Friday, October 11, 2013

31 days of Whole Food: Day 11

This journey is becoming a true learning experience for me. Committing to Whole 30 has caused me to truly investigate some stomach issues I've been having and reactions to foods.

While I eat mostly Paleo or Primal or whatever you want to call it...I have my fair share of "cheats." I eat chocolate. Dove Chocolate Bars to be specific. They are so creamy and good. And I eat ice cream. Until a few months ago, I ate grains from time to time without any ill effects.

Maybe it's the stress of nursing school. Maybe it was the antibiotics I had to take for a rash by my eye that kept growing and wouldn't go away. Maybe it was...I just don't know.

I have a history of stomach issues. They started when I was in my early 20's. I spent years on meds like Prilosec. I constantly "dieted." After an endoscopy, I was diagnosed with gastroparesis (slow digestion). But I don't recall getting any instructions on how this should affect my eating. I still don't really know.

My stomach got much better during my first pregnancy and I didn't have to go back on meds. But then I lost my gallbladder when my oldest was 9 months old. I'd have times my stomach hurt more than others, times it really didn't bother me. But I had a lot of gas. All the time. Just ask my husband. (Don't mind me, keeping it real).

Then I discovered not eating wheat eliminated 75% of the migraine headaches I was having. And my eating slowly started to change. A few months later I found the 21-Day Sugar Detox and Paleo. I have cut way back on the amount (and sources) of carbs I eat. I added more healthy fat to my diet. I stopped counting calories. I began to focus more on real foods.

It has been very frustrating to have stomach issues resurface when it feels like I've made so many positive changes. I realized I was having major pain and bloating reactions to grains. So they had to go as well. I have a weird reaction to stomach pain. I want to eat more. I feel like if I eat something else maybe it will counteract whatever I ate that caused a bad reaction. I know there is absolutely no truth to this, but it's still my instinct.

I was really hopeful that doing Whole 30 and cutting out dairy and treats (and coffee) that I'd see some improvement. But that hasn't been. So this past week I focused more on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. I ate a lot of chicken bone broth soup. And my stomach still hurt for three days.

Do I have leaky gut? Do I have SIBO or candida overgrowth? Do I have bad digestion? Low stomach acid? Was I an undiagnosed celiac? I still don't know. And I may not. There are a variety of tests that could tell me, but the fix is basically the same.

I can guarantee that stress is a factor.

Maybe this is simply part of getting older. I am over the mid-30's hump now. 40 is on the horizon. The far horizon; but still I see it.

I need to eat whole foods. Nothing irritating. I need to drink a lot of bone broth. I need to eat easily digestible foods. I need to add some supplements into my regimen. I need to listen to my body and it's reactions to various foods.

Because I want to feel better. I don't want to have these relapses.

I did the baking soda test for low stomach acid and failed...or passed, however you want to put it. Low stomach acid is one of my culprits.

The last two days have been a little better. Not as much stomach upset and I've added some more things to my diet. I've had a few things that seem to not digest as well. I'm trying to take a little baking soda in water or raw apple cider vinegar before I eat to aid in digestion until I can buy some HCL.

Whole 30 for me is a lot more about health and wellness than it is about the food I eat or don't eat. Focusing on real food and no indulgences is hard at times, but so worth it. Food should not control us. It can be for our pleasure but there is much more to life than food.

These are the things I'm learning.

Monday, October 7, 2013

31 Days: Day 7

This is the overwhelming sentiment I have this morning. I miss coffee. I don't miss the caffeine, I don't really notice a difference with or without it. But I do miss the morning ritual of the hot, creamy goodness. But I'm living without it. (Again, coffee is part of Whole30, but I'm choosing to not drink it for other reasons). November 1 can't come fast enough!

So, week 2 of Whole 30 is going to look a little different for me. As I've said before, my main goal in this is health and healing my gut. My stomach has still not been great this last week. I have noticed it being especially sensitive to fruit and even processed nuts. Which further confirms my suspicions that I have some sort of bacterial overgrowth going on.

I have decided to meld Whole 30 with the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD). This diet helps starve the bacteria and hopefully get them to die off. So the next few days I'll only be eating chicken soup, pureed carrots, some ground beef and eggs. Then slowly adding other foods as my body tolerates according to their plan. The non-Whole 30 part of these next few days is some gelatin made with grape juice. It's pretty watered down--but it's part of the SCD Intro diet  and since I've read so many people benefiting from this plan, I want to follow it. My goal has not been perfection, but using Whole 30 as a catalyst to help me feel better.

