So here I find myself on a journey that I foolishly thought was going to be easy. If you’ve read an earlier post you will know that following a home test kit from Foods You Can I have discovered what I had suspected for sometime; that I can’t tolerate milk, wheat, barley, potato. There were some discoveries I had certainly not expected in the form of an intolerance to kidney beans, maize, soya, peas, brewers yeast and egg whites.
As I write this now, I am sitting crossed legged on my sofa, with a swollen tummy and a bumper sized bottle of Gaviscon next to me…the windows are open to keep the ventilation up. Not a pretty picture I’ve painted there but we’re all adults here (at least I assume we are, hello to any teens!). This is the symptomatic reality of intolerance’s and auto immune conditions. We always knew when Bethany had been contaminated it was evident in the size of her tummy, her flatulence and her blood sugars…I can only guess what her toilet habits were like but Beth’s understandably become very private about these matters in recent years.
Why am I doing an impression of a gnome on a toadstool? Because I foolishly decided to have pasta with the rest of the family. I had Tesco Free From Pasta, Gluten & Dairy Free Garlic Bread and Arrabiata Sauce. The culprit…the pasta. Not one corn flour but two (white and golden) by the time I had finished my meal my tummy had started to swell and my jeans were fit to burst. So, I’m also in my pyjamas!
The idea I had about doing a weekly diary was so that I could avoid this very type of relapse…it’s not working, I have to be stronger. I’m not going to cheat the system, I won’t sit here and type what a fab weeks it’s been, I’ve been a good girl and everything’s tickety boo. I wasn’t brought up that way, I’m honest to my detriment sometimes!
This-week-has-been-hard. I really cannot believe how naive I was going into this. I thought that it would be a case of going totally gluten free alongside Bethany (rather then the half and half that I was doing before) and going vegan on top of that. The sticking point seems to be the potato (as in potato flours/starch) and the corn/maize flour. Of course this is a staple addition to most gluten free flours and pastas. Then there’s the egg white…the nail in the coffin (metaphorically speaking, this isn’t going to actually kill me of course!)
On the positive side I’ve been looking at the free from isles with a different head screwed on. I’m hoping to open Beth’s eyes to more products and encourage her to try more and increase her very limited diet that she insists on following. If I try new stuff then maybe she’ll give them a go too?
So here are some of the adaptations to my diet with some of my favourite new foods;
My daily breakfast this week has been my own muesli mix. It’s something I started whilst on holiday in Majorca. Make-your-own-muesli, it was fun to try different combinations of dried fruit and seeds each morning with rice or almond milks. When we got home I popped to Sainsbury’s to stock up on free from and spent a huge £130. Poor Brett and Lewis didn’t have much they would want to eat, it’s not that I forgot about them, I just didn’t focus on that part of the shop!
I made two Tupperware tubs of luxury muesli, one with copious amounts of dried fruit, the other packed with seeds and nuts. They’re both as delicious as as each other so no particular favourites. It’s the milk that makes a difference. So far my favourite has been oat or rice milk with my muesli. However, the nutty milks are equally as delicious. This is where I don’t feel restricted at all, in fact, it’s lovey to have such choice depending on what mood I’m in. Below is a haul of milks that I brought in one shop…not quite sure why I bought the chocolate one, I don’t drink chocolate milk, it probably was a case of ‘it’s there so I’ll buy it’. Mind you, I could add this to a smoothie with some frozen cherries. In fact, that’s exactly what I’ll do (yum).
This is going to be a very short entry. My lunches consist of sushi, bananas or a second bowl of muesli washed down with fizzy water. Not ideal!
I have also tried Schar Crispbreads with mashed avocado but the crispbreads affected my tummy. An alternative that I seem to be getting away with is German Style Rye Bread from Sainsbury’s this has got wheat in it but one slice cut in half and toasted seems to agree with me spread with Flora Freedom.
C- …must try better Rebecca.
To be fair, dinners not been much better. I don’t know about you but I can’t seem to muster up the energy or enthusiasm to eat when it’s hot and humid. therefore I’m not sure if dinners are being effected by the weather at the moment or my change in diet? I go to Pilates on Mondays and don’t eat until I return so I’ll admit to a cheats bowl of muesli and on Tuesdays I go out for a minimum of a 6 mile walk with my mum and sister so again I might choose to eat muesli afterwards. On other days I’ve opted for veggie packed rice noodle stir frys. I’ve also added cashews for a bit of texture and vitamins.
I did a bit of research into probiotics once I’d had the test results back. I knew that helping my gut to recover would be a sensible thing to do, having a brother-in-law who has multiple intolerance’s and allergy’s I had his experiences with probiotics as a benchmark. Then Vicki (aka Free From Fairy) suggested some dairy free liquid probiotics that she’d had success with. I’d read a bit about the science behind good bacteria and the way it travels through the gut, and it made perfect sense to me that tablet or dairy form would slow down the absorption rate and more importantly destroy heaps of the good little guys before they got to where I needed them in my gut. Symprove ticked all the boxes for me and their science verified what I already though I knew.
As I have to eliminate foods from my diet for 3 months is made sense to opt for the 12 weeks programme of Symprove, this way I also benefited from getting the last 4 weeks FREE.
So far I’m on day 6, and so far so good. I’ve got the flavoured version (didn’t know if I fancied original!) The cup you are supplied with is worth three gulps, any more and I’d have trouble chugging it down! Mum always said ‘if it tastes horrible, it must be good for you’. This doesn’t taste horrible, but it’s not a pina colada either! I wake up, have my Symprove and 10 minutes later tuck into a bowl of muesli with redbush tea. Simple.
It’s too early to say if it’s making a difference and to be fair this won’t be put to the test until I start to reintroduce foods anyway. I guess it’s a waiting game now.