It sucks! But… that’s ok… Imma have a cookie.

This weekend we were taking my kiddo to camp. I was a nervous wreck, he has never spent the night alone (not that he is alone per se) and I really did not want to leave him. After the tour, he was excited to get going and he turned to walk away with his Boy Scout troop and said Grieving foodsgoodbye as he walked away. Yikes…one more hug? Nah. Oh well.

On the way home, a loverly (dripping with sarcasm here ya’ll) THREE HOUR drive, we passed like a billion vineyards. A few years ago this would have been prime time for us to go wine tasting. There were so many places we hadn’t been! Virginia Wine Country!!! Alas… I can’t drink wine anymore, something I have learned in my eliminations in the last few months.

Over the last five years or so, I have dealt with some pretty serious medical blows, in and out of the hospital emergency rooms with various issues and multiple specialists and more medication than I can even fill a room with. Its all amounted to major changes in lifestyle and diet, which have been the first REAL things that have made reasonable changes in how I actually feel day to day. I actually went for a run on Friday morning and it didn’t kill me! It was the first time I have gone running in over a year and a half.

Seven or so years ago, I used to run, a lot. (When I wasn’t immersed in 100% of the care for the kids or working) I was in the gym during breaks at work, or I would run on the trails near our house. I loved running. I did yoga almost everyday and felt like I was a pretty fit person. Then things changed, I started to feel very sick, very fast.

So fast forward to today- I am feeling better, much better. Its not 100%, but I would say its like 75%, and that’s awesome. But then there is the thing… the thingy thing. I thought for a long time that I didn’t grieve food because when I went gluten-free 2 years ago, I did it first and foremost for my kiddo. I wanted to have a stiff upper lip about it and go cold turkey and show him it wasn’t a big deal. So, I just did it. I didn’t really look back.

Today I have eliminated A LOT from my diet and I have seen a lot of benefits from doing so. Going paleo has been hugely beneficial to my health so far. I have people ask me pretty regularly if I will reincorporate some of the other items like corn, rice or other grains back in when I start to come back from the autoimmune protocol and I just am not sure that I will. Its helped me so much, I don’t think I want to mess with progress. AIP Paleo, isn’t easy, but the benefits have been noticeable and I hope to continue the way I am going. This article, a interview by Alison Golden over at Paleo/Non Paleo with Dr. Sarah Ballantyne, a.k.a. The Paleo Mom talks about AIP, the benefits and difficulties.

So why does it suck? I feel better, right? Yep. So in my elimination I have found a number of things that I know I can no longer have…probably autoimmune food greivingever again. These things cause massive (in bed, debilitating HAVE to medicate with the neuro meds) migraines, skin issues and more. It sucks. I had NO idea before I started the autoimmune protocol that they did. That sucks. These items so far include: coffee, wine (red and white!) and possibly tomatoes and peppers. (Still working on the tomatoes and peppers… because, I love them so…therefore I am going to try to give them a second shot in another month or so) I am following Dr. Ballentyne’s guidelines (and do so much need to get into see someone to check my micronutrient levels) on reintroductions and have not been trying to rush them.

A number of other bloggers (Shirley at gfe has a great one here) talk a great deal about grief when it comes to going through food issues, coping with medical issues and autoimmune disease. Its not easy. I have spent years being handed prescription after prescription for depression medication because “I just seem [fill in the “sad” word here].” I honestly think my next step here was going to be anger (isn’t that part of the grieving process?) and my doctors would next be trying to administer me anti-psychotics instead. I did not need a medication because I was upset because I feel or felt chronically ill. It makes me sad sometimes, sometimes angry. That is a normal feeling to have, period. We should be able to FEEL our feelings to be able to learn to cope with them and get through them. When we medicate, cover them up, we are sticking a big fat pharmaceutical and potentially very harmful (SIDE EFFECTS!!!) bandaid over our need to grieve.

So, I am grieving… I used to grieve my health in its entirety.  But now, I know that I CAN feel better. So now, I grieve foods. I know I am on a long almond hazelnut cookiesfood journey and learning so much more about the best foods for my body to help it heal. For now, I have a few cheats here and there that are still not terrible for me and make my heart happy. The others… they must go.

Coffee and wine:  I loved you SO much. We had a long run, you both know *wipes tear from eye* you knew this would end badly. Its time we parted. *walks away sobbing… with a chocolate chip cookie*