I Sing The Body (Not So) Electric

I am finding it hard to write (much less think) about the new realities of my 43 year old body. Somewhere along the way, it decided to go rogue, and now I don’t feel like I have any control over it anymore. It is the honey badger of bodies.

Today is day 45 of the AIP diet for me and I’m really struggling. To tell a foodie like me that for the foreseeable future, they cannot eat any grains, any dairy, any nightshades, any sugar, any edible peas, no beans, seeds, or nuts, no alcohol, no coffee, no cocoa derivatives, and no spices derived from fruits, nuts, or seeds (including the ubiquitous black pepper), it’s a seriously depressing proposition. But you know what else is a seriously depressing proposition? Gaining weight despite a relatively healthy diet, chronic, inconvenient, and unreliable stomach issues, unexplained aches and pains, paint points in the tendons and joints, massive chiropractor bills, not being able to work out due to pain, and feeling old before my time.

I’ve written before that taking these foods out of my diet resulted in some pretty positive changes straight out of the gate. My skin tone changed within days, I’ve lost an inch or two in my waist, and my stomach is flattening. My clothes fit better. I’ve gone down a size and even they are loose. Plus, the weird aches and pains have gone away. And all this while dealing with major stomach issues despite doing everything right.

Turns out, consuming coconut oil/milk and avocado oil do not agree with my body. It’s like fire bombing my digestive tract. As soon as I cut that out and went back to using strictly olive oil, my stomach went right back to normal.

But now I have to add coconut to my list of no-no foods (whole avocados aren’t a problem for me).

I am so bored from this way of eating that I’ve started trying to add things back into my diet, with very mixed results.

Hard cider, my alcoholic beverage of choice, makes me break out in hives. Weirdly, one glass of wine sent me spiraling into an all-day depressive funk that came out of absolutely nowhere. So, looks like alcohol is out.

White Rice seems okay. I knew before this elimination diet that I was intolerant to gluten and quinoa, and corn makes my joints ache, so I’m not going to reintroduce any other grains and pseudo-grains back into my diet.

Pinto beans seem okay.

Tomatoes caused pain points to appear on my legs the next day.

Small amounts of jalapenos (in Chipotle guacamole) haven’t bothered me, and whatever spices they use on their Carne Asada are ok, but a slight sprinkle of Tabasco sauce made pain points appear on my hips. Guess that means nightshades are out. Goodbye potatoes and Buffalo chicken. We had a good run. 😦

I don’t even know where to go from here.

The AIP diet says to try to reintroduce these items first (yes, I’m a maverick and ignored the guidelines): egg yolks, legumes (with edible pods), sprouts, nut and seed oils, seed-based spices, fruit and berry based spices, ghee, occasional coffee, cocoa/chocolate.

1. I don’t like eggs and consider them unpalatable without cheese or in a baked good, neither of which I can eat at the moment.

2. Ooh peas… so exciting (not really).

3. Sprouts (gross).

4. Nut and seed oils (no thanks, apparently I’m sensitive to weirdo oils. I’ll stick to what’s working, thanks).

5. Nutmeg. Yippee. Just what I was craving (not).

6. Ghee (see #4).

7. Coffee is not a friend to my stomach, and even if my love for it overrode that reality, I’m not going to drink it black. Sugar, dairy, and coconut milk are out, I’m allergic to almonds and soy too, so I’ll just sob quietly every time I pass Starbucks.

I’d need the dairy to make cocoa palatable.

Reintroducing most of these items are contingent on mixing them with other things that I cannot eat, so…. on to Phase 2.

Phase 2 says to reintroduce nuts and seeds (tricky one, since I’m already allergic to almonds and historically nuts and seeds haven’t been well tolerated by my cranky stomach–so not something I’m used to eating anyway).

Wine (well, we saw how that turned out).

Egg whites. Butter. Coffee every day (weeps).

Where is the real food added back into my diet? I am not going to pack a stick of butter in my lunch. I am so bored with my food choices right now. Please, for the love of angry cats, is there nothing on this diet I can actually add back in?

Let’s look at Phase 3: Nightshades (eggplant, sweet peppers, paprika, peeled potatoes (I already know this won’t end well). Lentils, split peas, garbanzo beans. (Womp. Womp.) Grass fed dairy (Hallelujah! Something I actually want!). But if grass fed dairy triggers me, my heart will break. I’m afraid to know the truth, so I’m postponing reintroducing this one.

Phase 4: All the other nightshades (No). Alcohol (No). White rice (Yes). Other gluten free grains (No). Other legumes. (Womp womp again.)

Sorry, I just can’t get thrilled by beans.

You know what would thrill me right now? A giant, breaded, Buffalo chicken sandwich covered in blue cheese crumbles, on perfect toasty bread, with an ice cream float made from chocolate espresso ice cream and a Starbucks iced mocha, slathered in whipped cream and chocolate sauce, for dessert.

Instead, breakfast this morning was a banana, some bacon, some applesauce, instant pot meatballs and rice.

I need to eat more vegetables. That’s the goal for the next couple of weeks. In the meantime, I will try not to think of all the foods I’m missing that I’ll likely never be able to eat again. 😦