Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Reporting back

Well as we are now on week three of the new way of eating (not to be  called a diet as that sounds as if the intention is to lose weight when my intention is not to be hungry!) I thought I would take stock of what I have been doing and what I think about it.


Firstly and very clearly, having given up bread and wheat products is having a definite and good effect on my wellbeing.  In some ways I am quite sad about this as I love bread and baking so in a contrary way I was rather hoping that giving up bread would make no difference.  Not so.   There is not much doubt that my IBS is much better on a wheat free diet.  That is a bit ironic since I didn't decide to give up wheat with an eye to improving the IBS  but more because it seemed possible that it might help with hypothyroidism.  I have no idea what sort of impact it is making on the thyroid issue but there is no doubt at all that it is helping my gut!  Hi ho.  I will have to keep the very occasional slice of homemade bread for a treat.  I don't think I could bear it if I thought I would never eat bread again but I can bear eating very little bread in exchange for a much calmer and more comfortable stomach at the beginning of every day.

Giving up wheat has not in fact been as difficult as I thought it might be.  I have adopted rice cakes instead of bread and crackers and the fact that they are nothing like as nice simply means I eat fewer of them than I would of the bread and crackers they are replacing.   Most of my wheat used to come in the form of bread or flour in cakes and pastry.  I have also given up pasta  which is no real hardship for me.  I like rice and potatoes and they seem to be giving me the carbohydrate.  Eating at home is easy as I cook everything from scratch anyway so I am not being caught out by the sneaky introduction of wheat products into things which you would simply not expect to contain them.  Tomato ketchup for example, who would have thought it?  Eating out is a bit more difficult as is eating on the move when my instinct is to go for a sandwich.  In fact restaurant eating is easier than eating on the go.  In restaurants and cafes simply going for dishes which are pretty close to their natural state such as a piece of fish or chicken without sauce and plenty of vegetables seems to fit
 the bill.  On our weekly trips to Devon it is harder to find things to eat at motorway services where so many things seem to be bread based.  Salads are fine and with some hot dishes such as burgers I simply discard the bun.  So I am finding that it can be done.

I haven't really found myself missing anything desperately apart from new bread when it comes out of the oven!  I did have a piece when I baked earlier this week.  There are some pleasures which are necessary for a good life!

The other suggestions were to eat more protein and to reduce caffeine.  Again both of those have been fine.  One rather sad discovery last night was that gin seems to set me off.  I haven't had a gin and tonic for months and months but I had one last night and my stomach really didn't like it.  Poor form, stomach!  Ah well, at least there is still wine.  And fresh eggs!


So for now I will stick with it, at least for the couple of months I had originally intended.  I am also trying to walk more and do some yoga most days so with luck and consistency perhaps I will get my bounce back!

43 comments:

  1. Really interesting post Elizabeth. I'm glad it's making a difference. I am thinking of cutting right back on sugar as I suspect it doesn't do me any good. Have already more or less stopped alcohol and will also cut dairy out as I think it's inflaming my sinuses and giving me migraines. Food is responsible for so much, isn't it? I generally only eat wheat for breakfast- it makes me feel heavy if I eat it later in the day. Get the diet right and everything changes. Keep going x

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    1. I have been surprised at how much for affects me ct. I know that junk food makes me feel rubbish but I don't really eat it. The surprise I'd the effect of cutting some things out of a generally healthy diet!

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  2. I'm always about to give up 'white stuff' -sugar, rice, bread having been told by my daughter that it will be very good for me.
    Seems as if your experiments is working well for you.
    I always admire your gorgeous pictures of the countryside near you.
    All best wishes
    other Elizabeth

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    1. I like being always about to give things up! Me too!

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  3. As I said before, I have coeliac, and therefore know about all the sneaky places in which gluten lurks (added for padding, more like!). You might like to know, though, that McD's fries do not contain gluten, unlike lots of frozen chips where the gluten is added for some unknown purpose! It might help at your motorway pitstops.

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    1. That's really useful to know. Thank you!

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  4. Motorway pitstops really are the pits, aren't they? Just pure rubbish on offer.

