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Day 43, Friends and Food

I love food! And I love my friends! And I absolutely love feeding my friends! This is why I always host big dinners around all the major holidays. It’s a bit of a masochistic thing, really, because I spend three days in the kitchen and stress about having enough food non-stop, but the reward is colossal! This is why when I had my first visit with Dr.Z and found out that I have to go on a diet that does not allow me any real human food (jk, jk), the first thing that came out of my mouth was: “but what about my Christmas dinner???” The idea of having to give that up seemed way too cruel! I live to host those dinners! Once one is over, I immediately start planning the next one. I love going through recipes and pictures, writing out the menu, sending out invitations and all that stuff. I dream about how everybody will get together and eat and everyone will be so happy, because nobody else can feed them like I can. I was not willing to make peace with giving that up. I was pretty much set on cooking the dinner anyway and just not eating anything myself.

After some research and a little bit of getting used to, I learned to accept my diet as a culinary challenge. I really did turn it into a game: what else can I do with the food that’s available to me. I decided that my big goal, the climax of the whole thing will be putting together a Christmas dinner (and I usually have between 15 and 20 people) strictly according to my diet guidelines without sacrificing the WOW factor. So after experimenting in the kitchen for a while, here is the menu that I put together:

  • Rabbit, slow cooked in red wine and prune sauce
  • Salmon, roasted with ginger and thyme
  • Quinoa and avocado salad with pine nuts
  • Lentils with dried apricots in a nutty sauce
  • Walnut rice
  • Lemony Brussels sprouts
  • Roasted beets with dill and walnut vinaigrette (I was not going to use dill at first, but was able to bring it back into my diet right before the dinner)
  • Carrot and pear salad (I added this salad last minute when I found out that I could now have carrots and pears)
  • Dessert (the only exception I made, because I can’t deprive my guests): chocolate cheesecake, with whipped cream, topped with peppermint cheesecake, iced with whipped cream, topped with marshmallows…) – people say it was delicious haha, I guess the only dietary standard it fit was the gluten – I make all my cheesecakes without the crust because my best friend is celiac)

The dinner was a huge success! I was extra nervous this time around that there might not be enough food or that people will leave hungry, but everybody was very impressed with the table and nobody would have ever guessed that it was a special diet meal! Here is the only picture I have from the dinner (I really need to invest more effort into pictures!) Unfortunately, very few guests are in it (we had 16 people that night) and you can barely see the food, but it still gives you an idea.

And here is another great thing about this night: I always get anxiety before and during events like this. I get stressed out and nervous when I’m getting everything ready, as a result I don’t eat anything throughout the day and then get completely sick during the dinner. As a result I can barely eat the amazing meals that I make. My stomach starts to turn, my face starts to flush, I get all lightheaded and by the end of it I secretly hope that people start going home. None of it happened tonight!!! I didn’t get stressed out while I was cooking (and I expected to get extra stressed out, because I was much less organized this time and barely got anything done in advance!). I had three proper meals before the event and was able to eat during. I didn’t even get any hot flashes! After the dinner, I actually still had it in me to do all the dishes!!! Bottom line: I had a wonderful day with all my wonderful friends and I am so happy I was able to fully enjoy it!

PS If you allow, I will not be doing the food log and all that stuff for today, since you already have a huge list of things I ate tonight and everything else was pretty unexciting… Porridge rules my life right now!

The day didn’t start too wellt and I already though: “great, one more of those…”, but the exciting news certainly beats a little morning unpleasantries…

It all started with me realizing that I need to eat breakfast and am totally out of rice milk. Remembering how disgusting porridge was made with water, I decided not to even bother with it. I stared at an empty fridge for a few minutes until I sadly realized that the only thing I have for breakfast is a rice cake with some sunflower seed butter and a plum. Even if to you it sounds like plenty – it’s not! Once I finished my sad breakfast and took four different supplements, I thought that “now all I need to do is survive till lunch” which I “cooked” in a hurry to take with me because I had a day of work ahead of me. After I already had my coat on to leave for work, I felt a wave of nausea. Not the tolerable kind, like the one when I’m just hungry, but the kind when you really want to throw up. And wait… Here it goes… I ran to the bathroom, but didn’t throw up. I sat on the couch for a little while thinking “what the heck?” and came up with the conclusion that a rice cake and a plum are not sufficient to take so many supplements with (which Dr. Z later confirmed).

