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.