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Bring on the birthday cake!

April 6, 2010
Birthdays no longer have the same allure once you hit the ripe age of 30.  With it comes an unwanted wrinkle, a grey hair and another tick on the biological clock.  Next thing I know, people will be calling me “Ma’am” at the grocery store, or even worse “cougar” at the bar.  Hence the dreaded birthday. 


This year was different. I was counting down the days to March 28th (my birthday) in anticipation of the mother of all gifts…the freedom to eat again!    Three weeks of the Elimination Diet were officially over.    It dawned on me recently that I would be a free woman (or to some, a free “cougar”) on my birthday.  
For the big day, I had a dinner date planned with my family at a Mediterranean restaurant in Oakville called Paradiso.  It had a mouth-watering menu with pizza, pasta as well as other items (including a gluten-free menu) but I was here for a good dose of all the “bad” stuff!

I thought I was going to dive into the bread basket as soon as it hit the table, but I surprisingly had no urge to touch it.  So I didn’t.   Instead I enjoyed my first glass of wine, or maybe it was two.   

My mom, myself and my first glass of wine!

I intentionally selected a restaurant with pasta, yet when it came time for the meal my body was still saying “no thanks”.  Odd.  Instead, I shared the Orange Ginger Salmon and Moroccan Chicken with my mother.  Both dishes were great except for the overcooked salmon (which they graciously replaced).  While I was waiting, I had a bite of my dad’s seafood pasta which was good but didn’t give me the rush I was anticipating after 3+ weeks of deprivation. 


Then came the finale.   This was my moment.  I was offered a complimentary dessert of my choice – cheesecake.  It was actually a goat’s cheese cheesecake which didn’t please everyone at the table (the flavour was too overpowering).  I couldn’t let it sit there, so I polished it off.   I’m going to stop there with the review and answer the question most of you are asking.   


What was the outcome of the Elimination Diet?   Let’s recap…

The Process:  

  • Eliminate the following foods for 3 weeks –  gluten, dairy, alcohol, sugar (including most fruit), caffeine.
  • Reintroduce the above foods in stages after the 3 weeks.
  • Simultaneously take a variety of supplements to support and strengthen my digestive system during the “diet” process.
    • Essential Fatty Acids
    • Digestive enzymes
    • Liver support
    • Probiotics (Bifodobacterium lactis)
    • Homeopathic supplements


The Rationale: 

  • To identify any food sensitivities.
  • To give my body a break from foods that are difficult to digest (wheat, dairy, etc) – essentially “detox”.
  • To help me resolve a few other health issues (by alleviating the stress caused by the above foods).


The Verdict:   

Dried organic apricots


I successfully eliminated the 5 foods for the most part.  Fruit was my only downfall (I had mango, banana, pear on a few occasions).  The toughest part and biggest win was avoiding dried fruit.  Dried apricots and almonds were my standard snack for the drive to and from work.  I’d probably have 6 – 10 a day depending on traffic and the intensity of my sugar cravings.  I had to go as far as “hiding” the bag of organic dried apricots in my glove compartment.  It worked.   

NOTE:  Notice the brown tinge of the apricots in this photo?  That’s the way they’re supposed to look.  The bright orange ones might look appetizing but that’s because they contain sulphites (a food additive and common allergen) to preserve their colour.   

And finally…here’s what changed.  

  • Cravings for sweets & carbs were virtually non-existant (for someone that needs sugar after every meal, this was a huge deal)
  • I had a flatter tummy (and less bloating)
  • Stress levels were subdued
  • Energy levels were elevated
  • I lost 5 pounds
  • Overall, I just felt good.  It was probably because I knew I wasn’t putting any crap in my body.  

Here’s the kicker.  I was supposed to align the Elimination process with taking the supplements above.  Unfortunately I wasn’t able to get my hands on everything until the 3rd week.  So, back on the diet I go.  I’m OK with it because Easter is over, and I am looking forward to feeling ‘good’ again.   I also included everything at once on my birthday (as opposed to staggering the reintroduction of dairy, gluten, etc) and my body hated me for it.

So if your big day is creeping up, consider a detox that conveniently ends on your birthday.  You’ll have something to distract you from the reality of turning one year older: )

4 Comments leave one →
  1. April 9, 2010 12:36 am

    I was just about to start going through something like this, i’m trying to identify my food sensitivities also. allergist referrals take so long. I’m just trying to wean myself off caffeine first. but the free coffee stint last month from McDonalds got me.


  2. Lee Ann permalink
    April 7, 2010 3:52 pm

    I need some ideas on using Avocado as I have no clue how to make anything with it and my trainer suggested I include it in my diet…..Tks hun xoxo

    • April 9, 2010 1:01 am

      Hi Lee Ann – your timing is perfect. I just finished reading one of my many health magazines that featured the one and only, avocado. I eat avocado daily. When I run out or they’re not ripe enough to eat, I feel naked (well, not really, but I do miss them).

      Odd thing is I don’t really “make” anything with avocado, I just add them to everything….they top my eggs/omeletes, salads, stirfried veggies, fish, etc. They’re just that versitile. There are however, many recipes if you need to ease avocado into your diet and disguise them. I can help you with this. I’ll get you a few recipes this weekend!

  3. Humphrey permalink
    April 6, 2010 8:51 pm

    Hey congrats on finishing! Loved reading about it – despite some rather harsh words about chemicals and GMO stuff (I like popcorn and I like my apricots orange – sigh…, but you’re right)
    HBD – 30 dies push you into “ma’am” category!

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