Thursday, March 23, 2006

So where do I start?

I guess at the beginning. I started the failsafe diet on March 5th. I must admit, most of my information is in my fitday program. I also have used fitday as my journal - my outlet for all my frustrations, some of which I have copied below. I also follow Optimal Nutrition (a diet developed by Polish doctor Jan Kwasniewski that focuses on overall health - not just weight loss), so my diet is highly restricted and I have a lot of venting to do about it.

Here is a totally un-brief summary of my experience up until now (read from bottom-up). **Disclaimer - the following information is highly boring. It's mostly for my own records so I know how I react to foods - not because I think my eating habits are particularly thrilling. I've gakked the diet blog style of a fellow food-sensitive, Optimal Nutrition-following blogger who I've linked to the right (thank you, Wisewitch!), because, frankly, it works. Her blog is a great resource and she has loads of links that pertain to food intolerance and health, so do check it out.

Hmm, if anyone is still with me by the end of this first post, I'll be stunned.

March 23rd, 2006
Foods Eaten: Eggs; butter; peeled pear; steak; cabbage; beef tallow; unbleached flour; lard; maple syrup; Organic, additive-free chips (only 2)
Calories: 1822 Fat: 151 g Carb: 60 g Fibre: 10 g Protein: 65 g
Weight:153.5 lbs

Ok, my milk/cream-free diet has begun. I hesitate to say 'dairy-free' because I'm still having butter, although the lactose in butter is minimal and food intolerance is all about dose. But if I do say 'dairy-free', you'll know what I mean. We'll see if I improve. If I don't, then I may try to eliminate butter too. Although it's next to impossible to get enough fat without butter - it's one of the only failsafe animal fats! I refuse to have safflower oil and lard is high in amines and the beef tallow that I skimmed off the last beef stock I made and then froze is probably high in amines and natural glutamates.

What a horrible thing to have to do, a f*@!ing dairy-free diet, especially considering how little variety I have at the moment. But my pale complexion, ("fish-belly-white", as my Mum puts it), dark undereye circles and love of dairy kind of makes me the poster-child for lactose intolerance. My brother is even worse. His undereyes have not only been dark, but slightly swollen since birth in what his pediatritian referred to, even back then, as 'allergic shiners'. My mother never pulled him off dairy, though, since he didn't have gastro-intestinal problems. Hmm. He can't live without milk - he drinks at about a litre a day, always has.

Alrighty, I ate my eggs and pear at 9:45 a.m. Let's see if my hypoglycemia is any better and when I next get hungry. I'll try to limit butter to 2 tbsp per meal. Instead of so much butter at night, try to mix in some beef fat or lard.

Ate my second meal (identical to the first meal) at about 2:30 p.m. without being particularly hungry beforehand. At 4:30 pm I had a bit of foggy head. Could be dairy withdrawal, for all I know. However, an hour later, I went shopping after work and filled up the car with gas and never once felt hungry or desperate. I feel GREAT, in fact! One of those days when you find yourself suddenly walking around with a smile on your face and generally looking like a tit. It's possible the ground beef, or even the creme fraiche that I had been eating from a couple of days ago (fermented) could have been the culprit of my hypoglycaemia - it's possible that maybe I was too quick to blame dairy - but on my first day dairy-free, I feel wonderful. Had a dinner of steak and cabbage (even though I wasn't really hungry) quite late without any bother. Made myself two failsafe, dairy-free, very eggy pancakes in the late evening as a 'dessert' with a teaspoon of maple syrup smeared over them. Oh My God were they good. But I had no urge to binge, which I used to always suffer with. My one concern is that I had a couple of tablespoons of beef fat tonight in my cabbage - it tasted... so... BEEFY. Probably full of glutamates. If I'm upset tomorrow or the next day, I'll know why. It's so hard to find a fat to eat!

March 22nd, 2006
Foods Eaten: Milk; coffee; eggs; butter; chicken thigh; cabbage
Calories: 1489 Fat: 129 Carb: 37 g Fibre: 5 g Protein: 52 g
Weight: 153 lbs

Hot burning cheeks this morning (the cheeks on my face, that is). No visible rosacea, but it kind of 'felt' like there was. No more raw sugar in my diet. Molasses is not failsafe. Not that I was really eating all that much of it. Still considering going dairy-free (except butter- although is that a real test??) for a period and then doing a milk challenge. My reaction while waiting for "milk-time" yesterday was alarming! I'll not have any more milk today and start properly tomorrow.

