Sunday, January 5, 2014

The Endometriosis Diet...My Own Personal Hell

I adore food. Seriously. Authentic tacos that come wrapped in foil. Burgers with bacon and goat cheese. Thin crust pizza with mushrooms and pepperoni. Chips and salsa. Juicy steak with goranzola butter. Pasta in any way, shape or form, always with garlic bread. Warm chocolate chip cookies, my mom's homemade ice cream, sushi, and did I mention garlic bread?

Now stop and think for a second. How many of these mentioned foods have sugar? How many have gluten? How many contain dairy? Red meat? If you take away these foods, what does that leave? Salsa without chips and sushi. So just call me Christina-San, because that's what I'll turn into after all the sushi that I'm getting ready to consume. It turns out that many dieticians and some doctors believe that cutting out red meat, caffeine, sugar, dairy, and gluten can seriously cut out the side effects of endometriosis. Foods that contain these things can lead to increased inflammation which can exacerbate the pain associated with endometriosis, as well as infertility.

So, my mission, should I choose to accept it, is to embark on a journey of fish, chicken, vegetables, fruit, and...sushi.

To be honest, I know virtually nothing about a gluten free diet except that my life is about to be void of my beloved garlic bread. You'd think that I'd know pretty much how to cut out dairy, sugar, red meat, and caffeine, but it turns out that some really stupid questions have arisen in my mind about these things. I mean, really stupid questions! Like...bacon. Do I really have to say goodbye to bacon? It seems like a red meat to me. But if I say goodbye to bacon, then do I also have to live sans pork chops too? Oiy! As it turns out, the United States Department of Agriculture classifies pork as red meat. (DARN!) However, many dieticians consider the very leanest cuts of pork, such as pork tenderloin, to be on par with chicken, and therefore acceptable. (YAY!)

Last week, on my slow decline back to normal food-reality after the holidays, the thought of cutting all of these things out of my diet simultaneously is a thought that almost brought me to tears.

Here's last week's progress....and a few confessions:

Let's start with the good news first. Red Meat: I cut out all red meat successfully without any slip-ups. I bought ground turkey for shell-less taco salad and bun-less burgers, and I had turkey bacon at Cracker Barrel instead of the real-deal, slap your momma, glorious pig bacon. (I'm still drying those tears.)
Caffeine, dairy, and the hard core facts: I limited my caffeine to one cup of coffee in the morning, and then switched to drinking only water for the rest of the day. And that's the way it's going to stay, people, because no one should live in a totally caffeine-free world. Really, it's for your sake, not mine. I limited my dairy to a couple of tablespoons of coffee creamer in my morning cup of coffee, and occasional cheese on salad.
Sugar: In the name of not being wasteful, I used up the last of my coffee creamer, which did have sugar. Okay, and if you're going to hound me, I had one tiny, harmless scoop of strawberry ice cream. (Whoops, that's diary too! Ugh, failure.) Let's focus on the positives, though! I passed up my husbands chocolate orange which I could have totally stolen off the coffee table when he got up to go to the bathroom. High fives all around.
Gluten: In my defense, I did a very poor job of educating myself on gluten before starting the week. I wanted to kind of ease myself into this, so I just tried to avoid the obvious things, like carbs. So my meals basically consisted of lots of vegetables and chicken or fish. Here's where I slipped up: I had a baguette with my tomato soup from Panera. I just couldn't resist. Here's what I passed up: My husband's bangin' good blueberry pancakes at Cracker Barrel that makes my mouth water just thinking about it a day later.

In summary...Week One: Red Meat Free
Weight Loss: None
Energy Level: Average

Okay, so next week! Let's be forward thinkers, shall we?  Next week my goal is to completely
eliminate gluten, sugar, and red meat, and continue to strictly limit my dairy and caffeine intake. I have already bought my sugar free coffee creamer, and the remaining strawberry ice cream is melting in the sink as we speak. I am going to thoroughly research the gluten-free diet tonight, do my grocery shopping for the week tomorrow, and hit the ground running.

My ultrasound for my second IUI is tomorrow, which means the two week wait is right around the corner. Let's see if a healthy diet can help with a big, fat, positive pregnancy test!

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