Needless to say, I didn’t feel my greatest during the day. To add insult to injury, I didn’t get to eat lunch until it was past 2pm (and my lunch wasn’t anything much – just some buckwheat with lentils I boiled right before leaving the house). By the time I got to Dr.Z’s, all I could think about is that I barely ate anything today. She managed to lift my spirits up though! We finished treating the sugars today and tested for more food. Now I can eat a whole bunch of stuff!!!!!!!

  • Sugars (ex. honey, something on a molecular level in it that still needs to be treated)
  • Tapioca
  • Arrowroot
  • Curry
  • Pears
  • Papaya
  • Cherries
  • Mushrooms
  • Parsnip
  • Radish
  • Dill

This is sooooo exciting!!!Now I feel that my list of things I can eat is actually longer than the list of things I can’t eat! It’s like a game for me now. I have this sheet of paper that I printed out with all the foods that I wasn’t initially allowed to eat. I bring it to my treatments now and have her highlight the things that I can add back. The goal of the game is to have all the words highlighted🙂

After the allergy treatment she wanted to try another treatment on me for my anxiety. She wanted to see how I’d respond to it. The treatment consists of me sitting in a very comfy chair with my head hooked up to a computer, wearing huge headphones and funky glasses. Very stylish, T took pictures. In the glasses there are little light bulbs and in headphones – well, music. The electrodes read signals from my brain and based on that they either play or stop music and either send or stop blue light into the lights (my eyes are closed, of course). The light you get used to and barely see and the music just sounds like a skipping CD, which annoyed me less than I thought it would. As I was sitting there, I felt my body just relaaaaaaaaax. I really did! Despite the initial anxiety I was having prior to treatment. I only got a little nervous at one point closer to the end when I did that thing I do and asked myself how I felt and answered to myself: “see, you’re doing fine… wait… am I…?” As soon as this escalated a little bit, I saw much more blue light, did some abdominal breathing and calmed right back down. I really didn’t want to get up and do anything afterward, but I had to… We still had a dinner date planned with a couple T knows.

By the time it was dinner, I was starving! This was my first dinner out at a restaurant and I was a little nervous about what exactly am I going to eat. The safest bet for me is to order fish and ask them not to put anything on it. After torturing the waitress for a while and making her run to the kitchen to find out how the rice is cooked, I finally placed my order. I asked her for the salmon with nothing but salt and some lemon juice on it and for this cool arugula salad (with beets and pears, which I could now eat!) but without the candied pecans, parmesan or the citrus dressing. I asked for some oil and vinegar on the side. The rice was cooked in chicken broth, so I couldn’t have that and the veggies that came with the fish were cooked with soy sauce, so I just asked to make the salad my side dish for the fish. After our order came I had to do the “bitchy” thing and send all my food back: the salad came covered in some creamy dressing and the fish was coated with black pepper. I felt like a high maintenance bitch, but I simply couldn’t eat that food. By the time my food came the second time around, I was hungry beyond words. The three leaves of arugula and the smallest piece of fish I’ve ever seen other than in sushi didn’t help very much. The minute I came home I made myself some porridge because I was still starving! Unfortunately, eating out is still a challenge.

Food Log

Breakfast – rice cake with sunflower seed butter, plum – never again! This is too small even for a snack!

Lunch – buckwheat with lentils

Dinner – salad (if you can call it that, it could seriously fit in a baby’s hand!) made with arugula, pears and beets, grilled salmon

Supper – cream of brown rice porridge with freeze-dried strawberries

How I Felt

  • Baaaaad nausea after taking supplements after the tiny not even breakfast
  • Felt a bit nauseous for the rest of the day, but also didn’t eat much at all!
  • Had a bit of a hyper state/anxiety at Dr.Z’s, especially right before the sound and light treatment (things being hooked up to my brain made me nervous)
  • Got very relaxed during the treatment, however, and the nausea got better from it
  • Was even ok during and after a dinner in a noisy dark restaurant with T’s friends (normally stuff like that stresses me out and affects my stomach, especially so late in the evening)

Today was as uneventful as a day can be. I woke up in the middle of the night from cramps and didn’t fall back asleep until Advil took effect. The weather outside was going absolutely mad: it snowed half the night and then started pouring rain like crazy. It was a world of slush! It’s a given, that besides walking my dog, I decided not to even bother going anywhere.

So I sat at home… I did a bunch of work on the couch which, again, made me feel kind of nauseous, so I had to get up and start doing some cleaning. It took a couple of hours for the nausea to get better. I basically hibernated… Made a cake for a friend, did some dishes, cleaned a little, made some more mess… I didn’t feel terrible today, but didn’t feel well either… It’s this annoying in-between state when I can’t really say “I’m sick” but something is just off. I sat and thought for a while why is it that this past week or so has been so blaaaah… I couldn’t come up with anything. I believe (or I want to believe) that I am generally starting to get better, but I guess I still have a long way to go.

