Apple-Cider Vinegar, Anyone?

I've had digestive issues since my first back surgery, nearly 14 years ago. I've seen several doctors about it, and have received nothing more than bandaid solutions that treated the symptoms but failed to identify the root cause. I was told, quite simply, that I have Gastritis. But they never seemed the slightest bit interested in finding out WHY.

Needless to say, I'm quite weary of fearing food because of the pain it may cause in my gut, so, about a month ago, I decided to do something about it. A friend of mine, Friz Berg, is nearing the end of his 4th year at the Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine and treats patients in the Teaching Clinic there. Knowing how passionate he is about what he is learning, I figured he was the best person to help me out.

I was immediately impressed by his professionalism and the thorough nature of his diagnostic approach. He has been completely present at every appointment, leaving no stone unturned. I can't tell you what a relief it is to actually have someone listen intently without cutting me off in mid-sentence and then prescribing Pepcid AC. I can tell he actually cares and sincerely wants to help me feel better.

So, today marks the end of week one on my restricted diet. I'm avoiding dairy, soy & wheat, have to eat protein with every meal, drink a capful of Apple-Cider Vinegar in water before each meal and I'm taking a handful of supplements as well. It's forcing me to be absolutely aware of everything I consume and I'm finding that I quite enjoy the challenge. Considering that I am supposed to be eating 6 small meals a day, I've been spending A LOT of time in the kitchen! I can't just grab a snack and go...it takes a fair amount of planning. I'm sure that this will become easier as the weeks wear on, but it's definitely taking some getting used to.

However, I'm already becoming far more creative with my meals. I don't think I've ever eaten so many nuts and seeds! So far, my favorite creation was a fabulous organic salad built on a bed of leafy greens with yellow and orange bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, carrots, avocado, sprouts and lightly roasted sesame and sunflower seeds and almonds. I made a tasty dressing of Olive Oil, Balsamic, Apple-Cider Vinegar, Lemon Juice, a touch of Dijon and some yummy spices and topped it all off with some nutritional yeast and freshly ground flax, sunflower and pumpkin seeds. I tell ya, it was a gorgeous looking salad and tasted even better. This morning I had another of my new favorites, Plain Organic Yogurt with sliced kiwi fruit, sesame seeds and a bit of honey. MMMM!

I think I could get used to this!