topping on these items in my cart made me not look forward to purchasing them. How the eff am I supposed to be excited to eat a plain sweet potato? Literally, no spices, no sauce. Even though I can use sea salt and oil, it’s still a plain ass sweet potato. Would you be happy to buy it? Doubtful.
Now that I’m on my second week of buying AIP/Leaky Gut foods at the grocery store, I’m less upset going shopping, I’m just more focused on getting in there and getting out – to avoid the FOMO effect. Plus, I’ve also figured out some loopholes on my list of foods I can eat and the AIP list. For example: although they’re not the AIP eat list, my food sensitivity test showed that I can eat cocoa, honey, and sesame seeds (aka tahini). On the flip side, coconut oil, coconut milk, and avocados are on the AIP diet to heal sick guts, but my test showed I am sensitive to those foods. Since the Dr. said I don’t have to eliminate every single item I’m sensitive too, I’ve decided to keep those and coffee on my list (for now). I mean, it’s hard enough eliminating nuts, and eggs, I couldn’t give up coconut products too.
Although it’s been a difficult experience. I have seen a LOT of improvement on my skin (the whole reason why I’m on this diet), but I still feel that random itch. In the grand scheme of things, once I start introducing things back into my diet (i.e. staring on June 23rd), I should have a better idea of what I’m allergic to. I have a hunch it’s corn and eggs. Which SUCKS because I’m an avid taco fan and so many foods contain eggs. However, while I wait, I’ve decided to do something I rarely do= Cook and post recipes to help others who are suffering with Leaky Gut, AIP issues, or food sensitivities.
Although eating whatever I want is awesome, having clear skin and improving my health trumps getting a cheat-day donut. So until then, I hope you accept my new path on One Full Plate and struggle with me as I re-learn to love food and get my body back on track.
Here are some items I think are SUPER handy to keep around when embarking on an eliminating 23 days:
- Date Lady Syrup – HOLY HOLY shitballs. Think of a brown sugar syrup, made of dates, that you can toss on just about anything: like coconut ice cream, sweet potato, even AIP muffins (recipe coming soon).
- Cassava Flour – Cassava is another term for starchy squash, except it’s a root veggie. This flour comes in handy when you need to bind meatballs, make a quick muffin-cup, or even to make AIP tortillas (yes they exist, check out Fork & Beans for the recipe).
- Jackson’s Honest – Seriously, if it wasn’t for this brand, I’d seriously go nuts without eating some form of a chip. Besides an incredible story, the Jackson’s crew is from CO (our future home), and the chips are made with COCONUT OIL yasssss.
- Apricity – Can I get an AMEN?! This brand is made up of fellow AIP/Paleo enthusiasts whose goal is to offer (organic) sweet/salty treats for those of us who are deprived of NORMAL indulgences. Instead of blowing thru packets of non-aspartame gum (the worst flavorless gum imaginable), at least I can eat SOMETHING sweet while I detox. Plus, natural sugars keep the mood swings down (or so my hubs tells me).
- Coconut Butter/Oil/ Cream – Pure necessity…Need I say more? My favorite brand is Artisana Organics.
- Kelp Noodles – Excellent to have on hand to curb your noodle fix….just add a bunch of veggies and protein-it won’t feel too bland.
- KC Natural Sauces – I cannot stress enough how imperative that you get these sauces. With AIP options so limited, not topping my food with anything was the hardest pill to swallow. However, KC makes two primal/AIP sauces (one nightshade free) and are perfect to add some desired flavor (pictured above on top steak).