So I’m looking back, remembering what I did after that first step of eating mostly Chicken Soup for three weeks. I don’t need to revisit this for my own health…I just figured it was a good thing to go back over those steps, in case anyone is needing some help in where to start.
After the clean-out of Chicken Soup, I did a few things that helped me tremendously. The first was to start a food/symptom journal. It was just a little notebook that, every day, I would write every single little thing I ate, how much, and how it was cooked. No matter how trivial, I wrote it down. I also kept track of BM’s through the day, their consistency, and any other symptoms like gas or cramping. I did this for the first year before I really felt I had a handle on what I could/couldn’t eat at this point in my journey. By using a food journal I was able to track when I had a bad reaction to something and pinpoint what it was that caused the problem. Sometimes a problem would manifest itself within the first couple of hours. But at other times it would manifest days later, and there simply was no way I could remember what I had to eat 3 days prior, and all the time in between, that might have caused a problem! With the food journal, it also kept my brain always conscious of the food I was eating, and how it was affecting me. It put it in the forefront of my brain, so I was always thinking of it. Not ideal….to always have to think of your food. But it worked for that time until I knew what was safe and wasn’t.
The other thing I did, as I mentioned in a previous post, was to only try one new item every 4-7 days. Food can take, from what I understand, a couple days to work it’s way through your body, and so by being very slow and cautious, I was able to see what I could tolerate. When I tried a new food I also would not eat too much of it at one sitting until I knew IF I could eat it, HOW it needed to prepared for me to digest it well, and HOW MUCH I could tolerate. Once I got a handle on the foods (which took most of the first year) I started to introduce new spices. A few at first, and then once I realized I could tolerate pretty much the normal spices, I stopped worrying about it. Now, almost 2 1/2 years later, I know what my “safe” foods are that I can always go back to if I’m having problems. I can also branch out a bit, if I have the time, and try new stuff.
My diet is still pretty boring, and I wish all the time I could have more time to be creative. And I do miss certain foods….a lot. But….I’m just glad I was able to take it very slow and methodical those for 18 months until I had a good grasp on what it meant to live with this disease, not taking drugs to mask the symptoms, but changing my diet to GET RID of the symptoms. 🙂