I started the hypoallergenic diet as I started to see a naturopathic doctor about why my low iron stores. Her approach was to take out all of the foods that people are typical sensitive to, and then reintroduce them to see how my body responds. I also had tests done for gluten intolerance before I cut everything out, the results were negative.
If you've ever done something like this, you know it's hard. If you had to cut out soya products, you know that soya is in everything. It's tough to eat out because of sauces, marinades, certain veggies, breaded products, etc. and you sound like Meg Ryan ordering her coffee in You've Got Mail - but with everything.
My diet for 4 weeks mainly consisted of:
- kale - in curries, as chips, as salads
- garbanzo beans - soaked and cooked by yours truly to avoid tinned foods (garbanzo beans smelllll!) - good for curries, in salads, as hummus
- black beans - I only did this once, as a dip
- coconut milk - good for curries, good for smoothies, good to make brown rice pudding for breakfast
- brown rice and quinoa
- veggie plates (I love veggie plates, but I learned that there is a limit)
- almonds - as a snack, as a butter, as a topping on salads or your breakfast quinoa
- frozen peaches and the new Power Fruit Blend
I also gave up coffee and alcohol. I was a grouch for 2.5 weeks solid. If I offended you during this period I apologize. I heard a good analogy about this: When a hockey team loses 4 games in a row, they think to themselves, we're just having a bad stretch. When they lose 20 games in a row, it becomes clear that they just plain suck. This came from a colleague, I think his message to me was clear.
Now you're probably thinking, you didn't actually follow this for a month, did you? And if you did, is your iron amazing now? Other than the tasting of the chili, and a bowl of soup from Bridgehead, I was totally disciplined. I started reintroducing things over the weekend, and I have to keep a journal about how I feel as I go. I'll have to get my iron tested again in a few months to confirm if it's gone up, but since the gluten test came back negative, we can rule that out. Other things that I've noticed since I started:
- my skin looks really, really good.
- I'm not bloated, it looks like I've lost weight, but I've lost 2lbs.
- I had moments where I really hated everything. I'm going to say this was caffeine withdrawal.
- I had spacey moments. I couldn't think of the word that was on the tip of my tongue. I'll say that was also lack of caffeine.
- I like chocolate. You'll know from previous posts that I was not a fan of chocolate before. My naturopath says this is probably because we don't have a whole lot of bitter flavours, and since I gave up coffee I want that and chocolate is a good source. I've been eating 85% raw, organic, sugar/dairy/soya/gluten free chocolate. It's good, I swear!
- I'm not as thirsty as I was.
So was it worth it? Yes, I would say it was. The worst part for me was the caffeine. If you're as addicted as I was, remember to be patient. Really patient. It may take a few weeks to really get over it. The rest is peanuts compared to this.