Category Archives: Elimination-Challenge Diet

I can see the finish line…

Whew.  It’s been a while since I last posted.  As I last noted, wheat day (and the following days) was horrible.  That was then followed by nightshade day.  This, and the days that followed it were, sadly, no kinder to me.  I was moving and thinking through mud and still in a lot of physical pain.  I’ve never had sciatica hang on for this long.  But I do believe that the wheat and nightshades are the main culprits.

I had a lot of fun, initially, on nightshade day.  Even though as the day went on I felt more pain, I made this amazing dinner:


A bacon-covered Yellow Bell Pepper (nightshade) stuffed with crushed tomatoes (nightshade), olives, basil, garlic, and hot peppers (nightshades)!  I paid for it the next few days.  Not as badly as with wheat though.  So I think that I might allow myself nightshades occasionally and be careful not to mix them or eat a lot in one day.

Yesterday was corm day.  The last of the food challenges!  And I’m happy to report that it went well.  I was worried! Funny enough, all I really had yesterday was corn.

Corn Bran cereal for breakfast, Food Should Taste Good Tortilla chips and Pop’d Kerns (a yummy popped corn snack) for snacks during the day.  And frozen corn for dinner.  As an aside, I was also supposed to have leftover roasted pork…oh, it smelled so good.  Well, I dropped it on the floor before I could even get a bite.  😦

The most amazing part was getting to eat this gluten-free cupcake, with cornstarch and xanthan gum (corn-based)!  It was really good:


Here’s a pic of the Pop’d Kerns:



The awful wheatie truth

After my last two days, I think it’s safe to safe to say that my relationship with wheat has come to an end.  It’s okay though.  I’m looking at it as an amicable break up.  The way that wheat has treated me in the last two days is something that we can’t come back from.  But we both know the appeal will remain.  So we also accept that if, in the future, we want to say, just have coffee together, that it’ll be okay.  It can just never go back to what it used to be.

All drama aside, wheat day was not the greatest.  Well, I felt fine during the day.  My back pain in slowly easing up so I’m a little more quick on the draw.  I ate lots of whole wheat throughout the day.  By that evening, I was starting to feel tired.  I just assumed that it was because I had a day of back-to-back sessions.  This was the same night that I had the text fight with MJ.  I didn’t realize that it could be because of the wheat that I felt so slow and crabby and dense.  Well that just continued and worsened by Friday night.  I had plans for dinner with friends and as I was getting ready to go I had the worst intestinal cramps.  I was well enough to go to dinner which was as fun as it could be considering my body hurt and I was still crabby.  It also didn’t help that this diet makes it difficult to eat out or buy pre-packaged foods.  Yes, this is in actuality a good thing…just not convenient!

Here’s some pics from dinner:







Dinner and Top Chef

So tomorrow is Wheat Day (see Elimination-Challenge diet).  I wish I could punctuate that with an exclamation point, but wheat…just sounds so boring.  And besides, I had another frustrating trip through the grocery store trying to find products that were 100% whole wheat but that didn’t have any of the other eliminated ingredients.  Fat chance.  I wanted to at least vary it a bit instead of eating cereal all day.  Har.  I’ll have to go to the co-op tomorrow.

For tonight’s dinner, I just couldn’t resist making this salad.  I know mangoes are totally not in season now but this salad is a shot of brightness on a cold winter day.  Makes me think of the tropics, especially whist wrapped in a heated blanket.


I turned a Giada De Laurentiis recipe into this salad.  She served it in little wonton cups.  I make my own dressing with avocado oil, EVOO, a few drops of toasted sesame oil, white balsamic vinegar and a bit of rice vinegar.  The salad itself is arugula, avocado, mango, and tilapia.  I topped it with toasted almonds and a few hemp seeds.

Off to watch Top Chef!

No sophomore slump here!


Of course, because I am eliminating certain foods at the moment I am craving meals with those very ingredients.  So I challenged myself to make another quiche.  I call it an alterna-quiche.  It took some work to find a good crust recipe.  The hilarious bit is that I had never made a crust before my first alterna-crust made a couple weeks ago.  This crust turned out nicely as did the first.  My issue is that I need to learn how to roll dough.  I sort of suck at it.  This crust is a delicate thing and I fear that I am manhandling it!

