Elimination Diet

brussel sprouts


Update-elimination diet

Officially it has been almost 2 months since I began the quest of living 100% gluten free. I feel it is the right time for an update about how things are going for me. First things first, so that my information is clear, the diet I am on now (self-prescribed) is not at all what I was eating a year ago or even 8 months ago. That said, it does not differ much in that, I have not eaten quite a few things for a number of years. Without going too far into this, I’ve never been much of a dessert eater. I like candy but other than that I am not really into sweets. My husband and I have never been big on eating out in restaurants; we probably go out for a meal maybe six times a year. I’m also not very fond of “snacks” so I don’t do chips (often), or crackers or junk food in between meals. During a visit to the doctor for my toe last fall, I had to step on the scale and what I saw shocked me. The scale said-199 lbs., I weighed this amount for several reasons- hereditary, lack of exercise, sluggish metabolism just to name a few. Even though I have a scale at home, which I wasn’t using, I never dreamt I would ever weigh almost 200#. I am but 4’11 and have a petite frame so this was a lot of weight to be carrying around. I was deeply and extremely upset. I knew for a long time I was overweight, I had been walking, and as I said been watching what I ate for years. I hadn’t done enough apparently.

My transition to change my lifestyle, and diet has been going on actively since 2004. I started with first replacing many things in our diet with organic products. I then moved from this on to trying to find local suppliers for our fruits and vegetables. Initially, I did not know that wheat was the culprit to my stomach aches, I had thought it was an allergy to junk (an occasional cookie, or bowl of chips) because my diet was pretty clean and healthy. So, I eliminated chips, cookies, rolls and most bread because I got sick of the stomach aches and diarrhea. I also eliminated most brown foods, which means most restaurant food. Most of these changes were made between 2004 and 2008. Last spring I gave up red meat, pork, hot dogs and lunch meat because I gave up salt. I couldn’t force myself to eat meat without salt.

After several months, several years of changes, I hadn’t lost one pound even with a steady diet of walking. Then I discovered I was intolerant to wheat gluten. And the label reading began, and I discovered that nearly everything left in my diet had one ingredient in common- wheat.  It has been approximately 5 months since I very actively began eliminating foods containing wheat gluten from my diet and replacing them with gluten-free products. I have been almost symptom-free for four months, and for the first time in almost ten years, feel I have found the culprit for my constant tiredness, rashes, stomach pains and bowel problems.  I have cheated a couple of times on my elimination diet but went right back to gluten free because of the adverse reaction from the gluten. Every day is a new day with this; grocery shopping does take quite a bit longer to do (label reading). But it’s so worth it.

It has now been two months since I have been on a strict gluten-free diet, as well as having eliminated food products with preservatives and food colorings. Along with this, I have implemented more organic food into our diet to where we are now eating a 90% organic diet. Since last September, I have lost thirty-three pounds. I am thrilled, so happy that the weight is finally coming off. I haven’t even begun exercising- walking season hasn’t started. I personally believe my weight loss to come from my gluten free, preservative free, red meat free diet.

Out of the thirty-three pounds lost, eighteen of them were lost in the last nine weeks. I have more energy, which is only natural when you lose weight, but I also have reduced inflammation. My aches and pains of age are almost non-existent. The majority of my weight loss has occurred in the last sixty days, so I attribute this to the last few changes I’ve made. Calorie wise, I still maintain a 1600 calorie a day diet. So I am not starving, I am eating the same way I’ve always eaten minus red meat and gluten. Yes, I do feel unhappy at times and say why me? It’s hard to watch people eating whatever they want, whenever they want and I have to go buy special food and watch every little thing I eat. But, there are rewards and weight loss and renewed energy are two of them. I feel like I have finally taken control of what I eat (where it comes from and what is in it) and it took becoming intolerant to wheat to make it happen.