I’ve been on hiatus from blogging for a couple of weeks but now that the diet experiment weeks are in full effect things are changing up and can get interesting. I skipped the end of the pure abstinence phase, Week 4. I have all the data but the end results can be summed up as “more of the same.” The dairy trial week is another matter, although I’m probably going to have to do it again for reasons that will be obvious shortly. Based on the initial results however, I’d say that I don’t have any sensitivity to dairy, which is somewhat surprising to me.
Experiments will have variables that are out of our control. Even this pseudo-experiment has lots of variety that I’m just going to live with because I have a life. Even before this experiment I had decided I was going to run a series of marathons. That training will be highly variable throughout the year. Since lifestyle drives a lot of the metrics I’m tracking, that’s going to have an adverse effect on determining whether the diet itself is causing a change or not. Since the purpose of the experiment is to find general trends and establish the methodology a person would use to determine what works best for them, it’s just not worth it for me to derail those plans.
The same is true last week. I had to have an oral surgery procedure that originally I was going to get taken care of at the end of last year. Unfortunately due to scheduling problems the earliest I could get it done was last week. What that meant was that surgery recovery, and not being able to eat solid foods, landed square in the middle of the first test week of the Virgin Diet. I actually used that to my advantage and made it “dairy” week so I could eat stuff like yogurt and ice cream.
The day before the surgery was Sunday, the first day of the challenge week. I started off the challenge pretty aggressively on the dairy. In the past I’ve had some issues with eating lots of dairy. I’d do fine with cheese or yogurt. However if I did something crazy like eat a cup of Ben & Jerry’s then I would have some minor problems. I figured after an entire month of not eating any dairy whatsoever that sensitivity would really amplify to the point where it would be apparent that my body wasn’t happy with it. As it turns out that is not what happened.
So as I said, the day of the surgery I started off by having some ice cream in the afternoon after lunch. That’s pretty aggressive don’t you think? This was a homemade ice cream which I made with sugar, milk, heavy cream and vanilla extract. If you can make a Betty Crocker Cake, you can make this ice cream. Since it is heavy on the cream, comparable to a Häagen Daz, I figured with one or two tablespoons I’d have a problem. That didn’t cause a problem so after half an hour I had an entire half cup. An hour later there still was no problem at all, which was a great sign.
Dinner was the next time I tried the dairy, and boy did I try it. I was over at my dad’s to watch the Superbowl and I forgot to tell him I wasn’t eating certain foods. Unfortunately dinner for that night was a series of pizzas. Being as I was having surgery the next day I figured I’d throw caution to the wind and try both gluten and dairy on the same day. Throughout the night I was eating pizza, with cheese on it, and cheese straight up. I even finished the night with a second bowl of ice cream. It was a lot of food and I probably should have gone easier, but that night everything was fine. My stomach was a little upset the next morning, but I wasn’t sure if it was from the dairy, gluten or just over eating.
The surgery threw a lot of things for a loop. For example, I couldn’t eat solid foods pretty much all week (until Friday night). I was basically subsisting on my Virgin Diet shakes, a rich pureed soup that I made out of butternut squash, sweet potatoes, potatoes, carrots, onions and rich bone broth that I made the previous week. It was genuinely delicious, but after eating that most of the day for four days I had had enough of it! Each day I tried more of the dairy. That would take the form of at least a cup of yogurt, if not yogurt and ice cream. I honestly didn’t have any adverse reactions to speak of, but I was also recovering from surgery so I can’t be sure what was what. Because of that I’m going to be redoing the dairy week at the end of the test cycle. However from the first pass I think everything went pretty well and I can cross dairy off of the food sensitivity list, eating it within moderation.
After my second trial with gluten, I’m thinking perhaps that is one I’m going to have to be a little more careful with. I’ll status that more at the end of the week however.