Two Weeks of Sorta Kinda Paleo
As I mentioned in my blog post (My Seventeen Year Stomach Ache), I had to go on a very strict elimination diet. I was following what is considered a Paleo diet (meat, fish, fowl, vegetables, fruits, roots, tubers and nuts). What? Wait a minute...roots and tubers? Never in my life had I consider that some of the food I was already eating was considered roots and/or tubers. Both words did not sound remotely appetizing. I did some research (that means Google) and little did I know that yams, potatoes and sweet potatoes are tubers. Carrots, beets and turnips are root vegetables. Now I go up to perfect strangers and ask them when was the last time they ate a root or a tuber (not really but that would be hilarious to see what answers I would get).
As luck would have it the beginning of this food elimination diet happened to coincide with a road trip. I started on the diet on a Wednesday and the following Sunday I had to drive my son to his college orientation...a four hour drive away. After dropping him off, I was then driving into the mountains to stay for two days. The house is forty-five minutes away from ANY food store.
I'm used to "going without". I have been going without eating a lot of different things (anything containing gluten, shellfish & nightshades). Now I had to find foods that were also free of eggs, dairy AND could go on the road with me. This meant an emergency trip to Whole Foods. After about two hours of label reading and $100 later, I had one bag of food to take with me. I hadn't had a chance to really study the Paleo way of eating so I just had to go with what I could find. I was really happy that I had a Whole Foods in my area because there is no way I could have gotten enough to eat from Food Lion. I had bags of dried fruit, bags of nuts, raw nut & fruit bars, plantain chips, fruit leather (tastes better than in sounds) and raw coconut macaroons. I bought some fresh fruit to get me through the days before the trip (apples, grapes, bananas & oranges).
We left on a Sunday and headed north into the WORST traffic I have ever been in. A trip that was supposed to take four hours took almost seven. I preceded to eat everything I had bought at Whole Foods during those seven hours. At some point we stopped at an Arbies so that my son could eat lunch. Guess what I ate from Arbies...a "naked" baked potato...no butter, no sour cream, no cheese...NOTHING! Off their entire menu, a freaking potato was the only thing that wouldn't poison me. This diet was not getting off to a great start but I was determined to stick with it. We arrived at the hotel and I was so hungry, I could have eaten the delicate floral patterned comforter. We ended up in the hotel restaurant and the only thing I could eat from their entire menu was a "naked" hamburger...no bun, no cheese. I did ask if they could add some mushrooms and onions but had to explain in my best Spanish (that means numbers 1-6 and please & thank you) thank I would crap in my pants or barf on the table if anything got cross contaminated. They must have gotten the message from me pointing back and forth from my mouth to my ass because I had no embarrassing reactions.
I was able to make it through the two days at the mountain house by finding an awesome grocery store and stocking up with more gluten free, shellfish free, nightshade free, dairy free and egg free food. The biggest challenge with this diet was that most everything I could eat had to be prepared in some way. I had plenty of "snacks" that I didn't have to do anything to (just reach my hand into the bag) but lunch & dinner was a whole other story. The following week and a half before I could start introducing certain grains (rice, corn & soy) back into my diet I TRIED to eat fresh fruits, vegetables, meat, chicken, fish and lots of nuts...more nuts that I have ever eaten in my life. Nuts became my constant companion. I was still working over seventy hours a week so preparing and cooking meals was extremely difficult.
I had became obsessed with hummus and carrots during the two week elimination diet. The Paleo diet does not allow hummus (chickpeas = hummus and chickpeas are legumes not nuts) but as I stated before, I was trying the diet (Paleo) to determine further food allergies. Since I had been eating hummus without experiencing any funky reactions, I decided that I would keep it in my diet. I realized too late that I was a cheater...thankfully in this case there was no need for a divorce.
Life is Short. Eat dessert First...And never, ever let anyone steal your Dreams.