Like I said in the post just before this one, I plan on following the endometriosis diet starting in January. I'm waiting to start then because I'm only in the city twice a year; Christmas break and summer break. This is the ONLY time I get to have fast food and a lot of foods that I'm been craving. Also starting in January allows me to do some shopping in and city and online to prepare. Once I know what I'll be eating I can just reorder stuff as I need it.
Here are the main points of the endo diet and my thoughts about how what my plan is.
Bad Things to Avoid Eating
The main "not allows" are gluten (or at least no wheat), red meat, dairy, sugar, soy, caffeine, and processed foods.
Gluten: Probably will be the hardest. I live off of bread, cereal, and pasta. However I've been looking into having food shipped from Amazon (because the grocery store here hasn't been having stock) and they have a lot of gluten free pastas and whatnot. Oatmeal (rolled oats) are technically gluten free but may be cross-contaminated. However, for me, oatmeal is my BEST option because it is readily available at my grocery store, it's fast to make and therefore a good alternative to cereal in the morning, and I like it lol. Bread will be difficult but I will have to find other "lunch" options. Also for lunch and/or dinner I can have brown rice or quinoa as my grain instead.
Red Meat: When living in the city I don't usually eat a lot of red meat, mostly chicken or turkey. However, up here "white" meat is very limited. We used to be able to get chicken breast but the new owners of the store haven't been buying any. Technically with the endo diet all meat should be organic and grain-fed but if I'm even lucky enough to get chicken it definitely won't be organic or grain-fed. I might be able to see what the city has and order it up but it will be for a high price and therefore will be limited amounts. Since meat should be limited anyway this shouldn't be a big problem.
Dairy: I'm lactose intolerant and therefore shouldn't be having dairy anyway. But up here soy products (which is what I usually have) aren't available so I have been consuming WAY too much dairy the past year and a half. Since I will be switching from cereal in the morning to oatmeal, kicking milk out shouldn't be too big of an issue. Cheese on the other hand will be harder. Also margarine.... but I will replace that with coconut oil for cooking/spreading/etc. Goat and sheep dairy is also fine to eat.
Sugar: I'm addicted to sugar. I am fully aware of my addiction and although I have tried to go sugar free in the past I have always failed and then started binging on it. Where I live now it's a bit easier to resist temptation but I still do consume it. I think I will have to get some frozen fruits and start making some snacks with them. Goji berries are super good in the endo diet so I will probably be getting a lot of those to help with my sugar issues. Also raisins.
Soy: I have a HUGE box of soy beans in my cupboard because my plan was to keep making soy milk. However convenience has been winning out and I've been just buying cow's milk at the store. Since dairy is not allowed I would have liked to be able to make soy milk. However with soy also not allowed I have no clue what I'm going to do with all the beans in my cupboard lol. I kind of feel guilty for spending all that money on something I'm not using but it's not good for my body. I also bought a tofu press because somewhere in my imagination I was going to make tofu. I think what I need to do is just not think about it as waste. There are a billion things I have bought and not used, especially food. Instead I should feel like I'm investing in mine and baby's future by not consuming it just because I feel I need to. I'm going to look into if I can make almond or some other nut milk with my soy milk maker because then I won't feel like I'm wasting the maker and also I won't be paying so much for almond milk on Amazon.
EDIT: I can make it in my maker just the same way as I make the soy milk :D
EDIT #2: I was looking at the price of almonds versus just buying pre-made milk. Almonds would cost me about $5 per litre whereas pre-made is $3. The pre-made does have added ingredients so it won't be as "pure" as making my own but it is also less work. I can buy enough for the whole month and because it is shelf stable I can just use one litre at a time as needed. Because I won't be using it for cereal every day (unless I find a good gluten free, sugar free one) I probably won't be using it like I do cow's milk. Cow's milk costs $10 for 4 litres and almond would cost $12 for 4 litres so it's not that much of a price difference compared to the health benefits.
Caffeine: Since I have cut out a lot of caffeine already I don't think this will be a huge issue. While in the city it would be because I plan on enjoying candy cane hot chocolate and some french vanillas but once I'm back up here my beverage options are limited. I haven't bought coffee in over a month so I will continue that. I do like tea so I will either continue to drink that or drink something like mint tea that would be better. The only think I can see being an issue is that I asked my mom for some hot chocolate and latte things for my Tassimo for Christmas. However I can still enjoy them in moderation (like once a week as a treat), or hold off until I'm pregnant (and then enjoy in moderation). My other issue is chocolate. As a sugar addict I LOVE chocolate. Since I am cutting out sugar, this shouldn't be too big of an issue. Also raw chocolate is actually GOOD for endo so I can also enjoy that in moderation.