The second time around gave me a chance to tweak some ingredients.  Last time, my filling was asparagus, goat cheese, and hemp milk.  It was good but the hemp milk, when cooked, took on a weird greenish-brown.  This time I used almond milk, which really made all the difference; it was a great base along with eggs.  I also used butternut squash and herbed goat cheese.  Goat cheese, btw, is allowed on the Elimination-Challenge diet, and I’m taking full advantage of that.


Oh, and I asked AJ to bring over bacon, to accompany the quiche.  Only as he can, he managed to buy something called English bacon which was remarkably like Canadian bacon.  It was okay but did not quite whet my taste for the crispy bacon I dreamed about as he made his way over from the store.  Ah, AJ wouldn’t be AJ without doing something just a little mindless.  And I love him just the same.

Cheese day success?

So I finished “cheese day” from the Elimination-Challenge diet today.  All in all a good day; well, except my sciatic nerve is acting up and I have been reduced to walking around like a hundred year old woman and grunting every time I move.  I know that they say to note everything that happens on the day you challenge and not assume any symptoms aren’t related to this.  Ugh, can my beloved cheese really trigger a nasty bout of sciatica?  Say it ain’t so.  Just look at that beautiful cheese (in the pics below).

Dinner :

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Prelude to Cheese

Tomorrow is cheese day.  I handled dairy day fairly well.  I would be very disappointed if it turned out that I had a sensitivity to cheese.  I love cheese.  It’s part of why I’m so excited for tomorrow.  Before I started the Elimination-Challenge diet, I was developing quite a close and personal relationship with a cheese called Boschetto Al Tartufo.  Here’s the description:

A mild sweet mix of cow’s and sheep’s milk. Mixed throughout are rare white truffles giving this cheese a rustic, mushroomy, and earthy undertone.

Gotta go and get some of that tomorrow!

As for tonight, I made a faux Spanish Tortilla.  A Tortilla is a Spanish dish that is like an omelet but with thin slices of potato.  This particular recipe calls for kettle chips.  Given that potatoes are nixed on the “diet” I left them out.  It didn’t have the body that it usually does but was still very good.  Obviously, it is now just a shrimp omelet.


Had arugula and avocado on the side.

The challenge begins

chem joy II

For the previous ten days, I have been engaging in the Elimination-Challenge diet from The Chemistry of Joy Workbook.  I initially did it because I thought it might be a good challenge, and at the very least help me break my growing addiction to sugar.  When I really sat down and read through it, I discovered that I should have done this because of the impact that food may be having on me; specifically, food may be a big contributor to my ADD, my Eczema, and other “symptoms”.

The first ten days, you are to eliminate all dairy, wheat, nightshades (peppers, white potatoes, tomatoes, eggplants), and corn.  The first few days were actually pretty good.  Not a lot of withdrawal symptoms…but by days nine and ten I was rageful at the seeming lack of food I could make for dinner.  I suspect I was just up to my neck in eliminating some many things (wheat and corn are in EVERYTHING).

Today is the first day of the challenge aspect of the diet.  Every three days I will be challenging by reintroducing each of the foods and then having two wait-and-see days to watch out for symptoms.

Initially, I didn’t expect anything dramatic.  I was convinced that I didn’t have sensitivities to anything.  Now I wonder.

Today is Milk Day.  I have to eat 5-6 servings of milk, sour cream, and butter.  So far I’ve had granola with milk and coffee with cream (I have had coffee in about a week).  About two hours later I had a very unpleasant experience and thus began my fears that I am, at the very least, lactose-sensitive.  EEeeekk!  Even though they encourage you not to assume your “symptoms” are due to other things and writing them off, I wonder if the coffee wasn’t a bit culprit.  I was hella shaky as I prepared lunch.

Here’s what I had:


Scrambled eggs (with butter); steel cut oats (toasted in butter before cooking); a little smidge of butter to the oats after cooking; and a slice of crispy bacon.