Diet is such an awful word, isn’t it? It sounds like I weigh 50 tonnes and am unable to leave the house. The fact that I’m a UK size 10 (US dress size 6) gives you quite the opposite impression.
You may recall that, as well as Endometriosis, I also suffer from PCOS and Insulin Resistance. For Insulin Resistance I take Metformin and I am on a special diet. I keep a note of everything I eat along with the severity of my symptoms. It’s hard going sometimes but I try and keep my chin up.
Breakfast is now a very dull affair – I have eggs everyday. Living in England, I should try and get used to fish at breakfast but I cannot seem to stomach it. For lunch I cannot have sandwiches (too much carbohydrate) so a quick lunch at my desk is not an option. I have to eat something with meat, veg and a little carbohydrate. I usually choose a salad. Dinners are much easier because I can take the time to cook something. No more Fish and chips! Stir fries are easy. Soup is always a decent option and, luckily, I am allowed vegetarian protein so I occasionally make Chilli con Veggie.
The essential thing is to have protein at every meal. I hate eating meat. Do you know how awful it is to try and force yourself to eat something that you really don’t fancy? When I was first diagnosed with my maladies, I was a vegetarian. I still sometimes look at my food and think “Oh joy, more Death on a plate!” I hate bones. I hate the texture of burgers and sausages – all that gristle is just disgusting! I’ve found the best way to cope with it is to laugh – I mean, the rest of my life has been a complete 180 in the past 3 years or so, so I should have expected this.
Luckily I am allowed peanut butter. I love peanut butter but I have to be careful which brand I buy – there are so many ones with sugar added! I recently bought one without checking the label and I was disgusted to not only taste the sugar but also find the texture of the sugar in my teeth. I thought I was eating gravel! It was awful. I’ve come to the realisation that not enough people read the labels on things. I’m sure that if more people were concerned about exactly what they eat, there wouldn’t be so much salt and sugar in foods.
I find myself growing militant about what I eat as I fill in a Food Diary to help me manage my symptoms. I’ve found I have to be very strict – the slightest deviance at the wrong time of day can affect me for days. This doesn’t mean I can’t have any fun though. I have been known to have a small square of no sugar dark chocolate at lunchtime as a dessert. I must be sensible. My health depends on it.
It’s not only what I eat I have to be careful with. Drinks are tricky too. I must avoid juice drinks as much for the natural as for the added sugars. Caffeine is another no no because it initiates an Insulin response. AND even when I choose a decaff Café Latte the amount of sugar in the milk (yes there is natural sugar in milk!) gives me symptoms. This means that I really shouldn’t have coffee at all. I have therefore learned a new appreciation for herbal teas – I love Jasmine tea and would highly recommend it!
My diet is really strange because I rarely feel hungry. I eat because I know if I don’t, I’ll feel like passing out. I know, complaining I’m not hungry sounds quite dumb. I would be happier if I occasionally had an appetite. But eating for the sake of not passing out rather than fancying something means that I don’t enjoy food like I used to. That makes me sad. I was once a great cook but now that I’m not taking the joy in my food, I take less joy in cooking. But, I’m going to be doing this for the rest of my life, so I need to get used to it.
I know it’s just a process and I’ll probably start to enjoy cooking again once my palette settles. I’ll keep you posted. Hey, I might even suggest a recipe or two!