VERY irritable after work - had a long phone conversation with D and then deposited a cheque and shopped for groceries on the way home from work - by the time I got home, I was a raging inferno of hypoglycaemia. It was only 6:30 pm, but I was VERY hot-tempered, irritable and weak. Wanted to kill A for absolutely no reason! Ugh. Is this a dairy thing, or what?
After eating dinner, I felt a nice amount of energy and did practically all of my taxes. I even called the credit card company at 11 pm to find out about a missing statement! I haven't felt this productive in ages. And I'm in a way better mood now. I must have been majorly hypoglycemic today, several times, which explains the crazy mood swings.

God, without my evening milk, I have no idea what to eat! My calories are quite low today, as a result.

March 21st, 2006
Foods Eaten: Milk; coffee; eggs; butter; chicken thigh; red cabbage; celery; Brussels sprouts
Calories: 1788 Fat: 152 g Carb: 52 g Fibre: 5 g Protein: 62 g
Weight: 153.5 lbs

Is creme fraiche even OK? It's fermented! Amines? Eliminate for a few days and see if it makes any difference in your mood (my mood hasn't been as miraculously good as it was after that first 5 or 6 days).

Woke up with very very dry mouth, a horrible canker sore (from biting my tongue) and a mild whiff of a headache which seems to be lasting all morning. Very bored and ADDish at work today. This day feels like an eternity. Feeling some adrenaline tightness in my chest and totally restless. Not sure why this is. Keep feeling nervous waves across my chest and stomach. Could this be from the mince or the creme fraiche last night? Could it be a craving for milk due to an allergy or intolerance (the feeling is going away now that I'm drinking my afternoon milk around 4 pm). Could it be a lack of carbs (all I've had today is eggs and butter and my adrenaline could be surging in an effort to raise blood sugar). Perhaps I should drink my milk in smaller amounts throughout the day more to prevent this feeling?

Boy - 15 minutes after that milk, I feel like I've had a sedative. Rethink all this milk, Belle.

Just read about A1 and A2 milk. You may need to think about eliminating dairy, or at the very least, switch to Goat's milk since it's an A2 milk. I don't know what type of milk I've been drinking, but I suspect that if it were Jersey, it would say so. Uuuugggghhh - Optimal Nutrition is SO HARD without having cream and butter! I can't face it!

Hmm, at least I'm losing weight. Ugh, what a sick attitude!

March 20th, 2006
Foods Eaten: Coffee; milk, butter; eggs; mince; red cabbage; Brussels sprouts; egg yolks; creme fraiche; maple syrup
Calories: 1771 Fat: 151 g Carb: 58 g Fibre: 7 g Protein: 55 g
Weight:154.5 lbs

Felt great this morning, despite being a Monday and going to bed at 1 am last night. Hungry this a.m. too. Had to eat one of my eggs at 9:30 to curb hunger, which is unusual - I typically break fast at 10 or 11 a.m.

Drained and tired in the afternoon. Could just be a recovery from the weekend. Felt better after a very milky coffee. Discovered I had miscalculated the nutritional information on my creme fraiche, so I edited the information and now the last week is looking quite different and sort of explains a lot. I think my new source of nutritional information is more reliable (it actually specified 35% cream, which the other had not). Actually, I'm quite impressed with my lack of weight gain from the msg incident of March 17th, all things considered.

I think the level of milk I was drinking was good, but not completely necessary and it limits the other carbs (and protein!) I can eat in a day. Thinking of reducing to 1-1/2 to 2 cups/day, instead of 2-1/2 cups. I'm still getting my creme fraiche calcium, after all. My sense of smell is returning a bit, especially with garlic. I can smell garlic on someone's breath, even if they haven't eaten any THAT DAY. I feel like Spiderman, all of the sudden. Oh, and my breath has definitely improved over the last week. I barely have a bad taste in my mouth in the mornings and only really have icky breath after having milk. Is that a sign, or is that just because milk is funny that way? Not sure - something to ponder.

March 19th, 2006
Foods Eaten: Milk; coffee; eggs, butter; red cabbage; celery; creme fraiche; raw sugar
Calories: 1738 Fat: 149 g Carb: 58 g Fibre: 6 g Protein: 54 g
Weight:155 lbs

Finally feeling a bit more normal today after my brush with chemical food on Friday. Noticed last night when everyone lit up cigars and cigarettes that I wasn't nearly as sensitive to it (last week, A had one and I practically started gagging). Probably my MSG feast on Friday retoxed me and now I have to detox again before I am ultra-sensitive the way I was last week.

