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These are the foods I’m eating this week.

Only these foods.

I’m in the midst of an elimination diet and these are the foods that my body does not have any sensitivity to. I’ll explain.

As I’m sure you know, I’ve been struggling for 2+ years with an assortment of not-so-fun symptoms that wax and wane, but that have recently (since February) gotten much worse again. Turns out, in addition to fatigued adrenal glands (and perhaps in part because of them) I may have something called Leaky Gut. Now there’s something you want to rush to your computer and blog about eh? And, I do apologize for whatever intestinal image, you might now be wishing was not plastered across your mind. While the area of “gut problems” unfortunately lies between conventional and alternative medicine–I am, as I read and learn, quickly becoming a believer and eagerly adhering to the proposed recovery regimen.

Symptoms: Anxiety, brain fog, bloating, fatigue, low grade, chronic (abdominal, joint & muscle) pain, confusion & fuzzy thinking, constipation, gas, headaches, irritability, depression and memory problems.

Causes: NSAIDS (the Naprosyn I took for my toe for a year), a diet with plenty of sugar, white flour and other processed food (now a thing of the past), caffeine (I’m not a coffee or pop drinker, but I had used Crystal Light energy drinks daily for a long time!), low zinc/B6 (that’s me), candida and stress (compromised adrenals)

In short, I have been dealing with systemic inflammation that makes me feel CRAPPY and since this proposed intestinal leakage is stressing my adrenals on the inside, they will not be able to heal, until we clear up the gut issues first.

I’m working with an MD, who is also a functional practitioner (this means she is open to a wide range of research and practicing many of the more alternative treatments) who took about 7 viles of my blood and ran several tests to discover among other things that I have a mild intolerance (IgE) to gluten and that I am also sensitive (IgG) to a long list of foods, including all grains! Particularly annoying foods are asparagus (my favorite green vegetable), cranberry (weird.) and corn (in practically everything these days.) I won’t be eating these for 6 months or more. Equally threatening are the following: basil, cloves, cumin, curry, dill, fennel, sage, majoram, paprika, rosemary, thyme, ginger, oregano, parsley, peppermint and vanilla–seriously! My doctor said she had never seen someone “light up” the spices and flavorings page like I do, and those are just the worst offenders, that I’ll be steering clear of for a long time (six months with a slow reintroduction.) I’m less sensitive to allspice, cinnamon, mustard and nutmeg. How about three cheers for a bland diet? Now I know why I’ve always been a bit of plane jane when it comes to food.

Anyway, just thought I’d check in and let you know what I’ve been doing in my spare time (relearning how to eat!) I’ve been completely off sugar for four weeks and truly not missing it, and I’ve been off wheat and gluten grains for 2+ weeks. I do miss my Dave’s Killer Bread! Overall, I feel so much better and now, since Monday, I have a renewed sense of hope that the Stacy I miss so much might make a come back. I had pretty much given up on that notion and so I am completely overjoyed!

Since most of you know her, I feel compelled to give my dear friend Cathy Z a shout out, because she played a critical role in my thus far journey to health. It was because of her Move More Eat Well class that I started listening to the Dishing Up Nutrition podcast, which gave me the sometimes daily encouragement I’ve needed to give up processed junk food and move in the direction of a whole foods diet.

Thank YOU Cathy!

Note: Clark is doing great and so am I.
I did process for the better part of a week, which was so good. I truly believe that an extended commitment to scrapbooking has enabled me to not only recognize significant/ transitional times but to feel them more deeply. I absolutely enjoy processing both good and hard emotions. At least most of the time. I’ve started a blog for Clark (elderjulian.typepad.com) that will eventually become a book, chronicling missionary training and life.  It’s most definitely a work in progress, but it counts (remember, It ALL Counts!) and it will keep extended family and friends in the loop for the next two years!

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