As I mentioned a couple of posts ago, I have been on an elimination diet for the last six weeks or so in an attempt to figure out if anything I eat exacerbates my arthritis. I have a suspicion there is, and I have a good idea what it might be, but I thought I would try a systematic approach so I can find out for sure.
The program I am following can be found here, and it works like any elimination diet: you begin by restricting yourself to a small number of foods least likely to be causing problems, and then once your symptoms have subsided you slowly add foods, one at a time, watching for any kind of reaction. The plan sets out three groups of food - Phase I, which should be safe for most people, Phase II which has foods that are more problematic, and then Phase III which contains the heavy hitters like dairy and gluten and nuts.
For someone with a chronic inflammatory condition like the arthritis I have, the suggestion is to stay on Phase I for at least 30 days. I won't bore you with all the other details, but what you need to know (for the purposes of this post) is that many of the Phase I foods are orange.
Sweet potatoes. Squash. Carrots. Peaches. Orange, orange, orange, orange. Yes, there are green foods too - green beans, peas, broccoli and zucchini. But ever since I regained my sense of smell I don't like broccoli, and zucchini is a stretch.
Here is a typical meal: chicken, rice and veg.
Here is another typical meal: chicken, rice and veg. Sigh.
I know I am not too compromised nutritionally because I am also taking a hypo-allergenic supplement while my diet is so restricted. The problem is, I am turning orange.
This first came to my attention about Day 30, when Kim was walking behind me and said "Your ears are orange."
"No," I said.
"Yes," she said.
"No they're not," I said.
"Yes, they are. You're turning orange," she said.
Then a couple of days later, when I was taking off my gardening gloves, I noticed that my palms had a distinct orange hue. I moved to a different light. Still orange.
I cook my orange vegetables in bulk these days.
If I had to choose between being orange and having arthritis pain I know what my choice would be. But still, I think it might be time to start eating some kale.