food: limitations, diets, meal planning, and more

Food. It can be a love/hate relationship at times. I've heard many different perspectives over the years of how to eat/not eat, diet/not diet, etc. I know there are different schools of thought, but I want to talk about my present reality and what that's looked like as of late.

Last summer I read a blog post by the lovely founder of Sotela that hit home. I wasn't hearing many people talk about things like hormonal birth control and poly cystic ovarian syndrome (more commonly known as PCOS) until this point and it was refreshing knowing I wasn't alone in my concerns. I downloaded the audiobook, WomanCode and listened to it on a long flight to NY. I implemented a lot of things rather quickly - mainly no gluten and no dairy, and tried not eating after dinner. 

I had previously been vegan, so that wasn't too hard, but gluten free was a different story. I did eat things that were "gluten free," but now I've realized that it is the carbs that is the main problem, not necessarily just the wheat. Fast forward a year and I had some food sensitivity testing done. Turns out I'm not "allergic" to wheat or dairy, but rather eggs and almonds! Insert shocked face here. 

I saw a functional medicine doctor and was hoping for some more answers. I know there is so much gunk out there these days. It makes me sick (if I think about it too long) and I'm trying to do my part to re-align my body with the way it was supposed to work. Not to mention, I've had pretty irregular cycles and bad cramping/ovarian cysts my whole life. Doctors until this point tended to just put a bandaid on things. "Just take birth control," they said. Here I am, now wanting to be rid of this hormonal funk and actually figure out WHY my body is having irregular cycles, and can't find any answers.

Honestly, there was nothing jarring that I learned from the functional doctor either which made it feel even more confusing and discouraging. I did find out that I'm slightly on the low end of thyroid function which could hint at the idea of gluten free eating being wise because my body can't handle the super spikes you get from carbs. I was within the "normal" range but just barely from what I understand. 

Continuing on. What I really want is a family, and the goal is to be able to get pregnant and carry the baby to term. It's been since April and I believe I've ovulated pretty regularly, and have gotten pregnant twice, but also miscarried twice. However, I think I've gone back down the dark abyss of unknown - I don't think I've ovulated and haven't had a period in over 50 days. Where does that leave me? Bleh. Stuck. Still unsure and still without answers. 

Another dimension: trying to live more sustainably and without creating a ton of waste. In comes minimal or "zero" (I use that lightly) waste living. Oh, wait, and now that I'm pursuing consulting, income is a lot more minimal these days. So, with not a ton to budget and all of these health issues, what am I supposed to eat again? 

Shopping at Whole Foods in bulk can be cheaper, but it can be more expensive too. I actually remember pricing out sugar last year and it was eight cents cheaper per pound in the pre packaged bags, but it's creating waste and more plastic. I do think there's a line though, and I'm desperately trying to find it sooner rather than later. 

Watching my husband in the kitchen is like watching an episode of Chopped. I will routinely look in the refrigerator and pantry and think "There's nothing to eat. I don't know what we're going to have for dinner." In comes Elliot, whisking up something crazy without even a second thought. It seems effortless for him. He's recently been under a bit more stress at work so I'm attempting to take on more of that role as of late. It's. Not. Easy. I don't enjoy it. I like recipes, easy leftovers for lunch, meals that go well together, pre made shopping lists, and not wasting ingredients because a week isn't planned well. Add in all my weird restrictions, goals, diets, ways of living, whatever you want to call them and I'm just about done. What the heck?!

Recap: gluten free, but not really. Just make sure you don't eat a lot of carbs at dinner or at night. Eat your carbs and gluten mainly at lunch. Buying local vegetables and in bulk for things like grains, beans, nuts, and pantry items. Avoid plastic packaging. Trying to budget for $100 each week. Oh? You want non dairy ice cream? : $6. Beer? : $10. Snacks? : $20. Fair trade bulk coffee? : $20. So if I indulged in all those tasty things that I might want at least once a week, that's already $56 leaving me with only $44 for real food. Spoiler alert: it doesn't add up. Either we're not getting treats or we're not staying on budget. And vitamins? Yea, that's a whole other ordeal. We are so far down the rabbit hole of nutrient depletion that vitamins seem to be the only way to get certain things in our bodies. All the things add up but don't really make sense. That seems like the common thread in life these days. 

Here are all the things that may be wrong, but we can't tell you why or what to do that will necessarily help. The side of me that likes to get things done and be in control is screaming in agony without seeing any chances of relief. Why is this so difficult?! I surely can't be the only one out there experiencing these things, am I? Are there any resources out there that have worked for you?