Your Chocolate or Your Life? (Me, I’m Thinking It Over)

meowser-48.jpg posted by meowser

(With apologies to Jack Benny.)

If you are autistic, or you’ve done any reading in depth about it, one thing you have probably heard of is the GFCF (gluten free, casein free) diet. That basically means no wheat or most other grains, and no dairy products. The theory is, firstly, that autistic people are congenitally unable to fully digest those foods, and that’s why we have so many Digestive Iss-Yews. Secondly, advocates of this diet say those foods function as “opiates” for us and thus make us more stuporous than we would otherwise be.

Me, I’m agnostic about it. If you feel better, or your autistic kid does better, eating that way — great. I’m not gonna shove pizza down anyone’s throat. However, it needs to be said that it’s likely most autistic people don’t actually follow this diet, at least not all the time; they (and/or their parents) don’t find it particularly useful or even especially sustainable to keep up. (I don’t think there’s ever been a study done of what the percentages are of autistic people following GFCF; my assumption is largely based on anecdata.) Joel Smith of the blog NTs are Weird believes that the “gut issues” associated with the autism spectrum are mostly about stress, rather than an inherent inability to digest certain foods, and given the ridiculous amount of stress most of us experience throughout our lives, it’s tough to argue with that.

However, Gut Issues are pretty much what I’m all about. I admit it — what I like to eat sometimes (okay, a lot of times) doesn’t like me back, and that fact doesn’t necessarily stop me from eating it again. And it doesn’t have to be “junk” food, either; sometimes a vegetarian meal of legumes and veggies and rice and flatbread that looks perfectly salubrious on paper goes through me like a tornado. This is where all the hatebags will probably descend on me screaming, “See? You fatties, you just eat whatever you want even if it fucks you up and you don’t care about MEEEEEEE and my bank account!” Here’s the problem, though. It’s a lot harder to pinpoint what does “fuck me up” when I eat it than to ascertain what doesn’t. If vegetables and salads do that to me, then it’s probably not just that I have a congenital inability to eat gluten and casein, yadig?

My shrink (who’s not autistic) told me that a couple of years ago, she was having Gut Issues herself. So she, following the advice of a nutritionist who believed in the “systemic candidiasis” gut theory, went on a dietary regime for two years that was not only gluten and casein free, but also low carb. (So much for being vegetarian on a diet like that, huh?) The idea was that those nasty yeasties would have nothing to yeasty-feast on and would eventually die off and go away. She was already quite thin and wasn’t interested in weight loss, and she did eat small amounts of potatoes, brown rice, and oatmeal, enough that she wouldn’t go into ketosis. And she ate as much protein, fat, and non-starchy vegetables as she wanted, lots and lots of each of those, so didn’t go hungry. And, she said, “My gut issues cleared right up.” She’s now back to eating much more omnivorously, with no problems.

Now, think about what a diet like that would consist of. Or, more to the point, think of everything you’d have to eliminate. Obvs, no baked goods, no fruit (!), no pasta, no white rice, probably no alcohol, no desserts — and most especially, no chocolate. For two years. Are your coffee beans broken? I can’t do that. Yeah, there’s an end in sight and I wouldn’t have to do it forever, but would it feel that way? Besides, how do you stick to something like that and never fall off? I don’t have a lot of confidence that there wouldn’t be recidivism, especially living with two skinny men (one an extremely active 18-year-old) who heart their carbs and would be very cranky not having them in the house unless it was a matter of life and death for me, or at least a matter of my being able to work versus not being able to.

I asked her, “Weren’t you depressed eating that way?” I remembered reading Geneen Roth’s Appetites, which was centered around Roth’s experiences with a “Candida diet,” and Roth basically said the diet didn’t do anything but piss her off and screw up everything she’d managed to learn about intuitive eating. Being someone with a history of major depression — not to mention someone who has binged pretty fiercely after restrictive diets — this was not an idle concern for me.

“At first I was,” she admitted. “But after a while I felt so much better.”
She did say that if I decided to do this, I shouldn’t do it on my own, but that I should work with a GI specialist and a dietitian (or naturopath) who knew what they were doing.

