My partner and I both healed ourselves by changing our diet. I have complained about intestinal pain since I was child but didn't realize it till young adulthood when my mother said "You always say your stomach hurts". When you live with something forever you forget or don't even know there is a problem. My partner has a family history of colon cancer and polyps. He had struggled with IBS for a few years before it became unmanageable. We both finally got to the point of cutting everything out.
The Elimination Diet:
NO dairy, corn, wheat, soy, tomatoes, peppers (bell-spicy), eggplant, tomatoes, potatoes, eggs, strawberries, oats, barley, citrus (lemon juice, oranges pineapples, citric acid in canned foods), sulfur treated foods (red wine), shellfish, peanuts, cane- sugar, and chocolate.
For 30 days you eliminate all of these foods before re-introducing them one by one. You keep a journal to list any reactions, even if mild, they are showing some kind of allergic response.
Examples for me were- headaches when I used hot sauce, itchy/scratchy throat from tomatoes, intense constipation with even small amounts of diary (not goat cheese) and terrible stomach pains from added sugar. Anytime you have a reaction you're suppose to wait another 30 days before adding another food. Although effective it is not 100% fool proof.
The FODMAP diet:
The elimination diet doesn't cover everything including "FODMAPS". Fodmaps are foods that contain "compounds thought to contribute to the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and similar gastrointestinal disorders. The term is used mainly with reference to a diet that is low in these compounds" The top 2 foods recommended to avoid entirely are alliums, garlic and onion. Apples are another culprit along will a surprising list of vegetables you can find in another online search.
Allergy blood test:
An allergy blood test tells you how your specific chemistry reacts to different foods. Mostly relating to the proteins available to your blood type. For more information I recommend the book "Eat Right for Your Type" or a simple search of "blood type diet". Any physician and hospital should be able to provide one, ranging from $100-$250 they are the best way to find out what you're allergic to and how much.
After combing and applying these techniques and information we found our "Big No's" list, the things in which we need to eliminate entirely or always say "No" to. Those were dairy, wheat, corn, and sugar. Although I'm not allergic my partners blood test showed his highest reaction was to garlic, then eggs and citrus. We both had mild reactions to potatoes and tomatoes both nightshades a food group many people are allergic too, those we would allow in rarely.
So what did I eat yesterday?
Chickpea Sweet Pepper Rice
2 cups homemade veggie stock
4 small sweet peppers
1 tablespoon of onion powder or 1 small onion
1 can of chickpeas (about 3/4 cup dried then cooked)
1 cup white rice.
Optional- Spinach preferably or Kale ( was out at the time )
-Bring stock, peppers, onion and chickpeas to a boil. Add rice reduce to a low simmer, covered for 12 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes. Top with fresh cilantro. This quick meal can also be enjoyed with quinoa just cook it separately and add the chickpea broth on top.
Please comment if you would like to see more recipes or hear about my journey into wellness. I was inspired to post this after both my roommates were told by mainstream doctors to drastically change their diet or suffer the circumstances. It's a long and difficult process learning how to cook and eat all over again. If I can provide any tips or shortcuts on your journey I'll be grateful knowing I helped. FYI I am not vegan, I eat poultry rarely so there will be posts that include that. I'm trying to eliminate alliums whenever possible so there will also be recipes for people on the FODMAPS diet.
Thanks for the support!