It’s been two months since the start of my elimination diet and this month has been all about trying new things, from different kinds of plant-based milk to new types of bread, pasta, veggies, and grains, it’s been a big food adventure up in here.
I’ll admit, last month I may have had a few freakouts about what the heck I was going to eat for the next 90 days, but fortunately, these little freakouts provided me with the opportunity talk to a lot of people about nutrition. It’s amazing how interested we can be in other peoples experiences, especially when it comes to food.
Some of the questions I was asked most frequently over the past month include: “why are you doing this diet?”, “what do you eat?”, “how much weight have you lost?”, and “how do you feel?” For the answer to these question, and more, read on!
To answer the question, “why am I doing an elimination diet?” and to learn more about what an elimination diet is, check out THIS post.
So, what have I been eating for the past month you ask? Lots! I’ve tried a ton of new foods, many of which have become staples in my fridge and pantry.
One of my favourite new foods is spaghetti squash. I honestly feel guilty about not trying this versatile, deliscious squash years ago. Spaghetti squash is low in calories and high in fibre, vitamins and minerals — in particular vitamins C, B6, potassium, calcium and magnesium. One of my favourite ways to prepare spaghetti squash is to roast it, then shred it up and drizzle it with olive oil. It’s particularly tasty when tossed with roasted garlic and sundried tomatoes. Another new fav is a to make a Mexican style black bean spaghetti squash casserole, it’s sooo tasty! I used THIS recipe as a starting point and modified it to fit my diet (dairy-free, rice-free).
I also tried buckwheat for the first time, as a substitution for rice, and I think I’ve found my new favourite grain! If you haven’t tried buckwheat your missing out. This gluten-free grain (it’s actually a seed) is creamy, fast cooking (like quinoa) and super filling. It’s also high in fibre, protein, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. I’ve been enjoying buckwheat as my grain of choice in veggie bowls topped with roasted or sauteed veggies and as a replacement for rice in vegetarian cabbage rolls and stir-frys.
A few of my other new favourites this month include Kalso Sourdough’s Rylander bread, Rummo’s Durham wheat eggless pasta (OMG this stuff is the bomb!), coconut milk in my morning latte, oat milk for cooking and baking, popped sorghum instead of popcorn (it’s like mini popcorn), spelt flour pizza crusts, and homemade vegan baked goods.
I mention homemade vegan baked goods as a new fav because it’s extremely hard to find egg-free, dairy-free and wheat-free baked goods, especially cakes (haha). I’ve found that if something is gluten-free then it often contains eggs, and if it’s vegan it usually contains wheat. This makes grabbing a morning muffin from my local coffee shop or health food store a bit tricky. Luckily, my dear friend Pinterest has a ton of links to vegan, gluten-free blogs that offer up some really tasty recipes. Be sure to check out Beaming Bakers Banana Oat Muffins and Oh She Glows Chewy Molasses Spelt Cookies (not GF) for some tasty treats! And be sure to check out my Vegan Chocolate Superfood Cupcakes for a sweet little treat!
It also happened to be my birthday this month (probably why I was so obsessed with cake), which means that I treated myself to a few glasses of wine. Checking the ingredients on a bottle of wine probably isn’t one of the first things that come to mind when eliminating egg out of our diet… but a large majority of wine is processed with egg whites. That’s right! Egg whites are used to clarify wine by removing organic particles, making the wine more soft and well-rounded. Since alcohol-containing drinks in Canada and the USA aren’t required to list ingredients on their product labels it’s up to us to research what goes into our favourite glass of full-bodied red or crisp white. One of my favourite egg-free/vegan wines is Novas Gran Reserva from Emiliana Organic Vineyard. This vineyard follows both organic and biodynamic practices and all is completely vegan (aka. No eggs). To read more about Emiliana check out my Wine O’Clock post.
This month I also learnt a few new tidbits of interesting food knowledge that I wanted to share with you:
- Read labels and don’t assume anything: For example, some organic dark chocolate bars contain rice syrup.
- Eating out can be tricky: For example, restaurants often coat sweet potato fries in wheat flour to help them hold their shape. Thank you to my celiac friend Alyssa for pointing this out.
- Not all coconut milk is made with pure coconut: I learnt that some coconut milk brands use almond milk as a base… even when the name says “Coconut Milk” (the ones in the carton, not can). Which leads us back to point #1.
To answer the question “how much weight have I lost?”. The answer is, I don’t know. I’m not participating in this elimination diet for weight loss, and I don’t own a scale. So honestly, I have no idea if I’ve lost any weight. But I do know that overall I’ve been feeling pretty darn great.
So, “How do I feel?”. From a health standpoint, this month my migraine was far more mild than usual, even more so than last month, and I would classify it as “just a headache”. I also noticed that my stress-related migraines were less intense. I had a few very stressful situations this month that would have normally triggered a full-blown migraine, but instead, they subsidised before making it to migraine status. It’s been great!
I did have a few encounters with some off-limit foods… some accidental, others not. Flour coated sweet potato fries was one of them. The other was a vegetarian chilli with potatoes and a side of focaccia bread (ohhh focaccia how I miss thee). In both cases, I experienced bloating a few hours after consuming the food, accompanied by mild cramps. I also noticed really bad brain-fog the next day, which has not been a problem since starting my elimination diet.
Overall I’m happy to report that I’ve settled into a new food routine and that I’m excited to see what the months ahead have to offer.
Ready to start your own elimination diet?
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