March 18th, 2006
Foods Eaten: Milk; coffee; eggs; butter; cashews; creme (10%); lamb chops; Brussels sprouts, cabbage; creme fraiche
Calories: 2026 Fat: 181 g Carb : 50 g Fibre: 6 g Protein: 59 g
Weight:154.5 lbs

No weight gain yet, but it still may happen tomorrow. Cranky in the afternoon after cleaning all day. Went to see a film with A, T and C, then came home and cooked pasta for everyone, including two other friends (I didn't eat any, obviously). Many illicit substances and assorted fun fun fun were had by all. I was surprisingly 'good'.

But I still feel bloated and a bit cranky.

March 17th, 2006
Foods Eaten: Milk; butter; eggs; yolks; cabbage; squid; scallops; shrimp; salmon; white rice; Chinese cabbage; carrot; oyster sauce; lettuce; corn oil; small scoop of ice cream (ack!); celery; red cabbage; creme fraiche
Calories: 2058 Fat: 175 g Carb: 73 g Fibre: 10 g Protein: 58 g
Weight 154.5 lbs

Drank less milk today to keep carbs down to a minimum. Ugh, I ate terribly. We went to this place 'Fire and Ice', a stir-fry restaurant where you choose your own veg, protein and sauce. I asked for no sauce, but the ignored me and it came tasting suspiciously like oyster sauce - MSG city. I chose good vegetables, only picking a tiny slice of carrot and a tiny amount of Chinese cabbage, which is moderate in salicylate. The seafood sampler on top, is another issue. All high in amines. Well, including the poison-sauce, you can imagine this meal went over like a lead zepplin. Oh, did I mention the ice cream afterwards? Well it came with the meal, after all! Ugh... After lunch I became so incredibly bloated, I felt like I was doing the backstroke in a sea of bodily fluids. My immediate reaction upon returning to work was to run to the washroom - it went right through me. And I rarely have that reaction.

I feel like this was a big waste, but I'm going to try not to freak out about it in typical Mother Nuture-style. I predict a weight gain either tomorrow or the following day. (*Edit - it never came!)
Second reaction to the food: fell asleep at my desk around 3:00 in the afternoon!! This is a huge indicator that I have eaten something I that I'm highly sensitive to. I fell asleep twice actually - couldn't keep my eyes open.

In the evening, the third reaction: I seemed to magically transform into a class-A, raging bitch. A real cow. I probably could have won the "horrible person contest" if only I had been able to find one to enter. I hated everyone, everything. I felt like I used to as a tantrum-prone child, where the world felt like it was caving in on my and I wanted to tear a strip off of anyone who dared come near me. Upon reflection, I was a nightmare child. I'm really realising this now. And you know what? I haven't been a stellar adult, either. I have mood issues. Well... I thought I had mood issues. I clearly have food issues.

Please let this reaction end! *runs to the box of bicarb*

March 16th, 2006
Foods Eaten: Coffee; milk; egg; butter; chicken thigh; celery; creme fraiche; potatoes; Brussels sprouts
Calories: 1806 Fat: 154 g Carb: 61 g Fibre: 6 g Protein: 53 g

Feel better today - more 'with it'. Had some baking soda in water to try to flush out any badness from yesterday. I feel pretty great, all things considered. Although, those salicylates may take a day or so to kick in. I'd better stick to the diet closely today to avoid confusing the results. Ugh, I have to eat lunch out tomorrow with co-workers. Not sure what I'll eat. It's not a controlled environment where I can actually use the experience as a challenge by trying 1 new vegetable. It's a bad scene, I'm telling you. I am predicting some bad sh*t. I'll have to be very strict for 2 days to follow with lots of bicarb for flushing-out purposes.

March 15th, 2006
Foods Eaten: Milk; coffee; egg; butter; lamb chops; red cabbage; potatoes; celery; creme fraiche
Calories: 1857 Fat: 158 g Carb: 62 g Fibre: 7 g Protein:55 g
Weight: 155 lbs

Woke up with an itchy patch on my right leg (and generally itchy legs , but only one rashy spot). Could be the moisturising strip on my razor blade? I'll have to look into a strip-free razor. Today wasn't as good a day for me - went out with A in the afternoon. We took the subway to Yonge and Bloor so he could go to Bay St. Video, which reeks of that weird cherry air freshener and I got an immediate headache. Then we had to go to Shoppers' Drug mart to pick up a few things and that entire store smells of cosmetics and perfumes, so I ended up in a bit of a foul mood on the way back home (especially when we missed our subway stop). I recovered more quickly than normal, though, which is a good sign. I just hope I don't suffer tomorrow from all these salicylate smells in the air.

