South Beach, day 3

Rough morning. I feel like I said this yesterday. I completely overslept, missed doing about half the things I usually do (no rolling, no meditation) and barely made it to work on time.   I also completely screwed up my food for today and after yesterday feel like the plan I made is completely blown and maybe I should just throw in the towel on this whole thing….

But I am a resourceful person and I’m determined to be creative and pull out some great meals today that are (a) not (totally) the same as yesterday and (b) not too labor intensive because I have another full day ahead of me. I managed to make 2 fried eggs and grab half an avocado out of the fridge as I ran out the door.  Surely between this and the supermarket near my office and leftovers here in office fridge I can come up with something?

Positives:

My hair looks great today.  Not sure why but I’ll take it.

My ankle which has been bugging me (old injury) due to too much activity last week actually felt better today (perhaps the few stretches I did last night? or the time off I’ve given it since Sunday?) and I got in a 25 minute walk today and it still feels fairly good.

Supplements:

I did manage to take these before I ran out of the apartment.

  • 2 fish oil
  • 1 black currant oil
  • 1 Align probiotic

Breakfast at 8:30a at office:

  • 2 Fried eggs in EVOO
  • 2 Applegate chicken-maple sausages (office freezer!)

Drinking water.  I really feel like this diet is making me more tired or it could be hormones/PMS combined with rainy morning but I felt SO TIRED when I went to bed (but then didn’t sleep for half an hour) and just felt laid out this morning and confused.  Hoping this passes soon – I have a lot to do!

Tonight was supposed to be crockpot chicken but I forgot to set it up.  The chicken was actually supposed to be LAST night’s meal as well but I got sidelined by having to take dinner (and not be home for dinner) to the meeting last night.  So now it will be TOMORROW’S dinner but honestly, I may make it while I work tonight and eat it for lunch tomorrow because I’d scheduled a special treat of sauteed scallops (my favorite) tomorrow and honestly I think I deserve that at this point. We’ll see.

So what can I make that’s quick tonight and different?  If I hadn’t had eggs this morning I’d say eggs as I like that for dinner.  I’m thinking perhaps I’ll thaw a chicken breast or 2 and make a stir fry of chicken, peapods (which I have) and carrots (which I have) in Coconut aminos.  Stomach friendly and tasty.  The trick will be to make it filling enough so I’m not hungry without the rice which would normally be a component to this dish.  I also do want to roast up some asparagus and saute up some mushrooms which I’ve had for days and are not going to last much longer.  I’m determined to figure this out.  Anyway, off to work….

11:45a Feeling a-okay.  Stomach 95% silent this morning even after the spicier sausage. Cool.  Still no colon action.  Nothing since Tuesday. Hmm.

Snack at 11:45a:

  • 1/2 Fage 2% plain yogurt
  • 4 Now Super Enzymes

Sometimes these enzyme capsules help me with dairy.  After the other day, better safe than sorry.  We’ll see.  Experiment!

12:45p

Wow, hungry.  Off to pick up some lunch.

Lunch at 1:15p:

  • 3 oz. roast turkey (the nice kind)
  • 1/3 avocado
  • 1 c. leftover roasted carrots
  • 1 c. leftover roasted squash

Big lunch. Perhaps too big but I thought I’d just kill the last of my office leftover vegetables.  Actually a little cramping DURING eating (passed after 5 minutes), perhaps due to the volume of food or the fact that my colon is on vacation (apparently).  My actual lunch tasted pretty good once I was eating it but much like when I was doing Paleo, I just have no appetite for this food, good taste or not.  We’ll see if a few ‘recipe’ meals can change that. I hope so.

3p:

Got very crampy for 5 minutes and finally cleared out my colon (as much as it ever is).  Things seem a little… smoother than normal but given I’ve had no carbs for 3 days, I think that’s probably to be expected.  Also got my period which should mean better sleep tonight and cramps of a different variety – I’ll deal. For now, I feel good and not hungry.  I’m making a little pack of almonds to take with me this afternoon as I won’t be home until about 6p. I hope I don’t starve!

Snack at 5:45p

15 almonds while walking around

I am SO TIRED.  Could be anemia which I get sometimes (and period) but I’m exhausted after 1.5 hours in the garment district.  I could lay right on the street and fall asleep. And I have a lot to do tonight. Ugh.

