The York Test Part 3: Here’s Where I Start To Eliminate Food…

Week one without the hand-holding and I’ve realised that, while I thought I was good at doing things, I’m actually better at thinking about them...



Since my initiation in to the York Test fold, I’ve been fervently reading food labels, making well intentioned lists of unpronounceable must-have grocery items and creeping on supermodel health whippets via the Gram.

This week was my first real attempt at the elimination diet. Up until now, I was riding the prescribed regime with stabilisers. In the days before my nutritional consultation, although I knew the foods I was intolerant to, I allowed myself a get-out clause… on more than one occasion.

“Ah feck it, it’s Bastille Day.” That pain au chocolate and the three croissants that chased it were allowed, surely? “July rain is so depressing.” Read: permission to down an extra large milky cappuccino. If I’m honest, I felt incredibly bloated after both – whatever about my IgG levels, no one needs those portion sizes.

Baby steps

When elimination kick off came around, it was a Monday, and like life in general on that bleak day, I was feeling a bit meh about the whole thing. Thankfully I’d packed my breakfast smoothie ingredients the night before – I find Sunday prep really therapeutic, provided I’m not in hangover hell and I can summon the strength to get off the couch.

Bunging celery, kale, avocado, raw beetroot, pumpkin seeds, lemon and frozen berries in STELLAR’s kitchen Nutri Bullet was just as easy as pouring my usual cereal and milk. Taste-wise it was ok-ish, after a few gawky mouthfuls, I was a pro. It’s waaay easier to consume cold, so I’d definitely recommend using ice or frozen fruit.

An hour later, I was hankering for something carb-y so I toasted a slice of my Biona gluten-free, wheat-free, yeast-free, dairy-free ‘bread’ saviour and topped it with almond butter. This, plus a cup of matcha green tea, which I bullet-proofed with coconut oil (one tablespoon), hit the spot ‘til lunch.

Am I making you nauseous? Was it the oil or the vigour of my health dedication? Soz, rest assured the week did not continue in this vein. Okay, the breakfasts and mornings did, but I failed miserably at lunches and dinners.

Food fail

Smoked mackerel (chilled cabinet in all supermarkets) and salads (Brother Hubbard) saw me through two luncheons. Pretty good so far. Then followed a 1pm screening of Iris at the Lighthouse Cinema, where I was torn between their delicious sambos and quiches – all lovingly handmade with ingredients I couldn’t eat – and Keoghs salt and vinegar crisps, which contain yeast.

I chose the latter and crunched my way through the entire film. Thursday was press day and I’m ashamed to say I sat on my arse for about ten hours. Bar the good breakfast, the only other nutrients I got that day were from a bag of almonds. The rest comprised of an M&S cookie, proffered kindly by a well meaning colleague and a Pizza Hut 9inch plus chips at 8.30pm. Oops.

The next day I looked seriously preggo, my tummy needed some TLC. I sipped soup for lunch and went home home to Kilkenny (not apartment home to Dublin) for a proper mammy dinner that evening. A blissful weekend of good, hearty foods followed – kale soup, organic chicken and loads of veg. I stuck religiously to my elimination diet, helped in no small way by a packed fridge and the culinary expertise of my mother.

Operation (actual) transformation

I really need to give this a go, so I’ve decided on a meal plan this week. Sunday was spent cooking Monday’s lunch (soup) and Monday’s dinner (spaghetti bolognese – I had it with gluten-free pasta). Today I’m back on the mackerel wagon, this time with home-made salad (I might get Brother Hubbard’s as a Friday treat), and I’ve already packed the fridge with salmon and chicken which I’ll cook tonight and tomorrow, maybe with some sweet potato and green veg.

Fingers crossed the remainder of the week will emulate these efforts. In other news, I’ve got a bit more energy, I’m not really craving Cadbury’s and the dark circles under my eyes look less prominent.

Lessons learned? If I’m going to stick to this properly, I need to decide what I’m going to eat, get to the supermarket and buy the food. Simple, right? Forcing myself to stick to it is an altogether different story…

Pic credit: @hipandhealthy