So, my diet has been changing a lot over the last few weeks. I’ve been feeling much worse than usual, which I know is partially due to stress, but it has forced me to really dig in and find out what is going on to cause this. My relationship with food is incredibly complicated, while I love cooking and eating food, and truly believe that a varied and nutritionally dense diet can heal the body, it often seems like food doesn’t like me very much. About 3 weeks ago, my nutritionist suggested that I go on a low histamine diet, which would involve giving up many of my favorite things (chocolate, cheese, bacon, shrimp, wine, pineapple, LEFTOVERS, etc), and I kind of
snapped had an epiphany.
Over the last few months, I’ve gone from a Paleo and low FODMAP diet, to adding to that list ketogenic, low oxalate, and now low histamine? I wasn’t willing to do it. That isn’t to say all of these diets don’t have their place. I plan to stick toward a more Paleo template for a long time to come, because I love its focus on nutrient dense, fresh, and non-processed foods (though that doesn’t mean I won’t indulge in the occasional gluten free pizza). The Ketogenic diet can be great for weight loss, and has been proven to help in cases of epilepsy. Eating low oxalate is especially good for people with kidney issues, specifically in resolving kidney stones. Low histamine can be beneficial for those suffering from mast cell disorders, or with chronic recurring hives or even anaphylactic reactions. Finally, low FODMAP can be a great short-term diet intervention to relieve symptoms, especially in cases of SIBO. But, put them altogether and you wind up with a list of 10 “safe foods,” and that is not healthy.
In the last few months, I seem to have backtracked. I’ve gotten sicker, more restricted, and more afraid of foods, and I think many of us find ourselves in the same situation. When you have digestive problems, food intolerances, or weight gain, it is easy to become scared and even hateful toward food. But, food is not the enemy. I repeat again: food is not the enemy. Really there is no enemy here, just a body that needs healing and, yes, love.
So what am I doing to try to get better? First, I am adding foods back. I’m eating healthy carbs again to try to bring back my energy levels, adding in garlic and high-FODMAP vegetables in the largest quantity I can handle, and adding oxalates back in. I am focusing especially on nutrient-dense, anti-inflammatory foods and drinking lots of green juice and golden milk. I’m trying not to stress about what I am eating, and trying not to worry that what I am eating is going to cause symptoms. Sometimes our food intolerances can be a self-fulfilling prophecy. Say I add onions to my meal, knowing that I typically react to them, and then spend the whole time I’m eating worried that the onions are going to make me sick. What is going to happen? I’m probably going to get sick from all of the stress I just caused myself thinking about the onions. Getting rid of the emotional stress component is going to help me truly differentiate what foods are really making me sick.
In addition, I’m digging deep into the root cause of what is going on with me. In keeping with the theme, it isn’t food’s fault that I’m reacting to it. If I can’t eat perfectly health onions, garlic, or kale, something deeper is going on in my gut that needs to be fixed to allow me to tolerate these foods. I’ve done a lot of research over the last week or so, and essentially made myself my own patient, and I believe I now have a good idea of what is happening and how to get a good handle on it.
Finally, I’m trying to figure out how to be less stressed. I thought I had this a bit better under control, but the last month has really thrown me. I really want to try meditation, but the thought of adding one more thing to my to do list when I’m already so tired and stretched so thin is very daunting. So for now, I’m trying things like deep breathing, taking a walk around the block when I’m stressed at work, bubble baths, and ensuring I’m getting a good night’s sleep.
I’m trying to remind myself that this setback is happening for a reason, and that I can solve it if I dig deep enough. I planning to chronicle this journey on the blog, and I’m hoping it gives me a way to better help some of you!
Anyway, onto the recipe! This recipe came about one Sunday morning when I really wanted to go to brunch, but didn’t see the point in paying $16 for basic eggs and bacon that I could make at home. Being Celiac, I find that I miss out on a lot of the “fun” brunch items on the menu, so I wanted to make something that felt special and this dish came to fruition!
First of all, this dish is gorgeous. It is the perfect, easy meal to impress weekend guests. You simply spiralize the zucchini, let it sweat a bit while you fry up the bacon, then saute it along with some garlic, add some eggs, and pop it under the broiler. You can easily double this and add more zucchini and eggs, but I was only making this for 2. I also made pesto hollandaise to go along with this meal, which I highly recommend. This is the perfect way to use up the last of summer’s abundant zucchini!
Recipe: Bacon and Zucchini Breakfast Skillet
For the Skillet:
- 1 Large Zucchini
- 4 Strips of Bacon
- 2 Cloves of Garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup of onion, minced
- 4 Eggs
- 1/3 Cup Shredded White Cheddar Cheese
For the Hollandaise:
- 1 batch of immersion blender hollandaise
- 1/4 Cup of Pesto
- Spiralize the zucchini using the flat blade, you want ribbons, not noodles. After spiralizing, place on a cookie sheet lined with paper towels and toss with salt.
- In a cast iron pan, cook 4 strips of bacon. When done cooking, set aside. Drain about half of the bacon fat out of the pan.
- Use paper towels to squeeze excess moisture out of zucchini.
- Heat pan to medium then add garlic and onion and saute until fragrant, then add zucchini. Saute zucchini for about 3 minutes, until wilted.
- Turn on the oven broiler.
- Make 4 nests in the zucchini for the eggs, then crack eggs in one at a time. Sprinkle eggs with salt and pepper, then let sit for about 3 minutes.
- Sprinkle cheese over zucchini and eggs, then put under the oven broiler. Broil for 2-3 minutes, until eggs are set to your liking.
- Break up bacon and sprinkle over the egg and zucchini mixture, then divide into 4 servings.
- Mix together hollandaise and pesto, drizzle over top or serve on the side.