When there’s something you really, really want and don’t have, it’s easy to be vulnerable to the claims of people who say they have the Instant Cure. Part of me kept saying, “Oh hell no, I can NOT do that. There’s no way.” And another part of me says, “You’re not going to get to eat everything you want forever, everyone has dietary restrictions if they live long enough, so get over it.” And with me, of course, all of this feeds into normalcy pangs. Don’t you want a group of real friends, living right here in town, to hang out with every week? Don’t you want less gas and not having to spend so much time in the john? Don’t you want a real career? Is chocolate and all those other things worth sacrificing all that for? Think of all the friends you’ll have if you give up carbs! Women love talking about what they’re not supposed to eat! You will be One of Them at last!

Yeah. And I’ll also be living alone because I will have driven my partner irretrievably bonkers. Thanks for playing.

And this isn’t even a “diet” in the weight-loss sense. There’s no getting on a scale or whipping out the measuring tape to see if I’m doing it right. And once it’s done, it’s done; once the two years are up, I can start phasing all those foods I love back in gradually, and life will go on. There’s no going to bed hungry. There’s no getting clipped about the head by a “counselor” who’s pissed at me for cheating with cough drops. Only one thing is important: Do I feel and function better eating this way?

And yet, even this much seems overwhelming to me. Not to mention objectionable in other ways; I would probably have to eat a whole lot more meat than I’m eating now, and I don’t particularly want to do that. I feel guilty enough eating the amount of it that I do, and haven’t ruled out becoming a vegetarian again. And isn’t it true that once you haven’t eaten something for a while, you lose your ability to digest it? What if something looks or smells so good I can’t resist, and by then I don’t have the enzymes to digest it anymore? Won’t that make me seriously sick, much sicker than I am now?

On the other hand, I feel like I’m so weak for not feeling capable of doing this, for being such a slave to my appetites and cravings that I won’t give up anything I love, even if it would help me. I feel like maybe people are right to discriminate against my fat ass, that their perception of me as weak-willed and self-destructive simply by dint of my body shape is accurate. Sacrifice? Hard work? Stiff-upper-lip attitude? Strike one, strike two, strike three. Yeah, it’s true. “My chocolate or my life” doesn’t sound like much of a choice, and I’m not even eating a lot of chocolate or eating it every day. Even doing one of those things — no gluten, no casein, OR low carb — seems like a recipe for feeling mentally lousy, even if it’s time-limited. What if I do have medically related dietary restrictions one day? Am I going to be one of those people who’s chronically noncompliant?

I guess I have some thinking to do. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have an overripe banana to eat.

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27 Responses to “Your Chocolate or Your Life? (Me, I’m Thinking It Over)”

  1. Electrogirl Says:

    Oooh, this hits close to home with me. A meme that’s been popping up on epilepsy forums lately is the gluten-free diet for epilepsy. Supposedly gluten causes an inflammatory response in susceptible people that screws with your brain cells, or something like that. The first time I read that, I thought “WTF? Gluten and brains, I am not seeing a connection here. Also, I want my bread.” But… wouldn’t it be worth just trying it? What if it works? What if I can really, truly cure my seizures this way, wouldn’t it be worth giving up wheat products?

    Butbutbut, BREAD! Fresh hot bread right out of the oven, perfuming the air with yeasty goodness… Part of me decries myself for being weak and not at least giving the diet a try. The other part is saying “What, are you crazy?”. There is no logical connection between gluten and brains. This isn’t in any of the medical literature, not even as a preliminary study. It’s probably just ketogenic diet lite, because it’s much harder to find gluten-free carbs than it is to find glutenriffic carbs.

    I’ve decided for myself that I am not going to try and treat my epilepsy with special diets. That is a slippery slope to calorie counting, and from there to restricting. I don’t want to go back to good foods/bad foods.

