Friday, August 23, 2013

Into the Home Stretch

My mom and I are on Day 18 of the Elimination Diet and folks, we are into the home stretch! The food add ins we decided to test this time around are:

Tree Nuts
Chocolate (praying this is not a problem!)

We began our add ins with one new food over the course of three days to see if there were any changes in digestion or how we felt overall. Lemons were quick and easy to test by adding a little fresh squeezed juice to our smoothies and salads. We even made a tart lemon and lentil soup.

The real treat came on Sunday with the addition of tree nuts. I made a cashew cream pie with a pecan and almond crust. This also had a splash of lemon juice and was a rich, smooth, cool dessert topped with fresh berries.

We do like to complete our meals with a little something sweet. So later in the week I made truffles with walnuts, almond butter, dates, raisins, cinnamon and gave them a little roll in flaked coconut, a perfectly sweet bite to end a meal.

I was perhaps most excited for Tuesday evening when we added in meat for the first time in 15 days! We turned wild caught salmon filets into salmon burgers seasoned with Herbamare, fresh ginger and fresh parsley. I was pleased to find organic cauliflower at the local co-op for us to have mashed cauliflower as a side.

We’ve started nearly every day of the diet with a variation of quinoa and berries. One morning in addition to the cinnamon and flax we added walnuts for a little extra crunch. And yes, there is quinoa under all of those berries!

One of the many benefits of this diet is that we are eating green foods (collards, kale, broccoli, cabbage, bok choy) every day and oftentimes more than once a day.

Greens are the most nutrient dense foods and are cleansing and healing foods for the digestive system and body. They are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals like vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin C, calcium, iron, folic acid and potassium. All of these benefits add up to some serious antioxidant cancer-fighting properties. It's no surprise that one of the first blessings given to us by God was the abundance of green things to eat.

Then God said..."to everything that has the breath of life in it, I give every green plant for food." - Genesis 1:30

Friday, August 16, 2013

A Fresh Start

In September 2010, I embarked on an Elimination Diet to test foods that may be sources of allergy symptoms such as runny nose, inflammation, acne and digestive distress. In order to give a thorough test to many foods, the diet stretched into a 40 day plan and was more than beneficial in resetting my system, refining my sense of taste and identifying foods that were in fact causing some health problems. I chronicled the 40 Day Elimination Diet here. The result was a commitment to keep certain foods out of my diet which has significantly improved my over all health. I feel stronger and more energized.

Fast-forward three years later and after keeping up the dietary changes, I decided it was still a good idea to do a system reset every now and then. Especially because I do tend to indulge in dark chocolate and decadent desserts, even though they are generally made with organic, fresh, whole food ingredients, they still take a toll on the body and it’s just a good idea to fast from those things for a period. This was a good time to make a fresh start.

Already knowing and permanently eliminating certain foods that cause problems for me, there was no need to retest those foods, and so with this time around I am able to zip through it in just 21 days. I’m thankful that my mom is a trooper and is zipping through this with me. Support and a partner to do a fast with is almost essential to sticking with it.

Today is Day 11, the halfway mark and we have been enjoying some of the most satisfying meals. We've also noticed that our sense of taste had grown dull. Clearing out the chocolate, sweeteners like honey and other potential allergy foods have brought back a heightened sense of taste, a renewed energy and clarity of thinking. Here are a few highlights of our Elimination Diet meals over the last 11 days...

Days 1 and 2 kick the diet off with smoothies made with pears, apples, greens (collards, kale, spinach, cabbage) cranberries and flax.

Red cabbage and cranberry smoothie ready to take to work...

Delicious mixture of fresh, lightly cooked veggies that we served over quinoa...

A good go to breakfast of quinoa with cinnamon, flax, fresh berries and pear...

Another breakfast meal of leftover collards, sauerkraut, pumpkin seeds and berries...

Cabbage soup with quinoa, carrots and fresh parsley...

Warm and nourishing lentil and kale dal that we served over germinated brown rice...

Quinoa, berries, bok choy and pumpkin seeds...

In the heat of summer, while feasting on the bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables made available to us, feeling revived and renewed, I am encouraged and reminded that He will indeed satisfy and supply all my need. 

The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail. - Isaiah 58:11