hemhawseesaw

The ups, downs, and runarounds of Celiac Disease and food sensitivities

Archive for the tag “weight”

Dark side of the food

After a 2 week run of recording everything I eat and portion sizes, while trying to stick to a 1600 calorie diet broken down by food groups, I owe it to myself to document the fact that I have failed. And I’m not talking a day of free-for-all binging. I’m talking a string of days when I go against my diet plan for some inexplicable reason. I MUST eat all of the frozen bananas, even if that means eating 5 or 6 bananas total. I MUST eat all of the almond butter, even if this means consuming over 1 cup (daily allotted amount of nuts would specify 6 teaspoons). Ok, so I haven’t failed completely: I am still not eating any packaged snacks, desserts, or non-whole foods (e.g. I eat quinoa or nuts from a package, but these are whole foods). And I really should applaud myself this last (and lasting!) achievement. I just can’t get portions right. Those avocado muffins I made? Ate 10 of them in 3 days (one day I ate 5 at a time). It felt like I could not stop, much as I tried). It may be because I feel like one of those sideways people in the probiotic ads EVERY. DAMN.DAY. And I can’t feel hunger, unless it is extreme, in which case I eat half a tub of almond butter. While this may not interest anyone, I need to put this out in public, because it is disgusting me, and I can’t bring myself to be honest in my food diary because it is TOO.DAMN.GROSS. I exercise 6 or 7 days a week, an hour a day, but I know all too well that exercise won’t compensate for a yo-yo meal plan. Hypothyroidism does co-occur with Celiac Disease, which could explain the weight gain. Or it could just be inflammation. Whatever it is, it is very discouraging and, I suppose, prompts me to gorge myself when I see no results from exercise and a good string of healthy, balanced diet days. It’s also perplexing to think that a 5 banana binge would hardly be considered shameful by an average individual. Eating 5 slices of pizza or 5 cups of buttery popcorn or 5 bags of potato chips would seem much worse, yet here I am, binging on the healthy foods I can actually eat (food intolerance has really narrowed this down) and gaining weight. I want to scream FML and be done with it, or at least go to a counselor, but the slew of doctors I’ve seen had no suggestions. They didn’t seem to get how difficult it is. Yeah, I’m not dying, I’m not in pain, so what can they do for me? But I am a walking tub of bloat (I’ve cut out all “bloat-inducing” foods for weeks, no dice), alternating between free flowing bowels and clogged pipes I wish someone would devise a snake for (natural & medicinal laxatives and fiber have no effect). I am to the point where seeing an athletic, trim girl run 1/3 of the distance I run makes me want to cry (I have lost my muscle tone and have gained flab everywhere. Why? Ask the Celiac gods. Which don’t exist), trying not to fart my whole way through 4-5 miles. And then there’s the whole “gluten-free weight loss” crock of frying shit. I don’t eat the gluten-free bread, pasta, cookies, crackers, cake, pre-made sauce. I eat (when not binging) lean meat, fish, vegetables (most of my diet), fruits, nuts, coconut products, quinoa, gluten-free oats, healthy oils, and beans (though not handling them very well, despite insistence of nutritionist). I take a probiotic. I don’t skip meals. I DON’T EAT REFINED SUGAR. And still I am gaining weight. So please tell me how switching your wheat bread for gluten-free bread is going to make you lose weight. Apparently I’m not alone in receiving idiotic (perhaps well-intentioned? nah, maybe on a day when I’m in a better mood) comments about people wishing they had Celiac Disease. Celebrities are no help, either (but really, are they helpful in any other facet?) Erm, I wish I had an autoimmune disease that compromises my entire body/health/state of mind, makes me prone to other autoimmune diseases for life, renders me bedridden from consuming a fraction of an accidental crumb of wheat/barley/rye,  lands me watching other people eat things I can’t if I want a social/family life, brings with it a few handfuls of food intolerance (cheese, my long lost love), leaves me paranoid to eat out or to eat anything that any other person has made without my 100% supervision, and makes me hate my life and the world around me when I get worked up to a silly irrational mess (ahem, today and now). It takes a while for this much negative emotion to stew before a spill, so really, on the whole I suppose I’m ok. A rant was needed, and it was had.

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Carbs

I’m about a week in on the return to grains. Let’s just say that there is visual proof that I’m not digesting them fully. I’m sure that paleos would jump down my throat at having let myself be swayed by a mainstream medical professional, but it certainly does seem that there is benefit to eating carbs, particularly due to my low glucose levels. I’m also considering trying lentils for fiber & protein. That said, I’m removing dairy a bit more staunchly, even the lactose-free products, just to see if I feel any better. Even lactose-free cheese immediately makes me feel bloaty, so casein (milk protein) may be the true culprit. I purchased a better-quality probiotic (including acidophilus and bifidobacterium) today, as my Costco probiotic with much fewer strains may not be cutting it.

While I wouldn’t go back to my thinner pre-diagnosis, miserable self, weight gain has really got me down (doesn’t help that I literally feel weighed down by bloating). This quote from a Celiac Disease message board on the topic of weight gain made me a bit more optimistic: “I think the most important thing your body needs is time to heal. Gluten has done a lot of damage and your body is probably still in “starvation mode”, which could explain it trying to hold onto everything you eat. It sucks right now, but trust me, it WILL get better with time. Hang in there:)”

In addition to my quick-n-dirty frozen banana “ice cream” I’ve also started frying plantains in a smidgen of ghee (no lactose or casein!) with a dash of cinnamon and a tablespoon or two of coconut milk. If you are patient enough to wait until the plantains are nice and black, man are they tasty! 1 plantain is a day’s worth of starch (so try not to eat any acorn squash, butternut squash, pumpkin, beets, corn, green peas, snow peas, sweet potato, regular potato, turnip or parsnip on the same day). They are much easier to get our of the peel if you cut them lengthwise and pop each half out of the peel.

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