Thursday, April 16, 2015

Diet and Health Backstory….

So today I'll start with some back story on food and health. The food I eat isn't "normal." I follow a hybrid of diets called Low FODMAPs and the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. On this I don't eat any grains, sugars, starches, and only fruits and vegetables that don't contain fermentable carbohydrates. Among produce to avoid are onions and garlic, which is in practically EVERYTHING. Especially restaurant food.

Why the hell would I do something so horrible to myself? Five years ago I started to not feel good. One day I ate Taco Bell like I usually did, and got food poisoning from it. And nothing was ever quite right since then. Like permanent food poisoning. So I went through tons of doctors, testing, and elimination diets for everything to come back "normal". But I didn't feel normal. The GI doc sent me home with a huge bottle of pills to take 4 times a day for the rest of forever with a big "DO NOT DRINK ALCOHOL" stamped on the side of it. I was nineteen years old at the time, and I was not about to stop drinking forever. This medication is essentially a muscle relaxer to treat IBS. I don't believe in IBS as a diagnosis. It's a symptom. And there's a ton of conditions with IBS as a symptom.

So after a few years of being somewhat hopeless and trying new tests or diets here and there, I moved to Portland and decided to see a naturopath. I was tested for SIBO, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. Something I had brought up to a doctor 5 years ago, and he said there's no way you have that. The results came back positive. It was such an incredible feeling to finally have an answer, and proof that I'm not crazy. And there was a cure, even! A few weeks of antibiotics, diet, and a few months of another medication and I'd be back to normal eating bagels and drinking beers!

If only it were that simple….

Turns out, SIBO is an incredibly stubborn thing to get rid of. Some people relapse very easily. It was very disheartening that after several rounds of antibiotics and herbal antibiotics, I still had SIBO and I wasn't better. I feel the best I've felt in 5 years but I'm not better. I'm taking 26 supplements/herbs a day and nothing is working. I've been fighting this for over 7 months now. I've been on that stupid restrictive diet for equally as long. Almost a year. No beers for a year. I live in beer city and I can't drink the beers. I'm going crazy.

As a result I've gotten pretty creative with my food…

TLDR: Health issues+restrictive diet+no beer= creative cuisine

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