Dinner at 6:45p:

I just couldn’t with dinner.  In an effort to stay on the diet and not cook:

  • hamburger
  • large portion raw carrots and red pepper hummus
  • half banana with cinnamon

I really need to do some cooking, even tonight (that chicken breast is going to go bad) but I also need to do school stuff and also really need some down time.  Hoping this dinner doesn’t upset my stomach.  Hummus has been untried lately and raw stuff *sometimes* does not go over well.  We’ll see.

Pooped.

7:10

Easter candy: 20 dark chocolate cadbury eggs/15 jelly beans.

It is what it is.

South Beach, Alex version, Day 2

8:45a

Off to a slow start today.  Got involved in a project for class last night and got to sleep late which meant I slept through rolling and meditation but I did make breakfast so that’s good.  That said, I should make a few hard boiled eggs so I have a grab-able breakfast for emergencies.

Morning supplements:

  • 1 Fish Oil
  • 1 Black Currant Oil
  • Align probiotic

Breakfast at 8a:

  • Turkey bacon in EVOO
  • Eggs scrambled in turkey bacon debris.

Tasty, but I look forward to having leftover asparagus and/or mushrooms so I can make a feta/veg scramble, mix it up a bit.  Will cook that soon.

Snack at 11a:

  • 15 almonds

Was planning on half a Fage 2% but still feeling a bit ‘wary of dairy.’  I have a very long day ahead of me today.  Need to keep things calm.  So far, stomach is silent.

Just getting through 1st 20oz water.

11:15a

Stomach acting weird.  Oh, come on.  If this becomes an issue, I’m going to not snack tomorrow and see if it’s just the time of day or putting food into my stomach is pissing it off for whatever reason. I felt completely fine pre-snack.  Annoying.

11:40a

After a lot of gas, seems to be calm-ER but not perfectly okay.  Think I may just be slow in the colon this morning….

Lunch at 1:15p:

  • hamburger
  • 1 c. roasted carrots (leftovers)
  • 1 c. roasted squash (leftovers)

Stomach felt better since about noon but I haven’t been hungry.  That said, after eating lunch, I still feel hungry (realized how hungry I was when I started to prep lunch).  So we’ll see.  Hoping for a quiet afternoon but just burped post-lunch so it remains to be seen.

On 3rd 20oz cup of water.

2p:

Feel a little weird (heavy stomach feeling) but so far so good. YAY!

2:20p:

On 4th 20oz water.  I really really really want a piece of dark chocolate.  Dark chocolate isn’t even my ‘jam.’  Weird.

4p:

Yeah, totally have the munchies.  I have a long night ahead of me so I decided to have some snacks.

Snack at 4p:

  • 1T almond butter off the spoon
  • Half frozen banana with cinnamon

TMI, but this whole blog is TMI so… but I think I’m a little constipated.  Been crampy off and on all day but no action.  Taking turkey roll ups with me tonight and hopefully will get dinner around 6p and then that’s it for food for the night.

Reflections:

I really have not been deprived/hungry at all all day.  Very strange.  My mind is hungry but my stomach seems satiated.  I got hungry this morning, ate almond snack and it passed quickly (IOW, it didn’t take a lot to get me to not hungry again).  I recall that the last time I did this I did go through a munchie craving phase for a few days when I started out. I’m totally there again and trying to mentally push through that.  My body wants junk and carbs and comfort, etc. but I really do want to drop some weight so I soldier on without indulging.  We’ll see if I can get through the day! I’m doomed if there are snacks at the event I’m going to tonight. My resolve knows limits and I think, should be they tested today, I would fail big time. We’ll see.

Dinner at 6p:

Turkey rollups with avocado

Not exciting but I was eating on the fly so this was a handy and tasty enough ‘throw in the purse’ meal.  Tomorrow I REALLY need to change up the food as I am bored after the same thing 2 days in a row.  Sadly, I suspect I am having the turkey rollups for lunch but I’m hoping to have some roasted d different veg for dinner Yum.

