Thursday, May 22, 2014

Whole30-ish Life {sugar}

I recently finished my second round of Whole30. I was grain free, sugar free, dairy free, alcohol free and SWYPO free for 41 1/2 days. I also limited my fruit and nut consumption to almost nil.

And I felt amazing!

I loved my Whole41and1/2. I loved how great it made me feel, how wonderfully it relieved many symptoms I was suffering from, and how much healthier it helped me look.

But all did not remain well and rosy in my life...


The Banana

On day 41, I ate about 5/6 of a fairly ripe, smallish banana. I slowly bloated throughout the day, to point where I had to remove my belt as it was cutting into my stomach. The next morning {21 hours after eating the banana} when I woke up for my workout, I decided to measure my midsection... and was shocked to see the number! I carried on with what I was doing - and proceeded to "pass gas" with every step I took

After my 10 minute HIIT session was up, I decided to remeasure my midsection, to see if the flatulence had "done" anything... I was down 6 centimeters! Now, I wish 6 centimeters around the stomach could be lost after a good HIIT session, but I know this was just my bloat finally going away! 

The banana continued to work its magic, gifting me with a not-so-pleasant trip to the toilet a full 32 hours after eating it!

How do I know the banana was to blame for all this? Because I am a creature of habit. I love change, but I also love eating my favorite foods. Over and over again. My breakfasts and lunches were identical all that week, and I didn't try anything new at dinner either. The only difference was that pesky banana. Until...

The Sauce

On day 42, I invented a sauce. This sauce may very well be my favorite sauce in the whole wide world, but I just might never eat it again. I purposely made it low sugar for two reasons: I don't like sweet sauces on my meat and I know I'm sensitive to sugar.

This recipe had 2 tablespoons of molasses and 2 teaspoons of tamarind concentrate. I used about 1/3 of the recipe in my dinner, of which I ate about half. This means I ingested about 1 teaspoon of molasses and 1/3 of a teaspoon of tamarind.

I woke up the next day bloated. I measured my midsection once again, did my HIIT, gassed up the living room, remeasured - and I had once again "lost" several centimeters.

I also woke up grumpy. Unmotivated. Discouraged and just generally depressed. In other words, exactly how I woke up every morning pre-Whole30...


The Marzipan

The hubster's grandmother, Mamy, had made me special marzipan "eggs" coated in cocoa powder for Easter, since I couldn't have the traditional store-bought chocolate eggs. I was in the middle of my Whole30 at Easter, so I promised her I would store them in the fridge and eat them after.

Day 43, I woke up grumpy. Unmotivated. Discouraged and just generally depressed. I went about my daily duties, then I realized my stomach was rumbling at about 4 o'clock. Once again, I am a creature of habit. My food has been the same all week. I wasn't hungry at all the other days of the week at this hour. Pre-Whole30 though, when I was eating higher carb, I was always hungry and dying to eat each afternoon.

I made myself a deviled egg and sliced up some chorizo. I ate it. It wasn't "enough". I ate another egg. Still not "enough". I ate more chorizo. Even that wasn't "enough". I opened the fridge again and noticed the marzipan eggs. I ate one. It didn't even taste as good as I remembered marzipan tasting, but all I wanted to do was shove them all in my mouth. So I forced myself to shut the fridge and walked away.

Shortly after, I experienced what I call a "carb high" where my head literally spins and I feel dizzy and fuzzy headed. And just for the record, the marzipan egg was the size of a traditional, small, chocolate Easter egg.


The Conclusion

I'm getting the impression that sugar, in any form, bothers me. Natural sugars found in fruit {the banana}, refined sugars such as molasses and tamarind paste {the sauce} and even lesser-refined sugars such as honey {the marzipan}.


The Game Plan

  • I intend on going back to a Whole30 template for a few days, then try sugar again, probably in the form of different fruit {strawberries are sounding good to me right about now}.
  • I also intend to read the SIBO guide Diane from Balanced Bites so generously provided for her newsletter subscribers, free of charge! Ever since first hearing about Small Intestinal Bacteria Overgrowth, I've suspected having an issue with it - now may be the time to find out for sure!
  • I intend to look into FODMAPs / SCD lifestyles again. I always found the diet guidelines to be too restricting, but I'm coming to the conclusion that maybe that's exactly what I need - especially if I can heal my gut and reintroduce certain foods later on.

I don't especially want to ban all forms of sugar from my life, but if eating sugar means I am bloated and uncomfortable, grouchy and depressed, as well as dizzy with brain fog, I will gladly pass on it.

Diet is so personal, and will be completely different for everyone. Don't take my bad experiences to be the only way there is - but if you're experiencing similar symptoms, know that you're not alone. I hope to find a solution to my problem, and maybe even help someone else out as well.

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