Chart of typical acid reflux triggers. On the left: mint, onion, citrus fruits, tomato. On the right: cola, coffee, chocolate, french fries. The four items on the right have a big red cross over them symbolizing them as trigger foods.

Going Veggie: Update #2

It’s been about a month since I’ve eaten any meat and a few days since I stopped taking omeprazole for my acid reflux. I also spent 10 days in upstate New York visiting my parents and successfully stayed veggie the whole time! Hooray!

I’ve had a couple of bouts of heartburn, though, since going off the medication. On top of that, although my allergies quit while I was in New York, the headaches started up again once I returned to California, so I’m back on the Flonase. Update: I only had to do this a day or two, but it’s been raining here, so we’ll see what happens when everything dries up again.

Jet-lagged selfie in parents’ back yard, complete with frizzy, messy hair.

I think I’m starting to get a pretty good handle on what causes my symptoms: (1) something in the air in the Bay Area gives me headaches and promotes phlegm and (2) fatty foods give me heartburn. The second one is the real work in progress. I even had heartburn after eating almond butter the other day, but I do think that’s because of the overproduction of stomach acid due to being off the omeprazole.

In the meantime, I’m continuing to eat lots of fruits and veggies and avoiding anything deep-fried and, of course, the meat. I also continue to eat several small meals/snacks throughout the day (a new post about avocado toast coming soon).

What I’ve learned is that I don’t have issues with much of the classic heartburn triggers: I can eat tomatoes, onions, mint, and citrus, but I definitely need to avoid caffeine and even too much decaf will affect me. The jury’s still out on chocolate—I think some types and/or chocolate combined with other foods have a worse effect. And forget about anything carbonated!

With all that said, I don’t think I’m going to stay 100% vegetarian. I’m still very much an omnivore at heart and worry that I am not getting enough protein. However, I will continue putting the most emphasis on vegetables and definitely strive to follow the half-a-plate rule. When I do eat meat, it’s going to be in much smaller quantities than in the past with an emphasis on lean cuts. Next week, I’ll try a little fish and ease into chicken, pork, and then beef later. Stay tuned, friends!