The basic idea is that endometriosis is fueled by oestrogen. In our modern world, where genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and uber-processed foods abound, externa sources of oestrogens can be found almost everywhere you look. We have all heard about the risks associated with BPA plastics and GMO’s but what about the foods we already consider healthy? Many different chemicals and even natural foods contain properties that create excess oestrogen’s, or compounds thatmimic oestrogen. Not only are you fueling your body while eating a seemingly healthy snack of soy beans, you might unwittingly be fueling your worst enemy: endometriosis.
The “Endo Diet,” which is basically an anti-inflammatory/anti-oestrogen-increasing diet. I began with a daunting step: one month complete detox. I went on a strict gluten, soy, dairy, sugar, chocolate, caffeine, and alcohol-free regimen. On top of that, I began eating only organic foods. It sounds far worse than it really is. The best way to approach this change is to think of these foods as allergies.If eaten these foods, will make you feel sick.
Surprisingly, I stayed satisfied despite dropping my favorite foods: pastas, Greek yogurt, cheese, and desserts. I tried to stay away from substitutes for a while, which makes it easier to envision this as a new lifestyle. By the time I had my surgery, my bowel symptoms that I had just accepted as my “normal” became a thing of the past. No longer was my belly bloated, painfully bound, or leaving me rushing to the restroom. This, of course, is hard to attribute entirely to the diet, since I have bowel endometriosis, but it certainly points to some definite benefits when added to proper treatment.
Not only were some of my symptoms relieved, but over the course of 6 weeks, I lost close to 15 pounds! After my excision surgery, when my detox period was finished, I began reintroducing foods (one at a time) to see if I could pinpoint which foods were really a problem. I found that gluten, soy, and dairy all had correlations with different bowel symptoms, so those have become big no-no’s for me. Sugar and chocolate have not caused any symptoms, but I still try to keep them as “limited” foods, meaning I will allow small amounts, unless I can use a healthier option. One reason to limit chocolate is that most packaged chocolates include soy. While not enough to make me queasy, I still want to make sure I am not getting too much soy. I also do not use white, processed sugar in my own cooking (I use honey, maple syrup, or agave nectar), and I try to make my own chocolate treats with baking cocoa instead of buying processed foods. I still allow myself a treat here and there, but I do my best to make my own foods at home, where I can control the ingredients. Finally, I do not drink alcohol or coffee, but drink decaffeinated teas once or twice a week.
I see many women considering or trying to adhere to the Endo Diet with questions about what is OK to eat, or hoping for new ideas. It sounds like you subsist solely on fruits and veggies! Well…I kind of do! The bulk of my food is fresh, organic, or locally grown fruits and veggies. I like to talk to the local farms about their use of pesticides, and make my decisions to buy non-organic based on their farming techniques. To be honest, it is HARD to find quality, fresh, and affordable organic food, so I have a few local places I feel comfortable buying from, even though they aren’t certified organic farmers. I wash those fruits and veggies thoroughly. If you do buy meat ( I don’t as I am vegetarian) make sure is organic, and if possible, grass-fed. Chicken is especially important, because of added growth hormones.
To stay full, and keep long-lasting energy, I snack on nuts (no peanuts, of course!) and make sure I have enough fiber and protein with beans and meat. Gluten-free oatmeal has become my new best friend, and I love my cookbooks, which includes an amazing recipe for granola. It’s quick, delicious, and a great on-the-go breakfast. I use coconut oil in almost everything I make, and eggs are another great source of protein in the morning.
So what are some foods I eat on the Endo Diet? Take a look!
I’ll continue to share my favorite foods and recipes, but today, I made this delicious smoothie. Even my husband liked it, which is fairly pretty uncommon when it comes to my Endo Diet.
Farm Fresh Peach and Blueberry Smoothie
1 cup of blueberries
1/4 cup vanilla rice milk
2 Tbs raw honey
handful of ice cubes
Wash, pit, and chop the peaches. Wash the blueberries, letting impurities and stems float to the top of the water for removal. Add all ingredients in a blender or food processor. Blend roughly 1-2 minutes, or until smooth. Serve as a drink, or freeze into popsicles, and enjoy this delicious evening treat!