Sunday, August 12, 2012

End of the diet and a new recipe

I received such love and support this past week for my elimination diet - so thank you everyone!  You all gave me some great recipe ideas, and even though the diet is over and I'm slowly re-introducing things, I'll definitely still take your suggestions, recipes, and other ideas to heart.

If nothing else, I've learned that I can give things up if I need to (never been one for dieting, I prefer the 'exercise your butt off' method).

Bottom line is I am 'mildly to moderately allergic' to chili pepper, black pepper, and garlic, in descending order.

I'll ask my doctor about scallions and grains of paradise as substitutes, and they're working on referring me to an allergist.  Hopefully he or she will say something like "Take two of these before having garlic and you'll never have a reaction again!"

 A girl can dream, right?

I do want to share a pretty kick-butt recipe I just threw together yesterday for lunch today and again tomorrow.  Quinoa salad with goat cheese and veggies!

Quinoa (cold)
Goat cheese
One whole tomato
Half a cucumber
Olive oil
Balsamic vinegar
Sea Salt

Its delicious.  I've found that I really do like quinoa, and really want to keep eating it... just, you know, with other stuff, not just steamed broccoli!

I guess I'll need to find something else to blog about now that I can't complain that I'm not drinking coffee or I can't find enough different foods to eat!


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Kale Chips = Goldfish?

A very sweet college friend (thanks Colleen!) sent me a link to this blog, The Particular Kitchen.  Molly's recipes look really good, and absurdly healthy... but they all have things I can't eat.  I'm so limited right now its just sad.  I mean, when the only condiments you can put on your food are sea salt, olive oil, and brown rice syrup, you're rather limited.

I made kale chips as soon as I got home from the doctor's office on Monday, after a trip to Trader Joe's (I figured Joe would have more of the things I could eat than our local Stop and Shop, which is still very much geared to the neighborhood Irish population).

Kale chips will be my saving grace - they add texture to my day, and have a really interesting flavor.  If I can't have goldfish, I'll have kale chips.

This recipe is not at all exact - so feel free to adjust.

Kale (duh)
Olive Oil

Rip kale into bite-sized pieces
Remove the veins (I took out the bigger ones, the smaller ones were fine)
Place kale on baking sheet
Drizzle with oil (I used about 4 large spoonfuls per baking sheet)
Sprinkle salt
Toss by hand
Bake - I think I did 5-7 minutes at about 475 - they got nice and crisp, even thought the recipe I found called for a much longer time.

And enjoy!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

No-No Cup of Joe

I write to you while "enjoying" a dinner of quinoa and broccoli, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with salt.  I used the 'al dente' method of quinoa-cooking... boil water, THEN add quinoa.  The mushy method heats the water and the quinoa in tandem.  The things you learn about a no-fun diet.

The most difficult part of today was the lack of coffee.  Sure, I had green tea in the morning... afternoon... and late afternoon.  But it just wasn't coffee.  There's something about that wonderful black stuff that zings your eyes open and makes you ready for the day.  I don't feel human until my first cup of coffee, so 4:30 PM looked like me falling asleep at my work computer.

I also had my first workout on the diet this morning.  I was so hungry from not eating enough the day before that I got dizzy walking to the gym.  I had a handful of rice puffed cereal and took it easy.  Very easy.  My 27 minutes on the stairmaster were a joke at level 7 - I usually start at 9 and end at 17.  It felt like the first workout after a stomach bug... but I did it!  

I suppose it is good for me to decrease my dependence on coffee.  It was a miracle that I didn't get a caffeine headache.  I'm sure when this is all done I'll go back to coffee, but maybe my intake will go down to one cup a day, rather than several.  And green tea isn't so bad.  The only herbal teas I like involve fruit, so those are out.

So tomorrow, like today, I'll wake up, have some iced green tea, and at least be thankful that my body is de-toxing, slowly but surely.

The No-Fun Diet

I'm writing this post because I need someone to vent to and my guess is that my fiance is going to get rather tired of my whines by the time this whole 'experiment' is over.

I'm on a diet.  The first 'real' diet that is doctor-driven and being stuck to OR ELSE in my adult life.  And it is no fun.

It all started with allergic reactions - I'd have them, mildly, from time to time, after eating something.  Somethings.  Different things, and not always a reaction after getting the exact same dish at the exact same takeout place.  But the reactions began coming much more frequently over the past week and a half.  This past weekend included THREE, with the last one involving an ER visit.


Onto the doctor, where I'd started a few allergy tests last Thursday, to see what we could see.  Turns out I'm allergic to garlic.

That's right folks.  The part-Italian girl who loves ethnic food of any sort is allergic to GARLIC.  Please cue the violins so I can make my pity party more musical.

So, the doctor suggested what any good doctor would - an elimination diet.  I'll go ahead and list for you the things I CAN eat:
Rice Cakes
Rice Cereal
Almond Milk
Plain fish
Olive Oil
Pears (gross)
Green beans
Swiss Chard
Collard Greens
White beans
Sweet Potatoes
 Green and herbal teas

That's pretty much it.  Nothing additional - no herbs, spices, flavors, sugar (I'm allowed brown rice syrup as a sweetener), and no coffee.

In/conveniently, this of course happens a month before my wedding, so I'll look fabulous, but I've been losing weight just fine on my own, without any real dietary sacrifices, so that isn't as much of a bonus as one might think.

I'll use this blog to kvetch and re-live the bland food fun that I have.  How many nights in a row can I eat quinoa?  Are apples more interesting to eat off the core or in slices?  Is white bean hummus still tasty without garlic or tahini?  We'll find out!