    Anyway, so glad you are managing to stick to the food programme and that you are noticing positive change. That is excellent news! I am just starting on my 'Eat to Beat Arthritis' programme and the first week is the easy one - just leave out alcohol and caffeine and notice the results. The next 2 weeks are about excluding all the suspect food groups and then gradually reintroducing them over the next 4 weeks to see how you react. Hope I can stay the course as I have a nasty case of osteoarthritis in my hands which is rather debilitating, as well as tummy issues and general malaise. Interesting to hear how you are getting on and psyching myself up to some serious food monitoring.

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    1. Really hope it works for you Marianne. I'm very encouraged by my own experience so hope yours is as good.

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  5. Feeling better trumps even eating as it lasts longer :). I am glad to read your positive effects of making changes.

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    1. Thank you anneke. I have to hold onto that sense of the beauty of feeling better. It is very easy to slip back into normal habits!

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  6. Interesting post. I cut out most wheat a while ago but found little difference. It's sugar that's the baddie for me. Bloating disappears when I cut sugar out. As for tricky tummies, I'm becoming obsessed with fermenting and have kombucha (delicious) and kefir (dynamite, take with caution!) on the go at the moment for general wellbeing.

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    1. Haven't heard of either of your fermenting things Kitty! Will have to explore.

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  7. I had a similar experience with wheat/IBS a few years back. I've been able to go back to eating it after a long break without any ill effects and a friend who studied ayurdevic medicine said that's possible. Sadly the same didn't happen with the effects of red wine - I love red wine, but it certainly doesn't love me :(

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    1. My niece looks for wine, either low in sulphur, or without any sulphur. That seems to work for her food-allergy based excema.

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    2. Good point Diana - red wine is often high in sulphur compounds. I must try that - it would be lovely to drink my favourite tipple again!

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    3. Thanks Diana. I am also interested to know that you have been able to return to wheat products Michele. That's quite encouraging!

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  8. I suspect you notice the difference more if you cut an offending food out of a healthy diet, as your system is probably only reacting to that one thing. I can imagine if you had multiple food sensitivities, and cut out just one thing, you'd still be feeling bad from the others. I have vastly reduced the amount of wheat I eat in the last six months or so, but oddly, for me, it was reducing the amount of yoghurt I eat that helped my gut. And, of course (she said, bitterly) I love yoghurt. Best of luck with this - I find that the better I feel, the easier it is to stick with the new routine without that feeling of deprivation which will make me backslide in a second.

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    1. maybe that is the fibre/stabiliser in the yoghurt?
      It's quite hard to find commercial yoghurt that doesn't have a little list of ingredients.

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    2. It does seem interesting that the things which may not agree with us are often the things we love! I would say that bread is one of favourite foods. Perhaps we need to kill our darlings! Interesting point of Diana's. I wonder how you would homemade versus commercially produced yoghurt?

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  9. Elizabeth, I'm glad that you are getting some favorable results from those recent changes to you diet.

    May I present you with some gold stars for your continuing to bake break for others. It's been years (decades, really) since I regularly baked bread, but I can still remember that delicious scent from the oven as the bread began to approach its doneness.

    I don't follow any particular dietary regimen, other than mostly cooking "from scratch." At least that way I do know which ingredients I am consuming. I love summer's opportunity for salads ... that simplifies the menu even more.

    Are you, like me, beginning to notice later sunrises and earlier sunsets? I'm certainly not ready to say bye bye to summer 2015 yet.

    (Thank you, dear Elizabeth, for your kind reply to my comment on your prior post.)

    xo

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    1. I think the single most helpful thing one can do for health is to cook from scratch. And yes, definitely noticing the shortening days. Not ready for the end of summer yet.

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  10. Glad to read that you're feeling better :-)!

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    1. Thank you! Also thank you for your kind off on my previous post. I am about to go away on holiday but when I return I shall be in touch!

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  11. I am glad to hear that it is working well for you and that you are feeling the benefits. Shame about the gin, but I guess that we want it all and that isn't always possible is it! Hopefully the wine will make you feel better about that! Hope that you keep keeping well. xx

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    1. Now I just have to have the will power to keep it up!

