When it first developed in 2008, I removed dairy from my diet and my SD went away in two weeks. I had a re-occurrence a couple years later, and finally tracked it down to sneaky dairy. Once the dairy was removed (again) the SD went away.
It is back. So now I wonder, what am I responding to this time? I started an elimination diet, wheat and gluten products went first. I saw an immediate improvement in my SD and assumed I had this thing licked.
Because another doctor's visit will not address my issues.
Enter the AutoImmune Protocol Diet (AIP), a Paleo/Raw-transition elimination combo that my sister-in-law described as a baby's diet. (I, personally, see a very close connection between paleo and raw diets ... which would probably freak out the extreme personalities who closely adhere to either diet ... ha ha ha!)
I call it the "no food" diet, only semi-jokingly.
No no no, (c) http://www.ag.ndsu.edu, the nightshades are not for you.
All the veggies you can eat (except nightshades: tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, tomatillo, chili powder and peppers ... uh, probably 75% of my typical veggie intake!), a few fruits (tropical fruits are discouraged ... they are generally high sugar, high water, and low nutrition content anyway), and only a few non-seed based seasonings are where you start.
And any meats you want ... which, I don't. I just can't find meat appetizing, no matter how many times I sniff it (admittedly, I do find some cooking meat scents a bit revolting, which probably colors my opinion of all meat).
(c) NOAA Fisheries, Swordfish - one amazing predator
I could eat swordfish, because I remember loving it in pre-vegetarian times, but I can't afford swordfish. Not to mention the ethical dilemma I face (their population is so low!)
Salmon (c) alaska-in-pictures, but the bears need salmon
I could eat salmon, but I can't stand the scent (nor, at last check, the taste) of it. Besides, river damming has had a huge impact on their population.
Maybe shrimp? Uh, they have a funny texture ... maybe.
I did like canned tuna ... but that whole mercury level gives me pause.
Found at http://constantine.typepad.com/
So what seafoods have low mercury levels? Seafood that feeds on plankton and krill (the originator of "fishy" taste). It is a bit funny to me that we prefer plant feeders on land (i.e. cows to lions) but fish predators to krill feeders in the ocean (swordfish to salmon). The "bottom" feeders have a fishier taste ... which, admittedly, I do not appreciate.
This list from United Health Care lists lowest mercury seafood
- Shrimp (wildcaught and U.S. farmed)
- Scallops (mom is deathly allergic so I tend to stay away)
- Sardines (the poor tinned fish) ... supposed to be "tuna like" as described by one site, recommending Spanish or Portuguese sardines http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/301739
- Wildcaught and Alaskan salmon (canned or fresh) (I feed it to my dogs several times a week, that scent has not gotten any more appetizing through the years)
- Oysters (I did not like them while living in New Orleans)
- Domestic squid (yummy ... apparently their texture does not bother me ... but they belong to the cephalopod group ... and they are so smart! I'm not sure I can eat something that cool)
- Tilapia (I do not have any experience with this fish)
I imagine anchovies are also low in mercury.
Updates to come. I do look forward to a couple eggs, since I have been bereft for some time now. I do not eat omelets, but going grain free caused me to toss eggs back into the diet for baking purposes ... and really, fried rice! So, a dozen eggs in the last year ... maybe? Unfortunately, I don't get the whole egg yet, yolk only and only after symptoms disappear.
Waiting, waiting, waiting. I'm bad at this. I want it all NOW!
Also, no nuts or grains. Few oils, only olive, avocado, and coconut are allowed. When seeds return to the diet, I will add in buckwheat, quinoa, and amaranth. These are not grass grains, but rather dicot seeds. They are just used in similar ways to grass grains. Breakfast porridge, here I come ... eventually. However, I am going to have to change my entire grain approach to the RAW system. Soaked and sprouted only. I wonder if I can source sprouted flours?
I have found several websites incredibly helpful:
1) Sarah's blog explains it all, with useful science based reasoning -
2) Mickey's site is a little less science heavy, but still covers all the pertinent information about AIP
3) Several recipes of Jessica's have been in regular rotation
4) The pdf from Katie has been great for a quick cross check before cooking ... it is very splattered from kitchen testing
5) Elena's Pantry - a couple recipes
So what do I eat?
A lot of squash/pumpkin, coconut in many forms, and greens. These make up the majority of my current diet. I wonder if I will get sick of them?
Recipes I recommend (adapt as needed) ... I have found many recipes to simply be too high in fat and sugar for my palate. I've begun halving the sweet and fat components in each recipe I make. Additionally, I've been making half recipes (or quarter) to test them out before committing. Here is the list of remakes that are entering regular rotation as I continue to seek out new and exciting-ish combos.
- Switch out all nut milks for coconut milk (canned is higher in fat, boxed is lower and better subs for most nut milks).
- Use olive or coconut oil in place of all other oils.
I have been living on green (kale with some spinach) smoothies: pumpkin pie, gingerbread, apple pie ... pretty much the only "safe" and sweet spices on the list are cinnamon and ginger. Hence their excessive use.
In addition to my vegan cookbooks, Incredible Smoothies website has been regularly sought: persimmon, apple, orange, pumpkin, pear, seasonal/holiday, and mango. I often use mango as a banana replacement and pretty much the only sweetener in my smoothies (and yes, I miss stevia).
Squash Porridge? Yes, please. Very tasty.
Roasted Cinnamon Pear "Oatmeal"
As an alternative - this is really high in calories (over 600 for a 1 cup serving ... so use sparingly)
Ice Creams - I've been using the "Vice Cream" book by Jeff Rogers which was re-released as "Vegan Ice Cream", he has several raw ice cream recipes ... I hacked a Blackberry Raw Ice Cream from one of his berry recipes. Mm, good.
I would start this diet on Christmas Eve ... so I had to hustle to find some acceptable "holiday" treats.
Eggnog - thank you Isa
Rice - cauliflower based (fresh works much better than frozen)
Alfredos - Cauliflower based
Cranberry Pear (I added a bit of butternut to further reduce the cranberry tartness)
Squash Fries (the SO said they are as bad as Sweet Potato Fries, poor thing can't handle orange in anything but the fruit and carrots and cheese)
Baked Sweet Potatoes and Yams
Roasted Carrot Hummus with Orange
(remove the tahini when early in the diet!)
Evans Farm Co-op
1 pound carrots, cut into chucks
4 cloves garlic, bashed with skins on
2 tbsp olive oil
1 small orange, juiced and zested
1 lemon, juiced
3 tbsp tahini
Salt and pepper
Heat oven to 400. Drizzle carrots and garlic with olive oil and roast for 30 minutes or until tender (stir halfway through)
Cool slightly then squeeze garlic out of the skins. Blend veggies in a food processor. Add the rest of the ingredients and puree until fairly smooth.
Eat with celery, cucumber, zucchini, etc.
So, the big confession, I do not love these foods. There is not enough seasoning or variety to keep me enthralled. But, it is worth it. Granted, I cannot wait to add in seeds - that will widen my options amazingly!