  2. Cath the Canberra Cook Says:

    Well, I think you should watch out and do some more research, especially around skeptical sites. All that systemic candidiasis line is nothing more than bullshit. “Nutritionist” is a code word for unregulated, anyone can stick up an internet mail order certificate and be one tomorrow. A GI specialist and a registered dietician would be what you really need, I suspect. Also, the allergy elimination diets sound less extreme, if you want a DIY test. They only take a few months, not years.

    And I don’t think you should feel at all guilty and berate yourself for not wanting to eat a crazy disordered diet for a very long time on a mere speculation that it might help. Sounds totally sane to me. I bet you really could give up any one of those things, if you found good evidence that it was a real problem for you. Best of luck, anyway.

  3. Electrogirl Says:

    Aaand, I made that comment all about me, didn’t I? Again. *headdesk* This whole trying-to-be-a-good-commenter thing is HARD. Actually, communication in general is hard.

    I guess I just wanted to say that I share some of your feelings about special diets. Also that the phrase”yeasty-feast” makes me smile. That is going to pop up in my head every time I make bread now.

  4. La di Da Says:

    I have a non-Celiac gluten intolerance. Eating a slice of delicious bread made with wheat sends me to the lavatory for a week. Sometimes I think that week might be worth it, just sometimes. I don’t miss wheat pasta or cake at all, just delicious fresh bread. 🙂

    It’s not that hard to find gluten-free carbs (rice, corn/maize, potato, quinoa, amaranth, millet, certified GF oats, GF flour mixes, etc) so I don’t think a gluten-free diet would be necessarily low-carb. Some people might use it as a trendy way to go low-carb, I guess.

    If a certain substance does give you a nasty reaction, giving it up ends up not being that bad. If there’s going to be improvement, it usually shows up within a few weeks of a changed diet. Sticking to restricted diets for years in the hope of improvement just seems way too extreme.

  5. Arwen Says:

    I would really check the research too. I’ve lived a long time in alternative communities and was on this diet as a younger person & drank Nystatin (sp?) as an anti-fungal.

    And although it is true that candida can flourish in some immuno-compromised digestive tracts, usually (as with aids patients), a stool sample will show them. I have never understood how this systemic problematic candida can be so non-testable! Thrush, vaginal yeast, bowel yeast, athlete’s foot – you can test for most fungus pretty easily. So that, plus my own experiences, make me somewhat wary.

    Of course, it’s your body, fuel as you’d like! You might feel great! The only reason I pull skepticism out is that hard to do diets for chronic conditions – well, you’ll likely screw up and have soy sauce instead of tamari sometime. And it’s never a total cure. So you will have symptoms, and you can easily relate your symptom loosely to your “screw up”, and the naturopaths warn this can happen even a couple of weeks after the mistake – so it makes the diets almost impossible to confirm. There’s also “regression to the mean” in play. IE: if there was an ongoing issue, it could be that it’s healed.

    All of that said, and changing my diet radically a few times has been really good for my guts. Even a vacation can do that. So you can always try something in the shorter term; a gut rest, as it were.

  6. Arwen Says:

    Oh.. and going on a vacation and eating totally garbage, all the time, did finally teach me that my own gut issues were caused by soy. I’d been looking at wheat, and I am lactose intolerant, and blah blah blah – turns out that soy, which I grew up consuming as my major protein, has turned on me.

    Funny thing, I had thought it was garlic. Every time I cooked with garlic, whoo boy. Only cutting garlic, it was still happening, only less often.

    Turns out that my own laziness had caught up with me: I’d been buying pre-minced garlic. Packed in soybean oil.

    Ouch!

  7. Meowser Says:

    It’s not that hard to find gluten-free carbs

    Oh, I know. The point was that she was doing both — not just eliminating gluten, but most other carbs as well.

    Yeah, I’ve long suspected the “candidiasis” stuff was woo, too. But this woman is not in the habit of giving me bullshit things to do (or not do) for the sake of doing (or not doing) them. This was a treatment that helped her, and she thought it would help me. That’s why I thought twice about it. But I’m sure it’s true that an elimination diet would be a lot less of a pain in the tuckus.

