When I read through my blog (and also my previous blog, which is now defunct) I see that I am constantly reinventing myself, trying to improve things, etc. I waver between veganism and vegetarianism, and even that grey area of pesco-vegetarianism, which isn't so grey to most people who consider themselves "real" vegetarians.
One basic rule with allergies is to not change more than one thing at a time. I have been thinking that I should take gluten out of my diet. I've even told myself that I feel worse when I eat gluten. It may be true. However, it occurred to me yesterday that I am perhaps trying to change too many things at once. Yes, I am low energy and my mood has been sort of up and down lately. That could be gluten sensitivity. It could also be low iron, as I always have the same symptoms when I am anemic, I have a long history of anemia, and I have been bruising very easily for a couple of months. I could be deficient in other nutrients, such as vitamins, other minerals, or protein (I've been craving protein foods). It could be that I've had too many simple sugars and carbohydates over the past couple of months.
I have to decide what to work with first. I don't think gluten is the first step, as it is a rather drastic step to take. I also know that starting some basic supplementation would be a good idea for the whole family; we do eat mostly organic foods, but with soil depletion our foods don't deliver the same mineral and vitamin content they did in the past. Tracking my diet I find that most days I consume less than half of the RDA for iron. It doesn't take a genius to figure out that with my history, getting less than the RDA probably isn't a good idea. Even when my hemoglobin is within a normal range my iron stores tend to be low, which is bad or good depending on what book you're reading.
So, I think taking iron and a basic multivitamin would be the first step. I don't want to get on the seesaw of prescription iron, which raises my levels quickly, but then has to be discontinued. I'm going to take Floradix Floravital Iron + Herbs for a few weeks and then have my hemoglobin checked when I go for my annual exam.
After that, I need to look at the protein cravings. I prefer to eat a mostly vegan diet, as it is most in line with my ethical beliefs. However, I have to admit that over the past 6 years my mood has been better during the months I eat fish. I've tried flax seed to boost omega 3 intake, but it doesn't seem to have the same effect. This is a difficult issue for me; I am never entirely comfortable eating fish, and after snorkeling in Maui I am even more conflicted. I also think that fish as a protein source can often be contaminated, either by mercury or environmental toxins.
No matter what I do, cutting refined carbohydrates will add to my health. The funny thing is, we rarely have any refined grain products at home, but lately we've been eating out a lot, which means the rice is white or the bun is made from refined flour. At home I've been baking more, which means more sugar consumption, whether it be organic cane crystals or organic maple syrup. The more sugar I eat, the more I crave it, so we need to cut back.
I probably will tackle gluten, but only once everything else is in place. That way I will know if I have a true sensitivity, and if I do I can manage it with rotation and enzymes rather than complete elimination.
Of course, I'm laughing at myself in a gentle manner. I treat myself as a guinea pig a lot of the time.