Don’t know what LEAP/MRT is? Missed the start of this series? Click here to catch up!
After spending 15 days on Phase 1, I finally moved to Phase 2 – the stage where you start introducing one new food from your list every 1-2 days.
It took me awhile to move on to Phase 2 because I was battling a cold and then kept getting stomach aches. It turns out that although mushrooms are listed as green/safe on my test results my body is not a fan and hence the stomach aches. The reason for this may be because of underlying factors that the MRT test can’t take into account, such as a mold / yeast / candidate sensitivity that mushrooms could actually be exacerbating. So I’ll keep mushrooms out of my diet and retest them again later.
The foods I can introduce during Phase 2 include:
soybeans (whole), millet, corn, avocado, asparagus, lima beans, squash, plum, grapefruit, cocoa, cow’s milk, honey, vanilla, and baking soda
So far I have successfully tested / added back:
asparagus, avocado, lima beans, plums, cow’s milk, corn, and baking soda (I use for cleaning and mix with coconut oil as a face scrub occasionally)
Very happy about asparagus and corn! I’m also excited about cow’s milk because although I’m not a big milk drinker – it’s nice for cooking…and chocolate. I cannot wait until I get enough food items/ingredients back into my diet that I can start having chocolate again (only if it’s lecithin free of course!).
How I’m feeling: Great! My GI issues are practically nonexistent. Phase 1 got very boring toward the end but starting Phase 2 gets you motivated and excited to keep moving forward. I’ve continued to lose weight since Phase 1 (total of 10lbs now) but have hit a plateau recently. I definitely need to get back in the habit of exercising again!
I’ll keep you updated as I continue with Phase 2 and keep expanding my menu (yay!).
In closing, I’d like to address a few reader questions. If you have anything you’d like to ask – comment below or shoot me an email. I’ll be happy to share my experience or help you find the information you’re looking for. Thanks to Anndee for wondering…
What foods on your red list will you miss the most?
The “red” foods I miss the most are salmon, crab, and lemon. I mean, yum! I hope one day I’ll be able to add them back to my diet even if it’s in small, occasional amounts. The biggest impact on my life though has been avoiding lecithin, salicylic acid, and sodium metabisulfite. As I mentioned here, they are in so many things and now influence not only my eating decisions but my beauty & hygiene ones as well.
Have you had to deal with eating out or cooking for others?
Cooking for others: Since Mr.C & I work opposite shifts and we don’t have kids, I don’t have to deal a lot with this. But when it comes to leftovers or weekends, Mr.C does eat some of the meals I make (pot roasts, burgers, sweet potatoes, etc) and has been slowly embracing healthy eating too. How restrictive your Phase 1 menu is will probably influence on how many of your meals you’ll be able to share with others/family. But once you get the Phase 2, 3, and beyond it’ll be much easier for you to make dishes or meals that will appeal to more people. In the meantime, you could always make a main dish that you features items you can eat safely and then side dishes that appeal to the others. Or make “easy” meals for the rest of the family (crock pot meals, soups, etc) so you can focus on meals for yourself and not get burnt out on cooking so many different dishes.
Eating out: I have eaten out twice since starting LEAP. One was at the very beginning of Phase 1 and it was not a great experience. We went to a buffet for someone’s birthday and while in theory it should have been nice with so many options (I must be able to find something to eat right?) it actually wasn’t. So much of the options were still made with boxed/processed mixes or seasoned with something I couldn’t have, it was a challenge. I ended up drinking water and eating steak, carrots from the salad bar, and mandarin oranges. My second experience was much better and it helped that it was at a higher end restaurant where they were making things fresh to order. I was able to get oven roasted tilapia with asparagus and specify that I only wanted it cooked with olive oil or butter, salt and pepper. It tasted amazing.
The key to eating out is definitely advanced planning. Review menu prior to visiting the restaurant, bring a list of your sensitivities, and tell the waiter about them or verify the ingredients in a meal before ordering. Avoiding a restaurant during peak dining times may help the kitchen be more capable of meeting your dietary needs. You can also think about eating something at home before going out and then just getting a side dish or appetizer (something small but safe). This way you can still enjoy the outing and social aspects without worry and being nice to your dining out budget. :)
Have you found any websites or other resources that have helped with recipes?
Pinterest, as always, is a great resource. There are even a few LEAP/MRT specific boards. I also googled around to find other bloggers who did LEAP/MRT. And don’t be afraid to take some of your favorite recipes and work on making substitutions for the foods/ingredients you are trying to avoid!
My dietitian also gave me some websites that have been very helpful:
- Allrecipes – you have the option to search for recipes by ingredients so it helps narrow the list with things you can consume
- Elana’s Pantry – for baking
- Healthful Pursuit
- Living Healthy with Chocolate
- Multiply Delicious
Hopefully those of you out there doing LEAP or thinking of starting will find these resources helpful. Or even those of you who are just looking to eat healthier! Healthy, happy humans for the win, amiright?!
To read the next installment of this series click here.