Posted in Food Fears, tagged breath test, cheese, diet, fodmaps, food, gastro, gluten free, sibo, tobey maguire on July 24, 2012|
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So I finished my “30 days of herbs + FODMAPs diet” sentence and? . . . Not feeling all that great.
I can say there were a few slip-ups here and there (a wedding with cheese readily available) and I wasn’t too great with making 1/2 of each meal into vegetables, as my nutritionist ordered. But all in all I think I followed it pretty well (I MISS YOU GARLIC AND ONIONS), so what’s the deal? Well apparently I have to make an appointment to take another breath test and find out. Le woe. My question is: what do I do in the meantime? I’m sure if I asked my nutritionist she’d say to stay on FODMAPs and keep avoiding all cheese (she’s a dairy hater) until I figured out what’s what.
But since that month made me feel worse I’m kind of of the opinion that I’m going to at least start eating FODMAP-friendly cheese again … and if it takes months to get re-tested, get my results back, and see my gastroentrologist again …
I can’t promise what I’ll be eating by then.
Yes, this picture of Tobey Maguire is what I found when I googled “sneaky face”
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In the spirit of getting myself all amped up for my new FODMAPs diet (starting tomorrow .. *groan*), I’ve found a couple good resources I wanted to share with you guys.
Get a load of this super cute FODMAPs cheatsheet from Kate Scarlata’s blog:
Kate Scarlata’s FODMAPs What NOT to Eat
AND, in the spirit of being prepared, I created some meal planning forms I wanted to share with you guys. Along with tracking what I’m eating, I need to make sure I’m getting enough protein/vegetables throughout the day (which will undoubtedly be the hardest part!).
Meal Planning for the Week
Recipes/Ingredients for the Week
Here’s the printable, double-sided PDF if you want your own copy.
And if anyone else has any kick-ass FODMAP resources, please share! I’m going to go start preparing … wish me luck! And/or wine.
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How you guys doing? This is gonna SUCK!
(that’s a Denis Leary quote for all you fans out there)
Remember last year when I was complaining about going to a nutritionist and getting all my cheese taken away? And then later, how it was progressing? Well let me catch you up on my food troubles since then. Don’t worry, it’s a pretty short list..
- After 3 or so months eating gluten-, dairy-, and soy-free, I couldn’t pinpoint what exactly helped/didn’t help with the diet and what I should avoid. So my nutritionist eventually (after much wheedling) let me start introducing dairy again, via a cube of cheese every meal, to see how I’d react to it. PARADISE. Surprise, I didn’t have a problem (I’m practically 1/8th cheese in my genetic make-up at this point), and soon after i went back to eating pretty much everything. Well, except soy. I never trusted that pesky soy anyway.
- Cut to the last couple of months, when I’ve been casually seeing a Gastroentrologist. So far I’ve just had blood taken (LOTS of blood), and breath tests administered (which, for those of you who don’t know, consists of fasting for 12 hours and then sitting in a waiting room watching Air Force One with a bunch of dudes for 3 hours). You know, dabbling in getting healthy.
- Sooo one of the breath tests let me know I have SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) – what? You didn’t want to know that much information about me?
- I researched SIBO and came up with the antidote – the SCDiet. It’s pretty similar to the Paleo Diet the kids are talking about these days. No starches, no sugars, all fruits, veggies, meat.
So I rallied the troops and, relieved at last to finally have an answer, set about to figure out what it was NOW that I could eat. Since all bread/grains of any kind were out, that meant none of my trusty quinoa/rice/gluten-free pasta was an option. This week I tentatively started eating within those rules. Eggs and fruit for breakfast. Salads for lunch. Chicken and more salad for dinner. And cheese, glorious cheese, to get me through it all. I bought a SCD cookbook. Maybe this could work?
Then I visited my nutritionist, who told me everything I was trying to do was WRONG! And gave me a new list to follow, the FODMAP plan.
All of this switching is making me dizzy. Suddenly honey, which I’ve completed switched to as my go-to sweetener, is gone. Onions and garlic, my trusty lentil companions? Gone.
