I feel like this situation I’ve been in for almost two weeks now would have made good daily writing fodder, but unfortunately, I’m only thinking of it now!
Eleven days ago I went to a Naturopath. I have been having an issue which I like to describe as “my face pretending to be fifteen”. As you can imagine, it’s fun times! Anyway, after exhausting every other method I could think of, I decided to give natural medicine a go.
Now, I am 100% for homeopathic remedies. I’m all about the homemade toners, and not using a ridiculous amount of product, and trying to steer clear of items that are horribly over-produced. I wish I would make the time (and find the funds) to make everything I use on a daily basis from scratch, but I just don’t. Nevertheless, I am definitely willing to try natural remedies, and not only when the commercially produced ones fail.
But I was a little worried about this appointment. The first thing my mom told me when I mentioned that I was planning to go was “You know she’s probably going to tell you that you can’t eat a bunch of things.” Yes. I knew. And anyone who knows me knows that I am about as good at sticking to a specific diet (or idea, or project, or life plan) as a rock is at sticking to a tree. What I’m saying is this: I suck. Half-finished paintings, hand-written layouts for photography projects and pamphlets for a thousand different college programs litter my room. I’ve taken to not telling people about things I’ve started, since there’s a pretty good chance I’m not going to finish them.
I know this. My parents know this. My friends’ parents probably know this. But I had a hunch: maybe, going to this special doctor and shelling out $126 just to have her poke and prod me and thus cut every tasty food out of my diet, would keep me on track. Poverty is generally a good motivator. I also had this secret inkling in the back of my mind that if I could stick to this, I could stick to anything! Surely I would start pumping out gallery-worthy art weekly, and have my first novel finished by Christmas! (You might notice that dreaming big is a theme of mine…) In fact, I was relatively convinced that going to the Naturopath was going to radically alter the course of events for the REST OF MY LIFE.
So I waltzed in that door with high hopes and subtle little tap-dance steps. I sat in the waiting room for 45 minutes because the incredibly ditzy receptionist didn’t bother to ask me if I was finished filling out my information when I didn’t think to bring it up to the desk. Assuming that the doctor was (very) late, I sat there getting more and more annoyed until I finally said I’d have to leave soon and she said “Oh! She’s been waiting for you. Are you done with the forms?” Do you suppose I have the wordspeed and penmanship of a six year old? Yes, I’m done! I want to get started with the rededication of my entire future!
Anyway. The Naturopath asked me a whole bunch of probing questions, and then sat me on the exam table and pushed my arm up and down while running her finger over the essences of various foods. I know that sounds ridiculous, but for goodness sake, open up your mind! She was testing the strength of my reactions to the foods and … yeah, let’s be honest. I have absolutely no idea what she was doing. She could have been giving me a mystical blood transfusion and I wouldn’t have had a sniff. But I believe in this kind of thing, even if I can’t tell you why.
Next on the list was to present me with a sheet filled with row after row of delicious sounding foods. Every type of fruit you could imagine, most of the vegetables which I pretend not to see at the grocery store; wheat and milk and seafood … And then she proceeded to cross most of it off.
To make a long, tedious half-hour robbing me of my love of guacamole short, these are a few of the things that I’m not allowed to eat:
ANY Dairy products
ANY Wheat products
ANY Citrus fruit
A number of the things she put big, mean-spirited x’s through were no big deal. I don’t really care for pork, and I hate mangoes. But it was like a stab through the heart, watching her carelessly crossing out Cheese, and Honey and … guys, I COULDN’T EVEN HAVE TEA!
Now, before you health nuts go all crazy telling me that all of those foods I listed above are good for me in moderation, and I shouldn’t be listening to some quack who’s telling me they’re bad – calm down. The entire list was good foods (well, except maybe butter and sugar and stuff). The point of the diet is not to stop eating bad foods, but to cut out foods that you might have intolerances to. You have to follow this restricted diet for a month, and then you can start working things back into your eating plan, slowly, to see what you have adverse reactions to, and what doesn’t bother you much at all.
So it isn’t as bad as I make it sound. I can have Turkey and Beef (which isn’t too exciting since I don’t generally eat much of either of those), and Raspberries and Blueberries and Apples and Rice and Potatoes. The difficulty lies in figuring out how to craft moderately interesting meals out of a whole bunch of stuff that doesn’t really go together. Don’t feel too badly for me. I had garlic mashed potatoes and fried sole for supper tonight. And I made meatballs with rosemary and thyme and these nifty little chia seeds that serve the purpose of egg when they’re soaked in water.
And do you know what the most impressive part of it all is? I have stuck to it! Honest to goodness, I have not eaten anything that was crossed out on that list for 11 days! I did have a single gulp (scouts honour) of this berry iced tea my friend made (from scratch, with no sugar), but that’s it! I am allowed raw brown sugar, so I haven’t had to cut myself off of sweet things altogether, which is a relief, because I would have broken, no question.
Only twenty more days to go! And I am actually enjoying it.
Now, please excuse me while I go breathe in the tantalizing scent of my roommate’s Rotini with Italian Sausage and Tomato Sauce…
Here is a sampling of a few of the things I CAN have.
And in case you’re wondering: yes, I have broken down and
snacked on maple syrup straight from the jug. Raw sugar, too.
Don’t judge me.