Food Log

Breakfast – buckwheat porridge with raspberries – oh no! I ate the last of my buckwheat porridge! What am I gonna do tomorrow?

Lunch – buckwheat with quail – I figured I should really start eating more meat…

Dinner – basmati rice with tuna, avocado and parsley –  For the longest time I couldn’t decide what to eat! I was in such shock that I can’t eat buckwheat… hahaha

Snacks – persimmon, 2 plums, kiwi, frozen mango, walnuts

How I Felt

  • Still very low on energy, I don’t know what’s going on! Could be the weather changing? Who knows!
  • Nausea kicked in around 3… Mid-late afternoon seems to be my new time slot for nausea
  • Constipated… I was so happy that diarrhea is gone, but I guess it’s a trade-off with me lol


Day 38, I Can Eat Spinach

I was walking to Dr.Z this morning thinking: “why do I feel so crappy these past few days? Oh wait… I got my period today!” I was lightheaded even in the morning today. Kind of disoriented… Dr.Z definitely agreed that it all sounds like PMS. Great… To add insult to punishment! Oh well, that means I should feel better in a few days, right?

We went back to treating acids today. Sorry guys, but I CAN NOW EAT SPINACH! “There goes your whole brand!” – said T once I told him. I’m still keeping the name, as a reminder that there was a point in my life when I couldn’t even eat spinach! Here are some things I can now eat again:

  • Spinach
  • Coriander
  • Basil
  • Asparagus

I’m liking this whole adding things idea! Although, to be honest, I haven’t even had a single carrot yet… I think I already got used to my new routine. Eating spinach makes it much easier for going out though, because it’s in all the restaurant salads – big bonus!

Food Log

Breakfast – buckwheat porridge with raspberries

Lunch
– leftover rabbit with prune and wine sauce with jasmine rice

Dinner – buckwheat with walnut oil – I used up all my canola oil, so though walnut oil would be a nice upgrade. Not loving it…

Supper – cream of brown rice porridge with freeze-dried strawberries

Snacks – mango, plum

How I Felt

  • Still very tired
  • Periodically nauseous

I had a friend over for dinner tonight. This was a double challenge because I had to eat a real meal and socialize in the evening (both of which tends to give me anxiety, especially after a few days of not doing my best).

For dinner I decided to give a dish that I am planning to cook for a Christmas Dinner I’m hosting  a test run: rabbit in prune and wine sauce. May I say: delicious???!!! It was a real success, look out for the recipe soon! You could never think that it was diet food. It turned out very rich in flavor and very presentable. It’s easy enough to make any time but it’s also fancy enough to serve for a special dinner. One great thing about this diet is I get to really experiment in the kitchen. I’m not sure if I would have cooked rabbit if I wasn’t forced to… I love cooking, but usually shy away from the meat. Partially because I turn OCD and sanitize everything a million times when I work with raw meat and that’s just too much hassle (and I’m lazy and don’t actually like cleaning).

The dinner turned out great and it was very nice to see an old friend (her and I kind of lost touch for a while, but she’s recently moved to Mississauga, so it was easier to reconnect). We were chatting and eating (and I was eating!) and I thought that maybe things really are changing. Shortly after dinner, however, I started feeling the way I usually feel in these kinds of settings: my stomach decided to start spasming and acting as if I haven’t eaten in a million years, my face got all flushed and I got a little lightheaded. For a while I almost stopped enjoying having company because I couldn’t concentrate on conversation. Once we moved to the couch, however, I started getting a little better and we finished the evening very pleasantly.

After she left, I just hung out with T for a bit. I was kind of looking forward to just watching some TV with him for the rest of the night, but he had to go and pick our friend and neighbor up from the airport. So once he was gone, I got all ready for bed and opened the book, contemplating wether I should attempt reading it or just go to sleep right away. Just before I decided on “sleep”, T called, saying that V (our friend) is starving. Since I am the person who feeds everybody (I sincerely think that it’s the greatest joy of my life!), I automatically got out of bed and straight to the kitchen to heat up some dinner.

As V was eating and sharing some stories, I felt that my head is starting to spin. I felt like I had to lie down. I felt awful about it and I can never rush a person out of my house (especially a good friend), but I couldn’t wait for him to leave. Eventually I couldn’t even sit at the table with him and moved to the couch. That made it a little bit better, but I still knew that it’s really beyond time for me to go to bed. By the time that happened, I felt like it was the middle of the night (sadly, it was only 12).

