all round and emofree

January 30, 2008

Tonight I saw my nutritionist for a review of my detection diet journal. I was anxious to hear her take on it all. I had known since our last conversation that she didn’t doubt my suspicions of fructose/sugar intolerance, so I wanted to see what she thought about whatever else might have been bothering me.

I don’t think I mentioned it here, but I have done some more research on fructose, and found out that there are plenty of things I was eating during the elimination diet that could have been causing reactions, such as brown rice and even celery. Additionally, thanks to some google sessions over the weekend and during the first part of the week, I’ve come to feel comfortable with a more general diagnosis of carbohydrate intolerance, specifically intolerance to sugar. I also have a new plan to begin at the end of this week, which I will get to in a moment.

My nutritionist had a few recommendations for me. Unfortunately, one of them was to drink more water. I thought I made the disclaimer somewhere that I drank way too much water (80 – 100 oz per day) to write it down. I had a hard enough time journaling at all; I can’t imagine logging each bottle. I guess I didn’t though, because a whole page of my 12 page brief was on the importance of drinking water. I can’t blame her; I really should have written it down. Otherwise, she noted my need for digestive support, since on the few days that I drank some sort of cleansing tea, I had an elated mood. I told her that I would drink it more often but it was often too harsh for me and she said she would get back to me on suggestions for gentler cleansing teas. She recommended a hydrogen breath test which was great because I recently asked my gastro for one; he said it was an obscure test and he’d get it for me eventually but that it might take some time and investigation. He also wanted a note from the nutritionist specifying which test, because I’m an idiot, so now things are in the works for him to get one. I really don’t quite get why anyone would consider the test obscure, especially not a hip young gastrointerologist on the Upper East Side, but I guess nothing is relative. No different than the naturopath in Harlem who thought I should eat an apple everyday even if it hurt my stomach. Now that I’m taking this into my own hands, I just can’t justify the $50 spent at Whole Foods every third day, the tears, the separate dinners, the cravings fought off, etc. etc. on top of the two years of suffering, if I can’t get an equal effort back from the medical community.

Other suggestions were chlorella and keeping off the coffee. She also gave me a DVD on the Emotional Freedom Technique. I haven’t gotten a chance to explore it, but her demonstration in the office was fairly interesting. She asked me to focus on something that really made my blood boil. The thing is unfortunately this is super easy for me; I just have to picture my last visit to my new general practitioner at the union health center. This guy gently kept me in his office for nearly an hour and a quarter, all the while trying to convince me that my stomach problems were psychological in nature. He said there was nothing wrong with me functionally and since I wasn’t losing weight I obviously was not sick, but rather I just needed “a really good psychiatrist to help me get at the root of whatever deep-seated problem” was causing all of my symptoms. I can’t lie. Sadly this was when I still had the energy for working out, and I was netting 1500 – 1600 calories a day with weekly cardio, strength training and yoga and not losing a pound. It really boggles my mind that I sit in my cubicle all week with my master’s degree so brain-fogged and bloated and sore that I can hardly do my work while this guy makes God knows what to not even keep up with the latest research in his field.

So anyway, I pictured this Doctor. She asked me to say “Even though I’m really angry with this doctor, I’m fully accepting of myself.” About twelve times. Each time she had me tap on a different part of my face. Then I just repeated the phrase “angry at this doctor” over and over again whist tapping myself on the arm and hand. After a few minutes she asked me to relate on a scale from one to ten, how angry the doctor made me. After tapping myself silly I had to admit I wasn’t really angry at the doctor anymore. My husband asked me later in the train if the technique had really made me less angry. I told him that it had been so tactile and silly that I just wasn’t able to concentrate on being angry anymore, so yes, it actually had.

Last night we ordered Self-Help Way to Treat Colitis and Other IBS Disorders on Amazon. I read about the book on a celiac forum, and on a few other places – all anecdotal evidence; several people mentioned it helped them. The premise is that carbohydrate intolerance, specifically intolerance of fructose and lactose, are genuinely responsible for many cases of bowel disorder, and the author promotes a diet that excludes all sugar except minuscule amounts of table sugar, all dairy except yogurt, and fiber. I didn’t know about their instant “read online” upgrade for only a dollar fifty, so after my husband paid twice the price of the book to have it shipped in two days, I upgraded and started reading. Before he left me and the laptop for bed, we laughed about how it would be nice if for once we paid good money to read something completely new and fresh. Well, besides the premise, which despite being relatively fresh, is nowhere near being completely novel, the diet is incredibly different from anything of which I’ve yet heard. I’ll be making just a few tweaks (leaving things out, not adding them in – I’ve learned the hard way) and beginning it on Friday. Strangely this diet allows white bread and potatoes. I am not sure those things will work for me but I am excited about trying a diet that allows them to see if it suits me. Maybe it will just be a sugar-free, dairy-free week between elimination diets or maybe it will be sustainable. I’m just not sure at this point. I’ll be writing lots about the diet in the days to come.

Of course currently I haven’t exactly gone to Taco Bell or anything, but I have been eating all kinds of organic foods that I shouldn’t, like cheese and chocolate and a banana. Today I even had crystallized ginger in grain-sweetened chocolate. I am so paying for it now. Once the sugar bug was triggered, I couldn’t help myself. At my husband’s office after the nutritionist I stealthily managed five pieces of chocolate into my mouth before I realized what I was even doing. Now that I have empirical proof that what I eat does affect me the next day (and sometimes the next) I really have to work on abandoning the I already feel horrible so screw it mindset I’ve grown used to over the past two years. I’ve begun the habit of measuring my waist and hips each morning upon rising and each night before bed. I used to measure a lot, and take pictures, because I actually needed proof that I was dealing with abdominal distention when I went to see doctors. Until I started doing this, I got a less than pathetic response from physicians who probably just thought I didn’t know that I was overweight. Now I could care less what doctors think about my girth; I figure this type of information will serve me well the next time I’m eliminating. This morning I woke up three inches smaller in the waist and two and a half inches smaller in the hips than when I went to bed last night. Of course, this was not due to weight loss but rather the distention subsiding overnight. Now that its bedtime, the 5.5 inches are back!

I really need wheat, gluten, sugar and dairy-free breakfast ideas. Other than hardboiled eggs. After failing so hard on this diet, I wanted so badly to keep abstaining from soy, gluten and wheat; the main foods that I really never minded giving up. However, thinking about giving dairy up again I realized I would really need a substitute for cereals in the morning and for tea. I found Edensoy unsweetened soymilk tonight – the only ingredients are organic soybeans and water, and it tastes amazing.



  1. Pretty interesting. Does your nutritionist try to sell you anything? I think that is a key–I am skeptical of doctors who happen to peddle supplements. For unbiased information online about products, you have to go to sites that do not sell–WebMd and NutritionalTree are two good ones.

  2. I agree, and luckily the only products she suggests to me are scattered over the island of Manhattan, from Bell Bates to Chinatown to the uptown Fairway. Thanks so much for the info regarding NutritionalTree – I had not seen that site before.

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