Food intolerances, elimination diets and trying to figure out what to eat

How are your healthy living goals coming along? Have any of you checked out My Fitness Pal yet? January was a great month for me, and I lost about 4.5 pounds in 2 weeks! Yay!! The accountability of meeting up with friends on My Fitness Pal has been very helpful! Especially now that I’m okay with having my “food diary” viewable by my friends. I love getting ideas from others by reading their diary also. Come on, be brave…..you can do it! ;)

I used to worry about sharing my food diary with you guys because I consider myself a “REAL” food enthusiast! I don’t eat fast food, and I stick with mostly natural ingredients, but if you take a look at my food diary you will see I’m not perfect and I definitely eat sugar….sometimes more often than others. Lately I need to increase my veggie and fruit intake. I used to eat a lot more fruits/veggies and a lot less carbs, but last summer I realized I have some sort of allergy or food intolerance. I went on an elimination diet to figure out what it was.

It was at that time I realized that certain foods made my stomach happy and felt good digesting them (that’s when I discovered Ray’s Plain New York bagels….a huge new treat for me!). I realized I have to limit my fruit and veggie intake to smaller portions at separate meals and not all grouped up together. I discovered that I can still eat wheat (whew!!) and gluten, most dairy (yay butter!), and eggs. Sadly I can’t eat potatoes or sweet potatoes (if I do I have to limit quantities), and I also can’t have some of the new fangled “healthy” sweeteners like “evaporated cane juice” which seems to be in everything. I need to stay away from corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup solids and a lot of the new terms for sugar that are out there. High fructose corn syrup is something I try to stay away from anyway.

The less processed the food is, the better. Which is why I started baking more so I can have more treats without side effects. I’m all about eating REAL food, and I’ve always strived to keep the ingredients list to a minimum so figuring this out has given me another reason to stay away from processed foods. But the bummer is, it’s really put a damper eating fruit and veggies with wild abandon. It’s so strange to change my thinking on this….to me FRUIT and VEGETABLES equals HEALTHY, and that’s still true. But it’s so bizarre to wrap my mind around the fact that I can’t eat as much of them as I want, whenever I want. Thankfully, at least I’ve found I can eat most of them….I just need to watch my portions and not have them all in the same meal.

I haven’t quite figured out what I have….maybe it’s just certain food allergies. But at first Fructose Malabsorption seemed to be likely. I used the FODMAPS elimination chart to try and figure out what I can and can’t eat. I learned the fructose content of all the foods, and it’s certainly helped me immensely. I’m still not sure what I have, but at least I’m feeling A LOT better! I used to get stomach pains and swell after eating certain foods. It finally got so bad last summer that I had to figure it out.

Have you experienced anything like this? I’d love to hear from you. Have you heard of Fructose Malabsorption? Fodmaps? Did you get tested for food allergies? Would you recommend that?

 

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7 Responses to Food intolerances, elimination diets and trying to figure out what to eat

  1. Linda Trego says:

    Hi Denise,
    I can relate to the food intolerance thing. Aside from one true food allergy (to kiwi fruit, strangely enough), I have to watch how many nuts such as almonds and cashews that I eat at one time. And they are healthy for us! But if I eat let’s say 12 almonds at a time, I’m fine. But if I shovel down 24, I get a tummy ache. Another food I have an intolerance to is broccoli; but in that case, I can’t eat any amount of it. I discovered that problem when I was in my 20s. It took maybe three bad stomach aches before I realized it was because of the cream of broccoli soup, or broccoli souffle, or whatever. My system just can’t seem to digest it. It seems like with age, I am adding to the things I have to watch out for. So far, so good, for me with dairy and gluten, etc., but time will tell. Good luck!!

  2. RaZella says:

    Hello There! I am actually doing the Whole30 right now, which based on your descriptions, sounds a little like an “elimination” diet. After 30 days, I’ll slowly be adding back in food groups that have been eliminated and then really analyzing my body to see if there is anything wrong. I know I’ve experienced stomach pains before, however I was NOT eating real foods. I was mainly eating processed foods, and then eating past the point of fullness to the point of “bloated stuffness”. For me, the elimination of certain food groups is so that I can conquer some of my food addictions and stop making food an idol in my life. I do think that this idea of removing certain food groups is brilliant, and I’m glad I’m doing this because I have a feeling I will discover that while I can “tolerate” all foods, I’m pretty sure I’m going to find a sensitivity to dairy. I’ve been suspecting this for a long time, however, having removed it completely from my diet for 5 days now makes me realize that some of the discomforts I’ve had in the past I haven’t experienced at all. It also may be too soon to tell.
    Enjoyed reading your article! Came via the link from the FB WIW Group. :)
    RaZella recently posted..Blogging Through Matthew: Ch 5, 6, & 7

    • Denise says:

      I’ve found I tolerate almond milk very well. I started putting it in my hot tea instead of whole milk because it’s so much lower in calories. Since I drink hot tea all day (about 5 cups a day), it’s a better choice calorie wise.

      I get a whole cup of almond breeze vanilla almond milk at 40 calories versus a cup of whole milk at 150 calories. ;)

  3. Pam Rauber says:

    Hi Denise,
    Don’t be offended by this one suggestion…it is very common as you age to develop food in-tolerances. It sounds to me though, keeping a diary really helps. Changing the portions is a great advantage to sustaining your palate without eliminating foods you enjoy altogether.
    Pam Rauber recently posted..Chorizo and Cannellini Bean Casserole

    • Denise says:

      Hi Pam! Thanks for the input! I agree. It’s great to realize we might not have to eliminate totally but only to limit the portion and/or combining of different foods.

  4. Mellissa says:

    I came by looking for a flourless cake and saw this post! So glad I found you, I’ll be a new follower now. After not getting anywhere with my MD, and only minimal results with a GI, I saw a naturopath and had an in-depth food allergy/intolerance test done. Not only did I react to your typical foods like wheat, soy, eggs, dairy, shellfish, and nuts, I also reacted to some things that I thought to be odd like many spices, kale, and some beans. Eliminated everything, felt 100% better. I eat the offending foods and I get tired and cranky and achy and my brain is foggy. Highly recommend. Anywho, this is the beginning of my story. http://kitchen-garden-love.blogspot.com/2012/04/sick-and-tired-of-being-sick-and-tired_09.html
    Mellissa recently posted..Resting and recouping

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