This has been a very interesting month for me food wise. I’ve known for some time that food can make me sick. I’ve experienced it with almonds, peanuts, rice, wheat, potatoes and more.
But this month has been especially enlightening. Even my husband has seen how dramatically food impacts me.
I’ve gotten wiser in how I test food. I’ve experienced how eating too much of a food in a food challenge can put me down for a month (eg almonds and rice), so now I test less of a food. Just enough to hopefully let me know if the food is problematic for me but not enough to set me back for weeks on end.
And so with this philosophy I challenged egg yolks. I ate one hard boiled egg yolk for breakfast on July 3rd and one hard boiled egg yolk for lunch that same day. By mid afternoon I had a whopping, I have to lie down kinda headache. I ended up with a stiff neck, feeling horrible, disconnected from my body, fatigued, and really discouraged. It was hard for me to want to leave the house but I made myself walk around the median on our street (a five minute walk if you walk it fast). This horribleness lasted for five days, and once I was out of it, I was so very grateful.
In the middle of July we went camping and I did some hiking with my husband. On July 14th I hiked a total of 3 to 4 miles, with some elevation on one of the hikes. This is the most I had done since getting sick almost 11 years ago. My husband and I were surprised at what I had been able to do, but, of course, I was pleased.
On July 17th I challenged 1/2 cup of cooked gluten free rolled oats. Starting on the 18th I felt agitated, slept poorly, developed left hip pain (which also happened after rice, fish, chicken, and peanuts), got stiff finger joints, was disconnected from my body, felt spacey and lacked motivation and energy. I didn’t want to leave the house and had to force myself to walk around the median. It took me about six days before I felt better again.
Mentally, this setback was easier to go through since I had just gone through the egg challenge and I knew I would eventually pull out of it. But it was hard to go through because it proved that travel will continue to be very difficult and inconvenient without grains and fruit. (I’ve also had problems with wheat, rice, buckwheat and millet and most fruits are high in histamine.)
Neither egg yolks or oats are high in histamine so I didn’t get the itchy skin that happens when I eat foods high in histamine. Nonetheless I had problems, which indicates that I have food intolerance to lots of foods. Sigh.
But, the good thing is that when I eat foods that are OK for me, I do feel better. I’m not well by any means, but there is a night and day difference in how I feel.
Case in point was yesterday. We were in Zion National Park and my husband, son and a friend wanted to hike to Angel’s Landing, a steep hike (about 5 miles) with lots of elevation. I knew I couldn’t do that, but I started out with them and turned around when I reached my personal limit for hiking.
I hiked about 3 miles (round trip) and gained good elevation (for me). You can see by these photos how high I am off the valley floor and what the switchbacks looked like. (Click on the photos if you want to see greater detail.) I was excited by what I had been able to hike, especially since it was in such stark contrast to how I felt after the eggs and oats.
Afterwards, I spent a lot of time in the horizontal position while my family kept doing other hikes. I was hoping I hadn’t over done it…..I certainly didn’t want my Chronic Fatigue Syndrome to flare and worsen. That has happened to me before after exercise!!!
So far, so good. I’m doing OK today. In fact, I’m doing great. Again I’m not perfect and no where near the hiker I used to be, but I am hopeful that I can continue to improve my health. And right now that means I have to not eat egg yolks, oats and many other foods. That’s OK with me if it allows me to feel better instead of worse and apparently that is the current situation.
Now if I can only find some foods that don’t give me problems….. 🙂