Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It

Process of Elimination: A Hearty Diet of Self-Torture 

Tuesday, Sep 23 2014
Comments

I really couldn't have picked a worse time to break up with my regular food routine.

Last week, I fell ill with God knows what, and it turned me into a snotty, infectious mess seven days into an Elimination Diet. In an effort to become a better person with fewer stomach problems (I won't go into detail: You're welcome), I'd embarked on a diet that stripped my eating of any chance at pleasure. For 21 days, I was to have no dairy, eggs, peanuts, soy, gluten, sugar, alcohol, or corn (including meat that came from animals that were corn-fed). Basically, I'd be embarking on the new fad diet: masochism.

It's tough to judge the changes in your disposition with any kind of accuracy when you're running low-grade fevers and sweating balls on the sofa. I can tell you this: An Elimination Diet is character-building, maybe even status-changing, among some circles. But for me, following an Elimination Diet while queasy and feverish meant I had reached a whole new level of self-loathing.

What I really needed right then was comfort food — that all-healing dish that consoles you in ways no human will. Every bite is like a big bear hug or a new chance at life. More importantly, comfort food won't ever tell you that you look fat in those sweatpants.

But here I was a week into some high-and-mighty challenge that had reduced my lunches to kale. I was allowed a handful of unbleached almonds and some hummus with cucumbers for a snack. For dinner: chicken cooked in olive oil and salt and pepper. Maybe a banana later, if I was good. But what I really wanted and needed at the peak of my misery was a pint (at least) of mint chip from Mitchell's, because which feels better on a sore throat: ice cream or beet salads?

I had plenty of time on the sofa to rationalize my way out of the diet: I was ill, it was bad to deprive myself of important food groups and nutrients while my body was in fight-mode. Finally, after three days of being laid up on the couch and 10 days of the Elimination Diet, I had finally attained a delicate, perfect balance of shitty and hungry to give in and have Vos pho delivered to the house.

After gobbling some sodium and gluten, spices, and all things delicious and forbidden, I fell asleep and slept hard for the first time in days. I might not have been on the mend, but at least I was finally comfortable.

Tags:

About The Author

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert

Bio:
Erin Sherbert was the Online News Editor for SF Weekly from 2010 to 2015. She's a Texas native and has a closet full of cowboy boots to prove it.

Comments


Comments are closed.

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed
  1. Most Popular

Slideshows

  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"