It’s been almost three weeks since I stopped eating school lunches. How’m I doin’? Better.
Since those test results revealed that my body is not happy eating gluten and dairy (non-Celiac gluten sensitivity), I knew that after the project I would have to remove gluten and dairy completely from my diet, to see if my digestive issues would go away. Starting with the day after the project ended, I have been gluten free, and mostly dairy free.* Naively, I thought that the day after I finished eating school lunches, I’d feel amazing, ready to run through a field barefoot or something. While I did feel like celebrating when the project ended, it took a full two weeks for me to say that I think my body is approaching normal.
Chocolate was one thing I enjoyed all last year. My husband and I would have a couple squares every night after our son went down. Some people high five after putting their kids to sleep, we would “clink” a couple squares of dark, smooth chocolate. In December, I switched to gluten-free, pure dark chocolate (no milk ingredients). But every day that I nibbled on any type of chocolate, I noticed I was getting headaches and needed to pop a couple tylenols. I decided to eliminate chocolate and see what happened.
One day last week, I again got a little headache, and thought to myself with much relief, “I didn’t eat any chocolate today so it can’t be chocolate…” and then I remembered my son fed me Nature’s Path Leapin Lemurs cereal, which has chocolate in it. Is chocolate out now, too!?! Well, I haven’t eaten chocolate since, and I haven’t had any more headaches. **burying face in my hands**
My husband, who as I’m sure you already suspected, is a saint. He is wonderfully accomodating with my son’s and my gluten free, dairy free diets (my son has been on this diet all fall due to severe tummy troubles — being gf has been a godsend). Over the holidays, my husband didn’t have to make any new adjustments, but the rest of my family was subjected to a lot. The out-of-state folks were real troopers. My mom planned the whole Christmas dinner gluten free/dairy free. She said, “Since I have cooked a lot of holiday meals, this wasn’t too hard to do.” She cooked the turkey, gf stuffing, mashed potatoes, and sweet potatoes (all excellent). I contributed a broccoli salad (a winner) and green bean casserole (a flop). To me, almost everything tasted really good, and not like it was prepared according to strict dietary rules.
This week, I went to my primary care doctor and chatted with him about the project. The last time I talked to him was in June. I told him that I’m still feeling tired. When I look back over my life, I’ve always felt “tired.” Granted, I have a ton on my plate right now, but still. We have a history of thyroid disease (Hashimoto’s — an autoimmune disorder) in my family and my thyroid levels haven’t been checked since 2008. So he ordered a lot of blood work, including my vitamin D levels.
I fasted this morning and went to the lab to have my blood drawn. I don’t mind needles at all, thankfully. I’m really interested to see how everything compares to my results in June. After being reminded about the project, my doctor gave me the name of a doctor on staff who specializes in integrative medicine. I’ve made an appointment for next week. Should be interesting to share my story. I guess this is someone who has talked about school lunches in the past! I’m laughing thinking about how I’ll introduce myself, “Um hi, I ate school lunch all year and I have a blog. And I’m anonymous…” Giving the whole “recap.” Won’t this be fun, eh? I’ll keep you posted.
*I have eaten some ghee, which I had never heard of before. It doesn’t seem to bother me. The label on the jar I found at Whole Foods states lactose and casein free. I keep calling it “glee,” but maybe I’m just happy.