I am not feeling so great this afternoon/tonight (typing this at 9:40p).  A little dizzy and very gunky. Perhaps I’m getting sick, although I feel like I recall getting an almost cold when I did this diet before – something about a ketosis hangover or something that goes away in a couple days.  In any event, I am still not at all hungry which is just weird but I’ll take it.  I’m also really tired and going to bed.  All in all another good day and stomach is *silent* (although I also haven’t had any colon activity today at all so not sure what’s up….)

Good night!

Supplements at night:

  • 1 fish oil
  • 1 black currant oil
  • 2 prescript assist probiotics
  • Singular
  • 400 mg. Mucinex (SO GUNKY – drowning. not fun).

South Beach, Alex-version, Day 1

I made notes over the course of the day.  My stomach got upset after a cheese serving at 11a and I had to make some changes on the fly to accommodate it.  In the interest of keeping records, I posted my planned menu anyway and then crossed out what I did not end up eating and posted replacement foods in red.

***

It is 10a and I am 2 hours out from breakfast.  Feel a little gunky (asthma? allergies? non-acidic feeling reflux? who knows!) but overall pretty good. Excellent start to the day so far.

Breakfast at 8a:

  • 2 slices turkey bacon, fried in olive oil spray
  • 2 eggs, beat and scrambled in the turkey bacon/oil debris

Thoughts at 10a:

I am not hungry yet so that’s cool.

The turkey bacon was good but honestly turkey bacon feels like eating THE MOST PROCESSED THING EVER but my stomach seems to be liking it so fair enough.

Body stuff:  I rolled out my body with the foam roller for 20 minutes before work.  I started doing this about a year ago and it helps my back and hip tension (I sit a lot at work).  I also think it helps my circulation stuff of yore.  Ultimately, I hate it but it’s worth it.

I am halfway through my first 20 oz of hot water ‘tea’ – also a regular habit that seemed to fix my circulation issues of yore.  Going to try to get through 3 of these at the office today.

Meditated for 10 minutes pre-work.

Morning supplements taken:

  • 1 Now Black Currant Oil
  • 2 Wiley’s Best Daily EPA Fish Oils
  • Align probiotic

***

Snack at 11a:

Mini Babybel Gouda.

It’s hard to tell when I’m hungry or when my stomach is just acting up.  Started feeling maybe hungry at about 10:40 and by 11 was fairly sure I was hungry and thus, cheese time. These Babybel things are not low-fat.  South Beach would say it should be low fat but I’m cool with this.  Fat is filling after all (and to be fair, this thing has like 70 calories – whatevs)

Until 10:30, stomach was pretty quiet.  Then some very very minor burping.  Lots of gunk but again, allergies.  I’m also sort of wheezy today.  We’ll see how the day goes.

I’m eating this a little stressed out due to snobbery on the WSJ.  Hopefully that won’t contribute to funkiness (Facebook is closed now).

Halfway through 2nd 20oz water.  Go me, sort of.  I am crazy thirsty today.  Due to allergies, I took a Mucinex before bed last night and now am paying the dehydration price. Makes drinking easier though.

***

11:40a

Feel allergyish – tongue itches, coughing.  We’ll see.

12p

Stomach feels a little off.  Too much dairy?  Something with the cheese? We’ll see.

12:15p

Stomach definitely did not like the cheese which is a bummer b/c so tasty.  Also our office bathroom is under repair so I have to take an elevator to a bathroom.  Yikes.  This is not fun. Not sure how to get through lunch or if I should even eat it.  Will eat carefully. On 3rd thing of water.

***

Lunch at 1p:

Had to make some adjustments due to stomach:

  • Burger (cooked last night)
  • 1 c. roasted carrots (coated in EVOO, nothing else)
  • 1.5 c. roasted summer squashes

Was starving but eating half of lunch seemed like a good idea.  Carrots are usually a safe bet – we’ll see.

Bathroom is fixed now – score!!

***

2:30p

Overall feeling pretty quiet in the stomach.  Holding pattern.  Sadly, though, hungry.

Finishing 4th 20oz water.  Very thirsty today.

***

Snack at  3:45p:

Mozzarella stick

15 almonds

1 tablespoon almond butter off the spoon

Same calories as a serving a real almonds? No brainer after a long hard day.

4:10-4:45 – nap!  Did not expect that.  Suspect hungover from stomach issues.

