All in all, things have been going well for me, gut-wise. Ever since deciding to take control of my digestive issues years ago my symptoms have been steadily going away. Giving up (most) fructose, getting rid of cow’s milk, and taking the Mediator Release Test have resulted in vast improvements in my well being.
But a few symptoms remain. And of course, one of them is the thing I hate the most: being bloated. And not just feeling a little too full, I feel 5 months pregnant! All. The. Time. It’s incredibly uncomfortable feeling like an over-inflated beach ball.
So what the hell could it be?! I feel like I’ve given up EVERYTHING! But there’s always something more. Just when you settle in to substituting foods for other foods you’ve had to do away with (and sometimes you even start to like those foods more) you have to once again say ‘bye-bye.’ Frick.
My dietician suggested my problem could be lectins, which are found in grains, nuts, and nightshades (like tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, etc.). The problem could be leaky gut syndrome, which is a condition where damaged intestinal walls allow undigested food particles to pass into the blood stream. These particles are seen as “foreign invaders” and our bodies attack them, leading to undesirable symptoms like bloating. If you want to know more about it check out this article.
So what do I eat?
I’ll be on a pared-down version of the Paleo diet, just meat (no eggs), vegetables (except nightshades), and a little fruit. Which wouldn’t be so bad except many of the delicious recipes I’ve found for the Paleo include nightshades or FODMAPs (more specifically onion and garlic), so I’ll be doing a lot of recipe adjusting and probably have to make my own. (Here’s a great article about the Paleo diet with pictures featuring caveman Legos!)
I’m also going to attempt to heal my gut by supplementing with the following (at the suggestion of my dietician):
- B-complex vitamin
- Digestive enzymes
- A high-quality probiotic
- Omega-3 fatty acid capsules
- L-Glutamine: an amino acid that supports healthy digestion and some claim it curbs sugar cravings!
- Goat colostrum: this is the nutrient-dense first milk produced by the mother goat after giving birth. There is some debate as to which is more effective–goat or cow–but since I’m so sensitive to cow’s milk I’m not even going to try it. Tropical Traditions‘ website says that goat colostrum “builds tissue and support integrity of the gut lining.”
Something that seems especially daunting about following this diet is the amount of cooking that I’m going to have to do. The last thing I want to do when I wake up or get home from work is spend any time at all making a meal. In both instances I am tired and cranky. To help with this, an idea I’m utilizing I found on Pinterest is the concept of the homemade frozen dinner. The idea is to prepare each week’s meals on the weekend and stick them in bags in the freezer so when it’s time to make them you can just dump them in a skillet or crock pot. Perhaps that seems obvious but I quite often need Pinterest to help me function.
So I’ll be starting all this next week after I get home from a trip to Las Vegas. Wish me luck.