I was very hopeful when I eliminated sugar from my diet 7 weeks ago. I’m a sweet freak so I knew it would be hard but I also thought that may mean it would be even more rewarding. My cravings were better after the first week, my skin was clearer, and I found myself no longer blowing my nose several times a day. My sweet freakness would not be denied too long, though, as I found myself overeating fruit and nuts. And then, feeling trapped in a very stressful weekend, I cracked and ate cookies.
I have a few theories why I didn’t feel much better otherwise going without sugar, grains, dairy, soy, corn, legumes, or alcohol. First, I have very low iron stores which can cause the fatigue, headaches, and depression. Though I’m taking a lot of supplements, recovering from iron deficiency can take 6 months. Second, I may have been eating foods that I’m sensitive to still, like chocolate (100% cocoa), coffee, nuts, and eggs. In fact, when I did an IgG test 3 years ago, I reacted to almonds and egg whites.
So, I’m going to manage this on both fronts. I’ll continue with iron treatment while going 3 weeks without sugar, grains, dairy, soy, chocolate, coffee, nuts, eggs, or even blueberries since I reacted to that 3 years ago as well, plus it’s a binge food for me. I’m frightened by the length of that list! I was relying on coffee every morning, nuts for snacks, eggs for protein, and blueberries with chocolate for dessert. Instead, I’ll be having a smoothie in the morning, vegetables for snacks, prepare more meat and poultry in advance for protein, and have fruit with dinner as dessert. I think I should avoid fruit, too… it’s a binge food for me and the fructose could be leading to insulin and leptin resistance, which can then lead to hunger and inflammation. Oh what the heck, why not throw nightshades in the mix too, i.e. tomatoes and bell peppers. I’m going to add lentils and chickpeas back into the diet, though, because it’s looking pretty sparse at this point…
The plan is to carefully reintroduce each of these one by one after the 3 weeks to see if I notice any reaction. Fruit will be first on the list! I’m building my hope back up because that’s what motivates me – the possibility I won’t suffer from chronic fatigue, pain, headaches, depression, and anxiety. This also lines up with the abstinence approach to food addiction. Wish me luck 🙂