***

Dinner at 5:30p:

Zzzz Chef Salad which is 2-3 oz. deli turkey, 2 oz. swiss, 1/4 avocado chunked, 1″ cuke chunked, cup of lettuce, 2 T feta and EVOO.

Going to baby my stomach tonight and go in a different direction for dinner.  Above was the retrofit ‘salad’ I was aiming for but given the stomach freakout earlier and as I have class tonight I’m going more basic:

Turkey roll ups:  4 deli turkey roll ups filled with avocado mash (1/3 avo total). No veg. 

Dessert:  half a frozen banana with cinnamon on top.  I wasn’t planning on dessert today and for bullshit reasons fruit is forbidden on Phase 1 of SB while fake sugar crap is ‘allowed as dessert’ but in the interest of being full, I had some banana. So so good.

10:30p

Made it through class with a totally calm stomach.  My stomach is weird – sometimes it freaks out and is a mess for a week and some days it is just completely better (although I feel sketchy for a few hours) after I go to the bathroom.  Thankfully today was one of those latter days.  That said, tomorrow I’m going to pretty much eat what I did today without the cheese as I have a busy day and these are my safest foods.

I’ll be honest.  I really REALLY resent when I get sick from eating healthy food.  If I get sick after snarfing a bag of Doritos, I’m good with paying the price.  But eating something that should be fine (and is usually/often fine) and then feeling terrible – the unpredictability being a hallmark of IBS for many people – is maddening.  A big part of me wanted to come home from work and just eat junk food b/c I was sick anyway.  That said, I didn’t do that – I napped instead – and I’m amazed that I made it through the first day of the diet without ‘cheating’ per se especially given the hunger/feeling crappy aspect of the day.  Losing weight is always tough for me – I hate to be denied but today I made it through.  This is no real milestone; it’ll be just as difficult tomorrow especially since I am concerned I am undereating a bit to avoid certain foods.  I’m going to try to eat a little more tomorrow.  Worst case scenario, I’ll eat a rice cake or two with almond butter just to fill me up. This is not about starving after all.  Still, my experience last time I got on the path of healthy eating is that not binging and building up a history of dealing with my stress without food does make it easier to not use food like that over time.  It’s not a straight path – there will be struggles and I’m sure failures but hopefully not tomorrow!  See you then.

Evening supplements:

  • 2 Prescript-Assist probiotics
  • 1 Wiley’s Best Fish Oil
  • 1 Black Currant Oil
  • Singular (asthma prescription)

Good night!

Is this thing on?

As I start yet another experiment with my eating habits and stomach management, I thought it was a good opportunity to update where things are and also keep notes on how things are going in the moment.

Overall, I’m doing pretty well.  Still off all reflux medication – although my issues come and go, sometimes for as much as a week, usually due to bad eating.  When they are terrible, I take Pepcid AC for a day or two and that usually fixes it.  I also have not had to intervene much with IBS.  After years of taking Magnesium for severe constipation, since the Cipro incident last year (3 days of Cipro to treat a persistent bladder infaction), my IBS-C has become IBS-D which is pretty crazy.  That said, my digestion overall is better and I think I’ve found a balance where I can eat a fair amount of cooked vegetables without going into the D place as easily (when I am overzealous, I use pepto to resolve it).

I have to say my experience with Cipro left me in a better digestive place but much more frustrated with medicine overall.  It cleared the bladder infection but left me running for the bathroom hourly for over a month.  That said, once that sort of resolved itself, I could suddenly tolerate foods (beans in particular) I hadn’t been able to eat for years.  This is what makes all this so frustrating.  There is something ‘off’ with my digestion but medicine has not progressed to a degree where they can a) discern what exactly the problem is and (b) what the fix is.  But my doctor agrees: the Cipro cleaned something out that was not so great and for that, I’m belatedly (now that I feel better 🙂 grateful.

So, where am I now?

A bit overweight actually.  The ability to eat a more broad array of foods and to get back – perhaps, unfortunately – my ability to drink alcohol occasionally and far worse, tolerate all my old favorite junk foods – has created a bit of a chunky situation.  I actually feel my extra chunk is contributing to the increased GERD symptoms of late.  Inspired by my friend Grace, who is one month into the South Beach Diet, I thought I should likewise come up with a structured eating plan for at least a few weeks to try and drop 15 lbs, get back to my usual ‘fighting weight’ and hopefully eradicate the suspected ‘extra GERD symptoms’ I am having of late.