Feeling a bit anti-climactic and tired, but pretty relaxed. A bit down, but who knows if that's food intolerance-related, or just a side effect of "the big night" being over.

March 14th, 2006
Foods Eaten:Milk; coffee; chicken thigh; celery; Brussels sprouts; creme fraiche; butter; cashews; eggs
Calories: 1762 Fat: 152 g Carb: 54 g Fibre: 4 g Protein: 56 g
Weight: 155 lbs

Today's the big day - the screening of A's short film. I'll bring hard boiled eggs and butter in a cooler, as well as some cashews, so I have something to snack on right around the dinner hour.

Looking forward to this!
[Edit*Went very well. Cranky the the afternoon while getting ready - not sure why - possibly the slightly "off" milk I drank the day before in my coffee (amines?!).]

March 13th, 2006
Foods Eaten: Milk (lots today); coffee, cashews; butter; eggs; chicken thigh; Brussels sprouts; creme fraiche
Calories: 1721 Fat: 147 g Carb: 55 g Fibre: 6 g Protein: 57 g
Weight:155 lbs

Half a pound heavier today, but I had a big glass of bicarb last night before bed to try and excrete all those chemicals that seemed to be causing the headache. I had the slightest whiff of a headache this morning (almost more of a tenderness resulting from all that pain - like a memory of pain). Felt wonderful, though. Great mood. I still have a slight back ache - very low, just above my bum on the right side. Strange and highly annoying. My joints dont ache anymore, though, which is nice!

Keep getting a cross between a headrush and a pounding in my head when I stand up too quickly. Feels like orthostatic hypotension that I sometimes get in the summer. Lasts only a few moments - sometimes up to a couple of minutes. Strange!

March 12th, 2006
Foods Eaten: Creme Fraiche; butter; cream; eggs; green onions; milk; cashews; chicken; Brussels sprouts
Calories:1670 Fat: 142 g Carb: 54 g Fibre: 5 g Protein: 54 g
Weight:154.5 lbs

Ever have a headache that makes you want to blow your head open to relieve the pressure? Had one of those all... day... long. Went to A's mum's brunch at noon and didn't eat anything, despite all the food and desserts. Luckily everyone took it rather well. Hey, as long as you don't take people's food away from them (or imply that what they're eating is junk), then they tend to not care what you put in your own mouth. I just drank soda water and decaf that I brought with me.

Drank some milk when I got home because I was feeling pretty hungry from going so long without food (didn't feel terribly hypoglycemic though, surprisingly), then passed out asleep for an hour and a half, due to pain and exhaustion. The headache was most likely from the horrible chemical smell coming from the first floor of our building, plus from cleaning the bathroom thoroughly with disinfectant on Saturday. I'll need to find an alternative cleaner.

I felt quite happy through all of this, despite the pain and despite not being able to take any drugs for the pain (tylenol is not failsafe, and neither is ibuprofen and obviously not aspirin). Made dinner, washed dishes, edited A's short bio for his upcoming film screening - all without an ounce of crankiness! Pretty happy about that :)

March 11th, 2006
Foods Eaten: Whole milk; coffee; maple syrup; eggs; butter; creme fraiche; green onions; cashews (raw); celery; bok choy (Chinese cabbage); peeled pear
Calories: 1685 Fat: 141 g Carb: 65 g Fibre: 5 g Protein: 55 g
Weight: 154.5 (Dear Lord. I'm not used to this... hmm what's it called again? Oh yes... weight loss.)

Feel good this morning aside from the constant headache I seem to have lately. Still detoxing? Not sure. I hate that part, but I can certainly live with it. I also had horrible middleschmertz or something that felt like horrible mentrual cramps all day. Very weird. I'm just about halfway through my cycle, so its probably the cursed schmertz. Plus, my joints were achy, particularly my right hip (also the side that seemed to be ovulating) and my right shoulder joint. All very achy and sore. Maybe I'm one of those people who has a long detox.

When I came home yesterday, they were painting in the lobby or something because there was a horrible paint thinner smell that permeated the whole of the downstairs of our building, and seemed to have drifted up through the vents and into our bathroom. A taped up the vent, which helped a lot. Felt good mentally last night, though. Joked around with A all night and felt pretty dandy in general.

