Kira and I hanging out,
watching my boyfriend's bike race
I have found myself having so much fun recently that I just don't have the motivation I used to for this blog, because I was originally using this to try to fill a void in my life that I don't feel these days. That's the truth of the matter, and I don't think I've talked about it before.
A couple of years ago, I was really dissatisfied with my career. I read somewhere that you can either find a more satisfying career by turning what you love into what you do, or you can just do your job as a job and also do what you love as a hobby, and that may be enough. So I tried to think of what I spent my time doing outside of work, which would tell me what it was I enjoyed doing, and found that almost everything I did related to health. I exercised a lot, enjoyed shopping for good food and cooking good food, and strived to find a balance of friend-time and me-time (which relates to health because it affects emotional/mental health). Given this discovery, I thought I should spend even more time in this area that I seemed to enjoy so much, and share my personal journey, challenges, and accomplishments.
And it has been quite a journey.
Of course the journey is never over, but I recently achieved something HUGE, and I think this is a good final blog entry topic. I mean final in a very loose sense, since I know this blog will always be here when I need it, but I don't want to feel guilty about not keeping up with it anymore.
So here it is, my accomplishment: my elimination diet that I've been doing hardcore since April, 2015 is DONE.
As you may recall, I was having significant digestive issues and just always didn't feel well. Starting when I moved back to the U.S., I eliminated all potential problem causing foods and drinks. This left me being able to eat meat & fish, most fruits & vegetables, and a little bit of rice & corn as my starch/carb source. For about six months, I didn't eat dairy, gluten, oats, soy, eggs, nuts, seeds, beans/legumes (including peas), cabbage, potatoes, sweet potatoes, winter squash, cocoa, black tea, coffee, and alcohol. Not even in trace amounts, and man did oils seriously make it hard to eat at restaurants.
How did I have the patience and energy to do that??? Looking back, I have no idea.
After about six months I was feeling way better and no longer had any of the digestive issues I was working to resolve. Yes, it really did take that long on my strict elimination diet to feel better. So that was an awesome accomplishment, and I got to start reintroducing things one at a time. If I tested an item and it all went well, I got to keep it in my diet, and if it didn't go well I had to eliminate it again and wait until I felt better to move on to the next item. As I'm sure you can imagine, this was very time consuming, and ended up taking another seven months.
The very last item on my elimination diet that I saved till the end was alcohol, and I celebrated reaching this point with a glass of wine on the six month anniversary of my first date with my boyfriend (awww).
Celebrating goals achieved and new things to look forward to!
So my end result is that dairy, gluten, soy, peanuts, and more than a small serving of cabbage upset my stomach. It still makes life difficult, especially in social settings, but it's way better than where I was at a year ago. And now, at least I know. Just knowing is a huge relief.