As I wrote in my last post, I've been experimenting with my diet in order to alleviate my chronic sinus issues. This experiment began two weeks ago by eliminating gluten from diet. It was challenging and frustrating...dining out at lunch entailed research, cooking dinner was like doing grad school homework, and snacking, well, snacking resulted in lots of potato chips. :)
For most of the first week, I ate Quinoa Breakfast Porridge for breakfast, lunches consisted of leftover fajita filling from dinner earlier in the week, a rice noodle dish from one of my favorite Asian restaurants in town, and a veggie bowl from Chipotle, and dinner consisted of whatever I could throw together - mostly GF pasta, chili, or a hamburger with no bun. I did venture away from gluten-free one time and ate pizza, and as I wrote earlier, the result was not a pleasant one. Aside from that, I had been feeling great.
As week two arrived, I vowed to stick with the gluten-free diet, convinced that it was the problem. Then on Wednesday, I made a terrible mistake. I had an intense craving for Coldstone after I ate my bowl of chili at work, so I ventured out on a mission for ice cream. I made sure to select a gluten-free flavor (FYI Coldstone's "cake batter" flavors are not gluten-free) and mix-ins. The staff at Coldstone was careful to get clean equipment to mix my delightful treat, wish was a pleasant surprise to this GF newbie, and the result was a "Like It"-sized coffee ice cream with white chocolate chips, chocolate chips, and almonds. It. Was. Divine! And I returned to work a very happy girl.
Fast forward about an hour and a half when I realized I had a nauseating headache, and I was horribly dizzy. As time passed, the roof of my mouth began to hurt, my ears felt like they were going to explode, my nasal passages felt horribly swollen, and breathing was difficult. I muddled through it and the remainder of my work day, wondering where the gluten had snuck in. Later that evening, still confused by how I felt and the lack of correlation to my diet throughout the day, I posted to Facebook about it and mentioned that I was sure I hadn't eaten any gluten.
After several comments from friends questioning the Coldstone, it hit me. I realized, for the previous week and a half, I had inadvertently cut my dairy consumption as well as cutting out gluten. Milk has always caused digestive issues for me, so for over a year now, I've been using soy milk in my morning coffee, which is the majority of my "dairy" consumption. And over the course of my GF diet, I had eaten a little cheese on my chili, and my fajitas were served with cheese and sour cream (after which I felt a little crappy, but I blamed it on the chips at lunch). And of course, there was cheese on the pizza that made me feel so crummy the week before.
And now, the ice cream. The pieces were beginning to form a clear picture. Maybe gluten isn't my issue...but maybe dairy is? So, with the help of some awesome friends on Facebook, I decided I would let myself recover from "The Ice Cream Incident", then I would experiment with adding gluten back to my diet. I vowed that today would be the day. I felt great yesterday, and if I ate gluten today, I would at least be at home with my bed nearby to endure the misery.
Then I made a terrible mistake. The other day, before "The Ice Cream Incident", I bought some gouda. I LOVE gouda, and it was calling my name last night. I tried to resist, but I finally gave in to the temptation and ate a small amount thinking it wouldn't hurt too badly. Boy was I wrong! I went to bed last night in complete misery, and I woke up this morning feeling only slight relief. I'm just now, at 2pm, beginning to feel better.
So, the decision has been made. No. More. Dairy. Tonight at dinner, in the hopes of ruling out the gluten issue, I will eat something fabulously glutinous (yet dairy-free)...I just have to decide what it will be. Once that's done, and I know how it makes me feel, I'll know whether my problem is just dairy, or if gluten is also playing a role.
On Tuesday, I go back to the allergist, and I would really like to be able to tell her that I have solved the case of the mysterious sinus problems! And I really hope to return my diet to its new normal very soon...no more dairy and no more experiments! (Except for the pesky high cholesterol issue that's gotten worse since the last time I mentioned it here! But that's another blog post! LOL)
Enjoy your Sunday Funday, folks! :)