What do you eat…

…when the list of things you can’t eat is longer than the list of things you can eat?

As I mentioned awhile back, I’ve been on an elimination diet. My elimination diet lasted for a good 11 weeks and it was one of the most difficult things I’ve had to do in a long time. Kind of up there as when I wore braces in my teenage years. This elimination/provocation diet is based on a strict meal plan that my nutritionist devised for me, based on my blood work. It’s really difficult and it means that there’s very little chance of eating out or even eating a piece of cake. 90% of the food I eat is all made at home in my own kitchen. The rest of it is purchased either from health food stores or bakeries that specialise in this sort of food.

For my elimination diet, I can’t eat the following: dairy products, fruit (except for berries), wheat, gluten, yeast, sugar, corn, potatoes, pasta, rice, noodles, and oats. This cuts out a major chunk of my meals so the husband and I have had to be very creative with what we eat. Of course it helps that there are thousands of recipes on the Internet with ingredients that I *am* allowed to eat. Here are some photos of what I’ve been eating…

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Low carb toast spread with pesto then topped with parma, julienned carrots, alfalfa sprouts and dried cranberries.

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Omelette with capsicum and onions served with fried sausages and half an avocado.

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Thai style red curry with chicken and asparagus.

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Tandoori chicken salad with yoghurt dressing.

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Curried roasted butternut squash soup with coconut milk. Served with a slice of low carb bread.

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Fish Korma inspired by Jamie Oliver with Salmon. Served with Cauliflower rice seasoned with lime juice and coriander.

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Green Chili inspired by Jamie Oliver. This is similar to regular Chili con Carne but it has a fresher taste.

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Mushroom soup with soya cream

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Eggplant and chickpea curry with cauliflower rice

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A very green meal: Pesto coated baked chicken with steamed broccoli and asparagus

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Tandoori spiced baked chicken on a bed of greens with alfalfa, sesame seeds and spiced yoghurt dressing.

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Chickpea pancakes with picco de gallo and Greek yoghurt

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Tandoori spice marinated salmon fillet on a bed of greens with sliced raddichio, carrots and a handful of dried cranberries. Served with a yoghurt dressing.

About 3 weeks ago, I started my provocation diet. According to my nutritionist, the provocation diet is done when your system is in a more stable state. For me this was after ~11 weeks of being on the elimination diet. I’ve actually gotten very used to the elimination diet, though the provocation diet puts me on an edge. This is because the provocation diet is done for 5 days by including 1 ingredient that is possibly a trigger and then switching back to elimination for 2 days before going on another 5 days with the next ingredient.

My skin is slowly healing. But so far I have discovered some reactions to certain food. I’m not 100% sure if what I observed were indeed reactions; it depends on what my nutritionist says next, when I see her again. But it’s been an interesting experiment. “You are what you eat” has never been more true to me lately, than ever. I haven’t really sat in a proper restaurant and eaten regular food lately. There’s the odd cafe here and there where I only order 0.5% of the menu :) My taste buds are so out of whack it’s like nothing really tastes good anymore. Everything is bland and uninteresting. I no longer look forward to food any more, which is very strange for a foodie (or ex-foodie) like myself. It’s a bit embarrassing when people ask me “Hey have you tried that new restaurant” because I no longer have that luxury.

It’s also eye opening how much of sugar, wheat, gluten, rice syrup, lactose, etc. is in our food. Even regular ham slices have sugar in them. Bottled crushed tomatoes that you use to make pasta sauce has sugar in it.

I’ve lost about 8.0 kg so far which doesn’t seem like much but is actually a bit depressing for me. I feel like my features look a little strange. I know, how can anybody be sad about weight loss, you ask? It’s my clothing :( I love my clothes. I won’t lie, I have a lot of clothes because I love dressing up everyday. When we travel, I always try to buy something unique. I’m also not a huge fan of the clothing that they sell here in Oslo because I feel they’re not unique enough. You either shop in Zara, Mango, H&M or you buy really expensive designer items. My taste is somewhere in the middle and unfortunately the shops in Oslo don’t really cater for that. I usually shop in Gap, J Crew, Madewell, and Levi’s when we travel. I love simplistic, basic clothing with the perfect cutting. Nothing excites me more than a pair of perfectly fitting jeans. I actually live in jeans :)

My nutritionist explained that the mind has to get used to how the body looks – since it now looks different. I think I’m taking a long time here for my mind to adjust.

I don’t have a supermodel figure – never did – but I guess I’m on the path to becoming a better version of myself. A lot of very positive minded people say that you should think of yourself as “work in progress”. I guess I should probably start thinking of myself that way :)

When I started the elimination diet in October, I couldn’t workout at all. I tried to run for 40 minutes but had to stop 15 minutes into the workout as I thought I was going to die. I was gasping for breath and so, so tired. It turns out that the body takes some time to learn how to get energy from fat instead of carbs. ¬†However,¬†recently, I started working out again and it’s been going much better. I now have more energy than I used to. I also don’t really get much aches and pains any more. According to my doctor, previously I had a high level of inflammation in my body but now we have managed to reduce it. The other thing she mentioned was that the skin heals last. For now, I’m just waiting for that to happen *Fingers crossed* …

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4 responses

  1. Ugh, I totally sympathize with you. I went through an elimination diet too. It was brutal! But now I feel so much better. Now that I know which foods are the worst offenders and avoid them completely, my body is better at handling foods that are only slightly irritating. Such a relief to be able to include those foods in my diet again, even if only in restricted amounts. I hope you see the benefits of your hard work soon! Looks like you’re getting really creative with your recipes :)

    • Thank you :) It is indeed brutal. So comforting to hear that somebody else has endured it as well. Could I ask what food is your worst offender? I’m curious as to what kind of ingredients seem to cause issues.

      When you mention restricted amounts, how little is that?

      Yes, necessity is the mother of all inventions :) We’ve had to figure out different types of recipes to be able to have some variety in our meals.

  2. Those dishes look SO good – and hey, I’ve tasted one of them! :D Since that was delicious, I’m assuming the other ones are, too.

    And yes, the mind does take time to get used to a new body. It’s quite strange, how the mind remembers one face, and when we look in the mirror we see a slightly different one. In time your new face will become your old face and you’ll know yourself again :)

    • Hehe. I can vouch for some of these dishes…but generally they do taste alright. It’s interesting how fine our taste buds become and food with 1-2 ingredients end up being tasty. I wouldn’t have believed that otherwise. It does feel nice to be off sugar though :)

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