I hope that, despite all of the fear and anger and sadness that seems to be thriving in our world right now, you are finding comfort, love, and peace in the people close to you. Never hesitate to reach out for support from someone you love, and never underestimate the power of a phone call or a hug.
Now, although this isn't going to be a straight-up Wellness Wednesday post, it's certainly wellness related. Can I just call this my wellness journey? So typical I know, but I can't think of something more clever at the moment.
I'm on day 45 of the Elimination Diet and...a lot has changed. Let's bullet-list them, shall we?
- I have to avoid gluten, dairy, sugar, onions, garlic, caffeine, alcohol, and soy.
- May I repeat: no caffeine. I made a coffee at home on my coffee re-entry day, and I hate the taste! So I thought, "cool, I'll toss this and get a PSL from Starbucks!" Even with 1/2 pump PS and almond milk, it was awful. Too sweet and just gross. I tried to fight through it, recalling my plaid-drenched love for PSLs last fall...alas, that love is dead. And, to boot, I was so jittery after drinking less than 1/4 cup. So, the next day, with my doctor's suggestion, I tried some [organic] green tea...and I barely finished half a mug before I felt anxious and jittery. RIP caffeine. Goodbye sensual Sunday morning coffee ritual. Someday I'll have to try decaf...
- Alcohol, on the other hand, is a no-brainer: it causes inflammation and pimples for me. I'm hoping at some point I can have it as a rare special occasion, because I have 4 more cans of Downeast Cider Pumpkin hanging out in my fridge. Also, I don't really miss alcohol; I miss going out and trying different cocktails, going for a drink before a concert, etc... However, I still enjoy myself being out and not drinking, and if anything I like myself more when I'm socializing sans alcohol. It's really cool to go out and wake up the next day feeling refreshed and able to tackle chores, not feeling guilty for some silly stupid thing you said when you were buzzed.
- I've lost 9lbs. This was not something I wanted or intended, but it happened naturally since I eliminated processed foods, sugars, etc... I'm at a healthy and appropriate weight, I promise!
- My poop test came back (yay!!) and I have SIBO, a leaky gut (OMG so #-worthy), food allergies (which the elimination diet helps me uncover), and drastically low diversity/good bacteria in my gut. So basically, I can eat all the healthy food I want, but because of the SIBO and leaky gut, my body isn't absorbing nutrients. Although my food allergies aren't fully clear at this time, the foods listed in the first bullet are the likely culprits.
- My skin was looking incredible, however I've found that pimples have lingered since reintroducing dairy, gluten, sugar, and soy. It's reason enough for me to avoid them going forward - to be in your 30s with pimples is quite embarrassing!
- My brain works. I actually feel like the majority of the time I know what I'm talking about, and I can stay on topic (ok, yes, sometimes I'm still tangential!). I feel like I'm starting to get a hold of my Self; I'm able to speak truthfully without feeling apprehensive or ashamed, and I'm experiencing confidence in a whole new way. I can think clearly, manage my mood more easily, and sometimes I even remember to pause and think before speaking. I notice my reactions more and can redirect my attention when need be. All this being said, there's still a ways to go. I'm human, and sometimes I too get passive aggressive in Trader Joe's.
- My priorities have shifted: I prefer to spend my time doing things that make me feel good. In changing my diet and finding that I can feel rested, alive, and well in my body, I hae a stronger awareness not only of myself but of my interests and how I spend my time. I want to be more productive and spend said time in fulfilling ways. Yes, sometimes that means catching up on the latest Real Housewives of OC (no shame), but it also means staying in more with my husband and our cats. It means reading, listening to Podcasts, cooking creative and nourishing meals. It's been hard to keep up social appearances since I can't eat out at most restaurants, and since my lifestyle has changed so much (read as: I no longer go out and drink a ton like I used to almost every weekend). However, I'm so lucky to have some amazing friends in my life who have been supportive of my drastic lifestyle shift - your support and check-ins have meant so much! Truth be told, this whole diet and shift has, at times, felt very isolating.
Now onto YTT... IT'S AMAZING and I am SO MOVED EVERY. SINGLE. SESSION! I'm so grateful to be surrounded by like-minded individuals who want to live their yoga and deepen their practice. I am constantly inspired by them and am looking forward to continuing to learn and grow alongside them. Our group or "sangha" is diverse in so many ways. Some even come from a similar career/educational background as me, which is awesome!
We just completed our second intensive weekend and, as I mentioned, I'm tired. Side effects include dreaming about yoga, thinking of Sanskrit words randomly during the day, and feeling to keep learning about everything but also worried about how to retain it all. It's certainly a lot of information condensed into brief moments in time: there's a lot to read, a lot to reflect and meditate on, and a lot of new ways of thinking about poses and about how one conceptualizes yoga. You know how you hear people say that yoga is "to yoke?" Yeah no, not accurate. Sure that's one way of looking at yoga, however according to Patanjali it means bringing one's concentration, focus, and awareness onto one object without getting distracted by mind chatter or material things. In essence, it's meditating.
More on YTT soon, and I'll keep you all posted on how the Low-FODMAP journey goes. Thank you so much for your kind support!