Now, I am relieved to get some gluten-free products back but SHE CHOSE TO MODIFY THE DIET BY TAKING OUT ALL OF ITS CHEESE. “Wait,” I said, “it says right here I can have lactose-free cheeses!! Right here!!!!” And yet, she still crossed them out. With an angry pencil mark.
Just like that, all of my cheese gone again.
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In my head, that title is totally pronounced in the same voice as Bill Murray in Ghostbusters: “Aaaaand the FLOWERS are STILL standing!”
I think I’m starting to forget what cheese tasted like.
That’s right, it’s been over 6 weeks since I last had any dairy, soy, or gluten on purpose. I’m sure there’s been slips here and there (and last weekend in New Orleans we TOTALLY splurged on some bread), but my dietary life has been pretty awfully regulated. And although sometimes it makes me want to cry (why do they stick soy in EVERYTHING??), some positives have come out of it.
- Recipes! I’m actually cooking now! Before it was only whenever we didn’t order pizza, and now it’s basically every day. Here are some successes I’ve had:
- Weight loss – Okay, so I wasn’t trying to lose weight necessarily, but it was kind of nice to see some pounds of pure cheese and bread melt away. Mmm … melllltttt ….
- Attitude adjustment – Although I can’t claim that I’ve been happier these last couple of weeks (i.e. see cheese post), it has been nice to not be so obsessed with food. I’m a big gorger. Going out to eat, parties of any kind, Thursday nights, etc. were all reasons for me to binge. And it’s true, I did have an awfully depressing soy/gluten/dairy free birthday cake, but there are better things in life than food, right? Right??
- Better Sleep – Not eating bread or cheese means no more late night cheese n’ cracker fests, which I’m sure we could all agree on as a bad idea anyway. So take that stuff away and what do I have to Midnight Snack on? Just wine. Mmmm …. wine ….
So I’m not out of the woods yet – in a couple more weeks I have a follow-up with my nutritionist and she has some more stuff to test out on me. A happy little beaker of experimentation, I am. But this has been an interesting trial overall, and boy has it made me realize life from the other side of the fence. The most difficult thing by far seems to be traveling. I’ve resigned myself to mainly salads and chicken when we go out to eat, but when you can’t cook your own meals and are thrown to the wolves of the chain restaurants of the world, it can get a little panic-inducing. I can’t count how many “Say what now?” responses we’ve gotten for asking for something gluten-free. I’m just going to keep my head down these next few weeks and forget that my nutritionist gave me a look when I told her I was surviving on a lot of packets of Fruit Snacks. (y’know, artificial flavoring and coloring and all that nonsense)
How about anyone else out there? Have your dietary experimentations/restrictions paid off?
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Well I’m not out of the woods yet. And into the cheese fields, which is where I’d like to be.
Really, all you need to do is watch this and replace “hand” with cheese. Such is my feeling.
I’m still on a gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free kick over here for the duration. The good news is I may not actually have much of a problem with that triumvirate of food groupings … the bad news is I have to stay off them whilst I continue to narrow stuff down. My nutritionist scolded me for having a LOT of trouble finding anything to eat the past two weeks (she forgot she was talking to a girl who ate nothing but yogurt, bread, cheese, and fake meat every day) so she’s given me some scary things to incorporate:
Have I mentioned I’m a picky eater, who’s scared of most things? Today for lunch I had steamed carrots and yams with ginger on top. And I almost started crying. It’s tough having to eat grown-up foods.
So if any of you have some kick-ass yam or lentil or mung (NOT dung, which is how I keep reading it in my mind) bean recipes, feel free to throw them my way. And then watch as I whine about how I don’t want to eat any of it.
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It is tragic to have to give up your cheese. To a friend, to a doctor – to ANYONE. For the next two weeks I’m trying the unthinkable – to go without dairy, soy, or gluten. Nutritionist’s orders, to find out what’s wrong with me.
How can I part with cheese?? Especially when I like almost every single kind? I don’t think I can do it. Quick – someone tell them that brie makes me strong.
(… Bonnie update coming tomorrow. I just wanted everyone to muse on cheese for a bit.)
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