I cheated…and it was amazing. It was fun…I believe we bonded more that day.

My daughter is dealing with some autoimmune issues. She is on the elimination diet and I am also. She is doing it per doctor’s recommendation (although I told her it would happen). I told her whatever diet she was on I would do it with her. I consider her healing to be a team effort. Having an accountability partner keeps you on the path. When one of us was weak the other would be strong. And it was working and still is.

I have wanted to do an elimination diet for years. I had an instructor say you shouldn’t put a client on an elimination diet if you had not done it yourself. It’s easier to help clients through the hard spots if you have not been there yourself.

So why did it take me so long to do an elimination diet? While I wanted to do it I didn’t think it was fair to force the rest of the family to do it with me. Since I was the cook they would eat what I prepared. And, if I must be honest, part of me was not so sure about it. Why give up chocolate, coffee, butter and pasta if I didn’t have to?

And yet, here I was giving it all up for my daughter. When you watch someone you love more than life itself almost die – giving up pasta and coffee really is nothing.

So we eliminated gluten, grains, nuts, legumes, dairy, caffeine, alcohol, nightshades, soy, chocolate, eggs, added sweeteners, and processed food. We don’t eat much processed foods so that was easy. But some of the others were tough. And they would be gone for at least 30 days.

On a Monday we cut all the food we weren’t supposed to eat. On Tuesday we quit the coffee. On Tuesday we both developed bad headaches and had brain fog. We both lost words. I was filling out a form that asked for my height. I am 5’ 7¾” tall. I wrote 5’ 7 and 3/8”. I didn’t know what the year was, I wrote 2015. My daughter was lucky, she threw up, took a short nap and felt better. I should have. I probably would have felt better.

On Wednesday she started a new job. On Wednesday I napped. Thursday and Friday too. We were told we could have peppermint tea to help during the transition. I could not get enough. As an added bonus since peppermint tea can be a diuretic I did drop some water weight.

During those first couple of weeks we each had weak moments. The other always said it was ok to cheat if needed. You could cheat and then get back on the diet. That was all that needed to be said. We both stayed strong. We both kept to the diet.

And then we arrived at day 27 of the 30 days. It was the Fourth of July weekend. We were packing my daughter’s belongings because she was moving the following weekend. I looked at her and said I could really go for a cup of coffee. As much as I love heavy cream in my coffee I was willing to have coconut milk in my coffee. I just really wanted the dang coffee. My child said she too would love a cup. What? She was supposed to have been strong when I was weak. We weren’t supposed to be weak at the same time! And yet, there we were negotiating the terms of having a cup of coffee. We would use the cleanest coffee we had. We would use less than usual, no heavy cream only coconut milk. And for her no sugar. We were ecstatic! We were thrilled! We rushed to the kitchen to grind coffee beans and put the kettle on. I swished hot water in our cups to warm them up. She had the first cup. And then I had mine. We sat at the table and savored our coffee. It was so good I didn’t miss my usual heavy cream and grassfed butter added in. And we did bond more that day, as we cheated together. While her healing is a team effort so was our cheating. We laughed and grinned over our cups of java. I was bummed when my cup was empty.

And while we were not supposed to re-introduce coffee for quite some time I am glad we did it our way. We are not always good rule followers but this really was not about the diet. She has lost so much this past year and coffee early was a huge mental lift. She did not react to the coffee so no harm no foul in this case. This was not the first “cheat” on her healing journey. And it probably will not be our last. Sometimes bending the rules a bit is a good thing. When we had that cup of coffee we were back in charge. We felt like “regular people” again.

Yes, I did cheat. No regrets.

In Health…

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