I’m halfway through week two of my ‘real’ low FODMAP food experiment. YEAH!
For those who haven’t read my previous post, you should know that after all the overeating of the Christmas festivities, I have decided to cut out from my diet, all processed food for 21 days.
Twenty-one days of only healthy low FODMAP healthy food or ‘real’ food, compared to the heavily processed food that most of us eat every day.
So how have I been doing with my experiment? All in all I think I have done fairly good, although I have slipped a few times.
My ‘regular’ diet is generally quite healthy and assorted anyway, but it still contains a lot of processed food, especially in forms of cereals, cakes, biscuits, chips, chocolate. Although low in FODMAPs, those food are still unhealthy and should be eaten in rare occasions. The occasions were not really that rare in the past couple of months and I have overindulged in those food, making it quite hard to let them go, that is why I had to start this experiment and blog about it, so that I can feel accountable towards my readers.
It has been very interesting noticing that for the past 10 days I had to try really hard not to consume this food automatically, especially during the first few days of my real low FODMAP food experiment and the hardest thing for me was and still is to give up food with sugar, I have a very sweet tooth unfortunately.
One day I was craving chocolate so badly that I didn’t want to wait until I could make some from scratch with good ‘real’ ingredients, so I searched the pantry and each cupboard, I also looked at the back of all cereal boxes and finally I did find a big block of dark chocolate with almonds, which I bought a while back. I was so happy, I know it is really sad to feel overwhelmed with joy over chocolate, but sugar addiction is a real addiction!
I ate half a block in just a few minutes (at least it was dark chocolate 😉 ).
Now I have learnt that if I have sugar craving I should just have a fruit smoothie instead and make it nice and thick, so that it feels like eating an ice-cream (still not low in calories, but at least it is all natural and for the time being this is my aim).
I failed miserably again, the day after, when I made my daughters some homemade mac & cheese, with gluten-free pasta and all sorts of cheeses. It smelt so good, I could not resist…I decided to try it, just a little bit, just to check if it also tasted good and yesss… it was yummy. I ended up ‘tasting’ a whole bowl of it (gluten-free pasta and low FODMAP bread are also food I am trying to avoid for 21 days).
Another day I had friends for dinner and made Mexican food, my guests all had tortillas and tacos and of course I wasn’t tempted by the tortillas as they were made with wheat, but the tacos looked pretty innocent, so I had two, with nice lean mince meat cooked in onion infused oil and spices, some chopped tomatoes, salad leaves and grated cheese. Surely I could have had the filling without the tacos, but hey at least I only had two rather than the usual four. (Justification, justification).
Why does it have to be so hard?
Almost 2 years ago, I gave up ‘normal’ food for low FODMAP food and to tell you the truth it took me many months to get used to eat mainly low FODMAP and now I don’t have a problem with it, I have accepted it. I know what I can and can’t eat, I live with it, because I know it is better for me, my IBS symptoms have virtually gone, it is worth it.
I am starting to realise that 21 days are probably not enough to kick the habit of processed food and sugar cravings and that it is going to take me many months. My aim is to reprogram myself (my brain and my body) to eat as natural as I possibly can, leaving the rest of the food, as an occasional treat.
I have also started to exercise regularly and I have been enjoying swimming, bike riding and long walks. From next week I will be regularly doing yoga too.
I can say I am feeling good and have a more positive outlook for life in general (my serotonin must have kicked in 😀 )
When I wake up, I always have a glass of water with the juice of half a lemon. A bit later I have a low FODMAP herbal tea and for breakfast I mainly drink a super-duper protein shake, from 180 Nutrition, which I blend with some fresh and frozen fruits (bananas, raspberries, blueberries, strawberries) in a mixture of lactose free/almond/coconut milk. I find protein smoothies tasty and filling and being summer here in Australia, I feel this is the perfect way to start my morning, a nice cold smoothie.
180 Protein Superfood (Currently sold in Australia, NZ and USA). View Products: Grass Fed Whey Protein and Vegan Pea Protein Isolate (Affiliate Link)
In my new diet, I have started to consume more vegetarian dishes and mixed salads with different things in it, some people call it boring, but I find them tasty, like the ‘Eggplant Parmigiana’ I recently cooked.
My aim for this week is to continue with the real low FODMAP food experiment and also to be stronger in resisting temptation and hopefully I will not indulge in any food I have planned not to eat. I really want to see if that is going to make any difference in how I feel.
I have noticed (and this may be due to the increase exercise as well), that I don’t need as much sleep and I feel a bit less tired during the day.
Until next time, all the best to you with your new year’s resolution.
Take good care.