I have done South Beach before.  It was the kickoff for a long period of very healthy eating for me and I recall not being overly hungry (which for GERD is critical).  Back then, I did the two week ‘induction’ thing (no grains, no potatoes, etc. – low carb) and then sort of went off on my own, eating everything but better aware of amounts and with a focus on protein as the filling aspect of my diet.  What I loved about the diet is what I also liked about Atkins (although I found the level of fat on Atkins offputting) – protein and my brain are a great combination. I don’t know why but I feel really ‘normal’ and strong mentally when I eat a fair amount of protein.  I had hoped to have that result when I did Paleo but instead I just felt terrible but I think it was likely the fat aspect of Paleo.

Over the past year, I’ve been focused on eating a variety but leaning toward a more vegetarian diet when possible.  For the planet.  I was a vegetarian for years but it never made me feel really good.  Stomach-wise, I like the fact that I never felt loguey after a meal of beans, rice and veg, but mentally I am finding that I can’t do too many of these meals in a row.  The reasons I left vegetarianism in my 20s still pervade – I tend to get headaches and sometimes even feel shaky or lightheaded without the meat.  I wish I didn’t but I do.

Anyway – could I do South Beach again?  The only real negatives I recalled about South Beach is that the diet itself as presented is heavy on things I cannot eat at all (real garlic, onion and vinegar) or don’t necessary agree with me (wine, spicy stuff, tomatoes).  But a close look at the book led me to believe that basically tweaking most of the suggested meals to suit me, this diet was something that I could do and that wouldn’t be that much different than how I’m eating now (minus the junk food and rice/potato obsession 🙂 so hopefully a moderate ‘change’ won’t completely freak out my stomach as often ‘changes’ do.   I spent about an hour on Saturday making up a week of meals and snacks in Excel and I think it’ll mostly work.  In any event, I’ll post each day what I ate, any ways of cooking that made it tasty and the impact on my IBS and GERD symptoms.  These stomach things seem highly individual but on the off-chance you have these issues and are triggered/not triggered by the same things I am, I hope this info helps.  See you later  tonight/tomorrow with today’s recap…

A year of many changes

My bf has been asking over and over when I would update this blog and I finally decided today is the day – a full year (exactly) after I last posted.   Many things have changed, all for the extreme better.  Here we go.

I would say, that for the most part, whatever is ailing me is healing and almost (possibly totally) ‘cured’.  In retrospect, I think the following are the reason I am feeling better.

Rifaximin:

As I had stated before (I think), my GI guy – hearing I still had symptoms on an elimination diet despite clean upper and lower GI scans – put me on this drug (also called Xifaxin) for 14 days.  It is a special type of antibiotic that doesn’t cross the blood barrier – IOW, it only works in your GI tract. It’s made to help cure H. Pylori, which I tested negative for but apparently many people with it do. The drug made me extremely sick until about day 11 when suddenly I felt better than I had in a long time.  I emailed him and he said to keep going so I took it for another few days and then went off. And then after a week I felt terrible and he put me back on it for another 10 days.  After that, I felt marginally better – not great – but marginally better and that stuck.

But I was so marginally better I didn’t even notice and called it a lose.  It’s only after a year that I can pinpoint that 25 day period of meds as the kick off to real improvement, albeit over about 8 months.  Somehow it was the right thing for my stomach.

Magnesium supplements:

I had taken myself off of them due to the mystery rash but it turns out that taking them keeps me regular and being regular REALLY helps my stomach.  I’m not as regular as perhaps I should be but it’s only about 1 day a month I have any sort of GI discomfort and usually an apple will cure me of that within an hour.  Awesome.  I now take a type that is powdered and pure magnesium citrate (no additives).  Better for my skin.

Prescript-Assist Soil Based Probiotics

THESE.  But these were also a slow uptake.  I’d tried them before the Rifaximin and didn’t see much result although they didn’t make me feel worse as opposed to Align which did nothing or made me feel bad.  In any event, I had about a month left in the bottle so when I ran out of Align after the Rifaximin I switched to these and after a month I felt a little better so I ordered more.  And kept taking them because why not.  It was in about June (6 months out from antibiotics and now with these probiotics) that I noticed I was able to eat stuff I hadn’t be able to, in small amounts, for 5 years.  My food list began expanding monthly after that.  These definitely work for me.  And if I can’t eat something, after a few more months on these often I can.  So it’s a work in progress but definitely moving forward.

