The Egg-Free Saga

Some of you may know from the ongoing saga on Facebook and Twitter that after going on the WTF Plan, Stacy found that she was having a strong digestive reaction daily after breakfast (which included eggs) that she hadn’t noticed before.

I made her a breakfast of stirfried veggies with bacon (no eggs) and amazingly, no reaction. So, as you do with elimination diets, she decided she would be giving up eggs for the remainder of the plan in order to find what her best diet might be.

Remember, as Diane Sanfilippo says in Practical Paleo (review forthcoming!), eggs have anti-nutrients, too!

As the reproductive force of the chicken (or other animal laying them), eggs contain built-in defense mechanisms that help them to resist predation beyond simply their thin, easily cracked shells… While most humans are well adapted to eating eggs without issue, some people are sensitive to them for this reason.

Image credit: The Parts of the Egg

So it makes sense to try to track down where your bad food reactions are coming from when you notice a suspect, and eggs are reactive in many people! In fact, it’s so common that it is part of the paleo auto-immune protocol that is advocated by many superstars, Robb Wolf included. Diane’s auto-immune meal plan in Practical Paleo is completely egg-free.

For those keeping score, Stacy is currently not eating the following:

  • Grains
  • Dairy
  • Legumes
  • Nightshades (including tomatoes, white potatoes, eggplant and peppers)
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Coffee
  • Chocolate
  • Alcohol
  • Eggs
  • Sugar of all kind except for some nonreactive berries (self imposed sugar detox)

Additionally, she’s adding to her plan the following:

  • Fermented Cod Liver Oil/Butter Oil Blend
  • Daily fermented foods (kombucha and sauerkraut)
  • Sleeping when she’s tired, no later than 11pm at night
  • Supplements to support digestive function
  • Adding in dense carbs (butternut squash and sweet potato) to support intestinal healing (per Practical Paleo instruction)
  • Bone broth

“If I had this affliction, I would probably buy myself a gun..” – Facebook follower

You might say, and many have in not the nicest of ways, that this is a super harsh list of restrictions. You’d be right! But first of all, this is a temporary experiment and some of these might be added back (we do not suspect that she will react harshly when we add the nightshades back in, for example).

Second, this is nothing compared to real dietary hardships that others have. Do you remember when the hospital pricked your baby’s heel and administered a “PKU” test? They told you it was a super rare disease and not to worry about it. Well, they were testing for Phenylketonuria, which is an inability to process protein. If you have Phenylketonuria, you are doomed to a life of a low protein diet from birth. That means, for starters, no breast milk. Then, as you grow up? No ribs, no steak, no bacon. The HORROR! If the face of that kind of hardship, giving up eggs for two weeks isn’t that hard!

We think that Stacy may eventually be able to add eggs back. She doesn’t remember having issues before we bought eggs from an unfamiliar farm. They claimed to be pastured, but may have had soy or wheat in their supplemental feed. Stacy, as a self-diagnosed Celiac (will discuss in the Practical Paleo review), has a strong reaction to eggs from chicken not completely pastured.

But really, finding a proper diet for yourself will likely mean not getting to eat everything. Is that so bad? Is health worth giving up some pleasures? There are many things, many hardships on this planet that are devastating. Eggs avoidance doesn’t make the list. So the Pitchfork Inquisition can come to an end, no need to freak out – Stacy’s just figuring out what to eat in order to feel her best. We promise she’ll survive 2 weeks eating lots of meat & veggies.

That said, yes it’s been stressful. For everyone. I’m having the dickens of a time figuring out what to cook, although Practical Paleo has been a huge help! On top of all the things Stacy does, the job, the family, the site, our upcoming move, she has to worry about everything she eats and cross-reference her avoidance list against everything. The other morning we were unable to eat breakfast at home due to time constraints. Stacy had a bit of a mental breakdown on the road from the hunger and the stress. Everything had eggs, butter, soy, nuts or fruit.But we’re making it through. We made more homemade beef jerky and life goes on.

Life is a series of discoveries. And you can’t discover unless you’re willing to undergo some pain and sacrifice along side the good.

So how about the good? Stacy is feeling BETTER. She’s digesting, sleeping soundly, her facial stress acne is clearing up and she’s lost 8.2lbs in 9 days. If I had to guess, I’d say she’s on to something.

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