Son after my son was born 9 months ago, I realized that he had strong sensitivities to dairy, soy, and wheat. I eliminated them, one at a time, from my diet in order to continue breastfeeding him. If you’ve never done an elimination diet, let me be the first to tell you, it’s difficult. Most people don’t read the labels of the foods they eat. I bet you have no idea that it’s almost impossible to find packaged food that is free from dairy, soy, and wheat. When I began my quest to stop eating them, it got frustrating really quickly. I spent twice as long as normal buying groceries because I had to analyze everything. As a result, I began eating more fruit and vegetables, beans, nuts, and meat. Well, that was pretty much my whole diet, for about 6 months. I have to tell you, I felt amazing! For the first winter in years, I had no arthritis pain, no fibromyalgia symptoms. I know it had to be the food I was eating; or rather, the food I wasn’t eating.
About a month or so ago, I began attempting to eat small amounts of the ingredients I had eliminated. At first, my baby wasn’t tolerating them particularly well, but after a few exposures, he seemed to be doing ok. Admittedly, I went a little overboard due to my own cravings for certain foods, like cheese. But I was using whole ingredients, not packaged food, and I think that’s why I was not only able to start eating those things again, but he was able to eat them, too.
Not long ago, I figured that if small amounts of whole ingredients was going ok, packaged food every now and then would be ok, too. I bought a few frozen pizzas, frozen garlic bread, donuts, etc. While I noticed a difference in how I felt immediately after eating those things, and a difference in my son’s bowel movements, the changes weren’t severe. I noticed that I was getting heartburn again, when it had been nearly non-existent (I have been diagnosed with GERD, although on my elimination diet, I had nearly no episodes). But it wasn’t enough to severely bother me. Then, on Monday, my husband came home for a couple days (he’s a truck driver). Not only did I buy things like Oreos and chips, but we bought a couple bags full of greasy, fried food at a truck stop to take on a picnic…corn dogs, onion rings, chicken strips, etc. It tasted so incredibly good! Then yesterday, not only did I have a bad stomach ache, headache, and heartburn, but my baby and toddler had horrible diarrhea. My 9 year old had a stomach ache, too. It’s clear that it was the food we chose to eat that wreaked such havoc on our bodies. I felt so gross!
While I may not avoid processed food like the plague, as I had to do before, I will definitely try to plan better in the future. I’ll make sure we have sandwich ingredients, fresh fruit and vegetables, and homemade snacks to take with us on long car rides and picnics. I’ll choose to make treats like onion rings rather than buy them. And I’ll certainly think twice before making a purchase based on convenience, when I now know what it will do to my body later. No amount of convenience is worth tormenting your body!