I will discuss what I have eaten and my symptoms over the last four weeks. It’s going to be a bit of a diary.
First Week: I struggled but, managed to remove all gluten, sugar (except for the little bit in the sea salt dark chocolate square I eat for dessert at night), and dairy from my diet. Within twenty four hours my gas went away and so did a measurable amount of discomfort.
I am simple in my meals – making my breakfast, lunch and snacks in the morning that I eat later in the day. Breakfast invariably is wilted kale with nitrite free bacon and a fried egg. Thank you Nom Nom Paleo for the bacon kale recipe. I cook the oscar myer nitrate free bacon once a week in a skillet and save the bacon drippings in a ceramic jar on the stove. I cook my eggs and many things with a teaspoon of these dripping all week.
Lunch is a mixed green salad with shredded carrots, broccoli sprouts, sliced cucumber and some sliced avocado. I use Bragg dressings – these can be left out at room temperature (the olive oil gets hard in the refrigerator otherwise). I also had some meat – usually chicken breast, or chicken salad or reheated burger.
For the first week I wanted to try and eliminate some candida symptoms I was having. I did so by removing fruits and all sugars. But, within the week besides being very tired as I transitioned back into burning fat instead of sugar, I developed UTI symptoms (feeling like I have to pee and pressure in bladder). I thought at first that this was a symptom of possible candida in the bladder but, later realized – after some research – that high acidity can lead to this symptom. Alkaline foods are a good fix for this.
Dinner is always a meat and veg – steak, burger or chicken. I like to take a pound of lean ground beef and separate it into four burger patties and put into the freezer in a ziplock. I pull them out and cook them on the skillet or in toaster oven for my dinner and/or meat for salad for lunch. I like using the coconut aminos with garlic and thyme to season my burgers. I buy chicken breasts bulk in a bag from the freezer section. Sometimes they are individually wrapped and sometimes frozen but, not stuck to each other in a bag. I put a breast or two in the toaster oven seasoned with cumin, garlic powder, sea salt and black pepper. Sometimes I would get some chicken salad or tuna salad from the local health food market or make my own (pickles, bit of mayo – which I know isn’t paleo but, the time I tried to make my own paleo mayo it didn’t last more than a couple of days). I also made quinoa as a starch on occasion and bought sweet potato fries in freezer section. Sometimes my meat would be individual salmon or some whitefish filets I got for a couple of dollars in freezer section of the local discount food store. I seasoned these with mrs dash or salt, pepper, garlic and lemon.
Week Two: I incorporated fruit again as my body became too acidic. Snacks are sliced apples with organic almond butter (dry roasted almonds being the only ingredient) and cut melon (my favorite is watermelon).
Side Story: I developed what felt like a UTI (in the bladder) last year when I first started Paleo and was not eating enough fruits and alkaline foods. I came up clean of bacteria on the urine test and it was suggested that I might have candida (which I did not know could migrate to anywhere in the body). So I went on a strict candida cleanse (starving the heck out of that candida by removing all forms of sugar). Besides being tired a lot for the first week or so my symptoms did not improve. I knew it had to be something else. I looked up and found that high acidity can lead to inflammation in the bladder. So, I said to myself, what the hell and dove right in to high alkaline foods (watermelon, avocado, raisins, aloe vera juice to name a few) and wouldn’t you know it the UTI symptoms vanished. So now I know that I need to be very conscious of the balance of acid to alkaline foods. I believe that now the candida symptoms are under control.
Being on a paleo diet again I started losing some weight around my middle right away. But, I was still having inflammation – swollen tongue, pain in gall bladder/right abdominal area, pain in small and large intestine and mucus in the stool. I incorporated some healing supplements. I took an ounce of coconut water kefir, with a couple ounces of coconut water, aloe vera juice and the remainder of my green vibrance each am on an empty stomach. I soon realized that my bms were getting pretty foul smelling – and since I did not have this experience the last time that I did paleo I figured that since I had introduced a new element (kefir) that this was the cause of the odor. I also ran out of the green vibrance so kefir was the only probiotic I was consuming at that point. I believe the kefir strain was overpopulating my gut and creating an imbalance despite my best intentions. I removed the kefir and the odor has ceased. However, my gut is still unbalanced from some irritant or illness. The IBS story continues!
After several weeks with removal of the known irritants I realized there was something else that was bothering me. For the first time in my life I had done an elimination diet – being able to narrow down what is causing my symptoms is quite informative. I am excited to be so close to figuring out what ails me. So I did the research and sure enough nightshade intolerance runs in my family. My uncle and grandfather were tomato intolerant. But, as it was years ago, I bet they were also nightshade intolerant. So, I am now (four weeks in) going to add nightshade elimination to the list.
Here’s the nightshade list – tomatoes (all), potatoes (all except sweet potatoes), peppers (all except black), eggplant. So, no paprika, no bell peppers, no cayenne, no banana peppers, no salsa, no curry, no hibachi white sauce, no cajun chicken, no bbq sauce, no steak sauce, no rubs, no tomato sauce, no pimentos, no sausage, no hot dogs, and no deli meats (there are a couple that are ok)! Paprika is used in almost all foods as a colorant or flavor additive. If a label says “spices” it will have paprika in it. The first day that I realized this I was depressed – I can not go anywhere without finding paprika in an ingredient list of all of my favorite paleo foods. But, I am so close – I have got to figure this out. No giving up now!