Two weeks ago, I began my LEAP MRT journey. If you haven’t read my original post, you’ll want to check that out first to see why I’m doing this and what the test is used for, etc. It’s all highly fascinating to me, even if I’m feeling a tad ‘food deprived’ right now. 🙂
First of all, how am I feeling? Well, it’s hard to judge this because I wasn’t actually feeling bad before I started this program. Most people have this food sensitivity testing done because they’re having a lot of frustrating, on-going symptoms (like headaches, diarrhea, fatigue, anxiety, bloating, stomach pain, etc, etc…the list really goes on and on). While I have some annoying issues from time to time, I feel like I can usually figure out the cause (lack of sleep, not drinking enough water, eating too many salty foods, etc.) So, for me, I don’t know if I’m going to notice extreme changes while going through this eating plan. I think it will be most interesting to see how my body reacts when I add my moderately reactive foods back into my diet after not eating them for over 3 months. Again, these are the foods that I tested reactive to: cottage cheese, whey, American cheese, celery, sweet potato, zucchini, eggplant, amaranth, oat, rye, millet, rice, corn, shrimp, salmon, clam, catfish, scallop, codfish, crab, chicken, beef, garbanzo bean, almond, sunflower seed, hazelnut, walnut, cayenne pepper, ginger, sesame, cumin, leek, oregano, black pepper, baker’s yeast. As you can see, that is A LOT of foods! And it’s a bummer, too…because many of those are foods that I cooked with or ate a lot of before I started this program. 🙁 So, I’m hoping that after taking a nice long break from the above foods that my body will be able to tolerate them again eventually. I have to admit, I will be pretty upset if my body doesn’t eventually tolerate foods like tortilla chips, rice, shrimp, yeast (most breads!), oats (breakfast, granola bars!), and almonds (no more almond butter…). Fingers crossed my body heals itself during this eating program!
Anyway, I spent the last two weeks on an extremely limited diet. The first two days went great…and then I got bored with those foods!! ha It didn’t take long, did it?! 🙂 However, I feel like I deserve a pat on the back because for the past two weeks I have literally ate nothing but the following foods: turkey, pork, eggs,
sole, tuna, white potatoes, apples, grapes, raisins, grapefruit, blueberries, pineapple, mangoes, lemons, bananas, string beans, lettuce, asparagus, carrots, cauliflower, onions, peas, tomatoes, pecans, peanuts, olive oil, coconut oil, turmeric, cinnamon, garlic, mustard powder, basil, cocoa, maple syrup, mint, apple cider vinegar, white vinegar, baking soda, and water (of course). It seems like a lot of food, but let me assure you…it is not! 🙂 (I crossed out the ones that I was allowed to eat, but never got around to.)
I met with my dietitian Courtney Rinehold last week to discuss the plan for phase 2. Believe me, I was quite excited to see what new foods I will be adding to my diet again over the next couple weeks. Starting today, I will be ‘allowed’ to add one new food per day and then I need to watch for any type of negative reaction. The new foods we’re adding back in are all foods that I did not have a reaction to, so I’m guessing there will be no issues…but, it’s still better to add them in one day at a time just to make sure.
So, what new foods can I eat add back into my diet starting today? (Again, these will be added one day at a time.)
LEAP Eating Plan Phase 2 includes:
- Tilapia (dinner tonight!)
- Lamb (eh, not sure I’ll be trying this one…)
- Pinto beans (yay for a Mexican-inspired meal in the near future!)
- Soy (organic only)
- Buckwheat (I already bought three types from the store: groats, Kasha (toasted, I believe), and flour…hopefully there will be some yummy recipes coming to the blog soon that includes this ‘new to me’ grain!)
- Tapioca (bought some flour to try)
- Mushrooms (love mushrooms!)
- Beets (eh…I bought some to try roasting like Courtney suggested, but I’m on the fence about my excitement for this addition.) 🙂
- Watermelon (yay!!!)
- Cashews (nuts, milk, butter)
- Cheddar cheese (I’m SUPER excited to have cheese added back into my eating plan again. I really, really missed it. However, I’m also a little torn on this. Now that I’ve been completely off dairy for two weeks, a part of me wants to continue just a tad longer to see if I noticed any improvement in my skin. So many people say their acne disappears after going off dairy and I know this is the only time I’ll be dairy free for so long, so I’m kind of unsure when I’ll try adding cheese back in. We’ll see how desperate I get! It sounds so good, though…)
- Ghee (This is new to me, but I’ve heard a lot about it in the ‘real food’ world. It’s clarified butter and many people with dairy issues can actually tolerate ghee. At some point I may decide to give it a try.)
- Cane sugar
- Baking powder (made with potato starch, NOT corn starch)
- Cream of tartar
So, there you have it. The complete list of foods I’ll be adding back into my diet gradually over the course of the next few weeks. (I can continue eating all of the foods from phase 1 and any new food once it’s been introduced without any issues.)
Overall, I’m really really proud of myself for sticking with the strictest portion of phase 1. It was not easy!! You have to be dedicated 100% and determined to do this or you will fail. It takes serious planning ahead. I did pretty well when I was home, but I have to admit that going to the lake cottage my parents rented for two weeks this summer was tough! We only went up two times, but I definitely felt a little deprived on the food side of things. Something about being at the lake and not being able to enjoy watermelon, cookies, chips, baked beans, hot dogs, etc…that was hard. However, I planned ahead, packed a cooler with some hard boiled eggs, turkey, a banana, grapes, etc., and I survived just fine. Yes, I was jealous of my kids and all the “fun” foods they were enjoying, but I knew that this was only temporary and I tried to focus on the saying “you should eat to live, not live to eat.” We had a great time tubing with the kids, going fishing (aka sticking fishing poles with a single worm into the water over and over again), swimming, riding on the boat, and more. As much as I would have enjoyed some of the ‘junk food,’ I am much happier that I stuck with the program and didn’t cheat.
I will say though, after being at the lake and feeling a little sad about not having potato chips (my weakness), I was a little too excited to find these in my local grocery store (Kroger Marketplace) this weekend…
Do you have any idea how hard it is to find chips made with only olive oil and salt?? These might have been pricier than my normal large bag of Kettle brand (non-GMO) chips from Costco, but since I can’t eat those right now (due to untested oils), I was all over this bag!! I tried making homemade potato chips at one point, but couldn’t get them sliced thin enough. It just felt like I was eating baked potatoes with oil and salt…and it was a lot of work. Buying a bag is much easier. 😉
I will keep you posted again as I continue through this journey. Be on the lookout for new recipes that contain many of the “new” ingredients above! I sure hope I find some ‘winners’ out of this selection!
If you live in the greater Fort Wayne, IN area and would like to look into LEAP MRT for yourself or a family member, I highly recommend Courtney Rinehold RDN, CDN, CLT. She’s extremely knowledgeable and easy to work with. She can be reached at 260-222-7401 or at www.rinehold.com.