"Let's try an elimination diet."
After reviewing all of my symptoms, my doctor suggested examining nutrition as the first course of action in the restore-me-to-something-like-my-former-self treatment plan. And, as it was an option that didn't involve prescription medication, referrals to other doctors, or visits to a specialty clinic, I was game. Now I'm thinking I should have known better.
The word should have been my first clue: elimination. Now, when I hear "elimination" I think of poop and reality TV. Because I'm mature and sophisticated. In any case, it's not an especially pleasant-sounding word. It means you're out of the contest--toast. Except that you can't have toast because you're on an elimination diet.
Oh, the rules for the diet are awesome. It's basically no wheat, dairy, or sugar for two weeks--three in my case, because I'm just so lucky--with two servings of vitamin-powdery supplement mixed with water each day. The vitamin powder is incredible. It's a high-protein concoction that describes itself as "medical food" (which just sounds creepy) and costs more per week than I spend at the fruit market for my family of three. But it is vanilla-flavored. At least there's that.
Maybe I'm just grouchy and overly sensitive because it's Day Three of my diet, and I had to fast today. No food today--just all vitamin powder all the time. I have two more days of fasting to go, and I'm trying to change my mantra to something other than I want cake, I want cake. But it's an odd thing, being a vegan on a diet that requires cutting out whole categories of foods. Obviously, not eating dairy isn't a problem for me ("Well, we know it's not dairy that's the problem!" my doctor said cheerfully), but I'm also not supposed to have any soy or peanut products, and lots of fruits and vegetables are off-limits. On the one hand, I can imagine this being a completely miserable process if I were accustomed to eating lots of beef and cheese burritos (red meat, also off-limits), but on the other hand...c'mon! I've already cut a bunch of things out of my diet. How much more could I possibly cut out?
Lots, it turns out--and with surprising results. Three days of no wheat, sugar, soy, or caffeine, and I feel oddly rested. Maybe it's from cutting myself some slack since I'm "detoxing," but I feel shockingly good. Like, way better than you should feel when you have headaches from caffeine withdrawal and you're hardly eating anything. I actually have some energy for the first time in a while, and only an inkling of depression. That's the best part: my moods aren't completely out-of-whack.
We'll see what the next few weeks reveal. Rob is going to be out of town starting at noon tomorrow, and I'm not looking forward to restricting my diet while planning and preparing delicious homemade meals for Westley to throw on the floor. That seems like a first-class ticket to depression, or at least some sort of at-home parent despair. On the other hand, it wouldn't it be simple if all of my unpleasant symptoms were just related to something I ate?