My quirky food plan
Because digestion is a precise ballet, a stack of three-ring circuses all running at the same time in your gut. There are what, four or five organs involved, not to mention the brain and nervous system regulating the whole show, plus all the immune system cells in your gut, and then the whole after-show of your cells trying to absorb and process the nutrients right.
Throw a broad-spectrum toxin like mercury in there, and what you’ve got is a hot mess, no joke.
When mercury starts messing with your immune system/liver/pancreas/stomach/intestines/hypothalamus/all of the above, finding food that won’t make your body go haywire can be a little tricky. Gone are the carefree days of sitting in a restaurant and choosing food based on the question, What do I feel like eating today?
Instead, the construction of a meal becomes something like a complex logic puzzle:
Using only the components found on this menu, create a 500 calorie meal that a) is low in refined sugar b) has at least 300 calories of carbs c) has at least 100 calories of antibiotic-free protein that can’t be tuna, mackerel or any other high-mercury fish. Note that use of even one crumb of gluten in the construction of this meal will result in an automatic fail. Points will be deducted for excess thiols or salicylates.
Finding the set of foods that your body can handle, and eating them in the right combinations can be extraordinarily tricky, but it’s worth the effort because it eases so much distress. Instead of grinding and sputtering and flat-out stopping, your machine starts working relatively smoothly. You’re not one of them anymore, those people whose systems have worked silently and perfectly since birth, those people who give you the look that says, Why do you have to be so picky? But eating becomes manageable, as long as you stick like glue to your quirky food plan.
Being sick, I was on my quirky food plan for so long, I forgot what eating spontaneously could be like. But I’m better now and I’m beginning to remember. These days, I find myself in the happy position of carefully lifting my dietary restrictions one by one. I eat french fries in restaurants now. My reaction to gluten is such a non-issue, I no longer fret about cross-contamination from other foods swimming in the fryer.
And gluten? I totally avoid it, but am I still allergic? How would I know if I don’t ever eat it?
I feel a period of testing coming up, some gluten experiments. I’ll write about them here and let you know how they turn out. There may be big changes coming up in my quirky food plan…