Not another Diet
Maybe if I tried a different diet my symptoms would magically go away.
I was facing my colectomy surgery and thinking one more elimination diet might be my magic cure. However, at the end of a grueling couple of months with no relief, I found myself facing surgery.
I thought to myself, “well at least I won’t have to do another one of these crazy diets again.” Have you ever done an elimination diet? They are hard! They require making almost all your food from scratch and can be socially isolating since eating out in restaurants or at your friend’s homes can be challenging.
For many people, getting an ostomy is their miracle cure.
For people like me, who have Crohn’s Disease, getting an ostomy might only be a piece of the puzzle.
After my surgery my inflamed joints never cooled off. I found myself back on biologics and prednisone to try and help alleviate my chronic pain. Four months of regular physical therapy and I was still having trouble walking, standing in the kitchen, or doing my prescribed exercises without adverse reactions.
Something had to change. I needed to consider making some dietary changes…….Again!!!
For months I toyed with the idea of eliminating gluten, dairy and sugar from my diet. From my Chinese Medicine education, I knew that these food groups can cause dampness to accumulate in the body and wondered if the swelling in my knees had anything to do with my diet.
However, I kept talking myself out of it. I had too much stress in my life. This diet would just add another layer of that.
I also used to love cooking and trying new recipes, but my energy levels had been so low that it had been years since I really found joy in cooking.
I also had two blockages that resulted in hospital admissions. These events really diminished my confidence in expanding my diet and trying to eat more vegetables and higher fiber grains/beans.
I was living off refined white flour, yogurt, cheese and chocolate! How could I transform my laundry list of excuses into action?
I made the first step by making an appointment to see my beloved nutritionist.
I told her what I thought I needed to do and that I had a lot of hesitation and fear of moving forward and actually doing it.
Like any good practitioner, she listened to me and met me where I was. We came up with a plan that felt doable and practical given my busy schedule. I would eliminate each food group one at a time!
After a week of cutting sugar out of my diet, I started to dive into Pinterest and my favorite food blogs for recipe ideas. I found myself getting excited about recipes. My mouth was even watering as I looked at pictures of recipes that would fit the full elimination diet.
Perhaps it was the turn of a new season. Spring finally came, the sun was out more, and the weather was warming up. Whatever it was, I decided to dive right in and do the whole elimination diet at once.
Five weeks into the elimination and I wasn’t starving. I even found some cafes in the area to meet up with friends and find appropriate food to purchase.
Unfortunately, the change in diet wasn’t the answer to my problems, and that’s okay. Nutrition is sometimes a game changer for people and I know that the effort I put into it was an important experiment that didn’t go without any benefits.
Going through the process relit my passion for cooking, made me acutely aware of the food I was putting into my diet, and got me on a regimen of making healthier food options.
I can look back at the experience and know that I took effective action to try and make changes for myself.