Otherwise known as the anti-inflamatory diet or the so-restricted-you-can't-believe-it diet. ;-) For one month, I must avoid:
*Vegetables from the nightshade family - potatoes, green peppers, tomatoes
*Gluten - in most bread, cereal, pasta, crackers
*Starch - wheat, oat, spelt, kamut, rye, barley, malt
*Red meat, eggs, cold cuts, sausages, hot dogs
*Strawberries and citrus
*Tea, coffee, cocoa
*Margarine, shortening, butter, refined oils, vinegar
*Sweeteners - white and brown sugar, honey, molasses, maple syrup, corn syrup, fructose
At the end of a month, I can add one prohibited food at a time for three days to see how it affects my body.
What worked well last week was to make a soup that I had for one meal each day. Another meal was sort of a taco salad. I ate a lot of cauliflower, because it's easy to make and the only vegetable I love to eat by itself (ok, not quite by itself - I added a butter substitute and sea salt). Breakfast was usually a smoothie. The first few days were pretty rough. I was spending a lot of time researching recipes. Poor Greg has had to take me shopping to health stores further away than usual, and we've had to do a lot more food preparation and dishes. But after a week on the diet, I'm feeling more positive and learning to like new flavors that weren't very palatable to me at first. For example, I now like agave syrup enough to use it daily as my primary sweetener.
Several years ago when my health was very poor, there was a lady who asked if she could come clean for me. She considered it a blessing to serve and only accepted enough money to cover her gas and cleaning supplies. I think it was she who brought me a batch of this soup and gave me the recipe. It also called for two tablespoons of tomato paste and 1/2 cup green beans, both to be added with the cabbage. But I can't have tomato and don't care much for green beans in soup.
2 med. carrots, sliced
1 med. onion, diced
2 celery stalks, sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
6 cups chicken broth (tried 4)
1 1/2 cups diced green cabbage (or coleslaw mix)
1 tsp. dried basil or cumin
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup diced zucchini or squash (try squash next time)
Small frozen shrimp, thawed
2 tbsp. plain cashews
1 tbsp. almond butter
4 pitted dates, chopped
1 tbsp. agave nectar
1 tsp. ground flax seeds
1 tsp. vanilla
6 ice cubes
Put everything in the mixer; blend until smooth. I don't know that I'd want to drink this every morning, but it's pretty good. I leave out the ice, because cold smoothies aren't appealing to me first thing in the morning.
Rice Cake & Apples
Plain unsalted brown rice cakes with almond butter
I alternate taking a bite of the rice cake and then a bite of the apple. The juicy apple helps the dry, sticky rice cake go down! Lol!
Rice & Shine
We found a box of this at Safeway. It's similar to cream of wheat, only grainier. I like cream of wheat and cream of rice better, but I think I'll be able to get used to having this for breakfast regularly. Lots of things can be added: milk substitute, fruit, nuts, agave nectar. I stirred in raisins, a butter substitute, and some brown rice syrup. Not too bad!
How to do a taco dinner with no tomatoes? Or dressing? Or ketchup? Or cheese? Here's what I did, using a taco seasoning mixture I found on the internet.
2 lb. ground chicken or turkey
Beans, rinsed (tried black and a mixture)
1 tbsp. chili powder
1/2 tbsp. paprika
2 1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1 1/4 tsp. onion powder
1 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/8 tsp. cayenne powder
*Chips with allowed ingredients
*I had to read a LOT of labels at the health food store but managed to find some chips that were almost perfect. Look for those made with black beans and/or rice. These had safflower oil, which I'm not sure whether that is allowed on this diet, and they were manufactured on equipment with all sorts of ingredients I can't have, but I figured I didn't need to be THAT picky.
This recipe was adequate for meeting my craving for a dessert. The corn-free baking powder I tried was disgusting. It had a terrible odor and gave the muffins a weird taste. Next time I make it, I'm going to try omitting the baking powder. I'm guessing the "heaviness" won't bother me much. I'm also going to try a different fruit, maybe frozen cherries. I enjoyed the muffins in almond milk with agave nectar for added sweetness.
I'm slowly working my way through some recipes on this site. I typed "elimination diet phase 1" in their search box to help me find some of the dishes I could have.