You guys are amazing. Thank you thank you thank you for your outpouring of love and support over the past five days. Every single comment, tweet, e-mail and text message touched my heart and brought a huge smile to my face. I know that sounds cheesy, but I really mean it! I wish I could give each of you a huge hug! I’m truly blessed to be surrounded and encouraged by such a loving community. <3
I apologize for leaving you hanging last week; I wanted to write each of you back individually, but a night spent in the ER coupled with nausea, numerous tests, and lots of anxiety, left me feeling physically and emotionally exhausted.
The good news is…I have good news! I also have some mehhhh news, but let’s talk about the good stuff first, k?
Mhhm. Cookies are always good news. But even better news is that over the weekend, I was able to eat those cookies. (Exclamation points!!!!). It may not sound like a big deal, but after subsisting off of chicken broth and more chicken broth for nearly four days, my appetite returned with a vengeance Saturday night.
And that called for a celebration.
Don’t worry, I didn’t eat an entire plateful (even though I wanted to!); one was way more than enough—those cookies were dense, rich, and super satisfying.
Okay, now that we’ve both got cookies on the mind, grab a coffee (or glass of milk or tea—whatever you fancy with your cookies), and let’s chat about the mehhhh news.
All tests run in the emergency room turned up negative, which is good (no appendicitis!), but it also means that I don’t have any answers. No answers means no treatment. In other words, the doctors don’t know what’s wrong.
Every time I eat, my stomach goes to war with itself, and all that fighting leaves me extremely bloated and…gassy.
Yep, I said it. Gassy. <—TMI!
All that lovely air makes me look and feel like I’m pregnant.
Basically, the extreme bloating and dehydration that landed me in the hospital last week—which has continued to a lesser degree this week—is being chalked up to IBS, which is the same diagnosis I was given in 2009, after a colonoscopy ruled out a myriad of other diseases. However, ever since eliminating gluten from my diet three years ago, my symptoms have been very manageable; I haven’t experienced a severe flare up in YEARS. That’s why I’m puzzled…and a little bit scared.
More tests still need to be run, which I’ve decided to wait and do in two weeks when I’m home in Boise. It’s hard to get into a good GI doctor in Washington, DC (they’re booked out for weeks!), and I really like the one I’ve worked with in the past in Boise, so that’s the route I’m going. However, I don’t want to wait that long to treat my symptoms, so I’m going to begin by experimenting with natural diet and supplement-based remedies. I’ve talked with several friends who know a lot about IBS (thanks for your advice, Lindsay and Khushboo!), and per their suggestions, as well as my own nutrition background and research, have come up with this plan:
- Begin taking a probiotic supplement daily. There’s a good chance I may have small intestinal bacteria overgrowth (so sexy!), so probiotics will help restore the healthy bacteria.
- Take digestive enzymes at every meal. Lindsay has recommended a few of these.
- Follow the Low FODMAP Diet for 2-4 weeks, and gauge my symptoms accordingly.
The Low Fodmap Diet has helped many people reduce their IBS symptoms, so I’m hopeful that I’ll experience similar results. The details are somewhat complex, but here’s an abbreviated explanation:
The acronym FODMAP describes a collection of short-chain carbohydrates found in many common foods. FODMAPs stands for Fermentable Oligo-, Di- and Mono-saccharides, and Polyols. The low FODMAP diet is often used in those with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Symptoms of gas, bloating, cramping and/or diarrhea may occur in those who could be sensitive to the effects of FODMAPs. A low FODMAP diet may help reduce symptoms, which will limit foods high in fructose, lactose, fructans, galactans and polyols.
The FODMAPs in the diet are:
Fructose (fruits, honey, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), etc)
Fructans (wheat, onion, garlic, etc) (fructans are also known as inulin) <–inulin is in lots of packaged foods!
Galactans (beans, lentils, legumes such as soy, etc)
Polyols (sweeteners containing sorbitol, mannitol, xylitol, maltitol, stone fruits
such as avocado, apricots, cherries, nectarines, peaches, plums, etc)
Source: Stanford University
Yeah, I thought so, too. This chart makes things a bit easier to understand, by laying out what FODMAP followers should and shouldn’t eat.
Welp. Farewell, my dear avocado!!
The good news is that this eating style will likely be temporary. After two weeks, I’ll begin adding food groups back in one at a time, and assess which give me trouble and which don’t.
Even though I’m hopeful about this new plan, I’m also nervous. After spending years repairing my relationship with food, and adopting an intuitive-based approach to eating, I am reluctant to commit to a plan that prohibits any food, albeit some of my favorite foods. Desperate times call for desperate measures, though, and right now my focus in on nourishing my body with the foods that will help my gut repair itself.
I’ll definitely be providing more details as I navigate the course of this journey. If you have any tips, recommendations or experiences you’d like to share, I’d really love to hear them!
So, even though you won’t be seeing any of these over the next few weeks…
or these (tear)…
you will be seeing plenty of these…
lots of this…
and a few of these, too.
Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Note: there are lots of variations on this recipe, but this is my favorite. I posted another recipe for these cookies about a year ago, but since then, discovered that the addition of baking soda makes for a better, more cookie-like cookie.
1 cup creamy peanut butter
3/4 cup sugar (you can also use brown sugar or coconut sugar)
1/2 t. baking soda
3/4 cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Mix all ingredients; drop onto cookie sheet and bake about 10 minutes. You may need to adjust cooking time, depending on how large you make your cookies.
Now THAT was a long one. If you’ve made it this far (even if by scrolling straight to the end ), you earn major brownie (cookie?) points!
And we ALL can use brownie (cookie) points on Monday. Amiright?
Have a marvelous day, friends! Sending love and hugs your way!
I want to know…
Have you ever had or chosen to give up a food you love for dietary reasons?
Have you heard of FODMAPs? If you follow the diet, have you experienced improvement?
Do you have tummy troubles? What foods tend to cause them?
I’ve always known that cruciferous vegetables (cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, etc.) were problematic, but never guessed that avocados, asparagus and onions could be causing me troubles!