Torture and Freedom

No, it’s not another post about human slavery, or street sex workers who are stuck in a cycle of society supported destruction, no, it’s a continuation of my post, which I did last week on the Torture of a Food Elimination Diet (I detest that word ‘diet’, ugh!). The torture was the deprivation of joy from my deep passion for drinking coffee and the instant feel-good gratification I get from eating chocolate. Slabs of it. Both brands seemed safe: Nature’s Cuppa Organic Instant Coffee, and Green and Black’s chocolate (the white, the  (40% cocoa) milk, and the (75% cocoa) dark delectable chocolate bars! And now, a couple of days into introducing new foods, after living on peaches, rice, and salmon (and nearly scratching my skin off after eating three pears and drinking a few glasses of pear juice mixed half/half with Perrier Mineral Water (another safe brand–and in a glass bottle), I feel good because, at the time of writing, my body is finally behaving itself. And I’m back on the coffee! :)

You know, I think that’s totally the key to this food testing: to eat a lot of the newly introduced, and suspected to be benign food, all at once during the testing process. That way, a clear reaction shows up. (Like the pears; don’t forget I live on fruit until lunchtime or longer.) The premise of my theory: if you think you are okay with a food because it’s a food you eat all the time, and during everyday chemical exposures, followed by symptoms, then eating it en masse, while on an Elimination Diet will definitely show clear symptoms, and it will be even clearer that these came from the food just tested, not a chemical exposure! I mean if you are exposed to chemicals every couple of days or so, like I am, and you get knocked flat from inhaling solvents and petrochemicals (which are everywhere–unless you live in practical isolation!). How do you tell? Like this: (Note: my doctor advised me of this.) Eat at least three servings. (I would’t even try this with foods I know are a problem, like peanuts or eggs–that would be silly. Except, I will try tomatoes again later; I love them, and miss them.)

Today’s introduced food is chicken, which is like Unicorn’s gift to me, as I love to eating it, and it has to be okay! And to share in this celebration, I’m going share my favourite recipe for cooking chicken, here!

Here’s my plan from my doctor, Dr Colin Little, Immunologist and Allergist (click to enlarge), here in Melbourne, Australia:

Food Elimination Diet

Food Elimination Diet Sheet

(Note: I’ve messed this diet up a tad, as budget constraints have not allowed me to shop for items on time (Gratefully, I don’t do my own shopping, but this also means I can’t have whatever I want when I want it, too. So, I’ve had to do the foods on a different schedule, but it’s the same thing still, really.)

I’m no longer feeling deprived, and the torture has turned out to be a positive thing (as bad things often do), because, you know what? My indigestion and tummy problems have faded off somewhere far, far away from here. It’s such a good thing; no, it’s an awesome thing. Now, or soon, there will be evidence of exactly what foods are causing my gut issues; and then, I will be closer to getting out of The Labyrinth of Chemical Sensitivities. It’s no fun not being able to poo. If I can’t poo my stomach hurts and I get bloated and I burp and I get indigestion and I vomit in my mouth I get grumpy and I can’t do up my jeans. I’m a fairly slim person, so being bloated is not an image thing. But putting on 3-4 kilos in a day (or overnight) if I eat the wrong foods is… but back to the ‘diet’ part: apples, chicken, salmon, sweet potato, all green vegetables, carrots, pumpkin, coffee and chocolate, with the occasional piece of cheese, these were all a part of my sustainable, non-stomach-irritating diet. Eating anything else, and I was stuck in the part of this labyrinth where there are no toilets because people don’t need them!

When I started this blog, I did it with the firm intention of starting the journey back out–and sharing it. I had done the impossible once before, so much so, I end up living a normal life, practically (painted my toenails and all!). Two years of constant sickness and chronic sinus pain later; I thought it couldn’t get any worse. And, then, to my deep, dark, gloomiest fearful stupefaction, I found myself deeper within this ‘Labyrinth’ and I really questioned not only what this blog was about, but my life also, as they both seemed like dead-ends. Developing intolerances to most foods, especially processed foods but many natural and healthy foods too, was just too much you see; what, along with the constant chemical onslaughts of relentless exposures: at home (except for one room), school, in my car, even outdoors around plants (my own beautiful bonsais and Hoya collections), walks out bush made me ill (damp soil, and terpenes released from grasses and foliage); I could not escape. Even in my own home, I had constant mould to battle, one of my neighbour’s onslaughts of fabric softeners, woodsmoke, my council mowing, I was lost, and for the first time, I had serious issues with my thinking; I literally was unable to even connect my thoughts. And that, as most of you can imagine, is a scary place for any writer, let alone an emerging one to be! And on top of all that, I was experiencing exclusion from many parts of my life because fragrance chemicals were blocking my access to them–even with family and friends (*that was a battle that I won!).


So (amongst a few other things in my life right now) the diet has given me this glimpse of freedom; therefore, it’s not really torture at all. It’s a process of gaining an awareness into what else needs to be done to heal myself, and create a better life!

Oh, and it’s my firm intention that after my next Diet Review… (Dr Little, after the initial seven days of eating safe (un-Palaeolithic like) foods, does a diet review, with another every 3-4 weeks after that, until food symptoms are under control. (The hard part of this: there are symptoms from chemical exposures; my solution has been to keep a food/symptom chemical exposure diary!)) … oh, and after my next diet review, I’m going to be eating chocolate again! It will be on the food to test list!

Page (1) of the original very basic diet

Page (1) of the original very basic diet

*Coming up: My post on ‘My University Challenge’, and, How to ‘Have a Fragrance Free Birthday Party (the results)’

More Bloggers Blog about Food Intolerances 

allergictolifemybattle: Rotation Diet

Celiac and Allergy Adventures: Alternative Medicine vs. Conventional Medicine: IgG Food Intolerance

More from Celiac and Allergy Adventures: What is Oral Allergy Syndrome

Sondamcschatter: The 10 worst toxins hidden in vitamins, supplements and health foods

Surviving the Food Allergy Apocalypse: Fabulous Friday Finds (And Great Recipes!)





Michellina Van Loder is a Professional Writer, Journalist and Blogger. This is where she shares her tales about trail blazing her way out of the Labyrinth of Chemical Sensitivities and Mould. This is also where you will find the latest Research on related topics.

About Michellina van Loder


  1. Congratulations on being able to eat some other foods again. When I tested in Dallas the first time using provocation/neutralization testing I was amazed!. I though I was safe with foods only to find out if I ate them and then skin tested that day I would have wheals growing on my arm and get sick to my stomach and hoarse.

    • Michellina Van Loder says:

      Thanks, this is a new path for me. I’ve met many who have travelled it, but never thought I would have to. I’m also on Nilstat, which I’m not sure if you know that it’s for yeast. Even though I don’t have typical yeast symptoms, I tested positive for candida in the doctor’s rooms. This explains the itchiness I get on my head, shoulders, arms and neck, but it does not explain why sometimes I don’t have it for a week or so. The ‘literature’ that I have from the doctor explains that mould and yeast and funguses are interrelated within the body; therefore, cross reactions can occur. (Still trying to get my head around it.)

Information, products and views presented by guest bloggers @The Labyrinth are not necessarily the same as those held by this blog's author, Michellina van Loder. Reviews are my own personal opinions (unless stated otherwise); and satire is used throughout personal posts. Any health topics discussed are not to be taken as medical advice. Seek out medical attention if needed and do your own research; however, you're welcome to use mine as a start.
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