Week 1 of the Elimination Diet

We’re almost through the first week on the elimination diet, and we’ve survived! Using lots of creativity and LOTS of prep, I think I’ve also made this week as easy (and belly-filling) as possible.

I really thought the first week would be filled with random cravings and terrible hunger pangs to make me want to stray. I’ve always found it hard to say ‘NO’ to cheese and bread. And tomatoes. And chocolate. But I’m surprised to say that the only thing I’ve REALLY craved is a glass of wine with dinner. I’m sure my liver could use a little detox, so I’m OK with holding out for another couple weeks. 🙂

So far, the absolute hardest thing about the elimination diet is finding food while traveling. I’ve learned that I can ‘pack’ a breakfast to take with me – a chia seed and powdered coconut milk premixed in a jar that I can carry onto a plane. The night I arrive at my destination, simply add water and refrigerate and voila! Chia seed pudding! Most hotels also have fruit in their breakfast buffet, so add in fruit for a protein and fiber filled breakfast that’s pretty darn tasty.

Chia seed pudding after soaking overnight

But lunch and dinner are difficult to find on the road. I can’t carry food into the OR with me…and most foods on the list need to be refrigerated. So I’m looking into the best options for me while traveling and I’ll report back.

And my husband is happy to report that in the first week, he’s lost 4 pounds! I never even THOUGHT about weight loss with this diet – I was much more concerned with getting his acid reflux under control. His weight tends to fluctuate normally, but he’s never lost 4 pounds that easily in 1 week before. All these good-for-you fruits and veggies apparently are helping his waistline AND his esophagus.

As for the MOST IMPORTANT symptom that we’re hoping to help…his cough…I’m super excited to report that it HAS decreased in number per day and intensity!! When we started the elimination diet, he was on Prilosec twice per day. He’s down to 1 per day in the morning and we will take it to 1 every other day as of tomorrow.

Weaning these medications can actually cause even MORE acid production, so we have to take it slowly in order to let his body adjust. I’m hoping he’s completely weaned from the meds with no cough by the time we start to work foods back into the list.

I want to warn you that I’m not being AS strict as some lists out there. Since we’re doing this for acid reflux rather than a food allergy, I’m allowing some seeds and nuts (specifically chia and flax seeds and almonds) and some vinegars (apple cider and balsamic) as well as maple syrup. I’m also allowing green tea because – really – green tea is nothing but good for you!!! I know that some studies show that caffeine may cause reflux, but really, I just KNOW that no matter WHAT we do, my husband will never give up caffeine. So honestly, cutting the caffeine down to just green tea is practically like cutting it out 😉

Download this cute meal planner here

I’ve attached our meal plan for the week with the shopping list. Most meals take less than 30 minutes to cook (not the roasted chicken, obviously, but the leftovers are well worth it!) I’m hoping to make a meal planner involving less chicken next week because I think we’re both about chickened out this week. And I’m writing up some of my favorite recipes from the week – so stay tuned!

The Detox

It’s true. I’m detoxing.

No, I’m not detoxing from drugs. I’m detoxing from life.

Every day, we are exposed to all kinds of toxins. Toxins in the air, toxins on our skin, toxins in our food. We have toxins swirling around us and within us all the time. And I can’t control the air I breathe or what is around me. But I can control what goes into my body.

Since my diagnosis in April, I have been researching the causes of cancer. The obvious cause of skin cancer would be the sun, so you would think. But there is so much more to cancer than one specific thing. Time reported the President’s Cancer Panel in 2010 published a surprising article claiming that the amount of “environmentally induced cancer has been grossly underestimated.” Even the American Cancer Society states that many cancers are caused by our environment and toxicity.

So before I begin my immunotherapy treatment in February, I decided to prime my body as much as possible. I decided to follow a detox program to reach these goals. Now, the only question is…where do I start?!?

My new breakfast!
My new breakfast!

I have been following articles by Dr. Axe since last summer, and his advice has changed the way I see cancer. He discusses how modern medicine treats the symptoms, but does not cure the body. I saw this everyday as a healthcare provider. We give medicines for illness that only masks the symptoms. For example – a disease like high blood pressure uses medicine to artificially lower your blood pressure. It doesn’t cure the problem. It just fixes the symptoms.

Cancer is similar. There are all types of factors that combine to cause cancer. Chemo doesn’t cure these causes. It just fixes the symptom. I want to cure the cause of my cancer with a permanent solution, not a temporary fix.

I have been fairly strict with my diet since my cancer diagnosis, but I want to do more. Dr. Axe has a 28 day detox program and I decided to sign myself up, purely for my own health and wellbeing. I’ll be documenting my progress here for everyone to see (and keep me accountable!!) Stay tuned for more info!