Bio-Feedback Type Breathing

In desperation, I decided to try this on my GP’s recommendation.  Despite improvement with probiotics, I was having gastritis symptoms every time I ate and no matter what I ate (including drinking water).  Scans showed my entire GI tract as finally healthy so he posited that I was in some kind of physical stress cycle reaction to eating, leftover from when my body was in real distress several years earlier.  I went to see a BF specialist who gave me a bunch of exercises.  While I do meditate and feel like I’ve greatly reduced my stress, she agreed with him that my body was in some kind of response cycle and the breathing she taught me activates your parasympathetic something which is the key to calming the body down (as opposed to your mind).  After 2 weeks the cramping greatly reduced after meals and after a month and a half of breath practice I just totally forgot about the cramping.  When I cramp now I’m always surprised – it’s that rare – like wow.

Overall, plus enzymes.

Sometime over the summer I noticed that I could eat more fruits and vegetables without feeling terrible.  Small amounts of garlic and onion continued to bother me so I added Digest enzymes which I take whenever I eat anything that might be spicy or bother me (although I need them less and less as time passes).  In early September I hazarded eating an apple – knowing it could make me totally sick – and it didn’t bother me at all.  I now eat one almost every day.  I still eat most vegetables cooked but that’s really about taste and avoiding too much salad dressing. That said, when I want salad dressing I have it and take the enzymes.

Now what did not work:

Special diets that knock out full food groups.

I spent 8 months doing FODMAPs – no miracle impact.  That said some FODMAPs were a minor issue (broccoli, breads) that seem to be gone from eating enzymes and probiotics. This says more about the supplementation than the diet IMO.

I did SCD/AIP Paleo for 3 months and still had horrible reflux and gastritis symptoms.  In fact, to this day, eating that much fat in a day gives me heartburn (as distinct from reflux).  People who adhere to this diet are pretty preachy about it – you are warned if you go this route.  But if it doesn’t work for you, my advice (which will oppose theirs) is to stop doing it.  I just don’t see the point of this diet if it doesn’t work for you.  Did it help my inflammation?  Maybe.  Did it help my skin?  Not that I could tell. What helped my skin was what my doctor told me would – going off all my medication.  Every time I seem to have a skin problem, it seems to relate to me taking Zyrtec (which I still, to be fair, take but very rarely and only when I’m staying with people with pets).

The plus of these diets is that my asthma largely disappeared but I can relieve those symptoms by avoiding too much dairy to begin with.  I’m not allergic to anything so reading ingredient labels to get rid of any cow is not necessary for me and overly burdensome.  Why torture myself?

I think these and other diets have value but I don’t think they are the be all, end all and, especially if they are not helping you, to view them that way is actually really unhealthy. I also majorly resented the implication that if you weren’t successful with one, it was b/c you weren’t doing it right – add this supplement, etc.  Give me a break!  As someone with medication allergies that have yet to be sorted out, I’m super careful about my supplements.  I just think these diets and those that push them so vigorously are too Type A and too anxious for me to follow.  Like the diet is literally too anxious – too much conformity for me.  If part of your food problems is being stressed about eating, it is really easy to get sucked into some unhealthy eating patterns with the vigor required to adhere to these diets.   This just doesn’t work for me.

Lastly, per a trainer I worked with I tried a Chinese herbalist.  The herbs just didn’t help my stomach at all or my rashes.  That said, his diet advice (largely paleo, avoid shellfish, but rice is okay) is something I pretty much heed keeping it on the lower fat side (for the most part).

Where I am now

I still have circulation problems occasionally but a couple of days of rolling on the foam roller and doing Qi Gong wipes that out.  Sleep, plenty of water (which I mostly drink warm – per a Chinese doctor) really keeps all that in check.

Asthma – I definitely get asthma when I get a cold.  If I avoid dairy it is much better. I steam and take the lowest dose of Mucinex I can find.  That very much solves the problem and quickly.

