This morning marks the seven-week anniversary of my starting the LEAP protocol to deal with food sensitivity. It's been an interesting journey, so far, and I would say a very successful one. My body seems to be very happy eating this way, and I'm finding the challenges of cooking with a limited universe of foods interesting and fun. Because of a bunch of other factors, I've been moving really slowly through the addition of foods phases -- I'm still technically in phase two, but about to jump into phase 3 with the introduction of chicken tomorrow night for Rosh Hashono dinner.
I think that perhaps the most amazing aspect of this adventure has been the extent to which I am perfectly content with my limited food choices. On the whole, I have not spent a lot of time and energy missing the things I can't have, and have reveled and delighted in the ones that I can. This seems like a very useful paradigm for life.
This is not to say that I have never felt a wish for ano of those other foods. Sometimes when Carol makes toast for her lunchtime sandwich, I breathe deeply the bread aroma and remember yeastier times.
The past two weekends, I've been on my own; Carol has been off having adventures of her own, leaving me to my own devices. Always before, her departure would have signaled the beginning of self-indulgence -- bringing secret eating out in the open. This time, while I didn't have that particular need, I did spend the time grazing rather than making "proper" meals, but my food choices were fine.
What was interesting, though, was that I was tired and not feeling particularly great, and I did find myself thinking more about the foods I am not (yet) eating. As I watched pizza commercials, I could momentarily taste the contrast between the salty cheese and the tang of tomato sauce, or between the creamy cheese and the crunchy crust. I vicariously enjoyed turkey sandwiches, hamburgers, and popcorn. It was amazing how vivid the flashes of sensory memory of those foods were.
But the really amazing thing was that, with the whole universe of food available to me and not a soul watching, it never even crossed my mind to eat any of those restricted foods. Not even once.
Clearly, I'm not in Kansas any more.
After 50 years of both behaving and thinking in certain ways about food, finding myself behaving and thinking in totally different ways is both stunning and exhilarating. Does this sea change mean that I will never struggle with food again? I doubt it. But every day that passes with my choosing only those foods which make me feel healthy and content strengthens my ability to make that same choice again, so I am hopeful that any future struggles will be less intense and shorter lived.
Deprivation, I think I've finally got the upper hand.
A hui hou.