About five weeks ago, I was diagnosed with a yeast allergy. It wasn’t a huge surprise, because I knew some food wasn’t treating me right. If you’ve been reading along, you’ll know that the list of banned foods was a surprise however! I scheduled an appointment with the nutritionist my allergy doc Neil (love him!) recommended for two weeks later. At first, I tried to follow the banned foods list, but after a few days, I gave up until I could talk to the nutritionist. It was too much to handle on my own, without any kind of game plan.
I did scheme however. I figured out that yeast free was basically Paleo with a few additions, notably rice, beans, and sweet potatoes–and a few extra limitations, depending upon which Paleo guru you follow. My nutritionist Meg (love her, too!) agreed that this was a good plan. She also talked me through the banned list, and I even managed a couple of small concessions. I buy very high quality dried herbs and spices from Savory Spice Shop. I also buy them in small amounts, so they don’t sit around on the shelf for long. There is a lower chance of mold with these spices, but Meg did warn me to cut everything else out and if I wasn’t feeling better, cut that out, too. So far, so good :) After hearing that coconut has anti-fungal properties, I jokingly asked about coconut sugar, but Meg ok’d this in small amounts, too–like a touch in a large pan of sauce. It’s been three weeks, and I’ve only done this once. It’s nice to know it’s there, though.
So, how am I feeling? I’m feeling amazing! I don’t have dry skin anymore. If you know me very well, this is huge. I’ve fought with dry, sensitive, allergic skin my entire life. My skin is normal. I think I might even have a T-zone. My stomach and whole digestive system feel great, better than it ever has in my life. My energy is increased. The only problem I have is making sure that I eat enough. It takes a lot of food to get your calories in when you cut sugar, dairy, and breads! I’m not used to eating this much. On the other hand, those calories are lasting a good, long time. I’m going longer between meals than I was before, and a late dinner just isn’t a problem for me anymore. There’s still a cherry on top, though: even with all of this eating, I lost fifteen pounds in the last three weeks. Whoa. I expected that I would lose some, but not this much, this fast. Honestly, if someone told me that stat in that time frame, I’d be afraid that they were starving themselves or on an unhealthy diet, but I feel great.
I have had my weak moments, but just a couple. About a week into the new diet, I had some gluten free toast at a local diner. It was mostly made of rice flour (ok!) but also had potato starch (not ok!) and sugar (not ok!). I ate 1.5 pieces. I could tell that things weren’t quite right, but it wasn’t horrible. I’ve had a couple of tiny, tiny sips of Rich’s coffee with cream (not ok!) and Barq’s root beer (not ok!). I found the coffee yummy. While the soda was yummy, it was thick like syrup on my tongue (even diluted with melted ice as it was). It tasted like a dessert. The absolute worst though, was this past weekend. I ate a hotdog (not ok!) with a stripe of ketchup (not ok!) and about a tenth of the bun (not ok!). We were at the drive in movie theater, and I really hadn’t packed enough protein-rich snackage. It was so not ok. I spent almost the entire next day with a migraine. I think I’ve learned my lesson :)
All in all, I’m incredibly happy with how this is working out for me. I’m totally onboard with this new way of eating. I’m a little nervous about travelling, since I’m cooking nearly everything at home (did I mention I made my own mayo this weekend?!). I’ll figure it out, though. Ethnic foods tend to be a little easier, as long as there is someone who speaks English and knows what’s going on in the kitchen. Diners and family restaurants are easier, too, because the food is simpler and usually made to order rather than prepped ahead of time or just reheated like a lot of chains. If all else fails, I can get a roasted chicken at a grocery store and grab some pre-chopped veggies. I’ll be fine.
P. S. In a future post, I’d like to share how I feel about sugar and carbs after my time off the sauce, but I’m trying to figure out how to do it in the best light possible. My feelings are dramatically different than they were three weeks ago, and I don’t want to come across as judgmental. I’m just not (on this ;) ).
food, life, yeast free