Years ago, I was hosting a couchsurfer who told me why dairy and wheat, in the form we typically have have access to, are bad for everyone. I listened, but I really couldn’t imagine my life without either. My diet then consisted largely of pasta with meat (I tended to forget the veggies altogether) and looots of milk. I’d often wait so long to eat that all I wanted was milk – only after downing a jug would I finally get something solid in me. He explained that the reason milk made me feel full was because I was bloated.
It wasn’t until a year later that I finally made the switch to goat’s milk. Goat’s milk isn’t homogenized like commercial cow’s milk, goats weigh the same on average as humans (cow’s milk is intended to get a calf up to the size of a cow), and goat’s milk is more similar to human milk. So even though we aren’t meant to digest large amounts of dairy beyond infancy, if you’re going to anyway, goat or sheep’s milk are the better choice. It wasn’t easy and I often cheated, but eventually I managed to stick with it enough to notice the difference when I didn’t.
Another year later, I temporarily repeated the same experience with grains, inadvertently eliminating my need for goat’s milk as well. Initially, I was craving like crazy, but eventually I adjusted and was unknowingly adhering more or less to a paleo diet. After a few months, I decided there was no need to restrict myself more than necessary and attempted a reintroduction. Re-adding grains seemed fine, but it did leave a noticeable heaviness in my stomach as well as a visible bulge. I was also disappointed to discover that I could no longer tolerated any form of milk. I asked my couchsurfer friend if I wasn’t just making myself unnecessarily more sensitive. His response was, it may seem that way, but once you’ve rid your body of everything toxic you’ll feel so much better and even notice your taste buds becoming more perceptive.
Fast forward another couple years to when elimination was no longer optional, and I now know just how true that is. Now that my diet consists entirely of fresh/frozen whole foods, prepared daily by yours truly, I can distinctly taste the difference between organic and non-organic. Of course, organic chocolate chip cookies aren’t inherently healthier than non-organic bananas, but I was appalled to learn that non-organic olive oil is cut with other oils, despite that not being noted anywhere on the label. So while I buy organic apple sauce and chocolate in order to avoid unnatural preservatives and emulsifiers, I prefer organic carrots and olive oil purely for the taste. But more importantly, thanks to elimination, all the digestive and bodily pains have stopped, including the regular choking and constant throat-clearing.
I definitely understand not wanting to give up the foods you so dearly love, and if you tolerate PPIs or antacids, you do have a means of feeling fine and continuing to eat normally. But not only was that not an option for me, it also seemed too much like trying to control the symptoms rather than solving the problem itself and my body clearly agreed.
Elimination was rough initially, but it eventually gave me some much-needed clarity. One day I was out and hungry so I treated myself to a schokocroissant. It tasted great and everything was fine until that evening when I choked on a bite of fish. I knew the fish wasn’t the problem; the only thing that had changed was the croissant and the fact that I was choking told me that wheat was definitely a trigger and had caused my oesophagus to narrow. But because it wasn’t the trigger itself that I was choking on, that’s not something I could easily have been certain of before.