I know many women who look at the Endometriosis Diet and instantly dismiss it. It feels impossible and when food is the only remaining pleasure, to many of these women, it feels like a whole chunk of their life’s enjoyment is now taken away. No more ice-cream, chocolates and warm hot bread with butter? You gotta be kidding me! I can’t have meat or anything sugary?
It feels like a whole bunch of things are just being taken away. Like they are being deprived of all the good stuff in their life. I can understand that… as for a little while I used to feel this way too.
When the pain took over though, each time I ate bread or meat and my stomach ached so much that all I could do was spend my weekend in bed… I had to make a commitment to change something. So, I gave myself a time frame. I said, I would give it 3 months. No more, no less. If changing my diet didn’t make any difference after 3 months, then I would accept that my pain was inevitable, no matter what I ate.
As I began my journey on the Endometriosis Diet, I started by simply using gluten-free replacements. I wanted to still have the biscuits and the bread! I tried all sorts of different brands and none of them really gave me the same satisfaction I got from “normal” cookies. I explored different milk and ice-creams and even tried weird vegetarian burgers and sausages. One day, I got an email from Foodmatters and in it, it expressed how many hidden toxins are in our foods. It had a long list of ingredients, which they illustrated as being harmful and that would cause an inflammatory reaction in the body. I started to read food labels and it quickly made me realize a massive mistake I had been making. I was eating gluten-free and trying to be healthy, but I wasn’t actually paying attention to what I was really eating! All those gluten-free products and replacements were filled with unrecognizable ingredients, oils and sugars! All of these were directly contributing to my inflammatory reaction in the body.
I started to really think about my diet. I started to think about what the Endometriosis Diet was really all about. What I came to realize is that the purpose is to reduce inflammation and toxic load.
What it didn’t give me was any real answer on what I should be eating. Sure, it mentioned eating fruits and vegetables, but why? I started to recognize that my real goal wasn’t just to avoid inflammation but to supply my body with tools to allow it to heal. Things that made it heal were foods that reduced inflammation, but more importantly, gave it a huge amount of nutrients in small doses. They should be foods which are nutrient-dense!
Things are quite different now. I get excited when I find foods which contain large quantities of minerals and vitamins. I get excited when I can find something that provides long lists of beneficial stuff, in a simple leaf or mushroom or singular food. There are heaps out there and I keep finding more!
It does make a difference. It makes a huge difference. I notice when I am not getting my nutrient-dense foods. I notice when I eat nutrient poor foods and feel tired and sore more easily.
The key to this journey is never to look at what you can’t have, but rather at all the amazing foods that exist out there, that you haven’t yet discovered. Food that contain huge amount of healing power!
Here are my favorite food sources:
– Chia seeds
– Moringa leaves
– Goji berries
– Raw cocoa powder
– Reishi and chaga mushrooms
– Sprouted foods
– Spirulina and other algae plants
– Kale (I know this one took a little getting used to but I genuinely miss this one now!)
– Maca root powder
– Propolis from bees
What are your favorites? Which ones have you found that give you amazing healing power?
This Post Has 16 Comments
Melissa, thanks for reminding how important it is to remember it’s all about listening to MY body! It’s so easy to get lost in this when you’re anxious to find solutions. I’ve actually already noticed a quick, big improvement by going wheat-free, lactose-free, and almost sugar-free (and fruit&veg +++). I really like the feeling that I’m gaining control of my body and how it reacts: that I can try something and it responds. It’s empowering, in comparison to just helplessly listening to the doctors who struggle (fail) to aid me!
An aside to Rachel, who also posted here: I haven’t found it difficult to find restaurant dishes to suit my diet, but maybe it depends on where you live (and I’m not sure how that acid thing limits your options)? I’d just call ahead to make sure they can cater for your needs, and since you’re the customer, they should be only happy to make adjustments to make the dishes suitable. Of course if you fancy pasta or pizza it can be trickier, but e.g. many Asian restaurants are great for finding dishes with no dairy or gluten (and double-check for soy sauce), without red meat or even totally vegan.
However, if want to cook/bake yourself gluten-and tapioca-freely, have you tried buckwheat, millet or pure oatmeal? Love my oatmeal porridge with berries for breakfast… I’m also a big fan of quorn (and other mushroom products) to get that meaty feeling to meals without any meat!
Yes, I have heard those things as well 🙂 Avoid grains as they feed yeast infection and reduce estrogen as they create growth in the body. I also find meat to be quite hard to digest and tends to be quite acidic on the body. There are mixed reviews on meat but for me, personally I feel better when I don’t eat it much – no matter what the source is.
What’s in peas, beans and legumes?
Thank you 🙂
I have been on a version of the paleo diet for fibroids and endo. My herbalist recommends staying away from anything yeast forming as well as with estrogen. She has said these diseases thrive on yeast and estrogen. She recommends only organic hormone free meat. It is usually because of the hormones in meat that women avoid it so why not eat hormone free meat? Or at least explain why you don’t eat meat. I don’t eat any grains, dairy, sugars, limited fruits and no peas, beans or legumes. Can you comment on what you have heard?
