I’ve been really healthy lately. My sleep schedule has become even, instinctual, and energizing. I don’t have as much trouble waking up in the morning anymore and I have energy throughout the day. I’ve been eating a lot more vegetables and diversifying my meals more. I exercise every day, including running three times a week. All of this has only started within the past few months and I owe a ton of that to SparkPeople.com. It’s marketed as a weight loss site, but really it’s just an amazing, motivating community that has helped me get motivated to be healthier than I could ever be on my own. I’ve gone off hormonal birth control (more on that in a later post), so I’m feeling very good about that as well.
But my eczema. I just can’t shake it. It could be the fact that in snowed on May 3rd and so the environment won’t let it heal, but there’s still something more going on. Even if the cause is just dry skin, I should be able to do something about that. But it’s still here. It’s time for me to investigate other causes.
As I’ve mentioned before, eczema can be caused by undiagnosed food sensitivities. I would not be surprised if this was an issue for me, but it is something I have been resisting because I LOVE food. Especially wheat and cheese (aka gluten and dairy, two big eczema triggers). I had a big debate with myself about whether I’d rather go dairy- or gluten-free if I had to pick a sensitivity. I decided neither, but gluten has more alternatives in my opinion. I tried to do a small elimination diet at school, but it was too hard and I was never fully confident if what I was eating was in the clear.
So, starting May 23, the day after my last final and my second day home, I will be going on an elimination diet. I will be using the 28-day diet from Whole Life Nutrition. I bought their book, downloaded their allowed/not allowed food sheets, and started reading through their blog. It’s going to be very hard for me. There will need to be a lot of planning and grocery shopping, as this diet looks nothing like my family’s normal diet. But there are still many good options and I’m looking forward to this. Hopefully I’ll cure my eczema, but if not, I will at least have found many new foods to enjoy and learned more about my body and how food makes me feel. Plus, there is nothing bad about a month of exclusively clean and real foods (maybe that’ll help conquer the monster that makes me eat 3 1/2 cookies and a cinnamon roll when I said I would only have one).
Throughout my journey, I will be keeping you updated on how I’m feeling, inside and out, as well as what I have done and eaten throughout the day. I want to help people who are interested in doing this, and I also feel that blogging about all the details will help me better assess patterns. One struggle is that the cookbook and website are not exclusively for the elimination diet, so there is a lot of weeding through things. By posting my meal plans, others can use that as an easy resource for diet friendly food, ways to space the meals, and how much you can be expected to eat (obviously everyone in different, but I seriously have no idea how much fruit and greens to buy for the first two detox days; I wish someone would give me an idea). I’ll also add in tips regarding preparing meals ahead of time to make this easier.
In addition to the diet, I plan to do a few other things to help detox my body of all the crud I put into it (very recently I went bowling with some friends and consumed extreme amounts of pizza and cupcakes – no regrets, but there probably should be). I will ingest Redmond Clay every day (I plan on doing two capsules/day, since that has worked for me in the past), drink a cup of the Yogi Detox Tea my mom loves, take epsom salt and bentonite clay detox baths as able, and oil pull every morning. I have never oil pulled before, but it’s something I’ve been wanting to start. What better time than during a detox!
To be completely honest, I’m terrified for this diet. I’m scared it won’t work, and I’ll be stuck with eczema. I’m scared it WILL work, and I’ll have to give up a food I love (my money is on gluten). I’m scared that the detox and elimination will cause my system to freak out whenever I challenge a new food, even if it’s not what is causing my eczema. I have no idea if that last fear is rational or not (I mean, it’s not like my body spazzed out last month when I ate strawberries for the first time all winter). But I know I need to do this, and a big part of me is very excited at the chance to heal, meal plan, learn to cook, and explore. It’s going to be really hard, but I just keep telling myself it will be worth it.