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  12. Love your Blue Denmark China. I did read your post about diet and well-being but didn't feel qualified to comment, but yesterday while having lunch with my son and girlfriend who is gluten and lactose intolerant she said that stress, for example during exams, made her symptoms much worse and now because she's relaxed she can be a little more relaxed about what she eats. I think we forget how big a part stress plays in our lives. I know for me a year or two ago that my sleep pattern went to pot and tiredness often leads to not eating properly. Good to hear you're finding time for walking and yoga. Good luck with everything and take care on those long motorway drives.

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    1. I agree entirely that stress has a big impact. The consultant I saw about the IBS compared an unhappy gut to a boiling pan of water. He said that we were looking at ways of reducing the boiling to a simmer as a default state because things such as stress, illness or a particular food would always have an impact on the state of the gut and the calmer its default state could be made the more likely it became that you could deal with an additional stressor without boiling over! Good image which has stayed with me.

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  13. It must be over three years now since I went gluten free and I have felt so much better. I went to the doctor about my IBS symptoms and he tested me for coeliac disease but that came back negative and he suggested it may be worth trying a g.f. diet anyway. that was the incentive I needed and I have never looked back.

    I have enjoyed trying so many new grains and seeds that I had not been familiar with and have not missed gluten at all.

    Like you, I used to make my own bread and do miss that but we are lucky here in New Zealand that "Vogels" makes a very nice gluten free bread and they have just brought out a new wholemeal version.

    All the best with your new way of eating.

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    1. Thanks Susan. It is always interesting to find others on this same road! I am just about to start experimenting with rice flour and potato flour. On the whole I don't find this difficult but if I could make my own really delicious gluten free bread that would be a triumph!

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    2. Do let me know if you succeed.

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  14. Well, it seems that self improvement is in the air! Over here in New York, I've just started going to the gym and doing yoga again. I'm not setting hard and fast rules regarding foods, other than generally leaning towards natural healthy stuff like raw oats, bananas, berries, nuts, seeds, lean white meats and green veg, etc. in order to supplement the efforts I'm making. Once in a while I go off track, but the trick is not to let it keep you off track. Get right back on the horse and keep riding!

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    1. I think you are absolutely right that it is more important not to give up than never to go off track! Good luck with your approach. I am still finding it interesting and variable as to whether the new diet seems to be giving me better days!

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  15. Try Gin with lemonade. I cannot drink tonic.

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    1. That is a thought! Perhaps it was the tonic. like that idea!

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  16. Hey Elizabeth,
    The summer holidays have seen me revert to bad eating habits. The sugar has crept in and up, as has bread and pasta consumption. I feel sluggish and bloated. Of course I'm now too slumped to do anything about it!
    Leanne xx

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    1. That is the problem isn't it? The energy you need to put things right is directly affected by getting it wrong!

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  17. I'm super-impressed by your wheat abstinence. It is tricky as it's hidden in so many things (yes, tomato ketchup - weird!). I agree, it's good to cook from scratch but not always possible. I'd definitely find it hard to resist the home-baked bread, especially as my husband has been baking the most delicious loaves recently, so a huge 'well done' from me. I hope you are feeling the benefit and having a good summer.

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    1. Thanks Sam! I am feeling the benefit and I admit that the one time I do give in to the need for bread is when my husband bakes and the bread comes warm from the oven...

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  18. My daughter has been gluten free for 10 years but she can't have even a trace or she feels it in every joint in her body. It took her a long while to get over the craving but eventually it left her.

    Lovely flowers and crafts too!

    XO
    WWW

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    1. I think I am lucky in that I suspect what I have is known as Non Coeliac Gluten Senstivity which in me is nothing like as serious as it sounds to be for your daughter.

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  19. I'm glad to hear the new diet is working for you! My daughter is feeling much better on her gluten free diet too. We especially like Japanese haiga rice which is healthier/more fibrous than white rice but better tasting/consistency than brown rice.

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    1. Thanks for the tip Sarah! I shall look out for it.

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  20. Be thankful it's only gin, my gut no longer tolerates wine, mores the pity!

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