  8. nycivan Says:

    On the other hand, I feel like I’m so weak for not feeling capable of doing this, for being such a slave to my appetites and cravings that I won’t give up anything I love, even if it would help me. I feel like maybe people are right to discriminate against my fat ass, that their perception of me as weak-willed and self-destructive simply by dint of my body shape is accurate. Sacrifice? Hard work? Stiff-upper-lip attitude? Strike one, strike two, strike three.
    This part of your post brings to mind one of the main internal battles I am in with myself.
    I decided to stop fighting cravings and eat whatever I want before I found HAES/Fat Acceptance. Since finding the Fat Acceptance community I have been philosophizing and debating with myself ( would that be called masterdebating 🙂 about if this makes me right or wrong, good or bad, independent and inspired or pathetic and morally bankrupt.All the data and stuff on the net about how dieting doesn’t work, how the culture is biased and fat hating, how I can work on my health even though I am fat, gave me some hope that maybe I might not be a horrible, lazy, slothful sack of shit.But I have to admit, that I am not sure if Fat Acceptance is my way of justifying not trying anymore (bad morals, slothful drainer of society’s resources) or if it is finally a place where I can let myself truly be who I am (and be proud of who I am?) could that be possible.I am leaning towards Fat Acceptance as a way to find my rightful place in the world where I am a valuable, worthy, happy man who isn’t phased by the Fat Hatred. A guy that doesn’t secretly hate himself and is ashamed of his weakness with food.Frankly, if I need to decide between being right in the eyes of our society and culture and miserable emotionally, or being wrong, lazy in the eyes of many in our society and happy, I am going to go for happy and hang with people in this world that understand the nuances of Fat Acceptance and who accept me as I am.

  9. wriggles Says:

    I feel like maybe people are right to discriminate against my fat ass, that their perception of me as weak-willed and self-destructive simply by dint of my body shape is accurate.

    I think the point about the above is that ‘percerption’ or frame is their’s and is designed solely to enhance their own vainglory- they always say our opinions on ourselves can be discounted because we are biased, but really, who are our detractors biased in favour of?

    Your dilemma shows up yet again, the weakness of the whole healthism and eating construct, why do we always have to exclude, why can’t we include something in that solves the issue by say taking away the craving?

    Presumably because that would be doable, and therefore not pointlessly exclusive, in order to promote a false sense of superiority in those who are able. Usually because they have less pressure on them in the first place which makes anything easier in general.

    Progress comes from ‘unreasonable’ people, i.e. those who when they can’t reasonably do something say WTF?

    Rather than hold the ways offered to be the law.

  10. DRST Says:

    And isn’t it true that once you haven’t eaten something for a while, you lose your ability to digest it?

    My lactose intolerance came on slowly. For a while I could still eat cheese and yogurt in small quantities until finally it progressed to having to get rid of them too. And now that I’ve purged lactose from my diet almost entirely? I can barely tolerate any of it. So for me, yes, when I stopped eating it, I lost what little I still had left.

    And I still dream about cheese and yogurt and ice cream – though more about the cheese and yogurt. Cheese was a big staple in my diet, a source of protein and calcium since I stopped drinking milk when I went off the bottle as a baby. And yogurt was one of the few low-fat protein sources I had. I’d give a lot to be able to have both of those again. If someone offered me a plan that would allow me, eventually to have them, even something that strict, I’d strongly consider it too.

    DRST

  11. NewMe Says:

    Over the years, various naturopaths have told me to cut out wheat, dairy, sugar, the nightshade family of veggies, bananas, brussel sprouts, peanut butter…The list goes on and on forever.

    So I tried. I really tried, for months at a time. The result: I was cranky and angry and my family just hated rice pasta. Did I feel at all physically better? Nope.

    The last straw came this January. Again, cut out this, cut out that and your chronic cough will disappear. I couldn’t even contemplate what the doc suggested. I left his office fuming mad and went out and bought a book on intuitive eating, an approach which I have been learning to apply ever since.

    Yes, I still have my cough. I think it’s related to being peri-menopausal (I’ve done a bit of research). It tends to get worse as I’m coming up to my period.

