If you want to read about the first time I did this elimination diet and why I did, you can read my posts here and here.
My reasons this time around are very similar. I knew that having a 4th baby would be very taxing on my body and I'd need to do some healing afterward. Little did I know how much healing. At the end of January, when Judah was just a little over a month old I ended up with gallstones. Holy Cow, those are no fun! I spend a full day traveling in some of the most incredible pain ever. If we weren't trying to get home, and if we didn't have all 4 kids with us, including a tiny baby, there are about 3 different times that day I would have gone to the ER. I pushed through and decided to see my PCP the next day. By that time, even water was triggering attacks. I was miserable. After cutting out fats I got better, but my body was now WAY overtaxed between being barely postpartum and now having gallstones. My adrenals basically jumped ship. So what's a girl to do?
I decided it was time for another elimination diet! Yay!!!
So here's the basic overview - for 4 weeks you cut out gluten, dairy, soy, corn, sugar, eggs, pork, peanuts, shellfish, alcohol, coffee, and sometimes nightshades (tomatoes, potatoes, eggplants, peppers, paprika[this is if you have symptoms of inflammation such as arthritis, which I do). Then you gradually start adding it all back in. The basic purpose is to cleanse your body to then see if anything triggers any symptoms. I use it more as a cleanse/whole food template to help heal my adrenals. I know many people who use it to figure out why they're having migraines and other things like that.
I found this time around to be a lot easier than last time. Because I knew what to expect, I attacked pinterest for ideas of things I could eat. In the beginning I was thinking I'd take all these great pictures of all my awesome creations.....and yeah, that just didn't happen. I did have a lot of fun coming up with new creations and trying new things, though. Here are some of them:
For breakfast I was pretty boring. The nutritionist I saw who was basically just there for accountability, really wanted me to not have any fruit first thing in the morning. She'd been really delving into adrenal fatigue a lot and there was a lot of research that says stay away from it so you have a better start to your day. I tried puffed rice cereal with coconut milk, but it only "lasted" about an hour and I was hungry again. So I ended up doing oatmeal with a touch of agave and walnuts pretty much every day.
For lunch my main standby was a chicken salad sandwich. I'm not very good with measurements, as I just kinda throw a little of this, and a little of that in, but here's the basic "recipe":
4 chicken breasts seasoned, cooked, and shredded
3/4 cup (ish) of soy free veganaise
a squirt of flax seed oil
1 tbsp olive oil
1-2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp chia seeds
salt and pepper to taste
2 stalks of celery, cut up
handful of dried cranberries
Mix the veganaise, oils, lemon juice, chia seeds and salt and pepper in a bowl until combined. Add chicken, celery, and cranberries and mix until well combined. Enjoy as a sandwich or salad.
For a sandwich I use Vegan Oat Bread from a local gluten free bakery named Out of the Breadbox. It's so good! I add a couple leaves of lettuce and voila, a yummy sandwich! Sometimes I added some avocado as well. For a salad I would put a couple scoops on some lettuce that I had dressed with just a little oil and balsamic vinegar. 2 yummy lunch options in one!
I also became pretty good at making a "big salad" (which always reminds me of Seinfeld, ha!). My favorite had baby greens, sliced carrots, cucumbers, mushrooms, and celery, sesame or pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries, 1/2 a sliced chicken breast, and a homemade vinaigrette of 1 part balsamic vinegar, 1 part pomegranate red wine vinegar, 2 parts olive oil, a squirt of flax seed oil, and a pinch of pepper.
Ok, well this post is long enough I think. I'll post some dinner, snack, and dessert ideas in another post, as well as how I'm doing now that I'm adding things back in. If you have any questions, ask away and I'll try to answer them as soon as possible!