I used to be an excessive dieter (which I don't really think is redundant). It began in high school as just a way to initiate control over one more part of my life (in addition to making perfect grades, being the infallible daughter and girl), ended when I went to France for the first time, and began again when I returned home to try and lose the "foreign study forty" (I'm coining this term). It ended again when I went to Brussels during senior year and decided it would be ridiculous to force a regime under such privileged circumstances. I vowed to find an acceptable balance though, wanting to avoid the aforementioned forty and since after all, many people travel as a part of their profession and must learn to curb an enthusiasm for delicious foreign food. So I said goodbye to dieting.
The freedom that flowed from my newfound joy in eating in moderation, eating fresh and local, and indulging when it was worth it was a life-changing experience. I never read French Women Don't Get Fat, but I'm almost positive this is the behavior it encourages. When you turn to good food, nourishing food, and start to learn how to feel full and satisfied, there is no need to skimp and starve, nor a desire to overdo. Its a whole philosophy I quickly embraced and now champion.
However, when my morals got to me and I realized I could still maintain the same eating ethic whilst doing the right thing and becoming vegetarian, I began to limit my diet once more. In comparison to previous times, though, this was not something I did unwillingly or unhappily. It was a chore, but when something feels right (and being a vegetarian IS right- i say this dogmatically because I care about your health and our planet), it doesn't really matter. It was a chore with immediate rewards.
So here we are today. And again I'm saying, one last diet (very reluctantly). For some reason that has yet to be determined by modern medicine, I suffer from severe gastrointestinal issues. I have since before I became a vegetarian. I've been to every kind of doctor and therapist I can think of. I've had surgery to remove my gallbladder. You name it, I've done it (aside from getting pregnant, my last bastion and acceptable option in the search for a cure). My latest hope? I took an expensive nutritional metabolic test from a chiropractor, who has determined that though not allergic, I am mildly-severely sensitive to the following foods: wheat, rice, mustard, garlic, peanuts, cashews, pinto beans, milk products, eggs, etc. So as a vegetarian, this definitely limits my intake. But, for a vegan, its not as hard. Conclusion? For the next few months, I'll be vegan + celiac disease - certain nuts - rice. Hmmm..an interesting endeavor.
I wanted to put this up on my blog because I know there are numerous people who struggle to find an answer to digestive issues. It doesn't surprise me with the diets we're raised on, nor the things we consider food which enter our bodies.
I'm on the verge of a breakdown with trying to come up with an answer. I saw a doctor of internal medicine in August who pretty much told me it was time to just accept my condition. Naturally an optimist, I've sunk to places of despair I would never have imagined possible. So, if nothing else, this whole thing is giving me a perspective on how others live/deal with pain. Humanitarians worldwide do this everyday- they walk in others' shoes. As one who hoped to enter that career-field eventually, I guess its nothing less than what I should expect. Life is not a pain-free existence, and so if anyone also struggling happens upon my blog, I can be satisfied that what I tested and tried benefited you. Knowledge is power!!
Look forward to recipes and results. I'll post what was delicious and inspired me to keep trying...as well as stories of those helping me through this time. There is a point when the body gives up and doesn't want to nourish itself anymore. Its a part of the consciousness that can't handle it. I hope to never get to that point, though I know I've been close. Please comment here with your advice if you have any; I'm a grateful recipient of whatver help you got.
A votre sante!