Time for a Change

You’re looking at the last loaf of bread I will have eaten for… a while.

It has been a very long time since I updated Local Courage. I have begun what I think can be accurately referred to as a “writing career.” I have been named editor of Edible Seacoast, something I couldn’t have imagined. I started Milk Thistle Media, and am finally building websites for farms, which was the original intent.

All these great things have happened, alongside some much harder events. But, I have successfully found my most comfortable place in the food world. I will always be a baker, a cook, and a server; it’s a part of who I am. But, I’m really a writer first, and one should contribute what they feel their community will most benefit from.

Unfortunately, food hasn’t been easy for me, for a really long time. I got into sushi as a kid not just because my parents were the cool kind who took their kids out to sushi, but also because I refused to eat a lot of the food at home; pork chops, gravy, and anything where savory mingled with sweet just a little too much. Hamburgers were alright from some places, but not other’s. I reviled turkey. I was a really hard kid to feed.

So my parents taught me how to cook. They were busy anyway, exhausted most of the time, I am sure. I wasn’t easy in a lot of ways. They taught me how to cook a simple pasta sauce, then chili, then stew, and curry. So once or twice a week I would cook for the family. On Sunday’s we would have Salmon. Life felt good. Sort of.

Actually, the reality was that life never felt all that great. My stomach, my attention, my exhaustion, my moods; none of those things were really that good. I was a happy kid, and not a particularly sick kid. But, I was a generally uncomfortable one.

This lasted into college, when I really had to cook for myself. This was also when I started to get sick more. My stomach gave me constant trouble and I researched and I read, and it sounded like my gut flora was imbalanced (a whole bunch of yeast was messing up all my good bacteria.) So I tried extremes. I attempted elimination diets just to ditch them 8 hours later and $100 poorer from my recently forgone food purchases. (It did not help that I lived around the corner from a health food store.)

Let’s skip ahead. I left college. I came back here, where my family was. I met a guy. We moved in together. I started working at Blue Moon Evolution where I began to learn that people generally felt sick, for a variety of reasons, many of which were food related. And it wasn’t a simple answer. I watched friends go gluten free, raw, and paleo, and I cringed and faltered, and stuffed my face with hummus, bread, and all the raw milk I could get my hands on.

I am not always a very happy person. I am late because I had to visit the bathroom too many times. I get anxious, and I get distracted. And combined with other symptoms and tests for years, I have finally been given a plan. No one quite knows what’s going on, but we’re going to try anyway.

I will start an elimination diet. It’s kind of a specific one, but I can tell you I can have meat, fermented veg, regular veg, coconut and avocado out the wazoo, and plenty of egg yolks. I also am encouraged to have a lot of Sea Salt. I should probably drink about 5x the amount of water I currently drink, and getting into a yoga routine again wouldn’t hurt, but those were left unsaid.

I can’t have sugar. That’s a rough one. I can’t have really any carbs but rice. When I think about this quickly I don’t get too worried. I don’t like sweets all that much… Then I think about popcorn, loaves of crusty bread that make lovely reuben sandwiches, tortilla chips…. it kind of hurts to think about, so I will stop.

Then there will be blood tests, and I’ll learn about what my body likes and doesn’t like. And it will be hard, and there will be a part of my brain kicking and screaming the whole time.

Here’s the thing, though……

really want to feel better. I’m not sure I actually know what good feels like. I can’t remember a time in my life when I felt good. Don’t get me wrong, I love food like almost nothing else; I love cooking it, I love tasting it, I love smelling it. I want to last at least the two weeks I’m supposed to on this diet. It’s not a completely impossible diet. And, if it means I feel better, believe me when I say I am in.

But I am BAD at diets or diet plans. Sometimes they’ve lasted a couple days, but that’s lucky.

Today marks the first day that I have stuck to the rules of what I am supposed to eat. I had a taco salad with no beans, no cheese, and no sour cream. Extra guac. I’ve eating and drank coconut in a variety of forms over the last four hours. And now I am going to cut open an avocado and eat it with a whole bunch of kraut.

I don’t care if anyone reads this, but I need to write it. Because, honestly, I won’t stick with this otherwise. I won’t know if I might actually feel better, because I won’t have given it a chance. I want to stick with it, and … I need to.

I want to know what it’s like to feel good.

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