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My First Month on The Endometriosis Diet

We all have different diets, and different health needs. When I began on my quest to reduce my endometriosis symptoms, and discovered the ‘endometriosis diet’, I was vegetarian and generally ate healthily, but I had a merciless coffee addiction. I was also dipping my toes into vegan eating and loved to bake vegan cakes and brownies.

So in some ways, I had an easy start with the endometriosis diet because I didn’t have to give up meat, but I was eating a heap of sugar and was drinking at least two cups of coffee a day, usually four if my budget allowed it.

Luckily, I had another push to encourage me to get started with the endometriosis diet. After years of stomach problems (which were both a symptom of endometriosis and my intolerances), I had blood test results return, showing that I was severely intolerant to both gluten and dairy. This came as no real surprise as my brother has Celiac disease while my sister has Crohn’s – so clearly, my siblings and I are no strangers to sensitive stomachs!

Start small

Yet getting started felt overwhelming when I read all the science about hormones, and different types of inflammatory responses in the body. So, I decided to ignore those bits for the time being, and focus on feeling good first. I already knew that dairy and gluten were no good for me, so I cut down on those almost entirely. I swapped my lunchtime sandwiches for rice salads, jacket potatoes and Buddha bowls, and started buying rice pastas and using gluten-free grains for dinner. We had gotten into a habit of eating a lot of cheese with our evening meals, but it was always more of an added luxury rather than a necessary ingredient. Cape Town already had lots of vegan places, so eating out wasn’t too tough, where I struggled was with eating both vegan and gluten-free in one meal. That’s a lot more common now, so you should find it much easier if you choose to go down that route, but for me I often had to choose one or the other.

Finally, I addressed my caffeine and sugar habit. I gave up the vegan brownies, cakes and ice-cream making for a month, and quit coffee. This was a real addiction so I’m pretty sure I caved and had one each weekend, though I was sure to avoid caffeine in the week leading up to my period.

Focus on inflammatory foods

If you feel overwhelmed by all the changes, and you eat a lot of those inflammatory groups, start simple. Try cutting down on one or two food groups over a month, and keep a symptom diary. Notice how you feel, especially around your period. After a few months, you should be able to see a pattern of what made the biggest impact for you, and so begin there. The purpose isn’t perfection, it’s feeling better.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • sgorny
    9 months ago

    I feel so much better when I am eating healthy and getting my workout in. I definitely agree that sugar, gluten and dairy are major triggers for me. It’s time for me to get back on track.

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