About 2 weeks ago, we started the Intro Diet. I was putting it off for the longest time, because I knew it was going to be ghastly. And it is. It is kicking my trash. The upside is that I have a greater appreciation for good tasting food.
The Intro Diet is broken up into six stages. You can progress to the next stage when symptoms are clear. What are these symptoms? It is entirely subjective and is dependent on what you are trying to treat. At the very least, you can go by your poo.
Poo? Did I just mention poo? I am afraid that I did. As a mother of a young child, this subject is not nearly as taboo as it used to be to me. I am afraid that is what close contact with the stuff does to a person. Let me show you this wonderful chart. I find it rather fascinating--like you might find anything sort of disgusting and gross rather fascinating.
Supposedly, you want your stool to be some sort of semblance of either four and five. You can use this chart as a guide to indicate whether or not you are ready to move on to the next stage. Don't worry, I am not going to go in-depth about my poo numbers. I figure that really falls into the category of "too personal to be shared on the internet for random strangers to read."
I am going to talk about the first three stages since those are the stages we have accomplished. I will discuss the others as we work through them.
Meat or fish stock
Well-boiled broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, onions, leeks
Winter and Summer squash
the juice of fermented vegetables (i.e. sauerkraut juice.)
That is it. Crazy huh? To be completely honest, this is not tasty food. Boiled meats? Not tasty. Well-boiled veggies? Not tasty. Originally, Mr. F. and I were going to spend five days on stage one, following a specific menu plan we downloaded. That idea was given up on day one. I called my friend--the one who introduced me to the diet in the first place--to bemoan the difficulty of this diet, and she stated that most people only spend a day or two on stage one unless it is needed for longer. Done. That was all the answer I needed. We moved on.
can add to the above:
Egg yolk separated from white
Stews and Casseroles made with meat and vegetables (only the legal ones)
Fermented vegetables: sauerkraut, pickles, etc.
Still not exciting. Everything still has to be well boiled to the point of mush. The fresh herbs are, I grant you, a life saver. I was also very ecstatic when I had a soft-boiled egg. I do not like eating meat for breakfast. I don't. In all actuality, I have a hard time with any savory foods in the early AM. The only exception is eggs. So yeah, I about peed my pants with joy on being allowed a normal breakfast food. Too bad that was short lived. (FORESHADOWING!) We spent about three days on Stage 2.
can add to the above:
Stage 3 is where things started to get hairy. Based on the first couple of days, I had started to believe that we could breeze through these stages lickity split. Not so, unfortunately. Over the next few days of Stage 3, I experienced a series of unfortunate food-related events. First, I ate some peas that were not boiled to the inch of their lives. I instead, had cooked them to perfection: still sort of crisp and juicy. I paid for that discretion the next day. Next, I added butter and nut-butter pancakes in quick succession, and my digestive system complained. Since I added both about the same time, I had no idea whether I reacted to the dairy or to the nuts, so both needed to be removed. Lastly, I started getting stomach pains almost immediately after eating eggs. So eggs made to cut as well which means that I am back to eating meat in the mornings. Blech.
It is hard to eat on this diet, especially on these early stages. Despite the huge amounts of meat we are consuming, we get ravenously hungry an hour or two later. Trying to keep on top of Finn's intake is a challenge, but one that needs to be met or I have to suffer through meltdowns akin to the erupting of Mt. St. Helens. Not pretty. Sometimes this means that I don't get a snack when I need it, but then I obviously suffer from the lack of calories. I went on a simple stroller walk the other day and was surprised at how much effort it took just to put one foot in front of the other after awhile.
It is interesting. I didn't believe that my gut needed much healing prior to starting Intro. I had no complaints to speak of. I felt good, etc. However, by removing all the background noise and introducing foods slowly back into my diet, I am beginning to see that, yes, I do have damage that needs to be healed. I felt this way before prior to finding out I was Celiac--thinking that I would surely know if there was a problem. However, sometimes there is too much white noise to hear what your body is telling you.
I will be honest with you, the bit about the eggs was a blow. I can only hope that I will be able to reintroduce them without problem as Intro progresses. I will give it a week and then try it again. I don't believe I have a true egg allergy. Rather, my gut is just finding them a bit hard to digest at the moment. I got pretty depressed and discouraged thinking about the time it might take to get significant healing.
There is some bright news however. I introduced avocado the other day, and it seems to be agreeing with me. Hallelujah! Something to eat besides boiled meats and over-cooked veggies. Finn about lost his mind when I broke it out. It was hard to restrain him from eating too much too soon. I couldn't really blame him. The taste of that avocado after our diet of the last ten days was that of manna from Heaven.
Tomorrow I introduce dairy in the form of butter. I am pretty excited and hope it goes well. What we are really anticipating is Stage 4 where we can start roasting meats and vegetables. Hopefully by the weekend, we will be there. *Crosses Fingers*