Oh, the joys of getting older and developing new food sensitivities (and poorer eyesight, but that is a different post). After reacting poorly (I won’t bore you with the gastrointestinal details) to several foods, but not knowing exactly which foods, my doctor has suggested an elimination diet. It sounded like a great plan: cut everything, and add things back slowly, then you’ll figure out what is bothering you. The reality: I am surviving on lettuce.
That might be a slight exaggeration, but the truth is that for the past two and a half weeks I have eaten vegetables and animal protein exclusively, and I have been surviving just fine. It means I am the annoying person that goes to a restaurant and asks for seventeen changes to my meal (“no tomatoes, mayo, fries, or bread, please!“) but most places are willing to accommodate, and I am feeling, generally, better.
Yes, it is similar to the Paleo diet (which I did with some success a couple of years ago), but the intention here is to add back things that don’t cause problems for me. Hello, beans, I am looking at you.
I learned a while back that neither eggs nor mayo work for me, which is entirely unfortunate as I could eat eggs every day. And a good tuna melt? Giving that up is pitiful. The new, tragic discovery are mangoes. I will experiment again this week, but it seems thatI will have to banish mangoes from my diet. And it is nearly mango season in my neighborhood, with trees overflowing with the ripe, juicy fruits. No mango daiquiris for me this season.
What else could be a bother? In the next couple weeks, I will be testing out all of my favorite foods: things that contain gluten, eggplant, tomatoes, beans, and because I am truly a glutton for punishment, I will be trying eggs again. While I have no idea how this will play out, I have avoided eggs and mayo for about a year and have managed to survive. I am eager to find out what else I will have to avoid to feel great. On the other hand, I am not going to be pleased if eggplant parm is not in my future ever again. We will see.
How do you cope with food allergies or sensitivities? Leave a comment (and word of encouragement) in the comments below.