    My constipation has all but disappeared after being constipated practically all my adult life, due, I believe, to trying every diet under the sun–none of which worked, of course.

    I am no longer profoundly angry at not being able to eat XYZ. I eat what I want but I make an effort to stop when I’m full. If it means I don’t have enough room for junk food, so be it. If I’m hungry and I really want to eat crap (not usually the case), I do so.

    In a perfect world, where it would be easy to try such a restrictive diet for a meaningful period of time without making myself and my family crazy, I might try it. But this world is far from perfect and I am far from perfect. Mostly, I’m just not prepared to deal with the anger and crankiness this kind of eating creates in me.

    Thanks for letting me rant. I loved this post and I love your blog!

  12. buttercup Says:

    I feel like maybe people are right to discriminate against my fat ass, that their perception of me as weak-willed and self-destructive simply by dint of my body shape is accurate. Sacrifice? Hard work? Stiff-upper-lip attitude? Strike one, strike two, strike three.

    Fuck that noise, dude. Even if you were weak willed and self-destructive (which you aren’t), it wouldn’t be right to discriminate against you or any of us.

    I know I struggle mightily over this shit. But for me (and only for me) it comes down to doing what is right for me and saying screw you assholes, you’re going to hate me whatever I do.

    As to the diet itself, I agree with the folks who said check it out from a skeptic’s POV. I’d have to kiss off anything that said I couldn’t eat fruit, I freaking live off of fruit in the summertime.

  13. Piffle Says:

    Not being able to do something doesn’t mean you are weak-willed, it means that it’s probably harder for you than for someone else. For instance, pain reactions I’m convinced are very individual, some people have more nerves, more sensitive nerves, and/or more response to the nerve signals in their brains. It doesn’t mean they’re a wuss for reacting to injuries that wouldn’t faze someone else, it means they are different. Just so is everyone different in some ways, including their needs for various foods, either psychologically or physically.

    And even if this diet worked for your therapist, doesn’t mean it would work for you, or that it would be worth it to go through it if it would. My husband’s gut issues got a lot better when he had his gallbladder out, that doesn’t mean everyone who had gut issues should yank their gallbladders.

  14. wellroundedtype2 Says:

    Oh, I hear you. I hear you and feel you.
    My stomach, as long as I steer clear of dairy, tends to be okay most of the time, but I think that gut issues are really difficult and isolating.
    I think stress, and stress about being “acceptable” are huge contributing factors, based on what I’ve observed in others. So, eating those foods that calm the tummy are just a very human response. Before I was diagonsed with lactose intolerance, and I saw this gastroenterologist who reminded me of John Malkovich, he told me that sugar works as an analgesic when I told him that regular coke seemed to make me feel better. That was somehow such a reassuring idea — sugar serves this self-medicating role right in the organ when I’m experiencing the distress. It also made it easier to adapt to the new restrictions of the lactose-free diet.
    Did you read about April’s experiences with her “Belleh”?

    I think the best diet is the one you can live with. So, experimentation is in order, and maybe if you can think of it in terms of experimentation rather than restriction — you might find it helps. Approaching it with curiosity rather than judgement, without the expectation of perfection. I don’t know if the diet that worked for your therapist would work for you or if it would be in your best interest to follow it. What I do know is that someone who is thin and neurotypical and generally has mastery of mental and emotional things (which might make her a fabulous therapist) also is likely to find it much easier to follow a particular pattern of eating for health reasons without marching into the mine field of restriction, deprivation and pain that I have in my brain. My therapist is similarly blessed with the ability to manage his health through some diet-y stuff that has required changes on his part without the whole minefield thing, and it is taking us a while to find common ground and understanding about it.
    You are not weak. You are amazingly strong. I am so looking forward to seeing you and being around you.
    It might be a good investment to continue your work around relaxation and reducing stress and see how that impacts your GI issues, whether or not it is accompanied by changes in eating.
    Also, I would love to hear The Fat Nutritionist’s take on this.

  15. the fat nutritionist Says:

    I think the best diet is the one you can live with.