Overall – I really try to keep any sort of supplementation to a minimum.  As a professional singer, I spent years on heavy duty Zyrtec D, Mucinex, Singulair (followed by Clear Lungs) doses, 2X neti-potting, and then when the stomach stuff started adding in Align and Dexilant (a very high dose PPI).  I think for me being on nothing is SO MUCH BETTER for my body.  I still do take a few targeted supplements but I really take nothing for my sinuses other than when necessary.  All the everyday stuff is out.  Hot water, steaming and neti-potting (although I’m not regular with any of those these days either) just seems to work better for my body and when I’m sick I take the lowest dose of stuff that helps me and get off it as quickly as possible. I was overmedicating since the mid-90s and it was messing me up.  I’m committed to not doing that anymore.

So what’s a day like for me?  Foodwise, I eat it all – all food groups.  I err toward more protein than carbs b/c my body and mind seem to prefer protein over carbs.  My eating overall is similar to before I got sick but with more cooked foods over raw foods.  You will never see me tuck into a giant raw smoothie but I will drink an apple cider if it’s presented to me (and then not having it again for a week).  Fruits and veg are getting easier and at this point I’m eating about 2-3 most days and occasionally a lot more, usually cooked (other than fruit).  I don’t have too much milk, cream cheese or yogurt b/c my stomach seems to not like them.  That said, I can have string cheese or hard cheese with no problems and ICE CREAM.  I do eat bread and cereal but I stay away from high fiber versions – I get my fiber from fruit and veg instead.  I view bread as a treat and eat really good white french bread.  I have found over the years that I do better with meat in my diet than without so I eat that but I also eat legumes fairly regularly.  I take enzymes about 1X per week; for the most part my IBS is gone and my heartburn is really gone.  Over Xmas I ate a lot of crap and took a Pepcid at one point but that seemed to end things. Done.

So, for me – probiotics, magnesium are a MUST.  I drink hot water all the time instead of cold water.  I aim for 8 hours of sleep but often get 7.  I eat about every 2-3 hours – I don’t allow myself to get too hungry.  I  eat too many cookies but I don’t stress over it.  About 2X a month, I eat burgers and fries and even put a little ketchup on.  I eat salad with dressing.  My favorite foods are all from my more recent eating though – my favorite meal would be roast chicken or some kind of meat, roasted potatoes with sea salt and roasted carrots also with sea salt.  Not because my stomach loves it but because I love it.  I eat what tastes good to me and feels healthy enough.  I eat Mexican and Indian foods occasionally because I love them and with enzymes I can eat them!  I fell in LOVE with rice on one of the diets and still eat that a lot (that and potatoes are my main carb).  I try not to overwhelm my system with too many heavy or spicy things at once but if I do I spot-care with enzymes and/or medication.  I avoid PPis and take Gaviscon instead but again this is all rare.  At least for the past year, the days of medicating myself perpetually with reflux meds are totally over and I credit the antibiotics/probiotics for that.  I really REALLY am pissed my original doctor for just throwing me on medication which is crazy habit forming for your body and ignoring a larger problem.  I suppose he didn’t know.  For now, though, I try to stay OFF meds as much as possible if only for my skin.  I am careful when I go on a supplement.  It’s a work in progress but I really love that I can eat what I want as much as anyone else my age can.  That said, I try not to ever overeat b/c then I feel crappy but who doesn’t?

That’s it for now.  The Gala apples from the market have been amazing this year.  I’m so grateful to be able to eat them and I’m off to eat one now.

Best of luck to you all on your journey.  I’ll report back again but until then, I hope you have found a path and are feeling better too.  Good luck.

Day 83 – Sigh

On a downcycle again.  There’s not enough medication/supplements, etc. in the world to make me feel better.  I’m trying to focus on the fact that I am not nauseous – so that’s something.  That said, I woke up with stomach symptoms which hasn’t happened in a while.

I was so good over holidays and now anything sets me off.  Not sure how to proceed.

Day 80 – How I’m cooking these days – Cooking tips that are more low fat

I was looking at this post and realized that a lot has changed since I made it.  For one, over time as my stomach was continuing to improve, I realized that my beloved bacon really was NOT working for my stomach so I’ve ditched it, along with red meat.

