Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Don't take that cup of tea for granted


I'm on a low-chemical diet at the moment and it completely and utterly sucks big, giant hairy ones.

After years and years of constantly feeling a bit sick and bloated I finally decided to do myself a favour and see a dietitian. I was expecting to be put on a gluten-free or lactose-free diet to see if they were the cause, but she thinks it's more likely to be chemicals and so here I am, on a low-chemical elimination diet. Me the girl who's never been on a diet before in her life. Party time, excellent - I think not.

In case you're like me and don't know anything about science, there are chemicals in almost all foods as well as everything around us - a combination of natural ones (like glutamate found in tomatoes) and fake, nasty ones (like flavours and preservatives). This diet means you cut out anything that's got a high chemical content that might make it's way into your body. So right now I can't eat any fruit except pear; only a few vegetables like cabbage, brussel sprouts, potato, celery and leek; no processed meats - goodbye ham and sausages; no chocolate; no alcohol except vodka, gin or whisky; no tea or flavoured drinks; no olive oil... the list goes on. I also have to use a chemical-free/no flavour toothpaste; sensitive washing detergent; special herbal shampoo and body wash; only certain moisturisers and can't even light scented candles or use air freshener in the bathroom.

Basically if anything has a strong flavour or scent, it's out of here. My life right now is literally vanilla and I'm only on day five, so I've most likely got weeks (possibly months) ahead of me to go before I'm allowed to start reintroducing things back onto the menu. The hunt is on for the culprit chemical that I'm intolerant to and until it's exposed, well life is miserable. Because I'm someone who LOVES my food. And drink. And toothpaste. Blessed with some pretty good genes, I've never had to worry too much about watching what I eat - that is, of course, until I got on this diet.

I know it could be worse, I could have been made to cut out the gluten and dairy on top of the chemicals, but I'm really struggling. What I wouldn't give to have a solitary cup of green tea... or heck, even just hot water and lemon juice! This diet has made me realise I've been taking food and drink for granted, big time. So when I'm finally off this thing I'm going to cherish everything I consume, whether it's a cold beer, banana, bacon sandwich or just some freshly ground pepper.

Of course I'll most likely discover a few things I'll have to avoid having too much of in the future, and that's ok (unless it's chocolate!), but I really am going to consciously enjoy and be grateful for every meal and drink I have, instead of just throwing stuff down the hatch.

So for all you non-dieters out there, for my sake please stop what you're doing and head to the nearest cafe to gorge. Or at least put the darn kettle on. You deserve it you lucky bastards.

What crazy diets have you ever had to go on?

photo credit: bitzcelt via photopin cc

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