    That pretty much sums up what I think 🙂

    I also think a lot of proposed dietary cures are not evidence-based. That’s not to say that they don’t work for some people, or have some basis in reality — but they haven’t been systematically tested as rigorously as we need to be able to prescribe X Diet for Y Condition.

    People can react to certain foods in weird, individual ways that science cannot account for, sometimes. And when that happens, it’s prudent of people to weigh the costs and benefits of giving up certain foods.

    But also, I like to caution people to be careful when getting into food-restrictive territory, even if it’s supposedly for The Good of Your Health — restricting certain nutrients can actually be as potent as taking a prescription medicine, and it can have unintended side-effects, both physical and emotional. Making restrictive changes to one’s diet is not a totally benign, harmless hobby to take up. It can be serious shit. It’s a good idea to undertake changes like this under the guidance of someone who knows their stuff.

    I don’t think people need that sort of guidance to eat ad libitum, at all — people’s bodies, in the absence of disease, and common sense are pretty good at guiding them toward an adequate diet. But when you get into restricting certain things, you go into uncharted territory.

  16. Orodemniades Says:

    Actually, I was a low carber for 4 years and ate all of those foods…you don’t have to give up chocolate if you don’t want to, y’know! Although I began on Atkins, I thought a lot of the specifics was bunkum and got me into obsessive behavior via carb counts and weight food, etc, so I moved onto a modified Paleo diet, which ROCKED.

    I have to say I lost some weight over the four years, but to be hones,t I did it because it simply made me feel a lot better. I was sleeping! The mood swings were gone! The stomach pain was gone! Woot!

    However, it also has to be said that though I’m fat (I’m poor and eat a lot of wheat), what I discovered while low carbing was that I didn’t care for potatoes, that wheat Is A Bad Thing For Me, that sugar is okay, that most fruit (bananas excepted) is also okay, and that really, nothing will ever kill my love of cheese.

  17. Meowser Says:

    People can react to certain foods in weird, individual ways that science cannot account for, sometimes.

    Yep, just like medications.

    It does seem to be yeast in particular (as in leavened breads, pizza, etc.) that’s specifically problematic. I have no idea if it’s because of the yeast itself, though, or because those foods are higher in gluten than others because kneading increases the gluten content, or something else. I’m sure I will find out eventually.

    And thanks for the support, everyone. I kind of knew I was doing a number on myself, but I appreciate the confirmation.

  18. Orodemniades Says:

    Forgot to add that in my head I’m a low carber and will always be one, I loved it and I really miss it, but I simply can’t afford it (it’s not the meat, it’s the vegetables).

  19. bri Says:

    I so hear you on this. I have Gut Issues ™ too. And what sets me off varies from day to day. A particular food will have me running to the bathroom within 10 minutes of eating it one day and the next time I eat it, nothing. Or vice versa. It is so unpredictable. Sometimes I don’t even have to eat anything at all (ie get up in the morning and not have eaten anything) and it still happens. I know where each and every public bathroom in my town is. I have a supply of anti-diarrhea tablets in my bag. I have to cancel social activities when my gut is really playing up. Sometimes it happens more than 10 times a day. It was bad before I had my gall bladder out last year but now it is even worse. It sucks. So yeah, I hear you.

  20. ambertides Says:

    I’m on a gluten free and somewhat low carb (PCOS FTL) at 30-something% diet (not for weight loss, just to try and feel better), and it’s not horrible, but take away my cheese, and I’d be an unbearable mess.

    I never had belly issues until I was put on Metformin for PCOS (without ever doing an IR test at that). I expected the horrible stomach issues when I started it, but they never got better and never went away, even years after going off. I can only guess it triggered an intolerance of some sort, as going off gluten is the only thing that healed it.

    I still eat a crapload of fruit, and chocolate sometimes. I’m having pizza for dinner tonight, but on a couple corn tortillas instead of crust. I do have GF pizza dough mix up there, I’m just too lazy right now to make it.

    2 years seems like a really long time, to me. I told myself I’d try it for 2 months when I initially removed gluten. If I were still feeling bad at this point (1.25 years later), there’s no way I’d still be restricting it.

