I try to eat healthy and I would say that I probably eat healthier than the average 20 year old but I've been noticing lately just how much my diet affects both my training and my daily life. I don't eat any meat and haven't since I was 16. I do eat seafood and dairy though. As a child I was pretty allergic to dairy and I think I still have minor dairy allergies today (after eating dairy I can't stop coughing and clearing my throat). Because of this I generally try to stay away from eating a lot of dairy. I also have a tendency to overeat, especially when I'm bored, so I try to keep only healthy foods at my apartment.
Now that I'm living at home for the summer it is a lot easier to eat some less than healthy foods. The first weeks being home I tried to eat mostly healthy but had the occasional junk food. I figured having a small portion wouldn't be that big of a deal. After a week or two of being home I started to feel like crap though. I felt like I had no energy and by late evening my stomach hurt really badly. One night after eating a bowl of ice cream I came to the conclusion that what I was eating explained why I felt so terrible.
Since I haven't been tested for food allergies since I was a child and as of now I don't think it is necessary, I am going to experiment with what I eat. A few years a friend of mine cut out common food allergens such as dairy, soy, nuts, corn, etc each one week at a time and kept a journal of how she felt each week. By the end of the experiment she had figured out which foods were causing her trouble. While I don't think this is at all necessary for me since her experiment (which was given to her by her doctor) was pretty extreme, I do think a variation of it could prove to be helpful.
For a few weeks I am going to try to eliminate as much dairy and processed foods as possible. While I don't think this will be very challenging at home it could get tricky if I go out somewhere or if I'm at my boyfriend's house. My hope is that if I don't eat dairy or processed foods for a few weeks I will feel better and know they are the cause of me feeling so crappy. If I don't see changes then I have no idea what I'm going to do but I certainly won't be happy.
*When I say processed foods I mean foods you find in your pantry such as crackers, white bread, chips, etc. I am not eliminating carbs from my diet but will be choosing whole wheat options and quinoa. I do not think that eating gluten is the problem so I am not eliminating it. Also, I have taken nutrition classes and will not be doing anything stupid. I will be consuming a healthy amount of calories and protein. The point of this is to cut out unnecessarily crappy foods and hopefully start feeling better.