Now if I can just think of a way to approach the diet subject with T and C who we're seeing tonight and A's mum, who we're having brunch with tomorrow. Plus, I'm still supposed to have that lunch out with co-workers on Friday and they mentioned something about wanting to go out for Margaritas soon! Blarghh. How can I do this and not seem like an anti-social weirdo (or "more of an anti-social weirdo than usual" is more like it).

On a happy note, I walked all through Kensington Market and Chinatown for hours with A today without getting cranky or hungry once! I'm a star!

March 10th, 2006
Foods Eaten: coffee; cream; eggs; yolks; butter; milk; savoy cabbage; rutabaga
Calories: 1774 Fat: 156 g Carb: 56 g Fibre: 5 g Protein: 52 g

Anti-social all evening today and was accused of being 'difficult' by my darling pie. Hmph. Feel generally good, though. Was headachy this morning again. Looking foward to all these symptoms going away.

I'm just happy my weight didn't go back up (which it usually does after a drop like that).

I just hope no one is reading this and having a fit that I eat approximately 5 g fibre/day. I say 'Screw you, fibre. You've done me no good.'

March 9th, 2006
Foods Eaten: Cream; coffee; eggs (lots), yolk, butter; whole milk; rutabaga; savoy cabbage
Calories: 1755 Fat 151 g Carb: 58 g Fibre: 7 g Protein: 55 g
Weight: 155.5 lbs (woah!)

Wow - what a weight drop!! This diet is definitely having an effect on me. I was very sniffy and snotty this morning upon waking. Also, my skin feels irritated and I still have a headache that comes and goes. Not hungry in the a.m.

March 8th, 2006
Foods Eaten: Organic cream; organic eggs and egg yolk; organic butter; decaf coffee; lamb chops; rutabaga; savoy cabbage; organic whole milk
Calories 1758 Fat:151 g Carb (incl. fibre): 58 g Fibre: 6 Protein: 55 g

Ex-haus-ted. Went to bed at 10 pm last night and at 7:30 this morning I was still tired as fuck. I could still have slept until noon. I guess these withdrawal symptoms are shifting into full gear. Have another early night tonight if needed. I have a business lunch coming up on Friday. Figure out something for that. Maybe honesty? Ick - the thought of telling these people my business sickens me.

March 7th, 2006
Foods Eaten: Decaf coffee; cream (not organic); butter (not organic), eggs (not organic); chicken thigh; rutabaga (swede); potatoes
Calories: 1849 Fat: 165 Carbohydrates (incl. fibre): 49 g Fibre: 4 g Protein: 51 g

Feel rather bloated today and a bit headachy in the morning. Probably still the withdrawal symptoms and die-off. Starting to feel like I may have a yeast infection or something. Hrmm.
I'm finding out that a whole bunch of stuff that I thought was failsafe is absolutely 100% not. I'm cutting out vitamins, as they're all full of utter garbage, including my MSG-ridden multivitamin (what the crap is that about?). No more regular butter - it has colourings in it. Only the organic kind specifically says 'no colour added'. Same goes for eggs, cream and milk. I'll have to bring a stock of butter, milk and eggs to work.

March 6th, 2006
Foods Eaten: Cream (not organic); decaf coffee; butter (not organic); eggs (not organic); homemade ice cream (low sugar); Savoy cabbage; potatoes; chicken thigh; roasted cashews
Calories: 1749 Fat: 151 g Carbohydrate (incl. fibre): 52 g Fibre: 6 g Protein: 55 g
Weight:157 lbs

I feel fresh and new and shiny and wonderful, but that could just be a side effect of trying something new, starting fresh, the way I did when I introduced coconut oil in my diet (which, sadly, is high in salicylates and amines) then again when I began ON. I really enjoyed my dinner last night, though, and felt no hunger afterwards. Yay.

March 5th, 2006 (started failsafe - not very successfully, mind you - after breakfast)
Foods Eaten: Unsweetened cocoa powder; decaf coffee; cream (not organic); eggs (not organic); butter (not organic); roasted cashews; pork chop; Savoy cabbage; potatoes
Calories: 1782 Fat:155 g Carbohydrate (total with fibre): 45 g Fibre: 8 g Protein: 56 g
Weight: 156 lbs

Just getting over some food poisoning today that resulted in some serious week-long gastro issues. Ugh.



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