So what’s the go-to food situation these days?  Well, granted, I’ve been very lax due to Xmas but for home cooking pre-Xmas, this is what I was doing and it is/was tasty.

  • Grilled chicken or fish.  I use my Foreman grill for this (just got a new one with removable plates – kick ass) and paint on a little coconut oil which gives it a nice flavor.  As much as I can’t seem to digest high meat fat, in order to combat my dehydration issues, I’m finding that olive oil or coconut oil is digestible and thus key to getting some fat in me.  Very helpful.  I cook up boneless chicken breast at least a pound at a time as I eat it for 2-3 meals a day.  Helpful to just get it all done at once.  Quick!
  • Baked sweet potatoes.  So so easy.  Depending on the size, 6-9 minutes in the microwave and they are so flavorful, you just cut them open and eat.  No need for salt or any sort of fat.  At all.   If you have more time, you can make roasted sweet potato chips.  I cut the potatoes very thin (either by hand or mandoline), lightly coat with olive oil and pink salt and then roast at 400F (flipping once) until the edges start to turn black.  Extremely tasty, but honestly, for time, I’ve just been micro-baking and going.
  • Sushi rice.  I was throwing it in the rice cooker with a little coconut oil and pushing start, which is fine, but I did take the time last week to make it ‘properly’ and wow, it is phenomenal.  (I am making plain short grain sushi-type rice just to eat and not adding the mirin etc to turn it into Sushi Rice, the dish.)  Also, my sister who lives in the ‘burbs got frozen sticky rice at Costco which you just nuke up and eat.  SCORE.
  • Frozen spinach (or green beans).  So easy – mix it in with some rice and chunked up pre-cooked chicken with coconut aminos?  De. Lish.
  • Coconut aminos.  I tried these since coconut is okay on AIP.  I was very pleasantly surprised.  Very tasty, stomach totally fine with it.  This product is a soy sauce ‘alternative’ but honestly for me is NOT a direct replacement as it is sweeter.  Still, it is good on sushi as well so keep it in mind if you can tolerate it.
  • Roasted carrots.  When I have time, I make roasted carrots, many of them, and eat them like candy until they run out.  Completely delish.  Cut in 1/4″-1/2″ rounds, paint with olive oil (I actually have a food specific paintbrush I use for oil, thus the term ‘paint’) and pink salt.  400F for 20 minutes, flip and 2o minutes more. Done.
  • Homemade applesauce.  For some reason, apples are the only fruit that is guaranteed not to bother me.  I use organic gala apples, peel them, chunk them, cook on stove with a bit of water until they are soft.  Then you drain off the water and blend the soft apples with a stick blender.  I add cinnamon before eating and it is fantastic.  I do find that apples and I do best when I eat them as a snack and not near other foods.  YMMV but that’s my experience.  For me, they are to be eaten alone.

For eating out:

I am better enough to eat out! This is a total SCORE.  I have two types of ‘food bought elsewhere’ – meals out and then eating out on the fly.  For meals out, I can do Japanese or Chinese:

  • Miso soup – which contains fermented soy – seems to REALLY agree with my stomach.  It’s funny because the bone broth has been such a lose for me but the miso soup is a big fat gift for my stomach.  I’m not sure why but I get it every time I get sushi which is my go-to eat out food and it just feels great for me.
  • Sushi.  I aim to eat mostly cooked fish sushi as I find it a little more easy to digest.  I love sushi so getting sushi back has been a total score.  LOVE.
  • Chinese.  My stomach suddenly likes broccoli (which I could not digest for YEARS but since I did the antibiotic/probiotic regimen, no prob – weird, right?) so I get steamed chicken and broccoli and eat it over white rice.  Guaranteed not to bother me at all and tastes very good by itself now that I’m used to not eating things with sauce.  A score since some of my friends are not sushi people.

And for ‘picking up en route to somewhere I am eating in’:

  • Boston Market Roast Turkey Breast or supermarket rotisserie chicken.  The latter is a bit of a risk depending on what they put ON the chicken (even if you peel the skin off) but in a pinch it is very convenient.  Boston Market makes a very plain but tasty turkey breast that I will buy a pound of and just use it with the sweet potato/frozen veg (or rice) for a couple dinners.  Quick and easy and stomach-wise inoffensive.  Nice to have these ‘in a pinch things’.  More soon.