Love your website. Very kind and thoughtful!
I think it is always a struggle going out to eat 🙂 I enjoy the food better at home most days anyways!
I have not heard of topioca causing a problem but interesting to hear. I just eat mostly fruits and vegetables and it works the best. The less processed, packaged stuff – the better 🙂
I havent been diagnosed with endo yet but im on the waiting list I have all the symptoms and more; ive managed to cut out most foods causing pains.. Im now gluten free, lactose free cant have acid possibly due to a hernia; i have hypoglycmia & severe IBS so they say, no alcohol or red meats. my biggest problem is tapioca found in most gluten free foods ive come across. Does anyone have any suggestions around this. I struggle with eating. I dont go out as i cant be catered for.
I found for me, just picking one food group and cutting that one out – 100% and see how you feel. Pick one that is the easiest for you. I found dairy the easiest. Just pick one and do that one. Notice if it makes a difference. The best test is to not eat something for 3weeks and then eat a large portion of it in one go. You will notice a reaction in your body and that will motivate you to want to cut it out.
The key with this whole thing is that it is about detoxing the body and replacing our source of nutrition with more fruits and vegetables. I promise you will feel better 🙂
I’m wondering if you’ve noticed – or heard from other endo women – that cutting out just wheat and not other grains (but only using wholegrain) has helped? What about eating (pure) oat, which is allowed for coeliacs?
And, does it make a difference what type of guilty pleasure dairy one consumes? E.g. would it help if I used low-fat (+ lactose-free + hormone-free) dairy products? So there’d theoretically be less of those naughty PGF2a-promoting animal fats…? Similarly, would it help me with my symptoms if the meat I occasionally eat is lean and non-fried? Or, is there any difference if the dairy is in sour form (sourmilk, sourcream, yoghurt), with added probiotics?
Yes, I guess I’m one of those looking for some loopholes… 🙂 But I do feel a bit overwhelmed about going full cold turkey on all the foodstuff I love!
Well done on making the step to change and take action on feeling better. It is a journey and you might take a wrong path once in a while but as long as you get back on the road, it will heal your body. Natural health and dietary changes, just make sense!
It is interesting. I have also noticed a dramatic difference in making the changes myself.
Just go with fruits and vegetables and you can’t really go wrong 🙂
You are doing great. You might also like some extra support in the facebook group. Check it out: https://www.facebook.com/groups/endonatural/
HI! Thanks so much for your website/cookbook. I bought the cookbook a few days ago, and I am getting ready to go full-swing on it tomorrow. I’ve done similar things in the past, and it does help the pain, BUT it takes so much to stick to it. I usually do well for like 8 weeks, and then I just can’t handle it anymore, and I mess it up for 3 weeks. I went off my birth control 6 months ago. I’ve had 7 surgeries. Lupron once. No children (never tried, though). At any rate, I am posting here because, frankly: I can use all the encouragement I can get. I am going to mention your site on my blog mytwentyninthyear.wordpress.com… and if you wouldn’t mind dropping encouragement every now and again, I’d really appreciate it.
Also, in September 2011, I found out that I am HIGHLY intolerant to casein and gluten and about 50 others foods (I am not lying about that amount)–including eggs, soy, yeast, you name it…
I find it to be highly ironic that the same foods recommended in this diet and other endo diets are the EXACT foods that caused me YEARS of migraines etc. I feel so much better when I don’t eat those foods. I can’t help but to wonder: perhaps endometriosis definitely is an autoimmune disease. I wish they would figure it out soon.
In the meantime: I would greatly appreciate some encouragement.
I completely agree that our diet has an affect on our pain levels and just how we feel, overall. I can reduce my pain level by about 80% just by what I put in my mouth!
For sure! We are girls at heart and women in experience 🙂
Definitely and also perhaps look at Candida as a possible cause for the desperate need to have them in your diet 🙂
Good point 🙂 We are girls at heart and women in experience 🙂
I have been not eating cheese for the past several months and have recently begun trying ot avoid wheat products as well – sugar is a harder beast to tame. So far it’s been lots of dark chocolate (to make up for cookies, etc), salad, veggies, fruit. Still craving the baked goods though. Glad to know it just takes some more time.
Love your blog! But still waiting for the day that you start calling us women and not girls 😉
I like James Duigan’s philosophy. You treat yourself once a week to something you really really love or want. You can have as much as you want, but you can only do it once a week in one sitting. That way you don’t feel deprived or guilty. You may find that slice of (or whole) cake or box of chocolates, bacon sandwich or sticky toffee pudding and ice cream you really wanted makes you feel rubbish, which may put you off eating it again in the future, or you may feel it is worth paying the price – a little of what you fancy and all that. If, like me, you eat meat occasionally, his Clean and Lean Cookbook is worth getting.