As some of you may know, I’ve been reintroducing some foods over the last few weeks. It has not been going well. In fact, many of the food reintroductions I made in the past, are no longer working for me.
The first food I tried adding back into my diet was eggs. I had previously reintroduced one egg back into my diet months ago. I figured it would be no big deal to add it back in, after a month of doing without. I served it up over a big grass fed hamburger patty. About an hour after eating it, I started to experience some stomach upset. I thought it was a fluke; so, I planned to eat another one a few days later. The next time, I ate a boiled egg instead. Several minutes later, I had bloating and stomach pains. The psoriasis rash on my arm started itching, also. It was official. The eggs were a no go. I was bummed, to say the least.
After a few days, I decided to give black pepper a go. This was also a food reintroduction I had been successful with before. I sprinkled a little on my lunch salad. Oh, how I had missed my pepper! I had no bad effects. At dinner, I sprinkled a little on my dinner. When I went to bed that night, I still had experienced no bad effects. The next morning, I woke up to a painful ulcer in my mouth. Since I was dealing with some stress at the time, I wanted to be sure the ulcer was caused by the pepper and not the stress. At lunch, I sprinkled a bit unto my salad again. That night, as I was brushing my teeth, my gums began to bleed. I had been here before; so, I knew the pepper was the culprit. I struck out again.
At that point, I chose to suspend any new food reintroductions until I could get my stress under control and recover fully.
If you’ve tried and been unsuccessful at food reintroductions, you have probably experienced some serious disappointment. To make matters worse, you watch others be successful with their own reintroductions. Of course, you’re happy for them; but, at the same time you feel a sense of loss. This feeling has led many people to ignore symptoms, just to be able to add that treasured food back into their diet. That can be very destructive to your healing. It’s important that you face your food reintroductions truthfully.
So, how do you cope with unsuccessful food reintroductions?
1. Be sure you give each food reintroduction a good try. You should try each food at least two to three times, unless you have an immediate and extreme reaction. You may also want to try a different brand or variety of that same food as well. For example, I tried a store bought, cage free, organic egg the first time. The second egg was a farm fresh egg. Although neither of them worked for me, at least I was able to see if perhaps I would have tolerated one of them.
2. Allow yourself to heal from each unsuccessful food reintroduction. If you try the next food too soon, you may get a false negative response because your body is in a state of inflammation. It’s best to let yourself heal completely from one reaction, before starting another one.
3. Don’t believe everything you see or read online. Like I said before, some people will ignore symptoms, just to be able to eat a food again.
4. Keep a food diary. The reason I suggest this is because it can help to see dates, so you don’t try unsuccessful food reintroductions too early. You know how it is, you think it’s been a month, when it’s really been two weeks. That happens to me all the time. Also, you can see if some food combinations are not working for you. What I mean by that is, the next time you try the food, eat it with a different combination of foods. So, if you ate the egg with beef and cabbage, next time, try it with bacon and sweet potato. Mix it up. Sometimes, it’s the combination of foods that make the difference.
5. Don’t mourn the loss of your food. It’s important to realize that you may be able to successfully add that food back into your diet at a later time. Someone told me, just the other day, it took them 16 months to add eggs back into her diet. She had had a few failed attempts; but, she never gave up. You should never give up either!
6. Focus on the foods you can eat. Okay, I know this is a hard one! Our goal is to get to a place in our health journey where we can enjoy as many foods as possible. Until, we get to that point, we have to be happy with what we’re eating. If you focus too much on the foods you can’t eat, you can get really depressed. Trust me when I say, that isn’t going to help you. Depression does not lead to healing. That is a fact.
Knowing others, like me, are in the same boat as you, can be a comfort. You can empathize with those who are experiencing the same disappointment. You are definitely not alone! I, for one, crinkle my nose a bit when I see someone sharing a photo of their recent successful food reintroduction, especially if it’s something I want. I’m happy for them; but, I’m sad for me. I just pick myself up again, knowing that one day someone else will be crinkling their nose at me when I finally successfully reintroduce those eggs.
One of the best resources you can invest in is Eileen Laird’s book, Reintroducing Foods On The Paleo Autoimmune Protocol. This book has helped me to do things the right way. I’ve always been honest about the fact that I did reintroductions wrong the first time around. Because of my epic fail, I caused myself many more months on the elimination phase of the AIP. I wish I’d had this book back then. At least now I know how to do it right!
As always, I wish y’all good health….and, successful reintroductions!
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