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Musings of a Health Coach

I am still learning, every day. And that education comes in many forms, whether it is research for the podcast, lessons from our group sessions , or my personal drive to improve my health, I want to share my experience with you in hopes that it will help you learn something about yourself.

So I woke up today with a staggering headache. Probably from sleeping wrong, but something that is usually cleared up by a good cup of coffee. But guess what, caffeine isn't allowed. So I started the day already sluggish.

I made a breakfast of flattened rice (poha) peas, and potatoes. It was good, but not my usual peanut butter toast (on gluten free bread). Peanuts aren't allowed as they are legumes, which can irritate the lining of the stomach. I made a cup of herbal, caffeine-free cinnamon tea. Didn't quite hit the spot.

Then I did some work in an attempt to distract myself. Worked out, which was so difficult because of the headache. I showered and made myself a banana smoothie with almond milk, dates and cinnamon. It was so delicious and I actually felt a little revived. It was so good that I forgot to take a picture. I also ate some edamame which helped me to feel full.

The headache didn't want to go anywhere, so I figured this was part of the withdrawal that I was supposed to experience. They say that the first three days are the hardest.  As I am typing, I do see that my hands are shaking a little bit. This tells me that I am on the right path. My body really does need a detox from something or many things that I have been consuming.

Dinner was a bowl of rice cooked with a lot of vegetables, and some cashews. It was very hearty and hit the spot. I know you might wonder about the protein quantity I am eating. Right now that isn't the focus, I am trying to heal my gut and reduce bloating and acid reflux. There was still a twang of hunger, but I think that was my body trying to trick me into eating something that I shouldn't be eating. It was used to what I always did.

Reflections from today: as I get ready to go to sleep, I realize I feel pretty good, aside from the headache. If this is the way it goes, I should be able to complete the full 15 days of this program without a problem. I know it is too early, but I feel less reflux today. The hardest part of today was the snacks. I think I am used to putting things in my mouth without really giving it another thought. Being mindful and really planning out my meals, was fine, but I forgot to plan the snacks. I will work on that in the next few days.

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So tomorrow is my first day of an elimination diet. It lasts for 15 days and is under the guidance of a nutritionist. I will be sharing my thoughts and experiences of the cleanse as it happens to get an accurate account of what I experience.

So why am I doing an elimination diet? Great question. I have suffered for many years with stomach problems. When I was a child my mom took me to the doctor's office for stomach pain. Each time they sent me home saying I was a nervous child who didn't want to go to school.

Soon, I grew up still experiencing the same pains, with bouts of constipation and diarrhea. After I had my children, I started taking anti acid medications to help me control the acid reflux. All the while I was still having stomach problems. I have had four colonoscopy's and an endoscopy to figure out my problem. One doctor wanted me to go on anti depressants, because clearly it was all in my head. In passing, one of the doctor's said it looked like I was gluten sensitive.

At this point, I was also suffering from severe constipation, and acid reflux. Both of which I have discovered are connected to gluten sensitivity. I eliminated the gluten, but was still having a lot of bloating after eating.

So here I am, I am very uncomfortable after eating, and my weight is a little stuck. So I am starting this diet. I decided to sign up for a program to be more accountable, honestly because I paid for it.

What is an elimination diet? I will be eliminating the main foods that are responsible for inflammation, gluten, dairy, sugar, corn, soy, legumes and certain vegetables. As a vegetarian, this seems a little tough, but I am determined to feel better.

I will eat the plan outlined by the nutritionist and will share my experience during the next few days.

I am nervous about a few things, will I miss my morning coffee? Will I be hungry? How will I know what to eat? What if I don't like what the suggested menu says to eat? What if I eat something by mistake? Will I screw this up?

I am excited to begin, but honestly I have some doubts about myself. But I am determined. Let's see...

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