Monday, January 12, 2015

FAQ: What Do You Eat?

FAQ: What Do You Eat?

Happy Monday! I hope you had a great weekend. I spent the weekend taking down Christmas decorations (wah!!! Our house looks so bare!), thinking up surprises for my friends' wedding anniversary, and purging stuff from the house.

Today, I thought I'd answer some more personal questions for you here, ones that I get, as they say, "in real life." I love getting to you know all, and I hope the feeling is mutual! One I get a lot is about what I eat. It's typically said with this intonation: what do you eat?! I understand why it's asked that way and especially by anyone having me over for a meal. Recently, I went to a friend's house, and she was asking me this question in advance of feeding my husband (who recently finished a very intensive low carb, higher protein diet) and me.

Here is the very short background

Until I was 18, I had very bad digestion. I was anemic, got sick (strep mostly) all the time, and had extreme energy highs and lows. As a baby, I hummed for hours on end and often rocked myself back and forth. I had chronic bloody noses that would not stop. The stomach issues were as bad as you can imagine, and I won't give any more detail other than to say that food did not work well with my body, and I grew up thinking that every time you ate, you were going to be miserable for hours or days. Even now if I eat something that doesn't agree with me I'll know within 20 minutes. If it's hormonal, within 24 hours I'll break out and/or itchy bumps will appear all over my fingers.

The good news

Since then, I have worked with GI doctors, GPs, Ayurveda, acupuncture, hypnotists, nutritionists, and more to determine what works best for my body. Ultimately, I'm very lactose intolerant, I have auto immune and/or hormonal reactions to many foods (gluten, egg yolks, soy, sugar, etc.), and don't have sufficient digestive enzymes to digest many complex carbohydrates, garlic, onions, etc. 

So, what do you eat?!

Many, many delicious things! I've noticed that my body does best when I eat high quality fats, warm food unless it's a very hot day, meat, and non-gassy vegetables. I've found what works best is to focus on what I can eat instead of what I shouldn't. Instead of walking around the grocery store thinking "Ice cream. Can't have that! Crackers and cheese. Nope!" I focus on what I'm excited about, things like grass fed beef, lamb, bison, cauliflower, coconut oil, avocados, fruits, veggies! The list gets very long and very delicious. 


And the result is that around age 30 or so I finally can eat, every day, all day, little meals or big ones, and I feel great. My stomach digests what I'm feeding it, my bloodwork is strong, and I don't feel like sticking a straw in my belly all the time to let out all of that air and discomfort. Phew! It's been a long road, and it's not over, but it's so much better.

I guess that's really why I'm writing this. Not because I'm a nutritionist, and not because I think you should eat like I eat. (If you want to, look at some Ayurvedic principles of eating or look at the autoimmune protocol for the paleo diet. It tends to overlap a lot with my needs). But more because I was so miserable for so long, and now I feel so much better. If there's anything at all in your life that feels that way, I want you to know that it's possible to get to the other side of it. 

May 2015 be that year for you!

If you're interested, some of the best things I've cooked and eaten lately are modified versions (egg free, refined sugar free, dairy free) versions of this cauliflower fried "rice," this chocolate mug cake for one, and this incredible Tom Kha Gai soup

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