Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Dietary detective


Well, I'm sloooowly figuring out what I can and can't eat. And this is all by trial and error, which is unfortunate, but it's the only way I can see which foods don't like me. I've noticed trends in reactions to certain foods and I've learned to start avoiding them (or adding them if the reactions are good).

Like red meat. Boy, do I love red meat. I would say I'm a borderline vegetarian wannabe (I hate the thought of eating animals), but red meat lures me back all the time. But for the last several years, it hasn't been too kind to my digestive system. That steak I ate this weekend at my inlaws' home? Ugh, I don't even want to go into what happened for the next few days after eating it. And you would think I'd realize this right away, but I haven't. I always chalked up my stomach issues to a bad cut of meat, or that I was just not feeling well in general, etc. More and more often, however, I've noticed this isn't the case, and unless I eat a tiny amount of red meat once in a while, the stuff always messes with me and I feel sick for a day or so as it works its way through my digestive system.

Same thing with stuff like orange juice, salt, coffee, ice cream (sob!), some cheeses, spicy foods... And on the same token, I have found out what my body loves, most recently during a "cleansing" diet during the summer in which I ate nothing but fish, chicken, rice products, fruits and veggies, and herbal tea. Let me tell you, my body was in heaven. It especially seems fond of rice products, which is good, because I find them pretty tasty. And I love stuff like sushi, fresh fruit, chamomile tea and cream, chicken, etc. But a girl does tire of healthy stuff after a while, and of course I succumb to the evils of fried and fatty foods. And what happens? The ill health (headaches, upset stomach, general malaise) comes back with a vengeance. Funny that candy never seems to bother me, unless I eat several pounds of it during the course of the day (not that I've ever done that, ahem). I do adore the stuff and must restrain myself at all times. And I'm sure someday my teeth will just give up and wearily fall out of my head anyhow, rotten to the core and waving little white flags.

I just woke up with yet another killer headache, which is similar to the one I got on Saturday morning after having lots of salty foods on Friday. And what did I have last night? Lots of salty foods (pretzels, baked fries, baked chips). No matter how much water I drink, I seem to wake up with borderline migraines (or full-blown migraines) if I eat too much salt the night before. Which is really, really sad, just like red meat, because I LOVE salty foods. But they don't love me, and I really need to start saying no to the delicious stuff.

Do you have any dietary problems you've been able to identify? Do you find certain foods leave your body happy? I'm curious to hear all about it.

(Photos courtesy of Chewing the Cud, NYMag, Black Tomato, Lifehack)


avant garde said...

i'm a vegetarian, i never liked meat growing up so i don't miss it at all. but i know that certain people's blood types almost require meat, anotherwords, they have trouble trying to stay vegetarian where others do not. i still think if you cut back on the meat it would help. my boyfriend is or was a big meat eater until he met me, i don't discourage it at all, he just seems to eat less of it these days and says he feels better for it. just make those steaks more of a treat instead of everyday and they might not only sit better in your stomach but might taste better too! :_)

Georgia (AKA g-bug) said...

i'm starving right now. this was not the post to read. :)

i agree with Robin--but then, you knew my whole philosophy about blood types and food.

the thing i like about that blood type diet book/plan, is that it does not just say what foods are bad for your blood type, but it also points out which ones are beneficial. and a lot of the foods on the list are enjoyable things.

hmmmmm . . . what am i gonna have to do to get you to find out what your blood type is and go on the blood type diet to match?? i'll convert you yet!

Claire said...

calvin and i are primarily vegetarian. we do not adhere to it strictly but we just find that it helps us to function optimally. lots of fresh fruit in the morning. lots of healthy grains and fresh veg along with sunshine, fresh air, enough sleep and healthy relationships... it all adds up. its not just about the food but rather the balance between all of life.

Anonymous said...

I did a cleanse awhile back and ate only lean protein and non starchy veggies, and I've never felt better!

But I always stray back to ice cream. And my skin breaks out, and I get all bloated, and I gain weight like it's going out of style. But I still eat ice cream.

In other words, I feel your pain Chris! Good for you for trying to pinpoint the problem foods and make some changes!