Sea ChangeJuly 11, 2012
I changed my diet recently, in an effort to figure out the allergies I was suffering (see the swollen face, below). I'm doing an anti-inflammation diet, which basically means I'm currently dairy, gluten, soy, corn, caffeine, and added-sugar-free.
When I thought about doing it, my brain, in a panic, screamed, "What's left?" I usually eat toast or a muffin for breakfast, a sandwich at lunch, and often ice cream follows dinner. HEALTHY! Cheese was my go-to snack, and in a pinch, I could make a meal of two glasses of milk.
But I was kind of getting desperate to figure out what the problem was, so I gave it a shot, and I gotta say: I like it. I like feeling more energetic. I like sleeping better. I like that my hayfever/allergies have basically gone away for the first time in years. I like that I've dropped fifteen pounds without trying to lose weight. (The answer to the "What's left" question is: organic meat, eggs, fruits, vegetables (minus the nightshades), and some grains/legumes. Thanks to Janine, I read It Starts With Food by the Hartwigs. Yes, they say no grains or legumes. I say just TRY to take lentils and oatmeal away from me.)
I do not like: thinking about what to eat all the time. I do not like cooking all the time. I mean, I like cooking, and I like it when I hit the ball out of the park and make something amazing. But I'm not one of those people who looks forward to chopping vegetables, and there are a LOT more vegetables in my life right now. You know how you find those wilting greens at the back of the fridge? We're not finding those in our fridge anymore. We're eating all of them. We started getting a CSA box, and come hell or high water, we've got to figure out what to do with zucchinis even though I hate them (hint: feed them to Lala).
(OH GOD, IS THIS WHAT FORTY LOOKS LIKE? Really?)
No, come on. THIS is what 40 looks like:
And, it turns out, they've figured out what was wrong with me. I have estrogen induced angioedema, which is rare, rare, rare indeed, so rare my allergist is actually excited to present his findings in a paper. I'm intolerant to any estrogen that's not my own, which means I had to go off the HRT immediately (since the swelling isn't treated by regular ER-given antihistamines and steroids), and now I can't supplement with anything like soy or black cohosh since the reaction in the body is the same. Gah. I haven't had a hot flash yet, but I'm nervous.
Hey, it's not all bad. For a minute there I thought I was allergic to avocados, and I would MUCH rather be in sudden surgical menopause than have to give up those green goodies for the rest of my life.
I have my priorities, people.
Eggs and Greens
There's something wonderful about the soft-boiled egg, how the yolk runs into the greens, making everything rich and delicious. I've been eating this almost every day and I'm not even starting to get tired of it yet.
Set a small pot of water to boil. While that heats, chops greens (kale, colllards, chard, or a yummy mix of all) and two cloves of garlic. Dice mushrooms if you have them, because that's just fun. When the water boils, use a slotted spoon to slide two eggs in their shells into the water. Set timer for seven minutes. Heat a glug of olive oil in a heavy pan, add garlic, cook till it's fragrant, then add the greens (and mushrooms or whatever else you like) and add some salt, pepper, and an optional dash of cayenne. Cover, cooking over medium heat until the greens are wilted to your liking, stirring occasionally. (This usually takes the full seven minutes of egg time for me.) When the timer goes off, pour cold water over your eggs and then peel, careful not to let the shell pierce the egg or yolk. Plate the greens, add the eggs on top, another sprinkle of salt, and YUM. Eat on the porch, if possible.