Food Log

Breakfast – millet porridge – my mom used to make millet porridge with pumpkin when I was a child. I hated it! It wasn’t so bad today…

Lunch – buckwheat with canola oil, 2 mini cucumbers with salt

Dinner – rabbit with prune and wine sauce, jasmine rice with dried cranberries, cucumbers and avocado – this dinner was YYYUUUUUMMMM!!!! Recipe coming soon!

Supper – cream of brown rice porridge with freeze-dried strawberries

Snacks – persimmon, mango

How I Felt

  • Tired
  • Lightheaded
  • Nauseous/stomach spasms

My mom and I made plans to go to Buffalo to get some shopping done today. I was nervous to go because I have not been feeling too well lately and barely slept last night. Needless to say, I had no energy what so ever today! But I survived. The trip there wasn’t too bad, there was no traffic so we made it to destination in under two hours. Walking around was OK as long as I didn’t have to stand anywhere for too long. As soon as I would stand, I would start feeling my head spin a little bit. So I just kept moving. Around 3 we started getting tired and decided it’s time to head back. That’s before my mom found out how much savings she can get at Macy’s… We didn’t leave the mall till 5:30… I already started getting really hungry by then because the only thing I had today was my breakfast and some avocado sushi I found at the mall. I had a rice cake with sunflower seed butter in my purse, but I wanted to wait until we cross the border, because it started getting dark and we had no idea where we were… The border turned out to be hell! It was Sunday night and everybody was coming back. We were stuck in line for over an hour. By the time I got to my rice cake, I didn’t even want it anymore. I made myself eat some, but couldn’t finish it.

By the time I got home, it was 8 (and we left at 9 in the morning, so 11 hours of barely any food and lots of driving and walking around). I was exhausted! When my mom pulled the car into my condo parking, all I could think was: “I seriously don’t think I can get up! I am unable to do anything anymore!” But I got up and made it home. Once I was home, I felt much better. I was even able to show T all the pretty things I bought (despite the torturous process, shopping was a success). I was very proud that I even managed to have supper! That’s one thing that certainly changed for the better: I can now eat even when there’s been a big gap between meals. Before it was next to impossible!

Food Log

Breakfast – buckwheat porridge with raspberries

Lunch
– avocado sushi

Dinner – rice cake with sunflower seed butter – not sure if I can really call that dinner…

Supper – cream of brown rice porridge with freeze-dried strawberries

How I Felt

  • Just exhausted! Lightheaded when standing and very very thirsty

Day 35, I Love Carrots!

Today, despite last night’s episode, I woke up thinking that it will all be OK. I had another appointment with Dr.Z this morning. She, of course, asked me how I was and what my energy level was like. I said my energy was usual for a morning. I am generally a morning person so it is very hard for me to assess the day based on how I feel for the first couple of hours. I told her that I don’t feel more energy than usual, however. She said that most likely I used up the vitamin B I got with the shot on all that shaking I did. It’s true, those episodes take a lot of energy out of me! Usually I am completely out of commission the next day.

We moved on to the allergy treatment and treated more sugars. This means I can now eat more stuff!!! Here is what I can now add back into my diet:

  • Carrots
  • Artichokes
  • Dates
  • Figs
  • Grapes

I love carrots! This must be one of the more exciting days for me because I am now on the way to adding food back into my diet! Maybe soon I will eat like a real person again!

Unfortunately, the energy didn’t last me long. I felt very tired for the rest of the day. Tired and, of course, nauseous… When I went to bed, I couldn’t fall asleep for a while. I got up around 1am to go to the bathroom and started shaking a little when I got back to bed. I thought I was going to have another full blown thing, but I brought myself close to T and tried to do some breathing exercises. Pretty soon the shaking stopped. I didn’t sleep well that night at all. The sleep was bothersome, I had unpleasant dreams all night and woke up a lot. In the morning I felt like I haven’t slept at all.

Food Log

Breakfast – buckwheat porridge with raspberries

Lunch – pasta/tuna salad with avocado, cucumber and olive oil, plum

Dinner – buckwheat with canola oil

Supper – cream of brown rice porridge with freeze-dried strawberries

Snacks – pomegranate, mango, walnuts

How I Felt

  • Tired, wasted all my vitamin B yesterday😦
  • Nauseous periodically
  • Couldn’t fall asleep for a long time, had a bit of shaking at night… ugh
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