All I did was sign-up to receive the free guides offered on the SCD website (linked above). It's enough info to get started and move along the phases. I'm familiar enough with cooking these kinds of foods I don't really need extra recipes, just the nuts and bolts.

Last night I did enjoy an anniversary dinner and dessert with my husband, along with a stomach ache. But it was worth celebrating with him!

I'm off to stir my boiling carrots and check my meatballs (just meat, nothing else) in the oven.

Happy Whole 30!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

31 days: days 3-5 of Whole Food

I knew I couldn't keep up with everyday posting, but this 31 days challenge still helps me stay on track in my goals and blogging more than I have been. 

So, days 3-5 have been ok. I haven't felt great, but I haven't felt terrible. I think there is some detox going on, some readjusting of my stomach. Which is the goal here. But it can be discouraging to not feel good, even though I'm eating well.

And I'd kill for some coffee and a piece of chocolate.

But, I digress.

I need to do a little more prep for the next week (than I did last week). My biggest challenge is usually green veggies. I can grab leftovers or make a quick meal, but unless we are sitting down to dinner as a family, I don't often have or make the time to prepare veggies. So this week I need to do it in advance. 

After my half cup of coffee on Wednesday, I think I've made it through the caffeine withdrawls. I did have a half cup of decaf on Thursday--knowing that decaf still has a little caffeine and hoping that would help with weaning as well. I had a slight headache the latter part of yesterday that probably would have gone away with caffeine--but it wasn't bad enough to truly need it.

Tomorrow is my 12th anniversary, and I will probably be eating something that's not Whole30. But my goal is not perfection. My goal is to heal my gut and enjoy life. And enjoying a meal with my husband on our anniversary is part of enjoying life and so I'm going to do it. It may be a bit of a setback in the healing process, but I'm okay with that.

Off to check on the blogs of a few of you who have commented you are doing the same! 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

31 days: day 2 of whole food

A quick post before I go to sleep. Today was interesting...a learning experience. 

I learned that I did not do a good job of weaning from coffee. Today's headache was almost as bad as yesterday. But I was in the hospital needing to focus on patient care and learning. 

So my wise sister suggested I not try to be superwoman and drink a little coffee. After all, coffee is actually allowed, I'm just wanting a total reset. 

I drank a half cup of coffee and within 30 minutes my headache was gone. However the cream in my coffee was not Whole 30 compliant. But I just can't do black. 

My plan is still to get off coffee this month, just more slowly. I did go 36 hours without it. So maybe it will be a few days before I need it again. 

I also learned that my stomach isn't a fan of chemicals. Or processed dried fruit. I forgot my afternoon snack so I bought a nut & dried fruit mix. Again, not 100% compliant but in my quest for health I also have to respect my life. Which is crazy. It was my best option for some fat, protein & carbs. In retrospect, I should have just bought a banana. 

Almost instantly my stomach started hurting. And now 6 hours later its still not normal. I skipped dinner & just drank some bone broth. 

No more forgotten snacks! 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

31 Days of Whole Food: Day 1

It's the end of day 1 and caffeine is kicking my butt! I am always jealous of my husband because if he misses a day of drinking caffeine, it has no effect on him. I tried to wean and cut back on my coffee intake last week, and I still have a raging headache. Which has been awesome while I dealt with a sick kid, a dr appointment, studying for an exam, driving an hour, taking a test, driving another hour, getting patient information at the hospital and I'm finally home again to complete an assignment for the morning.

But quite honestly, this is par for the course with my life right now.

However, it's been a mostly successful day of eating whole food.

Pre-workout: small banana (ran 3.5 miles on the treadmill)
Breakfast: 2 eggs cooked in coconut oil, veggies, small banana (I don't know if I needed another banana, but I did feel more satisfied after eating it.
Snack: handful of pistachios
Lunch: Ground beef (organic) with italian spices and spaghetti squash. This was my first time ever cooking and eating spaghetti squash and I was super surprised how much squash it made! I can eat it for days.
Snack: KIND bar. This was my only deviation. I noticed it was in the cupboard and I knew I needed it gone. It was a low sugar variety, but still had some non-whole30 ingredients.
Pre-dinner: LARABAR
Dinner (8pm): Re-heated grilled chicken thigh.

It was a weird evening with my schedule, so dinner wasn't normal. I may find something else to eat before bed but not sure.

So, day 1 is a wrap!