Do I have that Seinfeld quote right? I'm remembering Kramer telling someone how he stays fit and eats right. Well, I have now cut out fructose, too.
One of my new year's resolutions for 2009 was to avoid corn syrup and cut down on sweets in general. I did that, but it was a struggle. Because I'm lactose intolerant, limited sugar and dairy became my standard way of eating.
Then later in the year, I noticed an allergic reaction to tomatoes, bell peppers and eggplant. These are the nightshade vegetables. So, no more pizza for me.
At the very end of 2009, I realized that the reason I kept getting stomach aches even if I'd had no dairy, nightshades or sugar was that I also had an intolerance to wheat. My list of no-no's stretched to include pasta, bread, tortillas, bagels, crackers and croutons. SO! No more Italian, Mexican, Mediterranean, French or Spanish cuisines. No sandwiches, pasta dishes, anything that contains breadcrumbs or sauces that contain any of my danger foods.
I've been cooking a lot of Indian dinners without the ghee and eating a lot of rice. I make vegetable stew with chicken, fish or beef and carry it to work for lunch most days. Breakfasts have been oatmeal with fruit and nuts. And life has been okay.
But three weeks ago, my doctor identified a condition I've had before. It's called candidiasis and I will let you find out as much as you want about that on your own. The most effective treatment includes a severely restricted diet. You might think this would be no problem since I've been living on a restricted diet, but oh, no. The Candida Diet is even more severe than living without dairy, wheat or processed sugar.
The version of the Candida diet that I'm on requires that I keep avoiding all those foods I've been avoiding and also cut out all grains and flours, all condiments and fermented items like vinegar, all sugar and sweeteners, including artificial sweeteners and most fresh fruit, plus all beverages, except water and herbal tea. OH, yeah.
For three weeks I've eaten nothing but vegetables, protein and a few fruits like hard pears, blueberries and grapefruit (but it turns out that my skin reacts to the grapefruit, so that's back out). I'll probably have to stay on the Candida Diet for another month, then my doctor might start letting me bring back food groups one at a time, separated by weeks. In the past -- yeah, I've done this before -- the first group I could add back was fruit. Then a few weeks later, condiments. Then all grains except for wheat. Then wheat. Then sugar. And last of all, dairy, but I don't like much dairy anyway, so I don't care about that.
I've lost four pounds. It'll come back once I'm eating normally again, so the question is how do I retain enough of this diet to keep the weight loss? I don't know. It's actually pretty nice in some ways. The payoff for not being able to eat all those baked goods, potato chips and chocolate is that I can totally indulge in all the avocado, almonds, and dark meat chicken I want. I put olive oil on everything with no guilt at all. I eat this way and still lose weight. It's been kind of fun sometimes, like when I'm stepping on the scale or putting on those pants that used to fit tight.
But it's not fun at all when I sit at my desk wanting, no NEEDING one of the cupcakes I know others are enjoying at the afternoon office social. It's not fun to long for a sandwich, just a #$%-damn sandwich and know it'll set back my healing process if I have it. I sometimes dream of cookies and fluffy cakes, but say "No, thanks, I can't." Imagine how mad I am at myself when I wake up from those dreams.
I'm a sugar addict who's going cold turkey right now and isn't sure how long she can hold out. Like most addicts, I can stay on the wagon for a set amount of time. Knowing this will end, abstention's no problem. But I wish I could kick the sugar habit permanently. I really wish I could eat this healthy for life.
Last night I had my first dream that went the way I wanted it to. After telling myself repeatedly, "Dream of dessert and eat it all. Go ahead and eat cake," I dreamt that I was at a Christmas party. Multi-layered cupcakes and frosted cookies surrounded me. I ate it all and woke up satisfied.