Archive | December, 2013

Back to the Drawing Board

21 Dec

I tried 2 supplements and found little relief.  Over the course of 2014, I would like to revisit the structured diet world.  This time, however, everything will be on my terms.  In a sense, things were on my terms in 2012 when I designed the original experiment.  However, I took a martyr approach.  I often ate less than I should have during many of the diets, struggling to keep true to the limitations.  I had a hard time combining all of my self-imposed restrictions and shrank my stomach so much that I didn’t even notice how few calories I was consuming.  This didn’t help with my already well-established binging tendencies.  I could have been more organized, but it was a learning experience.

This time around, I am interested in trying out various styles of eating more tailored to my body.  For example, the first diet I will do is the low FODMAP elimination diet.  I already know it will help, but I want to better sort out which FODMAPS give me the worst symptoms.  It will then be easier to eat whatever I want within reason without making myself sick when the least convenient (such as before traveling).  There are other approaches I want to try out of curiosity.  I will choose whichever diets I want to do in whatever order sounds good to me (no more leaving it up to fate and pulling it out of a hat).  I will take breaks whenever I feel like it (especially over the summer).  I don’t intend for this to be a year of deprivation.  I aim for it to be a year of further revelation.  Structured eating helps me eat more mindfully.  When life is overwhelmingly chaotic, attempting to eat certain foods and limit others forces your brain to focus.  Meal planning becomes necessary.  While convenience is amazing so is paying attention to the signals your body is trying to send.

I enjoyed my year off, but even when given free reign, I found myself reverting to old habits.  I sometimes ate out of boredom, just to escape, or gave into sugar binges simply because I am an addict.  Ever eat 12 peanut butter cups in one sitting?  I have, and it was only a couple of weeks ago.  I even oversee myself engaging in self-sabotage.  Here is a true story to illustrate my point.  For the past few years, around Christmas, I make candy with Derek’s mom.  We always make an insane amount, and several canisters of deliciousness are sent home with me.  Every year, I vow to myself that I will control myself and make sure there is plenty of candy for Christmas.  Every year, I fail.  I come home from work with the knowledge of goodies in my freezer, and I stuff myself.  The next day, I tell myself that that was the last time! and a few hours later, repeat the behavior.  Hmm.  This year, I binged on candy for 2 days straight and put the kabosh on the madness early by bringing it all over to my mom’s.  Then our Christmas plans changed.  We decided to have Christmas Eve dinner at my house.  Instead of leaving the candy in my mom’s care, I nonchalantly said that I “might as well” take the candy home with me, so that it would be at my house for Christmas.  The whole time this was going on, a voice in my head reminded me that I was just lying to myself.  It knew I intended to eat the candy as soon as I got the chance.  That’s exactly what happened.  On my way home, I ate about 6 peanut butter cups, already stuffed from overeating at supper.  When I go down that slippery slope, sugar starts making decisions for me.  I am sticking to my guns that sugar is a drug.  I don’t care how many times people snicker at me when I say it.  These are the same people who will refuse to cut it out when given a diabetes or fructose malabsorption diagnosis.  Mark my words.  On the plus side, I understand my limits enough to have demanded that Derek hide the (remaining!) Christmas candy from me.  If at first you don’t succeed…try try again.

My ally, who also happens to be a professional in the psychology field, gave me a recommendation for this next round of guinea pigging.  She thought I should try to tackle my unhealthy relationship with food through proven techniques, such as mindfulness and appetite awareness.  I think this is a fantastic idea, so I have decided to incorporate both approaches.  I will follow the do or die route when I feel I’ve got it in me.  When I don’t, I will eat whatever I want while utilizing various healthy eating habits.

Here are some diets (in no particular order!) I want to try during the next round:

1. 21 Day Sugar Detox:

2. Low FODMAP diet:

3. The Whole 30:

4. The Bulletproof Diet:

5. Fast Tract Digestion – IBS: (This diet restricts resistant starch in an effort to treat Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth)

6. Perfect Health Diet:

7. The Paleo Approach:

The nice thing about the diets listed above is that most of them are not crazy restrictive.  All but a few of these are meant to be lifestyle approaches, not elimination diets.

I hope you will continue to follow me on my journey as a guinea pig.  As always, I welcome any comments or questions.

Addition Diet Trial #2: Prescript Assist

16 Dec

I followed a less than scientific approach for this experiment as well.  I took the Prescript Assist probiotic faithfully for about 2 weeks and found the results less than impressive.  As a result, I started taking it more sporadically until the rest of the bottle was gone.  As with the Lauricidin (, I did notice more regularity.  However, it came at a price.  It’s common when you first start taking a new probiotic for your tummy to go through a transition period in which things get extra screwy for awhile.  TMI ALERT: I started to notice an orange colored discharge during BMs.  I suffer a lot of weird symptoms, but orange poo goo was a new one. :-/  I learned from the internet that this is called keriorrhea.  My condolences to those poor bastards that used to have to describe these symptoms to their doctors (or silently suffer) in the pre-internet days.  This is the main reason why I only gave it 2 weeks before backing off.  I don’t like leaking out of my butt (Even though I never tried Olestra, see my rant against subsequent anal leakage in this post: ).  According to Wikipedia, keriorrhea occurs when indigestible wax esters are consumed.  Leonardite is a “soft, waxy…mineraloid” used in the production of Prescript Assist capsules.  Mystery solved.  As far as I know, it’s not harmful, but I don’t enjoy the feeling of a leaky butt enough to pay $50 for 60 more capsules.  I don’t like painting Prescript Assist in a bad light, because it’s one of the most promising probiotics on the market.  Unfortunately, many probiotics can do more (actual) harm than good.  This is what happens when industry takes a few promising ideas from science and markets it before experts can give their full blessing.  According to the Paleo mom (a blog that I love, written by a former biochemist):  “Lactobacillus and bifidobacterium are the two most heavily studied genera of probiotic bacteria.  They are also the most commonly found in supplement form”  Yet “these are also the strains that may contribute to autoantibody formation and to severe eosinophilic syndrome in some people”.  My understanding of eosinophilia is a state of chronically elevated white blood cells, most often the result of an allergic reaction.  In other words, taking probiotics can contribute to an allergic reaction by exposing a person to bacteria that would not normally reside in that person.  If you are under silent attack, your body is going to be inflamed, and we all know (or should by now!), the dangers of chronic inflammation.  In addition, certain species of bacteria have the ability to produce more histamine in the body.  Everybody has a different histamine tolerance, but even the most food tolerant individual has limits.  If you eat a pizza (with tomatoes, spinach, feta cheese, & brined olives) and drink several glasses of red wine, you may feel your face flush, get a headache, or feel your heart race.  This can imply a histamine reaction (or tyramine, but that was explained in another post:  If you supplement with probiotics using the types of bacteria that increase histamine production in the gut, you may find your tolerance for red wine or Greek Pizza going down.  That’s no fun at all, I assure you.  Prescript Assist uses several soil-based organisms to encourage a more varied and thorough repopulation of the digestive tract.  This small study shows possible benefits in those with IBS:  I don’t want to discourage anyone from trying this product, because a lot of people seem to find significant improvement through its use.  Again, it’s just my individual opinion that this product may not be for me, at least not at this time.  Back at the drawing board, I am considering future (never done by me before) elimination trials.  I will keep you posted! 🙂