I began an elimination diet today in an attempt to learn what may be causing a rash on my face that has appeared a couple of times in the past few months. My hunch is that it is either a food sensitivity / allergy or is hormonal. My resource for the diet is the book Digestive Health with REAL Food - a practical guide to an anti-inflammatory, low-irritant, nutrient-dense diet for IBS & other digestive issues by Aglaee Jacob, M.S., R.D.
After reading through the book to understand the full scope of the process, I created a Symptom Chart (referenced as Table 53, page 148) in OneNote to track my symptoms before beginning the diet today. Next, I took inventory of what was in my refrigerator and got rid of the pumpkin seed toffee I made a week ago, thinking it might become too tempting once the cravings begin and then went to Whole Foods (WF) and purchased the items I needed. Being my first week of the elimination phase, I wasn't sure which of the safe food options I might crave during the week, so I based my purchases on what I typically choose to eat and what fish looked fresh. To my surprise, WF market had a special going, $10 off the total cost of $50 spent on meat (this did not include fish). The book indicates that I will need five to ten pounds of animal protein per week so I bought two large organic chickens weighing around five pounds each, four dover sole filets, one pound of ground turkey breast, four scallops and .26 pounds of fresh crab meat. Aside from the animal protein, I also needed organic carrots, zucchini, spinach and green beans. I already had some carrots and green beans in the garden so I bought an additional two and a half pounds of carrots, and at least a pound of the spinach, a different variety of green beans and zucchini . I also bought lemons, limes, fresh oregano and fresh thyme. They are the only two herbs I think I will need that have already been cleared out of my herb garden this season. Finally, I picked up some organic ghee. I will use the bones from the chickens I purchased to make the bone broth I'll need. I already had the apple-cider vinegar, extra-virgin olive oil, coconut oil, sea salt, tea and other fresh herbs I'll need.
Making the bone broth: When I returned from the market, I prepared one of the chickens for roasting by basting it with ghee and olive oil, sprinkling it with sea salt and putting a few sprigs of fresh rosemary in the cavity. I roasted the chicken, cooled it for a while, pulled the meat from the bones, and put the meat into tightly-sealed glass containers to store in the refrigerator. I put the carcass, skin, neck, apple cider vinegar, along with some chopped carrots, a bay leaf, parsley stem, rosemary, thyme and oregano into a large stock pot filled three quarters full of water, brought it to a boil and reduced the heat to simmer the broth overnight. The apple cider vinegar is suppose to improve the mineral content of the broth by helping to extract it from the bones as it simmers. I started heating the broth around 7PM tonight and will be getting up for work tomorrow morning around 3AM. I'll cool it over an ice bath tomorrow morning before putting it into the refrigerator.
What I ate and drank today: What time of day I eat is going to largely be based on work because my schedule changes daily. I worked at 10AM today so I just drank a cup of chicken broth I already had on-hand before work and took a large container of ice water with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice with me to work. I was home by 2:15PM and drank another cup of chicken broth on my way to WF market. After returning from shopping, I cooked roasted carrots, green beans, and zucchini in olive oil and thyme and one of the dover sole filets and a spoonful of the crab meat, along with a couple of sprigs of thyme, in a teaspoon each of olive oil, coconut oil and ghee while I roasted the chicken. I ate the fish and veggies around 5PM. I'm making a green iced-tea with lemon juice and may eat a bit of the chicken if I feel hungry before going to bed at 9PM.
There is definitely a lot more too this but it will have to wait until tomorrow!