It has been a really long time since I posted in my journal. In that lapsed-journalling time I tried a short water fast for a few days just to see if fasting really is anti-inflammatory. It is. I am not recommending it to anyone, and I won't be doing it again - just too unpleasant and not entirely safe top risk it, unless it is under strict supervision.
On the plus side, it made coming back to eating on a strictly elimination diet pretty easy, relatively speaking. I introduced one food at a time and although my symptoms came back slightly with all the foods I introduced, excepting quinoa, I am of the mind that it had more to do with the anti-inflammatory aspects of fasting and a leaky gut, rather than food allergies.
I also started a disciplined stretching/realignment routine. Both have been giving me great success. I actually thought I might be pregnant and experiencing immune suppression when my period was a few days late this month (sorry if that is offensive to anyone!) and I must say I had mixed feelings to discover I was not - yes, I was disappointed! BUT also excited that I have improved even more.
At this point I am still slowly introducing foods - none have been a problem yet - and staying put with my stretching and exercises.
At this point in my journey, I am with Star MacDougaller Burgess - I think the food has healed a lot of the inflammation and that body imbalances are the source of my very occasional joint pain now - it increases when I sit at the PC or drive all day without stretching, for example, but goes away when I move and stretch during the day at least once.
I also think that I have a leaky gut, which is slowly healing or improving. My doctor doesn't believe in leaky gut, and so won't help me out with a diagnosis, but the fact that fasting on water alone decreased my symptoms dramatically, and introducing the least inflammatory foods caused a slight increase, makes me think the inflammation might have to do with leaky gut. Of course, I could be wrong, but I can't live on water alone and eating this way IS really helping. I never had a DRAMATIC improvement, either, which seems to indicate slow healing, rather than food allergies.
Who knows, though. Maybe the slow healing has something to do with my endocrine system, or something else. Point is, it works, right?
I may discover some real food triggers as I keep adding foods, but I am sticking with the "safest" ones first so I have a large pool of choices to work with if I come across a major trigger.
I also have just returned from my first successful trip - I ate pon plan the whole time and felt way better than I expected. I stretched pretty well, not as much as I'd've liked, but still did SOMETHING every day and even though my husband and I had a nightmarish trip back yesterday that took about 12 hours - not on purpose! Delays, delays - I feel pretty good today!
So. Life is good.