Earlier this month, I realised that I had been putting too much hope in doctors & specialists*, and not enough faith in myself & my intuition. After a whole bunch of research, I’ve decided to adopt a version of the Endo diet.
DELETING: dairy & eggs, deep fried food, alcohol, refined carbs, additives/preservatives
(and red meat, but I’m already eleven years ahead on that one 🙂 apparently chicken, pork and fish are okay meats for an Endo diet – I just choose not to partake)
CUTTING BACK: wheat/gluten, refined sugar, caffeine, soy products
COPYING & PASTING: fresh fruit & veges, nuts, grains/pulses/legumes
Transitioning my diet is going great.
I was one of those vegetarians who, after doin’ all that research that people who suspect the Generic Western Diet is not the way to go tend to do – and taking on board the accompanying discovery that most of the assumptions/received wisdom I had grown up with about food weren’t based in fact and health, but in ideology and tradition – intermittently flirted with eating vegan, but always found it “too hard” because, at that time in my life, I wasn’t willing and able to learn to cook outside my square.
It’s all about building momentum in the kitchen; wanting to buy new ingredients, learn new recipes, being inspired by the power you have to affect your wellbeing via the food you eat. This time around, I am being helped along by How It All Vegan!, La Dolce Vegan and Vegan With A Vengeance. Arming myself with a few masterpiece vegan cookbooks may be an essential ingredient of success! I fear the inevitable library fines I will receive for being unable to part with the first two in a timely fashion. Luckily, I already own VWAV; score one for subconscious foresight 🙂
Nixing dairy required a little self-discipline – I fucking love cheese, the Kirkaldie’s fromagerie was one of my favourite things about Wellington; I miss probiotic yoghurt too, it is so great in smoothies – but my body is saying thank you already. No deep fried food sucks whenever I get a craving for hot chips, ditto no refined carbs/sugar/additives whenever a candy craving kicks in, but the fact that staying away from junk food will be awesome for my body & mind is a great motivator. Besides, it’s not as though I can’t chow down on some oven-baked chips, or bake an amazing vegan confection when the mood strikes.
I guess convenience is the kicker. 90% of my in-town snack food options just got struck off the list. Goddamn. Fuck I love snack food. The new snacks on the block at home are spicy tomato flavoured roasted chickpeas, almonds and dried apricots; they are all awesome, and make me feel way better than the other snack-stuff I used to eat, but sometimes all I want to do is chug back a pack of Nerds.
I’m sloooowly cutting back on wheat and gluten. Diving right in and going wheat/gluten-free AND vegan was a little too much to get my head around, kitchen-wise. I’m keeping it low pressure; I’m less likely to cave and start baking with eggs again this way :-p I’m still having a cup of coffee (rice milk ftw!) in the morning, but nothing else with caffeine in it aside from a little green tea. Cutting back on soy is a bastard; tofu rules. I’m still putting soy sauce in stir fries, but am trying to avoid it otherwise.
How do I feel after only two weeks of eating a low-junk, low-soy vegan diet?
More clear-headed, more energised. Still in pain, but feeling less incapacitated by it, which is already more than my doctors could do.
It quickly became obvious that I need to hone my cooking skills, and be more adventurous about trying new recipes; my spare time this week – when not gleefully obsessing over the Murdoch Empire chaos – is going to be all about diving into cookbooks. Last night was a total dinner/dessert triumph. Creamy curried veges over brown rice/apricot-apple-berry cobbler.
Nutrition is key. This is my new mantra; it is resonating deeply.
* because advice that boils down to “you’re probably just going to have to live with it” is wildly unhelpful. I walked out of that particular specialist consultation having realised that this needed to be the end of the road for me, as far as seeking mainstream treatment for endo goes