Alrighty, then...if you're still paying attention to all this nonsense, here's an update on the Reintroduction Phase of the Elimination Diet (aka "The Current Bane of My Existence"). Since the naturopath and I were in complete agreement that we wanted eggs back on the menu for me, that was the first thing I tested. Egg whites one day, egg yolks another. And guess what? I reacted to BOTH of them. Are. You. Kidding. Me? That was the very last thing I expected to be a problem, honestly...and seriously disappointing.
Fortunately, the friend who was staying with us a few weeks ago had a great thought when I caught her up on the whole saga. She noted that I might not experience the same...consequences (believe me, you don't wanna know) if eggs appeared as an ingredient in something. Therefore the gluten-free bread the doc had recommended (in response to my whining about how g/f baked goods all SUCK--I swear it's like trying to choke down extra-dry cardboard...or so I would imagine...), which contains egg whites, was worth a try, all on its own. Aaannnd...besides actually, you know, tasting like bread is supposed to...it didn't seem to bother either my stomach or my achy hand. Yessssss! So at least there's THAT.
Next on the list was corn. While the old digestive system seemed fine with it, my hand did hurt a bit more the next day. I wasn't quite sure what to make of that...until the same thing happened with cheese. Then it hit me: on the "Avoid Everything Under the Sun" portion of this delightful little experiment, although eating was a logistical nightmare...the inflammatory pain pretty much disappeared. When I started tweaking the whole thing by adding foods back in...the symptom reared its ugly head once more. Well...son of a...gluten-free...biscuit!
That's it, I'm going on record right here, right now with the following statement: I don't care if I have to deal with a little bit of discomfort...I am N-O-T being a vegan-for-life! No way, no how. So there! If eggs are gonna cause a problem, fiiiiiine. But saying goodbye to cheese is absolutely not an option. Of course, I'm having this conversation with myself...we'll see how how fiercely I'm able to stick to my guns when I sit down face-to-face with the doctor next week!
However, one thing I can say in defense of dairy products is that I noticed yet another repercussion of cutting out some of my preferred sources of protein: I started to feel tired and run-down. Not to the degree of "lying on the couch unable to move", but after a month of such a restrictive nutritional repertoire, the last several times I tried to run, my legs felt like blocks of lead. Very unlike me, and also quite different from the usual "it's hot and humid" reaction I'm used to managing. Yeah....I may have mentioned before...there are only so many beans and nuts one can power through, every single day...
Speaking of which, it was finally peanut butter's turn in the rotation. Happily, my favorite banana-partner didn't seem to have any negative effects either. And, reinforcing my amateur hypothesis, this week when I had both cheese and peanut butter..my evening run--despite drenching humidity--was characterized by distinctly more energy/less dragging.
So, what I'm inferring from this, so far, is that I might have to give up eating unadulterated eggs (Sniffle). The naturopath is probably going to have me continue to avoid gluten (Sigh...Okayyyyy). I don't really care about corn and will consent to keeping that out if she wants. But cheese and yogurt and peanut butter? They're rejoining my life on a regular, permanent basis, ASAP.
Oh, and I saved the best for last: I get to "challenge" chocolate. Remember that "Yes, you may...but buy it unsweetened" gibberish she tried to foist on me at the last appointment? I found a possible work-around, thanks to a co-worker who shared a recipe for (wait for it) Vegan Chocolate Pudding! Right...you probably would prefer I didn't disclose what's in it...and I'm darn sure not telling my loving family before I spring it on them--I mean "share the goodness of my unique dessert". As a matter of fact, I should sneak downstairs right now and prepare it while they're not paying attention. Then tomorrow...mmmm....chocolate...and whatnot!