Good morning, boys and girls! Making another appearance, poking her head out from behind the curtain… the Girl.
Food. The word can barely encompass the vast amount of time and space and BRAINPOWER that goes into thought of that tiny word. food. Food is frequently described as a pleasure, we are reminded to ENJOY it, the tastes, the textures, the bonding of you to new flavors you love, and the connections you form with the people around you. Celebrations are represented by the pretty little cake, the expensive treats, making sure you have your friend’s favorite snack in your cupboard, or knowing your boyfriend’s favorite candy bar, and stashing a few in the back of his freezer for him to find later, and a few in your pantry in case you have the whim to whip up some brownies, with favorite candy hidden in each bite.
So, prepare to be knocked head-over-heels when you get a piece of paper, FINALLY, telling you that your body is in pain for a reason. And the reason… is food.
Ive struggled with anxiety and dizziness my whole life. i was an anorexic 9 year old, I literally COULD NOT eat. I was a really sick kid, from unexplained persistent dizziness, to debilitating depression, to learning disabilities causing problems at school, to finding dance again at college, and an audition to change my life.
Six months later I was bedbound, sick after sips of electrolyte drinks. that was in 2006.
This, now, is the first time i have a list of things i can eat.
and a WHOPPER of a list of things i cant.
My life, from nervous childhood through engagement, through breaking of that engagement, and a few years more of life… had given me an extensive repertoire of things I could eat. I lived on peanut butter, ice cream, cheese on toast. oh, and bean and cheese burritos, from one restaurant. the rest made me sick
so when my food blood reaction results came back, and told me that was alllll out, i panicked. No milk, wheat, yeast, vanilla, corn, eggs, ginger, melons,peanuts, walnuts, beans, cheese, squash, potato.. and pineapple? what will I EAT? I survived taking gluten out of my diet in october (though let me say I am sensitive to wheat, but do not have celiac disease) , survived another horrid week near Thanksgiving, and three days before xmas, my blood results came back. There was a stage when I thought I just had to cut out the bad foods was a huge ENOUGH task, and very confusing- It got more intense, as I continued to do research, and I found my next pursuit would be to ONLY eat the foods that came back with no reaction to my blood. This is something I do for 90 days. after that, every few days, I can add in one new food. And.. this is my favorite part… I can’t eat my safe foods only once every FOUR days. If I grab a grape, that day is the only day in the next four that I may have any grapes, grapeseed oil, juice, or raisins. So before I make a muffin, I have to choose which fruit to add, which nut, because I will not have access to that again for four days. This feels SO limiting, I can’t branch out in food families yet, and most of my list is spices and seafood. From graham crackers and peanut butter girl to… staring into the fridge, AGAIN, in pain, going “Please tell me I have food in here… something beyond just INGREDIENTS”.
And this is where I write down what I learn, and hopefully, this Girl might be able to help someone else who needs more nutrients in a cracker, but cant use the same whole grains the next day.
Sometimes, this is going to be VERY frustrating, and I will be grumbling! But I aspire to make simple, nutritious foods, and introduce myself to more than four flavors. I have more spices and options than I know what to do with… and I feel limited, because i don’t know what the majority of these things are.
But, so far…..I’ve learned to make chicken pot pie, coffeecake, several style of muffins, probably THE best apple pie crust in the world….and I think that even though TODAY, I’m nibbling almonds and frozen strawberries, because I can’t think of any options…. next strawberry day might be different!