Re-calibrating My Post Christmas Digestive System

Echhh. It’s that time of year again where I make a promise to be good to myself. Being a stomach sufferer for most of my life I have come to know what makes my stomach happy and what doesn’t. For starters, anything with wheat in it does not make me happy. Anything with cow dairy definitely doesn’t make me happy. But finally I have also found that when I eat too much sugar or anything that processes like sugar and yeast (for example potatoes, mushrooms, miso), that that doesn’t make my stomach happy either. The holidays, are of course, the hardest time of the year to try and manage this kind of diet. Besides who can resist truffles, cookies, gorgonzola and a fine glass of wine. Not me. But generally I pay for it.

What are the symptoms? Well for one thing, I become bloated, my stomach is distended and it hurts, I become extremely tired and irritable, my skin gets blotchy with itchy spots. I get miserable and depressed. This year I tried to not get too carried away. Eating an entire stollen made of kamut (I can eat kamut which does have gluten in it) didn’t help. I did eat cow cheese and I definitely drank wine and toasted the season joyously. But I didn’t go crazy.

I didn’t go crazy mainly because I didn’t want to have to do the full-on anti-candida, no wheat (non-gluten) no yeast, no sugar, no dairy, barely any fruit diet. I did it for about 6 months a few years ago when I had gotten really sick and it was worth it. Now I live a modified version of that diet. On the original diet I couldn’t eat any wheat, kamut, or spelt, absolutely no dairy product whatsoever, no meat, nothing with sugar in it including alcohol, miso, soya sauce, Bragg, vinegar, processed foods, no bananas, oranges, mangoes or grapefruit, no broccoli, potatoes mushrooms or garlic and eeekkkk no coffee.

As I started introducing things back into my diet I finally found a balance of foods that allowed me to maintain my stomach health. On a regular basis I can eat: kamut, I eat all fruits and vegetables and legumes, I eat limited fish (salmon, mussels, Seawise prawns and scallops), I eat some but limited amounts of goat cheese (usually once or twice a week)  because if I eat too much it still affects me. I avoid all condiments especially things like ketchup and HP sauces which are full of sugar. I also avoid things like cookies, muffins and cakes because they tend to be packed with sugar.  I now eat Bragg, miso, mushrooms etc… the main thing I try and control is my dairy and sugar in-take. Throughout the year when I’m maintaining I will occasionally have things like a muffin or my mother-in-laws amazing veggie/rice noodle lasagna loaded with all kinds of cheese, and I also drink wine mostly on the weekends but I’m always striving to maintain some kind of balance in my diet.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Re-calibrating My Post Christmas Digestive System

  1. Good luck Tessa!

    It must be tough to stick to that day in and day out. but still seems like you can eat some pretty yummy stuff.

    I am learning that as i get older (more likely it is because i’m paying more attention and i like to feel good) that processed foods and foods loaded with sugar make my stomach feel bad. This is really hard sometimes, but I definitely feel the benefits. Also, anything that is really heavy – fried foods, foods that have a lot of cream, etc, make my tummy unhappy. So, I’m abiding by this.

    I am on a no fried foods and no processed/pre-made foods ban until we go to Rio, because I assume I’ll come across something awesome there I have to have. Also, traveling makes it hard to not eat some sort of fast food at an airport.

    Anyway – good luck to you lady! I am very glad you’ve been able to figure out what makes you feel good and stick to it (for the most part). That’s a big life challenge and it seems like you are handling it well.

    • Thanks Nicole. It’s always a bit hard at first and then you find good things to eat that you love and it makes it worth it. I also have tons and tons more energy when I’m doing this. I’m breaking my wine fast in February and then will go back to my maintenance diet which isn’t too bad.
      Have a great time in Rio. Can’t wait to see your pics!
      Tess

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