One of the biggest things that helped me was going through an elimination diet. I got rid of grains, corn, nuts, seafood, coffee, chocolate, tomatoes, lettuce, a whole bunch of spices . . . and a lot of other foods. It was hard, but because I was feeling better and gaining more energy, it was totally worth it.
In the months that followed, I reintroduced a few grains, a couple vegetables, and coffee. The reintroductions seemed to go fine, and if they didn't go well, I permanently eliminated the food from my diet. Recently, though, I've started feeling less well. I'm not miserably sick--and I'm especially nowhere near the level of sick I was two years ago--but I'm not as well as I know I can be.
I'm going back and redoing the elimination diet. My body may have changed, or perhaps I reintroduced something that my body wishes I hadn't. Right now, I'm going through a three week period in which all I eat is basically meat, fruits, vegetables, milk, yogurt, and sunbutter (like peanut butter made with sunflower seeds). The first time I did this, I was miserable. I was sad, I was emotional, I missed food, and my body hated me for at least a week. This time around, I decided that wouldn't be the case. I mapped out a week's worth of meals in advance--picking foods that I knew would seem "special" and making sure that I'd get plenty to eat each day. I also realized, after the first day, that if you make the food look good, you'll emotionally feel good about it!
I know that eating healthily is hard for many people. So are allergies and food sensitivities. I spent a lot of time being upset about the foods I couldn't have. For the past two years, I've had practically no chocolate or garlic. (Yes, I've cheated a few times, but I could count all the times I've cheated on any part of my diet on one--or maybe two--hands.) I went a year without coffee. Those who know me well know that those are probably my three all-time most favoritest foods. I've decided, though, to intentionally shift my focus away from the food I can't eat toward enjoying the foods I can eat. It doesn't work all the time, but I have to say that the past three days have been so much easier than the first week of my elimination diet the first time around.
Breakfast: bacon with peaches and cinnamon
Lunch: peaches, snap peas, and ham
Dinner: steak seasoned with lemon/lime juice and cilantro, onions and peppers, and greek yogurt