Saturday, June 26, 2010

A(nother) New Way of Eating

Last November I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's Thyroiditis.  Basically, in a nutshell, it's an autoimmune disorder where the immune system attacks the thyroid.  Most doctors don't know, and don't seem to care, WHY this happens, they only seem to want to treat the resulting symptom of low thyroid hormone by prescribing a substitute.

Because I am a "I-want-to-know-WHY" kind of person, when I was diagnosed, I started doing some research.  There are a host of theories out there, but one seems to come up quite a bit-food allergies.  Well, namely gluten actually. 

About the time I discovered this potential answer I met a dear friend who had an experience with a food allergy that went undiagnosed until adulthood.  She had suffered from asthma pretty much all her life.  The condition worsened when she was pregnant and nursing to the point she was using an inhaler an alarming number of times a day.  The only thing she could think of that had changed was an increase in her consumption of dairy.  After her family doctor laughed at her for thinking she had a milk allergy, and after he refused to test her, she found a doctor who listened and discovered she was in fact allergic.  As soon as she removed all dairy from her diet-no more asthma.

I decided to have a full allergy blood test done...and have now been told I'm allergic to: the whole cow (dairy and beef), eggs, garlic, barley, coconut, peanuts and a few more things that I can't remember off the top of my head.

Well, isn't that a kick in the head!?  I was drinking a whey protein shake every morning, especially before my runs.  I was drinking chocolate milk, or eating a peanut Cliff bar, for recovery.  I eat garlic almost every day...especially in my eggs!

Before I get comments about this food allergy thing being a bunch of hooey...trust me, I was a bit of a skeptic, too.  But, I've spend enough time researching that I could just about get an associates degree in immunology and I believe there's something to it.    Although I find it all very interesting, I won't bore you with the details here.  What I want to focus on is the fact that I've pretty much eliminated the "off-limits" foods from my diet for a week now...and not only do I feel better than I have in quite a long time, I have lost three pounds.

And, no, it's not because I'm not eating enough.  I'll admit, the first day or two I had a hard time finding things to eat that weren't on "the list" and ended up eating so few calories it would have left Twiggy starved.  But, since then I've eaten well. 

Interestingly enough, after two days with none of the "bad" foods, I felt ....lighter.  I left for vacation and even after seven hours in the car, my fingers and ankles weren't swollen (as they normally are).  On day two of the longest road trip of my life, I threw the list out the window on the way to my favorite donut shop.  I decided I would eat the golden, chocolatey, cream filled, heaven-in-my-mouth delicacies, even if they were going to send me to an early grave...because they truly are the best thing I've ever tasted in my life.  I completely over-indulged the whole day, with enough milk and eggs to start my own farm stand.  That night, the only word for my lower extremities is "cankle", and I could have barely gotten my wedding ring off my finger if I had wanted to.  The next day, after I had put several hundred miles between me and pastry bliss...and returned to food sanity...the extra water was magically gone (even though I was in the car another almost 12 hours).  

One thing food allergies are said to cause---inflammation.

So...I'm embarking on yet another "new way of eating".  I intend to strictly avoid all the foods on the list, while consuming about 1200 calories a day (plus extra on work-out days) with a healthy (as yet to be determined) ratio of fats, carbs and proteins. 

I'm excited to see how the new way of eating will affect my workouts right along with my weight!   It will take longer to find out if there's any kind of change in the thyroid...but if the food-allergy theory is correct, it could even mean no more Synthroid!  We'll see.

Thanks for stopping in.  Come again soon!
:D

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