It started in May of this year. I’ve had it before; it’s what started off my love and hate relationship with food and the act of eating. I began to eat for survival rather than because I wanted to. I was no longer enjoying the things I put into my mouth.
I was unsure whether the pain I was suffering was due to infection or something more sinister. After many different courses of antibiotics, an x-ray and visiting many different doctors I was given the advice once again to cut out certain foods. Previously I had attempted this and thought I was doing so well. I was mostly vegetarian, I was mostly gluten free and mostly dairy free. It seemed that “mostly” was not good enough for my system. I needed for this pain to stop, only I could do it; I had to take control!
So when the doctor gave me an epic order and list of things to cut out. Part of me freaked out. Being a self-confessed chocoholic and cakeoholic my first thought was I can’t do this, I’d rather die. My next thought was obviously the one I stuck with after my dramatic tantrum: I don’t want to be in pain like this anymore. With determination, a couple of notebooks and my head out of my ass I started planning.
In my little pink notebook to help with meal planning, I wrote a list of all the foods I can’t eat and another list with the ones I can. My blue note book I use as a diary, noting down what I eat at each meal time.
What has been difficult is the chocolate temptation glaring me in the face. The photographs and talks about chocolate bars and cakes plastered over today’s media. I have resorted to hiding the image as soon as I see it, so that I don’t see it again. You know when you feel like pigging out on junk food, usually chocolate, crisps, cake and pizza? I had the urge, the urge so bad that if there was any chocolate in the house I would have pushed my child out of the way to eat it. Sorry Son, but Momma has her needs! Anyway, after searching all the usual places (yes boys your secret stash places aren’t very secret, not anymore anyway) I came away with a knife in one hand, and a plate and apple in the other. Throwing myself on the sofa with a look of defeat, I used the knife not to cut my wrist, but to peel the apple, because added to this list of stuff I can’t eat is the apple peel. So with shaky hands due to the Fibromyalgia I peeled my apple and scoffed greedily, well from now on this is binge eating for me, the eating of a whole apple.
Before moving to France over a year ago I never really cooked, not that I couldn’t, I just wouldn’t. Making a bowl of cereal was as far as it went. Hey, the right ratio of milk to cereal is important and difficult. So this new diet, I mean new way of life, because a diet is just for after Christmas and a new way of life is forever, forced me to essentially learn how to cook again. I’ve had to really look at the ingredients in things and actually read the labels in both English and French. Over the past year I have cooked a lot more, but now I have to research especially if I want to eat something different from fish, potatoes and vegetables every day.
I now search often for different recipes, then during our weekly shop buy the ingredients I need. Eating out is no longer a case of I can go out and eat wherever or whatever I want. I have to either plan or check the restaurant’s menu or prepare a packed lunch. Note to self: do not try a recipe you have never ever tried before, because if it tastes unpleasant then you are left either starving or having to eat the disgusting thing you made.
It is then a downward spiral from there, because things like cake and crisps start falling into your mouth. In my defence though I couldn’t eat too may crisps or caramel shortbread cake bar, because I started to feel sick. I’m unsure if it was that or the failed attempt at salmon rice rolls. Plus to humiliate myself even more sitting to the right of me were about twenty Chinese people. I apologise for stereotyping here, but I’ve never met a Chinese person who can’t cook.
My breakfast consists of some horrible cardboard cereal that I put together using different seeds, flakes, raisins and goji berries. Out of the hate of wastefulness and not wanting to admit I made something so terrible I will eat this until it is gone, even if it does mean this is what I am eating for the next six months. The hubby found gluten/wheat free Cornflakes for me, so breakfast now consists of cornflakes with soya milk and honey (who can stand eating plain cereal? Not me) and on some days, the cardboard.
So it’s been two weeks of this diet and I can actually say it is helping. I don’t have those pains when I eat anymore. I don’t have the urge to throw up after meals.The other day I actually enjoyed my meal and relaxed on the sofa with the biggest smile on my face. Well I did until the hubby shouted at me for lying down. After meals it is best to sit up for at least three hours for digestion reasons. As soon as I eat something off the not to eat list I feel nauseated and end up in a lot of pain. Other than the pain being gone the other positive factor is that I have lost around 10lbs. My tummy is not as bloated as it used to be and overall I just feel a lot better.
I’ve had many ask me, “Ok we know what you don’t eat, but what do you eat?” Below are a list of foods I can’t eat and some snippets from my food diary:
Foods I Can’t Eat:
- Dairy – Butter, Milk, Cheese, Yoghurt
- Potato Chips
- Cream Sauces
- Fatty Foods
- Spicy Foods
- BBQ Sauce
Food Dairy Entries
Breakfast: Gluten free mix with goji berries and raisins
Lunch: 1 and half eggs scrambled, 3 slices peeled cucumber and a small plum
Dinner: Potatoes, fish, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower and green beans
Lunch: Melon and plum
Dinner: Lentils, peas, beans, rice, peppers, mushrooms
Lunch: 2 boiled eggs, 4 gluten free cracker breads and spinach
Dinner: Salmon, rice noodles, mushroom, peppers and courgette
Breakfast: Gluten free mix
Lunch: 2 figs, plum and a small bowl of mixed vegetables
Dinner: Gluten free pasta, mussels and corn on the cob
Breakfast: Gluten free cornflakes, soya milk and honey
Dinner: Crust-less quiche eggs, mushrooms and peppers and sweet potato chips
(Special thanks to Kathryn Ross for helping edit this)