I won’t lie: the first week of grain-free had its rough times. Despite our very tasty menu, which got mad props from the supportive husband, we missed our sourdough bread and our tortilla chips and our coconut curry rice. When a commercial featuring a grilled cheese sandwich came on television I thought Jer would explode. Still, we haven’t wavered, and except for some later-discovered wheat in condiments (why do they need wheat in hot sauce?) we have stuck to the regimen.
The more difficult challenge has been the eczema flare-up. I knew that there might be some die-off symptoms, as it is explained with every cleanse or detox book or article that symptoms will get worse before they get better. Compounding my troubles was a big project last weekend involving cleaning off shelves, dusting, moving furniture, vacuuming, and other activities generally known for instigating a major allergic response in my skin. Dust has always been one of my worst allergens, and I should have known better than to be down in the basement clearing off dusty shelves right when I was starting a cleanse.
So, this past week I have been covered in eczema. Itch and redness and broken skin. Not as bad as last year, mind you, but certainly worse than it has been all year. It’s actually been doing pretty well with all the good changes we’ve made in our diet and the beauty products I use, and so to have it get worse right when we are trying something that is supposed to help is somewhat discouraging, especially for Jer. I’ve been through the ups and downs of eczema for twenty something years now-he’s only a year into it. I kept at it though, trusting that this was part of the process.
And lo and behold, this morning I am feeling awesome. My skin is looking better, and while I still have a couple days of healing, the itch factor has disappeared and the inflammation has gone down, telling me that whatever has been trying to get out through my skin has indeed left the building. I woke up feeling energized and clear-headed, and after 8 days I have lost five pounds and feel very light and healthy. Because we’ve been eating very well, with nutrient dense foods like wild salmon, grass-fed beef, pastured eggs and a ton of organic produce, I haven’t felt hungry or weak, and my blood sugar has been very stable.
We’re continuing to stay grain-free until Friday, when our two weeks is up. Next weekend we are headed to Leavenworth with the fabulous in-laws, so it’s unlikely we will pass up on all the yummy beer and apple cake being served during the last weekend of Oktoberfest. But with the positive results both of us are feeling that a little less grain in our lives is a good long-term plan. And it certainly makes us more confident that doing a full GAPS lifestyle for a few months to start off next year will be both achievable and beneficial. More than anything, turning the corner today convinces me that we will never go back to eating the standard American diet again. I just feel way to good to give this up.