I miss coffee.
Food challenges are nothing new to me. But that doesn’t mean I’m good at them or they get easier. Really, the only thing that gets easier is after the first one, you always know the challenge will eventually end. It’s kind of like your first big breakup. It’s devastating and feels like life will never be good again. And then it is. After that, you always know you will survive. I’ve broken up with certain foods enough times for my body to know this isn’t goodbye—it’s a see you later.
My current challenge is a bit different, though. I’m cutting a lot of ingredients and will then slowly add them back in. If I have a negative reaction to one of the ingredients, I will most likely have to say goodbye—or at least, see you on really special occasions.
Let’s back up for just a second.
I’ve been health conscious for years, but there really isn’t anything I don’t eat. I just balance. I’ve also struggled with allergy induced asthma and eczema for over two decades. Doctors always assumed I would grow out of the asthma, and all that was ever given for the eczema was steroid cream on top of steroid cream. I was so over it. I wanted to learn why my body was reacting this way and learn how to control it, if at all possible.
I went to Forney Wellness to get a bunch of lab work done (#Ihateneedles) but stood in the clear of autoimmune disease and any other serious issues. This is how we came to the decision to try an elimination diet.
For twenty-eight days, I am cutting out gluten, dairy, eggs, red meat, pork, soy, corn, sugar (except naturally occurring in acceptable foods and a bit of agave nectar), and caffeine. For days two through ten, I actually limited my diet even more while taking a detox supplement and protein powder that tasted like dirty feet dipped in peach sauce to help cleanse my body of any stored junk. Thank goodness for Costco and their supply of frozen fish because that was the only meat I could eat during that period, and fresh fish can be $$$. These were dark days. See the girl on the front of the detox brochure?
I did not smile like that.
I have been a lover of stunning fruit and cheese plates with a loaf of fresh baked bread since toddlerhood, so I thought those things would be what I missed most. But you know what? COFFEE.
I started drinking a cup of coffee every afternoon while Collins naps about a year ago as well as drinking it on the weekends with Blake. I would be all for a morning cup, too, but I’m busy drinking my ACV before Collins is awake, and once she’s up, I’d be microwaving that cup of coffee a dozen times, and that sounds more exhausting than just not drinking the coffee. Only spending time together once a day, it seems coffee and I have still become attached, and I miss it so. I feel like I am going through an intense rehab program. Every day, I give intense thought to drinking a cup. When I’m tired or cranky or procrastinating something, I blame my lack of coffee. I may make a cup later today. I just can’t make any promises right now.
It’s hard to tell if the diet is working because my eczema could for sure be worse, but should it be better than it is? We’ll see if we make it these last eleven days. I know what you’re thinking—it’s only eleven days! But you guys—coffee. Plus, I’m going to Austin Sunday for a beautiful dinner at Jamie Ivey’s house (I bought a ticket—we aren’t official friends yet), and I would really love to eat all the food. Like I said, no promises.
I’ll be posting a few pictures on Facebook and Instagram of foods I’ve been enjoying since on this diet. If you have tips, tricks, or advice, send them on! Don’t be shy! Or if you find yourself in a similar boat or are just interested in giving your body a re-start, please ask questions! This food journey can be a struggle, but it’s also a lot of fun, especially when we get to talk about it together.