The road to wellness isn't straight, clear, or predictable. It's a path you forge yourself.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Rotating Menus

Another tip for finding allergies?  Rotate your menus!  What I mean by this is have a set menu for each day of the week and stick to it for several weeks.  For instance, I always eat nuts as a snack but on Mondays it's Brazil nuts, Tuesday is almonds, Wednesday is pumpkin seeds, Thursday is walnuts, Friday is sunflower seeds, Saturday is pecans, and Sunday is hazelnuts.  (Yeah, it was expensive to buy all these raw nuts at once, but  they have lasted several months now.  I keep them in the fridge.)  I write out my menus for the week and keep it on the fridge.  That way, I never have to guess what I'm eating and it helps me when I'm making the grocery list too. 

I also rotate my meats, veggies, and grains.  Once  you write out your whole menu, it's not hard to implement it.  There is a book called "If This is Tuesday, It Must Be Chicken".  I haven't read it, but I was told it has some helpful ideas about how to rotate your food.

The benefit of doing this is that it helps you identify other, less-common food sensitivities you might have.  For instance, this is how I found out I had a problem with chickpeas.  I eat Greek food every Friday for lunch (as a treat), and I used to eat the hummus with my meal.  Every Saturday morning, I had a splitting headache and had to be in bed for most of the day.  (Boooo!)  I knew it had to be something I was eating on Friday so I replaced one thing at a time.  Once I stopped eating hummus, bingo!  No Saturday headache! 

For the past 3 weeks, I have been having a headache every Tuesday morning.  (Today was no exception.)  I haven't figured out what I'm eating on Monday that causes it, but I suspect Brazil nuts (which is sad because I LOVE them!)  Next Monday, I'm going to eat macadamia nuts instead and see what happens.

Oh, I forgot to mention to keep a food journal.  I write down what I eat in one column, and how I felt in another column right next to it.  (I do this during the commercial breaks when I'm watching TV at night.)  That way, you can see what works and what doesn't.  I found that eating salmon and broccoli makes me feel fantastic while eating corn makes me feel bloaty. 

I know this is a lot of trouble, but it can be done and it's not forever.  I think of it as an investment.  Invest some time now, so you can feel good and focus on other, more fun things later!  Of course, if you feel okay all the time, you probably don't need to do this.  I'm just SO tired of feeling like crap all the time and am really motivated to do all this stuff!

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