|Oh, my options are endless!|
In the couple of weeks since I last wrote here, my life has changed a lot. Yes, professionally things have been overhauled, but my food world has also been undergoing some renovations. For all people with food sensitivities, I am here to tell you from experience that you CAN HEAL. Hallelujah!! I now have what's close to a normal diet! I'm not saying that I'm gonna go eat a seitan burger (pronounced "satan"), but the poignant fact is that I probably could eat one and not feel awful. After taking a food sensitivities test last March, I dutifully eradicated about half of my diet, including raspberries, all grains, pork, lamb, salmon, olive oil, celery, nuts, seeds, and arugula, among many other delicious, every day foods. But most of those foods are now back in my diet.
The reasons I did the food sensitivities test (and the reasons many other people do it) were that I was constantly itchy from eczema, my digestion was temperamental at best, I had frequent breakouts on my skin and I was anxious. Very anxious. And I wanted to see what the whole food sensitivities test was all about. I did an elimination diet after the test and figured out that a lot of the foods I listed above either gave me a profuse runny nose, immediately itchy skin, a hangover the next day, terrible stomach cramps, diarrhea or a debilitating headache. Super fun stuff.
There's nothing like being at a dinner party where you can't eat anything. There's definitely nothing like having to cook every. single. one of your meals from scratch for yourself every day. Seth and I didn't go out on a dinner date (and therefore a date at all) for the last year because there's nowhere in Boulder that you can go to get a Neely-proof meal off the menu.
I was conditioned to be literally afraid of olive oil and pork as if they were truly and inherently dangerous. I am going to Spain in May for an entire month, and upon researching what I would have to eat in Spain, I found there is a profusion of, yes, olive oil and pork. So a couple of weeks ago I told myself to sack up and just eat them. I thought only good thoughts and I accepted the possibility of the consequences, and then I took a deep breath and took a bite of an olive oil dish. And nothing happened. Then I ate pork. Nothing happened. I ate pepper and celery and carrots and an entire meal off the menu at The Kitchen in Boulder (on a real date with Seth). Nothing happened. You've probably never been overjoyed by eating celeriac or wine sauce, or exulted at the thought of consuming baby carrots and hummus. You can't imagine my delight.
So for everyone out there who has food sensitivities and is avoiding their favorite foods at all costs, never fear: it is possible to eat those things again. Stay diligent and you, too, may be able to eat freely once again. It's just a matter of giving your gut and immune system some time away from those foods so it all has time to calm down and heal. For some, it only takes a couple of weeks or months, but for others it can take years. However long it takes, it will be worth it...