Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Root of it All

It seems like just yesterday I wrote about my August goals and now it's almost September. Is 2010 flying by quickly for anyone else?! I've found myself extremely torn between summer and fall. I absolutely don't want summer to end at all and am savoring the sunshine but it's hard to notice that I'm craving more roasted veggies, apples, and sweet potatoes.

As I've been increasing my outside [walking] time, I've gotten some extra time for thinking, which has led me to uncover the root behind my habits of nighttime snacking. An odd place to make a discovery but I'll go with it.

My medical history has been no secret on this blog. I was diagnosed with my allergies around the age of 6 but continued to struggle to get healthy for many years later. When I was in the 4th grade I started a new school which helped with many things but also meant I had to make new friends and explain why I ate differently and was absent so much for doctors tests, visits, and more. At one point in that year, my doctor ordered me to do a 2 week liquid diet to try to uncover other food allergies and stomach issues that I might have had that were perpetuating my symptoms.

You might be thinking "smoothies galore" or "master cleanse?" but it was actually much worse. A pallet of "juice boxes" arrived of this drink called Neocate.  I think we went with the tropical flavor but they were so bad it wouldn't have mattered much. I was supposed to have ~ 3 (maybe more?) cartons a day as meal replacements. I think the first day I maybe stomached one of those, mixed with Kool Aid, and lots of water. Let's just say that no one in my family likes to remember that stretch of time where I was truly hangry. That drink was beyond foul. It also was the only 2 week stretch of my life where the allergen levels in my blood were relatively non-existent and where a "normal kid's" were. Go figure. I also had 3 of the 7 conditions the drink "tests" for prior to starting this experiment.

I remember that at night when no one was around, I would sneak food. I remember only going for safe foods. I was so hungry I had to just eat something. I felt better almost instantly, eating real food. I'd love to say that was the only time I ate something I shouldn't have growing up, but it wasn't. Before I had true Celiac Disease, and as a kid, carefully avoiding gluten or other allergens didn't matter to me as much as it does now.

I grew out of that phase and don't purposefully cheat now because I know the repercussions of my actions. But as a hungry 4th grader, that habit first popped up, literally for nourishment. Now, I think my night time grazing is something I do mindlessly, to procrastinate going to sleep or occupy my time, or to look for comfort.

It was a goal of mine to uncover why I've been snacking a lot at night and I figured it might be helpful to share more of my story. I've been turning off the tv much earlier, getting to bed at more of a reasonable hour, but still managing my cereal. I guess it's good the month isn't over yet so that I can still work on this goal!!

Have you ever had to do a horrible medical test? 

On to lighter, more fun things - the food!  Breakfast this morning was a new overnight hot cereal concoction. I mixed in a tiny Asian pear plus a few blueberries. This morning I topped it with a few more berries, crushed almond pieces, and 1/2T peanut butter. Plus an egg white.

My big event is on Thursday which means that today was once again very busy. It's scary how productive I am when I have a lot more things going on!  Lunch was a salad almost identical to yesterday's, minus the beans, plus the last of my Hot Pot soup from Thursday.

I took a snack break late in the afternoon - another juicy peach. It was delicious but didn't hold me over for very long.

Today was laundry day and I got started as soon as I walked in the door. After putting clothes in the wash I had an "appetizer" of cauliflower soup topped with a light sprinkle of parmesan and hot sauce.

A couple of hours later, once laundry was folded and put away, I sat down to my real dinner. I had a serving of baked beans, roasted veggies, and a slice of Udi's whole grain toast with parmesan and basil. Yum!

There were a few more things to do after dinner and I enjoyed a dessert of 1/4c Greek yogurt (popped into the freezer for ~25 minutes = delicious!!) with a few blueberries and crushed Puffins.

Time to wrap up and unplug for the night!


  1. Thanks for sharing your story. I could not even imagine how hard that must of been.

  2. :( I can't imagine having to go through that. You are strong! I once had a panic attack in the middle of an MRI I am claustrophobic!

  3. Thanks for opening up! That must have been awful. But its really neat to hear how well you adapted. You must be very strong

  4. Have you ever had a colonoscopy? Because the "cleansing" drink is by far the worst thing I have ever endured. I barely made it through one of the jugs I had to drink, but I cant imagine having to do something similar as a meal replacement. Having GI issues is the worst.