Processed Foods: While in the city I plan on enjoying fast food and restaurants as much as possible. It have been four months since I've been able to have any and will be six months until I can enjoy them again. Once back up here fast food and restaurants will be totally eliminated. Processed food though is a bit harder. 99% of what is sold in our store comes in a box or a can. Even most of our meat is in a processed form (chicken fingers, pre-cooked meats, etc). I was doing Nutrisystem but I have stopped that now. I have a bunch of the food left but it will be a "when I truly have nothing else to eat" option. I will have to get used to cooking my own foods from scratch. I have a feeling my slow cooker is going to get some good use :D.
Good Things to Eat
There are a few good things to focus on eating; fruits, vegetables, white meat, nuts, seeds, natural foods.
Fruits and Vegetables: I am not really a picky eater and actually love fruits and veggies. Fresh is very limited here but I can get canned and frozen. I think the majority of my grocery money will be spent here.
White Meat: When eating meat it should be white and also should be organic and grain-fed. When the store even has chicken breast it is definitely not organic or grain-fed. I think I am best to limit my meat all together but I am looking to see if the meat place that can deliver here has better chicken options. My friend has been struggle with the store to get chicken breast so I think she and I would be able to just do a big order together.
Nuts and Seeds: All nuts (but peanuts, not sure why) are amazingly good for endo. Also seeds as well. I am hoping to get some almonds and make almond milk to replace my soy and cow's milk. I might also get some almond butter to use as a snack with crackers or something. Chia seeds and flax seed are also very good so I plan on adding them to things like oatmeal.
Natural Foods: Basically most unprocessed, natural foods are good to eat. There are some exceptions as listed above but most are fine. Eggs are another food that is good to eat. Again it is recommended to eat organic but that is not an option where I live and also it's not something I could have shipped in lol. Goji berries as mentioned before are a good natural super food to eat.
Plans for Shopping
Other than the fruits and vegetables which I will buy at the store, and maybe the oatmeal, I am hoping to buy everything online or from the butcher in the city (if they have chicken...). Some of the websites I plan on using are:
Amazon.ca: Not a large variety of food options for Canada but they have cheaper options for some things as well as free shipping for a lower minimum.
Well.ca: I feel like Well has a larger selection than Amazon for grocery items. However because of my remote location shipping will be $20.00. That's not too bad as long as I'm buying enough things to make it worth it.
TrulyOrganicFoods.com: Although they are pricey, I'm guaranteed that my food is organic and good quality. They also have a ton of options for foods I will be ordering. They offer free shipping over $99.00, they say it excludes the territories but I don't know if it excludes remote areas as well. Either way they have great options for foods.
Cost: Even though the food is likely to be more expensive at first, if I buy in bulk I will save money on things like shipping. Also I was spending $300 a month on Nutrisystem. Even with paying more for some organic items I will probably still be spending less than $300 a month. Even if I'm not it will be well worth it for the health benefits.
Weight: I'm not going to lie, I am hoping I will also lose weight. Although my doctors (my endo specialist as well as my GP) don't feel that my weight will cause any problems with getting pregnant or having a healthy pregnancy, I don't want it to be a possibility. The truth is that I am morbidly obese and even losing a little weight will help me and baby, prior to conceiving, while pregnant, and in the future.
Eating "Out": I currently eat at a friend's house once a week. Although she tends to cook with a lot of vegetables it is also high in fat, sodium, carbs, and dairy. Most of the time it is also beef. Plus she almost always gives me some to take home. This will have to stop. Even if she is willing to make some modifications to her cooking, I highly doubt she will follow it as strictly as I plan on. Plus I can guarantee she will cook something, even just dessert, that I can't have and then pressure me into eating it. Even though she knows I don't consume aspartame and told me there was none in the drinks I drink there, I found out later that there is. Not that I don't trust her, but I don't think she pays attention enough to ingredients to guarantee I won't be having something I shouldn't be. Plus I don't want her to feel pressured to cook something specific just because I am choosing to follow a strict diet. It is much better for me just to cook my own food and either eat at home or bring it there.
Water: Although I do drink a lot of water I want to make a conscious effort to drink even more. This is one thing that I will be starting immediately and will do in the city. Nothing cleanses the body better than water. It helps to flush out toxins and keep everything "flowing".
So that's my thoughts/plans about the Endometriosis diet. Most of the "avoid" foods cause inflammation and symptoms to be worse while the "eat" foods help reduce inflammation and promote healing. I don't think that this will be easy to do or follow given both my sugar and food addiction but I know it will be worth it. I think it is much easier to do here than in the city because I do not have fast food and I can easily avoid going to the store. If I don't buy it I can't be tempted to eat it so if I can survive going to the store I will be fine. I will probably only shop once a week or less, and I will only bring enough money to buy what I plan on getting like fruits and vegetables. When I go to pick up my packages at the store I will leave my money at home and therefore I won't be able to shop! Hopefully this helps a lot now and in the future :D
I am 29, single, vegan, on my journey to becoming a single mother. I have struggled with infertility and I am now on the path to international adoption. Come join me on my journey to becoming a mother!