Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Gluten... and Dairy, AND Meat !?! {aka the Migraine Diet}

About a year and a half ago I started experimenting with the Paleo diet. To be honest I've gone on and off it, but still keeping focus on eating whole foods over processed. All the while, my weight has been yo-yoing (dramatically ~15-20lbs), my migraines have gotten worse, I've become severely intolerant of dairy and developed dyshidrotic ezcema.  All of which have been super sexy and made life a blast.

I also switched General Practitioners within that time period. The first time I sat down with her, she looked at all my 'illnesses' and flagged them all as textbook autoimmune responses. She suggested a gluten free diet which seemed incredibly overwhelming. She also referred me to a neurologist, but really pushed G-free and said I would need to try it for at least 3 months. I started trying it in April, but after 3 weeks it just became too overwhelming. The more I was reading about it the more 'trying it out' seemed pointless, because if you don't know your degree of sensitivity how do you know if you are feeling the results. Apparently some people can't even tolerate non-gluten foods that merely touched gluten containing food. How am I supposed to know where I am on the scale and control my food that closely!?

After my 8 day migraine I visited the neurologist. The first line of action was looking at my diet to identify triggers and, possibly, trying this 'Low-Tyramine' diet. Recording my food I can do. Low-Tyramine was another beast. There were so many odd restrictions. Not just foods to avoid, but no meat that has been at room temperature longer than 20 minutes. No meat that was cooked over 48hrs ago. I sat there with my cook books in my lap, exasperated, wondering how the heck I could keep protein in my diet without cooking a full lunch at work! Then I reminded myself that I was vegetarian all of high school and college. If I could do it then I could definitely do it again. I've been switching my proteins to fish, but that is only on the approved food list because of 'lack of research'. Still somewhat confused I made an appointment with a nutritionist, hoping to find some clarity and direction.

I had an amazing 2 hour introductory meeting and came out of it with tons of great tips an ideas! However, one of the first things that came out of her mouth was that I should try eliminating gluten as "all (my) symptoms are reflective of autoimmune reactions." I told her I was open to it, but had the concerns about length and sensitivity I talked about above. She told me that my GP had been wrong about the time it would take to notice the affects and said if I was truly intolerant I would notice effects a few days in. I mentioned my 3 week experiment in April and as soon as I said I had stopped in the beginning of May she interrupted me. "And when did your 8-day migraine start relative to eating gluten?" she asked.  I thought back and realized that my lead-in, tension headaches started the day after and the full blow migraine 3 days after reintroducing gluten to my diet. I hadn't realized that at all and she told me that is a classic reaction to re-introducing trigger foods after an elimination diet.

So here I am, beginning the diary-free, gluten free, low-tyramine excursion. I'm already dreading the extra cooking, but we'll see where it takes me. So far I've lost 4lbs and have noticed quite a difference with 'brain fog'. Lucky for me a lot of blogger's have already started this journey and I'm finding tons of inspiration and recipes from these lovely ladies!

Against All Grain {remember that berry tart from the 4th?}

Deliciously Ella {MEAT FREE!!}

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