If you’ve been following so far, you know that I’ve finished the first three weeks of the hypoallergenic diet. I’ve been in the reintroduction phase for the past two weeks. I thought this was going to be the easier part. It isn’t. In the first phase, I was following a set of guidelines, aside from knowing that I have groups to introduce, there’s no set guidelines on what a reaction is, so I just have to pay extra attention to any changes in my body or symptoms I develop. I’m afraid that I’ll have to say goodbye forever to a food group I love (especially dairy, wheat, egg, sweeteners). So it’s been a bit of an emotional journey too.
There are 16 groups to introduce and I have to eat the reintroduced group twice a day for three days straight and monitor my symptoms. If I react, I’m supposed to exclude the food group until I’ve reintroduced all other food groups and then reintroduce again. 16X3 = 48. That’s at least 48 days of reintroduction and more if I have a reaction and have to reintroduce again. Before introducing anything I spend time thinking about what to reintroduce first (I get to choose both the group and the order).
During my last weekend of the restricted diet, I really missed cupcakes (funny thing is, I rarely have them) but I had this immense craving for sweets and cupcakes came to mind. When I looked up vegan cupcakes, they required sweeteners and I couldn’t have sweeteners yet, so my cupcake would have to wait. I missed pizza too, so I decided I’d reintroduce based on ingredients in pizza and in cakes.
Veggies: Tomatoes, Mushrooms, Peppers, Potatoes
Tomato sauce. Soups. Stews. Before even introducing this group I missed cooking with tomatoes and mushrooms. These are always part of my shopping list. My first meal was brown rice rotini pasta with a tomato sauce including: zucchini, tomatoes, mushrooms, garlic and onions. It was my first time using brown rice pasta and it was a little tricky getting it cooked just right – first it was al dente, then it was a bit overcooked. If at first you don’t succeed, try again right? 🙂
Yogurt – one of my favourite snacks, I can’t believe I went as long as I did without this one. I also missed cheese – especially cheese and crackers or cheese on toast. However, since I didn’t introduce any gluten breads (and I couldn’t buy gluten-free breads – it was either the price or an ingredient).
I went a little crazy here, I had an individual cup of balkan yogurt and three slices of cheddar from a 250g block for my morning and afternoon snack for two days. I felt stomach pains at the end of each of the two days so I decided I’d stop with dairy. I’m still hoping this is a one time thing and when I reintroduce again, I’ll be fine. I sound like I’m in denial right? I’m leaning towards wishful thinking (dairy is in most desserts and breads that I like). Next time around, I’m going to introduce organic milk instead of yogurt. Although I don’t like drinking milk, I’ll give it a go.
Toast. Pizza. Pita. I bought a half loaf of country grain (sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, millet, barley flakes, oat flakes, rye flakes and whole wheat goodness) from Cobs. I was so hungry after grocery shopping I couldn’t resist helping my self to a slice during my commute home. It was so fresh, so soft, moist. Yum. When I got home, I spread almond butter on a slice and I cherished every bite. That night, I felt pain in my stomach on the first night but talked to my doctor who suggested I continue for another two days and I felt fine afterwards. Few days later however, I bought two whole wheat sandwich buns and I’m embarassed to admit but I ate them both within the span of a few hours – and my head felt funny – like how it feels when I have caffeine. Yeah, I’ll never do that again.Reintroduction: Veggies, Dairy, & Wheat