Wednesday, 7 November 2012

The Daily Paleo

Recipes, how I'm doing with it, how I'm feeling and looking...
What is Paleo, and why go Paleo?

In September 2011 I was diagnosed with FODMAPS. To quote Wikipedia:

“FODMAPs are short chain carbohydrates and monosaccharides which are poorly absorbed in the small intestine, including fructans, galactans, fructose and polyols. The term is an acronym, deriving from "Fermentable, Oligo-, Di-, Mono-saccharides and Polyols".

The restriction of FODMAPs from the diet has been found to have a beneficial effect for sufferers of irritable bowel syndrome and other functional gut disorders. The low FODMAP diet was developed at Monash University in Melbourne.”

I had been having increasing problems with my health, wind, indigestion, stomach cramps, nausea and vomiting. Months of it, getting worse all the time. It came to a head one Sunday, when we’d stayed after Church for a workshop. I’d had a couple of mouthfuls of Chinese takeaway, and within a couple of minutes, had to run to the ladies to throw up. One of the other guys noticed this, and when he told my husband, David said, “Oh, she does that all the time!”

Not long after that, there was an item on TV about FODMAPS. Was that what my problem was? I was finally able to make an appointment and go and see Jill Thomson. She asked me what I was eating. Fruit salad and porridge, or maybe Vogels toast for breakfast. A vogels sandwich for lunch. Apples. Oh, and I loved onions and mushrooms. I was put on an elimination diet. The symptoms rapidly reduced. Tried reintroducing some of the foods – like a piece of Vogels. Bad idea.

I also got a referral for an endoscopy – a camera down the throat to look at my oesophagus. I managed it without an anaesthetic, but it WAS NOT FUN. I have a hiatus hernia (where the top of the stomach/oesophagus comes up through the diaphragm, instead of being underneath it). I also had what’s called a “Schatzki ring”, where the oesophagus is squeezed and burnt by stomach acids, and the valve cannot close. Several levels of coolness!

Basically, I'm intolerant to gluten, lactose, legumes, pip fruit, stone fruit, everything in the onion family, fungi, some artifical sweeteners and a variety of other weird stuff.

This resulted in the first diet change. No more FODMAPS foods. Doctor gave me a proton pump inhibitor called Omeprazole. So for the past year, I’ve spent quality time avoiding the foods that aren’t good for me.

Then in October I was due for my Diabetes checkup. My HbA1c (again quoting Wiki):

Glycated hemoglobin or glycosylated hemoglobin (hemoglobin A1c, HbA1c, A1C, or Hb1c; sometimes also HbA1c) is a form of hemoglobin that is measured primarily to identify the average plasma glucose concentration over prolonged periods of time.”

came back at 14.5 – it should have been around 8! The locum’s reaction (she who had greeted me with; “you’re an apple”) – was to ask me if I was trying to kill myself. My own GP, when I got in to see him the following week, told me I wasn’t stupid, old, or trying to kill myself, but I was becoming increasingly insulin resistant, and my pancreas was starting to fail to make insulin at all.

We negotiated, and I got two more months to see if I could change my diet, lose some weight, and bring those levels down. I also now have to have an extra Gliclazide, to go with the 3000mg of Metformin I take daily, to make up for the lack of insulin.

Then, about a week ago, I came across a lady named Rene, who has a fb group called ‘Primal Pals’. And she was talking about something called the Paleo Diet. Of course, alarm bells rang. Oh no, not another fad diet. But ... it actually made sense. Some of their archaeology and anthropology is a bit dodgy – but nothing major – the premise is sound, as far as I’m concerned. So, lots of research and web pages later ...

During the research, I discovered that Omeprazol, which is the proton pump inhibitor, which reduces the amount of acid my stomach makes, is really bad. The FDA says to only take it for a maximum of 4 months - it's indicated in hip fractures, especially in women at an early age (ie 60's!!!) aargh!

So, I made the decision. I'm going Paleo because there's food lists, recipes and plans to follow, that take a lot of the bad stuff out - the rest will be trial and error, lol. I'm not going to be following what is called a 'strict' Paleo diet.

The switch to a (moderate) Paleo diet is now a happening thing. Shopping today - got kefir grains, coconut and tapioca flours, swede and parsnip. Microgreen seeds are on order, Digestive and proteolytic enzymes are on order. No more grains in my diet (darn, except, maybe, for that gluten free afghan I bought at the healthfood store!).

Glucose test strips and a new battery on order from somewhere deep in the South Island. Sod the doctor. How do I know if my bloodsugars are going down, if I don't test them? I'm darned if I'm going to hit 14.5 again!

Swigging down Apple Cider Vinegar, honey and sugar (hopefully the sugar will balance the fructose in the honey, and I won't react to this). Re-read the Glucose Revolution - a teaspoon of sugar has half the glucose a single date contains ... not that I can eat dates any more ... they're a stone fruit :(
If I'm organised when I get home, I might make some tapioca cheese buns for Jam tonight!

Ate (most of) a great big healthy salad, with healthy carbs (pumpkin), and a couple of chicken drumsticks for lunch.

Breakfast was scrambled eggs. (Becca had hers on Vogels toast!) That’s the next big issue to work out - still having Brown Rice Flakes. Can't eat vogels bread (nommy poison), rolled oats (nommy poison - if it's not gluten in it, there's something else that hurts!), can't have eggs every day (well, I could, but ...)
So that’s where we stand as of today, 7 November 2012.

As I get into the swing of things, I’ll try and post recipes I’ve modified, photos and other interesting snippets. Oh, and maybe I’ll be able to do some art soon, once my exam is over on 12 November.

Have an awesome day, folks!

2000 update: 101/95/100 - 74kg or for the non-metric: 39/37/39 (ish)  - 163lbs
12 minutes on the bike
30 minute walk with husband and dogs
Dinner: mashed yellow sweet potato, carrot & parsnip; pork chop, cauliflower.
After walkies will make some tapioca/coconut cheese buns


Susan said...

Anxious to see how you do with this, Sue! Keep us posted. By the way, I have a hiatal hernia too, they cause ALL kinds of symptoms. Your stomach can be 'pulled down' by a skilled body worker. I keep mine under control that way.


Cittie Myers said...

Good luck Sue!!! I hope it is a key to you feeling better. I am a diabetic and have reflux, high blood pressure and a few more fun things. I have thought of trying a vegetarian diet and read up on the paleo...but I am not that strong willed. I would be interested in recipes and other info. Can't wait to see more on your blog!! Thanks for sharing your experience. I am sure it will inspire others to make a change for their health. Who knows, I may be one of them.

Sue Cottle said...

Thanks ladies. After being ill for so long, I'm hoping this will work. It's actually relatively easy to stick to this I think, because the alternative is PAIN!