So far since I started writing here, I have been working with a gluten free, dairy free, yeast free, and reduced sugar diet. Then my husband went vegetarian for several months, ending around Easter. Well, thank God that is over, because I got more news this week. I saw a new doctor, who was finally able to diagnose some health issues I’m having. Turns out the problems have been caused by migraines, and as part of the treatment process, there’s a new diet I need to try, at least until March. Yes, more food restrictions. I’m pumped! No, not really. Doubt I fooled anyone with that.
I know that I’m resourceful and resilient, and I’ll get through this too, with God’s help and my husband’s patience. But I have to say, some of the additional restrictions were really discouraging for me. I’ve been on an emotional rollercoaster since I found out. Happy–I’ll be fine. There’s still plenty I can eat. And at least I finally know what’s going on with my health. And I can make a big difference in my health, simply by observing a few restrictions. Sad–So sad. I know it’s just food, but, really, how much can one person give up? I mean, nuts and olives and sausage and citrus and bananas? They are some of my favorites! Giving up alcohol and caffeine is almost a non-issue for me. So what? But pickles and smoked foods and yogurts and cheeses, even dairy free ones? Ouch! I was worst after my most recent grocery shopping experience. Seeing everything I now can’t have, at least for a few months, was almost more than I could bear. Resigned and realistic–Hey, it’s not the end of the world. I’m a relatively wealthy person, in comparison with much of the rest of the planet, and actually have the ability to adjust my diet according to my health needs. And there’s still lots of options left, not just wholesome but delicious. And if these few months go well, and I’m feeling better, I can start to add items back into my diet, to see which I can eat without side effects, and which I can’t.
And so I swing back and forth and around. I lecture myself on being grateful for medical solutions and food options. I cry because I’ll really miss chocolate, and then get annoyed at myself for being so shallow. I always thought I was a reasonable person, but I don’t always feel like it right now.
The good news is that I know that this too will pass. I was depressed for months after finding out I needed to give up dairy. It was a low point in my life, and I lived off plain potato chips, tuna, bacon, fruit, vegetables, and hardboiled eggs for quite awhile. I lost weight. And then I slowly got over it. I started finding more and more recipes that sounded good and fit my dietary parameters–or could be adjusted to do so. I know that will happen again. I just need to get over this. Treat it like any grieving process, give myself some time, and move on. Prepare to eat a diet that leaves me feeling healthy and happy, as well as sated.
My biggest regret is that this is going to curtail my ability to be vegetarian. Nuts and beans and eggs are all on the list of things to go. Mushrooms might be too. And textured vegetable protein (fake meat) is almost never safe for me to eat. So many items I used to use to replace meat in my diet simply can’t be used any more. And while I may be wealthy by the standards of most people on this planet, I’m not wealthy by American standards. I want desperately, for the sake of our health, the health of the planet, and the humane treatment of animals to buy only humanely treated organic meat. I’m just not sure that I can afford it, in sufficient quantity to provide enough protein in our diet.
So off I set on a new adventure. I’m combing my cookbooks, recipe cards, and clippings for recipes that will be both tasty and healthy for me. For now, I’m eating what’s in the house, so it won’t go to waste. Then farewell, sausage. Goodbye, chocolate! Au revoir, pickles! I will be moving onto new and healthier recipes. And you can be sure when I do try them, starting in the next few days, I’ll be posting them here.