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dinner

Here is a photo of what my husband and I had for dinner. I’m showing you this because this post is about the elimination diet I have been on and this meal works. Mostly, I think. (I will come back to that.) We had chicken with butternut squash that is a recipe I probably got from one of the CSA’s I have belonged to in the past, but it isn’t written on the printout. Anyway, it is a kind of a curry and includes dates. We also had some fresh fruit and brown rice. Then we had a tasty raw carrot treat. It is called a cake, but I’m too new to this kind of eating to call it a cake. If I’m expecting cake and I have this I will be disappointed. However, if I’m expecting a healthy, tasty carrot treat this totally delivers.

raw-carrot-cake

Raw Carrot Cake from Violet’s Vegan Comics.  Violet got the recipe from Kristina’s instructions, but I can’t really hold information in my head from a video and I kind of adapted the recipe so here is my version.

For the base: Put all of these in your food processor and let it rip for a few minutes.

2 cups of carrot juice pulp (what is left over when you make carrot juice, which I have been enjoying many mornings for breakfast.)

1 and a half cups of raisins

Half a cup of pitted medjool dates

Half a tablespoon of cinnamon

1 teaspoon of vanilla

For the “icing”: Put all of these in the food processor and let it go for a lot longer than you think it will need. It will eventually become creamy, do not despair.

1 and a half cups of raw cashews (soaked for 3 hours -or overnight- in the fridge)

Half a cup of filtered water

Half a cup of medjool dates

1 tablespoon of fresh pineapple juice

1 teaspoon of vanilla

I made the base one day and the icing the next because this and the cooking I’m doing are a lot of work for someone with limited stamina. That is actually why I have never done a full elimination diet before this. I didn’t have the stamina for the food preparation but now I do! 🙂

So, shape the base into a cake shape on a plate, cover it and store it in the fridge until ready to make the icing. I put the icing right from the food processor onto the cake and then put the whole thing in the fridge for about 2 hours. Then I took a little rest before starting dinner. It came out a little crumbly, but the icing helps it stick to your fork or spoon. It really is a rich, tasty treat! Thanks Violet!

Now, about this elimination diet. Not only is it a lot of work, but there is not a lot of agreement on what to eliminate. So here is the one I started on:

http://www.healthcommunities.com/migraine/elimination-challenge.shtml *

*Option #1 involves an elimination that lasts from 2 to 6 weeks, followed by a challenge. The elimination involves managing your diet based on the following criteria.

Eliminate all suspect foods:

  • wheat products—pasta, breads, processed foods, faux meat
  • dairy products—milk, cheese, yogurt, cream, etc.
  • corn products—tortilla, chips, polenta, cornstarch/thickeners
  • peanuts—peanut butter, peanut oil
  • soy products—tofu, tempeh, soy milk, soy protein powder, faux food, soy oil
  • glutinous grains—rye, barley, oats, spelt, kamut, seitan, hops
  • beef—this is usually more a problem with additives than with the protein itself
  • chocolate
  • sugar
  • nutrasweet/aspartame
  • food colorings/dyes
  • pesticides and chemical spoilage retardants (especially sulfites)

Maintain a diet based on:

  • FRESH fruits
  • vegetables
  • potatoes
  • yams
  • animal protein (fish, poultry, lamb)
  • nonglutinous grains (millet, buckwheat, rice, amaranth)

If you have a choice, always choose organic. Otherwise, you could be ingesting pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, and/or formaldehydes.

Avoid sulfite-containing foods, which most commonly include canned vegetables and fruits, wine, and canned tuna (albacore).

Read labels. Know that “vegetable protein” is either wheat or soy; thickening agents and stabilizers are either wheat or corn; and food starch is usually wheat or corn. It is much easier to avoid processed food and faux food while on the diet than to figure out all the additives in prepared foods.

After 2 to 6 weeks of maintaining a strict elimination diet, you should experience relief from symptoms. You may also lose some weight.

Here are some of the other recommendations:

No foods with histamines (spinach, tomatoes, pumpkin, olives, citrus, raisins, strawberries, vinegar, tea.) Can’t do both of these eliminations at the same time without even more of a challenge. Now that I’m looking at my list again I’m not sure I should be eating dates which would be a serious bummer because I love them and I don’t have a lot of “treats” that I can have.

Medline Plus

this one ^ says no bananas or nuts. That is unlikely with my current one.

Migraine.com

American Nutrition Association

National Institute of Health

The Johns Hopkins Lupus Center

Migraine Action This one looks promising and might be the next thing I try.

So please wish me luck. I have been doing a great job for about 5 days with 2 weeks prior to that of learning how to do this. I figure if I’m willing to let them surgically destroy my occipital nerve I need to commit to doing a full on elimination diet. The surgery has helped enough that I feel like I can manage this level of food preparation. If you have recipes that you want to share I would LOVE to know. I haven’t made a lot of art, other than some beautiful (and ugly) food. I actually learned a few things in the creation of this post that may help me navigate this information better.