    • living400lbs Says:

      Ambertides, I’ve heard raves about the extended-release version of Metformin. A dear diabetic friend had quit eating several foods on Metformin and has been reintroducing them on Metformin ER.

    • Annitspurple Says:

      Yeah, Ambertides, I also have PCOS, and could not eat when taking regular metformin, which gave me horrible stomach cramps, digestive issues, sent me to the potty many times a day, etc. However, I have had ZERO of these side effects from Metformin ER, which I LOVE. Of course, what works for one may not work for another, etc etc, but if you want to take met and avoid digestive issues, the ER may be worth considering.

      Also, you can get the generic at Walmart/Target for $4/8/12/16 a month, depending on your dosage.

  21. Sarah L Says:

    I have had serious health issues that I have been able to resolve by eliminating particular foods from my diet, for a time. (Recurrent bladder infections, yeast infections, ear infections, insulin resistance, acne, extra hair, insomnia–various conditions at various times.) When I am considering needing to make a change in my diet–and it’s always a painful change, because for me it’s never the green veggies that need to go, OH NO, it’s gonna be something I love–well, what I do is tell myself that this change is not forever. Instead of deciding that “I must eliminate this right now, for the rest of my life!”, I just commit to changing my diet for 30 days. If there’s no improvement at that point, and/or I don’t feel like the exchange is worth it, then I get to go back to eating whatever-it-is. Deciding to go back doesn’t mean you are weak or lazy, it simply means that you have made a rational, adult decision about what works best for YOU.

    The only way that any of us can figure out which foods might be problematic for our individual bodies is to experiment. And experiments, by nature, aren’t permanent. It’s very possible you will feel better by making certain changes, but they will be changes that are unique to YOUR body; so, don’t take anyone else’s personal experience as The Truth, nor should you take any research source as The Truth. Only you can find The Truth for yourself, but I don’t doubt that if you look for it, you’ll find some portion of it. Anecdotes and research are simply clues that you can use on your own path.

    Good fortune to you.

  22. sanabituranima Says:

    My simple message to you – see a doctor who specialises in gut issues as soon as financially feasible (Lor, I love the NHS!). The plural of anecdote is NOT data.

    Doctors aren’t infallible and if you’re given advice that is unhelpful or too hard to follow, then I totally advocate telling said doctor where to shove said advice. But a speicalist doctor is more likely to be right about this stuff than a well-intentioned counsellor.

  23. jerriselaina Says:

    I don’t think “weakness” enters into it. I think most folks who would tell us fat folks what to eat would never follow their own advice. Your body is accustomed to getting something out of the foods you regularly eat and to think of not eating them is disappointing and intimidating.

    I would definitely research this more before you try and implement it. Diets (barring food allergies and vegetarianism) that promote the absolute removal of any dietary element to which one’s inner workings have grown accustomed make me very wary. Even when I encourage folks to try the veg thing I encourage tapering down. Your bod just has to get used to the changes, you know, so it doesn’t freak out.

    IMHO.

    O BTW, hi. my name’s Elaina. I like your blog.

  24. Rikibeth Says:

    re: leavened products and gluten. It’s not that the kneading makes the gluten percentage higher, although kneading changes the structure of the gluten to help it trap air more efficiently; it’s that kneaded, leavened products are made with higher-gluten flour to start with, so that they can take advantage of gluten’s structural properties. Heck, pizza dough often has straight gluten ADDED to the flour for improved structure.

    …yeah, I have a baking degree, hit the button and trivia comes out.

  25. julie Says:

    I hate to say, but I think a lot of these food sensitivities are just fads. I’d also be wary of following advice that seemed, well, extreme. The few psychiatrists I’ve known have been the craziest of all, oddly enough. The people who seem to know the most about nutrition seem eating disordered (or were). But then again, I’m not allergic nor sensitive to anything, and I will continue to eat everything to keep it that way.

    My point being, I’ve heard to find allergies or sensitivities, cut out everything that might possibly be causing it for a week, then add one thing back at a time, for about a week. It still seems like a drag to me, but beats two years.


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