I have been on a Low FODMAP’s diet since January 2nd. Commencing immediately after the season of sugar, gluten, chocolate, carbs, gravy, chocolate, eggnog, and did I mention chocolate?
Forced into a Healthy Lifestyle
This diet is not by choice, although I guess no one can make me do it. My gastroenterologist prescribed it. I keep getting this frustrating gut bacteria called SIBO. You can delve deeper into that in my blog titled, “Gas or Menstrual Cramps.” It’s a tale filled with TMI and information you may never have wanted to know about my large and small intestine, or maybe you are super curious about intestines.
My doctor thought Low FODMAPS is so important that she prescribed me a dietician to explain just how I’m supposed to eat now. Going into the New Year I did not feel like I was in the right mental place to alter my food lifestyle. Like a little kid, I just didn’t wanna. I keep reminding myself this is a LOW FODMAPs diet, not a NO FODMAPS diet.
This is not the first time I’ve tried a diet experiment. Over the years, I’ve experimented with diets for my own curiosity or odd definition of fun. Every February I give up sugar. Other times I’ve been told by a doctor to give up dairy or raw vegetables for six weeks. In the largest experiment of them all, I’ve been gluten-free for seven years.
I gave up gluten when I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s and hypothyroidism and was experiencing a myriad of awful symptoms that I was desperate to change. Hesitant to go on medication (which many MD’s think is an invalid concern and many naturopathic docs find valid) I gave up gluten. I don’t know who is right. I’d read there was a possible link between gluten consumption and the body attacking the thyroid. My endocrinologist agreed to my brief experiment if I promised not to try and get pregnant (Hashimoto’s and hypothyroidism can cause complications). I happily obliged. Within three days, most of my symptoms were gone. Six weeks later my thyroid numbers were back to normal and my Hashimoto’s antibodies dropped (a good thing). I stayed of medication for two years. In addition, Matt pointed out that I stopped complaining that my stomach hurt every time I ate and the frequent rashes on my knees and elbows vanished.
In all my various food experiments, the one thing I’ve found is that if you feel better when you make a change, it is much easier to stick with it. When I gave up gluten I felt noticeably better within three days. I’ll never get the six weeks backs that I gave up dairy and didn’t notice any benefit. Giving up sugar always makes me feel better, but not as much as I’d expect. No diet has made a dent the way eliminating gluten has.
Without the evidence that something improves our lives it is very hard to stick with a new routine. Food, in particular, is such an integral part of our lives. It’s how we socialize and bond. We have family history and memories connected to an assortment of palatable delicacies.
So when I need to try one of these diet plans and stick to it, a couple of things help me along the way:
Good Reading Material
If I read a book about how sugar is killing us or the atrocities with our food system. It helps me stay motivated to stay on track. Books or research about how we psychologically relate to food and our neurological system are helpful too.
I Keep A Quick Log
I don’t write a diatribe, just quick notes about how I slept, felt or weighed. If I erred and notice any ill effects, I note those. Usually using the Fit Bit Ap or something similar can help keep a record of the foods I eat.
Get A Friend on Board
I didn’t ask anyone to go low FODMAP’s with me (though it’s not to late if you are itching to try!). Although normally, having someone join in the fun is helpful. This year I have so many motivators. A number of my clients have committed to a healthy meal plan of their choice and are talking about how they feel better, have more focus, and are getting stronger. It is an inspiration.
One month into low FODMAPs and I’m feeling better, but it doesn’t feel easy…yet.
Trying not to be too critical of ourselves when we “diet.” Click here.
Join us this month for the Mindful Eating Challenge! Click here for more details.
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