I’m three meals into this SCD/low FODMAP diet; 267 to go! It’s daunting, but ridding my small intestine of this nasty infection is worth it. I’m putting my health, and therefore myself, first. Luckily I have a supportive husband and my kids know that I will be eating my own way for a while.
As part of this process, I’m tracking everything I eat and drink, any mood or physical reactions from food or supplements, exercise, meditation practice, weight, bowel movements, sleep, and other self-care measures. Documenting these will help me to stay on top of everything and share my healing journey with anyone who might be interested. SIBO affects a LOT of people (whether they know it or not) and I’m hoping my blog will help others on a similar path.
One of the challenges for me (and I consider myself rather food savvy) is figuring out which vegetables and fruits I can eat. I’m already gluten- and dairy-free, and eat very few grains, but this diet takes things to a whole new level. The idea is to give your gut a chance to heal, and therefore only eat things that are easy to digest. Not all veggies are easy to digest and/or ferment easily in the gut. This is what I’m avoiding – foods fermenting. So, broccoli is fine, but cauliflower is not. Zucchini is okay, but no more that half a cup. Some berries are allowed, others are not. Luckily I have a guide (courtesy of Dr. Allison Siebecker, ND and SIBO expert) as well as an iPhone app which is easy to use. I’m definitely learning as I go.
I’m happy to be done with the herbal antibiotics. I was on a cocktail of oregano oil, garlic, neem, and berberine complex for 4 months. Not only is it very expensive, it’s a lot of pills. I still take my regular daily supplements (multi-vit, adrenal support, thyroid/Hashimoto’s support, lithium, B complex, betaine, vitamin D-3, etc.). For this prevention phase, I’ve added a powerful probiotic to repopulate my system with good microbes, low dose Erythromycin (to help with motility), and I’ll be taking L-Glutamine (a great gut healer) as well. Fewer pills, less $!
I consider Prescript-Assist the “Grand Poo-bah” of probiotics.
Luckily I can eat eggs. If not, I might not make it through the next 90 days. Breakfast was two fried eggs (not very photo worthy because I broke one of the yokes) and sauteed greens (baby kale, spinach, chard) and red bell peppers in butter with a splash of apple cider vinegar to finish.
For lunch I reheated some leftover baked chicken thighs and sauteed more greens in butter, with carrots, zucchini (less that 1/2 C.), and purple cabbage.
For dinner I roasted all the veggies in the house I can NOT eat and fed those to my family with hot dogs (really!) while I comforted myself with pancakes – if you’ve been following my blog for a while, you know the ones. They’re made with 2 eggs and 1 banana in a blender. During the sugar detox, only green-tipped bananas are allowed. On the SCD/low FODMAP plan bananas must have brown spots. Go figure! I topped them with plenty of grass-fed butter, cinnamon, and toasted coconut, along with a side of bacon. Bacon cured with sugar is only allowed once per week. However, Costco carries bacon that has just a little bit of honey, and honey is allowed. Jackpot!
I’ve stayed well hydrated today: 73 ounces so far. I will have another 6-8 oz. tonight when I drink Natural Calm before bed. Natural Calm is naturally flavored magnesium citrate that you mix with hot water. Not only does it help you fall asleep (magnesium relaxes muscles), but it keeps you regular and has numerous other benefits in the body, including cardiovascular health.
My exercise today was a brisk, 25-minute walk around the neighborhood, including hills, with my beloved dog Radley. We managed to get out between rain showers. I’m still sore from practicing an hour of yoga yesterday, something I’ve been remiss in doing for a couple of months. It sure feels good to move my body, though. I hope to mix up my workouts between walks, yoga, T-25 (a DVD set that is a total ass-kicker), and if I get the courage, maybe even some gym classes I’ve been wanting to try.
Self-care (well besides feeding my body nutrient-dense healing foods) included a hot epsom salt bath (more magnesium), reading a few pages of fiction, and completing a really difficult 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle that’s been scattered about my dining room table for more than two weeks. Yes, I consider these leisurely activities self-care because I’m slowing down, relaxing, and tuning out. I also got my haircut (for the 3rd time in two weeks, but that’s another story). Haircuts are similar enough to a spa treatment that I consider it self care.
(Never let an 8-year old pick your puzzle. It wasn’t even my 8-year old. Then again, it’s not even my puzzle so I guess I can’t complain. It was fun. Or maybe I’m just a little bit OCD.)
My energy was steady all day. That’s a real plus in my world. At times fatigue can really keep me down. This is due to Hashimoto’s, an autoimmune disease that likes to attack my thyroid. There’s definitely a strong connection between autoimmunity and gut health, so I’m hopeful that healing my gut will put Hashi into remission.
Well, that’s all for now. I’ve just been invited by my 8-year old to meditate with her before bed. She’s got a regular practice and I’m going to try to follow in her footsteps.