So, we had a few days last week where it actually felt like FALL. I’m about as basic as they come, with the exception of the PSL. I actually don’t love pumpkin spice lattes- they are too sweet for me and don’t contain nearly enough espresso. Give me 5 more shots in there and then we’ll talk. But- I love sweaters and scarves, skinny jeans and boots. LOVE IT. But lately the weather has been warm again, even a little humid and sticky. It’s incredibly obnoxious. So I’ll just put my head down, light a bunch of pumpkin-scented candles, and pretend it’s 60 degrees or less outside. At least the trees are cooperating!
Common kitchen staples this time of year include apples and root vegetables (sweet potatoes, butternut squash, parsnips, white potatoes, etc). Normally I fully embrace these and make all things apple-flavored, butternut squash soup, and roasted sweet potatoes. This year- not so much. Let me explain.
I had a conversation with my dietician today. She is part of the team at the Center for Functional Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic, and is totally amazing. First of all, I actually met her in 2012 at a Halloween party. She grew up sailing with Kirk (weird, small world) and this party was at a fellow sailor’s house. I went as Mike Tyson because I was newly pregnant and bloated and got to wear workout clothes this way. Kirk drew the tattoo on my face and it was amazing. Anyway- I remember talking with her at the party. Now, five years later, she is providing great advice for me on what to eat to feel my best! Today we discussed some labs I had done about a month ago. A lot of things looked good, but some things could use improvement. Without getting into tons of detail, sometimes there can be an overgrowth of yeast in the gut that can lead to some less-than-ideal symptoms. These include food cravings (mine is sugar), bloating, low energy, moodiness/irritability, poor cognitive function, etc. I feel so much better than I did when I started this process back in February, but I definitely still struggle with some of those symptoms, especially after getting a little off track over the summer.
In order to get things moving in the right direction, we are taking a dual approach. On the one side, I am taking about a million supplements to support processes in my body. Two of these are specifically to treat this yeast thing- biocidin drops to support gastrointestinal health, and BIOHM probiotic supplement. I take these for 3 months. To further support these supplements, we are tweaking my diet a bit. This isn’t terribly different from how I eat now with a few exceptions. It’s called the Renew diet, and I’d describe it as “paleo” minus root vegetables and high glycemic fruits. Here are the basic rules:
- Eat as many (non-starchy) vegetables as possible. The more the merrier.
- Up to 2 cups of fruit per day: berries, cherries, kiwi, pomegranate
- Moderate protein from good sources (pastured, grass-fed if possible)
- 1-2 T. of fat per meal
- Eat nuts and seeds
- 1 cup of coffee per day
- No booze
- No grains at all, including non-gluten grains
- No legumes
- No sugar
Between my dietician and I, we came up with a few modifications so that this is something I can actually do for several weeks and not die or become a hermit in my house. I’m allowed a couple drinks per week of clear liquor (stuff like vodka, tequila, or gin – no wine or beer), and I can occasionally do a serving of butternut squash or acorn squash. REALLY LIVE IT UP!
I know that some people read this and think it’s SO restrictive, that I will hardly be eating anything at all, that it’s boring and I won’t have fun. And yes- it’s definitely more restrictive than my current diet. But of course it is! I wouldn’t NEED this if I was more dialed in with my nutrition. As for fun- yeah, the weekends may look a little different for awhile. But that’s ok! Just like with the elimination diet- this is NOT forever. This is just to “right the ship” so to speak, and then moderate from there.
As for it being boring- just wait, I’ll be blowing up your instagram feeds with the amazing things I cook in no time (@sarahlintern)! And you won’t even KNOW these are part of a “diet.” I’m sneaky that way.