Please and thank you 🙂
Food is one basically one of the biggest loves of my life.
After everything my poor GI system went through last night with the nuts, it was still feeling very fragile today… and the legacy of the assault remained. I spent more time than I’d have liked to in the bathroom, but I didn’t panic, unlike the times before.
There’ve been about three occasions on this diet when my stomach has reacted quite violently to something. The first few times I freaked out, thinking that it was a sure sign of a flare. Slowly I came to realise that a) sometimes your system just has an ‘off’ day, due to any number of factors from food to stress to hormonal imbalances or state of mind, and it doesn’t mean you’re flaring, and b) there’s no point stressing about potential flares – you’ll only make your symptoms worse.
Instead, it’s about eating (and drinking) right on those days to ease the symptoms instead of exacerbating them. Don’t ignore what your body is telling you, and if your GI system is out of whack, treat it delicately to help restore it to health.
What you should and shouldn’t eat when having a ‘bad GI day’
Let’s start with a list of foods to avoid:
What you should eat:
While it’s frustrating cutting back on an already limited diet, it’s worth it for the day or two that you feel so, well, crappy. If you’ve been through your fair share of flares already, you’ve probably established a group of ‘safe’ flare foods. For me, it’s basmati rice (which I craved SOOO badly today but I wasn’t prepared to cheat so close to the end!) and eggs. I used to find that crackers were also very soothing, before I had to cut out gluten.
All things being equal, your bad bout should pass within about 24 hours, if it was just something that you ate. If it doesn’t abate or if you start bleeding, suffering from bad cramps, nausea, night sweats or joint pain, it might be a flare and you should contact your doctor ASAP to get it under control.
Positive thinking is an essential ingredient of this diet. Positive thinking, willpower, psychological commitment, faith in your ability… basically, superhuman mental strength. But even the superhuman need a break now and then, and on this diet, your mental tenacity is bound to take a hit from time to time.
Tonight was my night. I’d been in the kitchen for hours, making my food for the week, as well as my next batch of yogurt. I was irritable and on top of it all, I still had to make our roast for dinner after I’d finished cooking everything else. Without thinking, I grabbed a glass bowl that had just been in the microwave, and it was so hot that I dropped it and it smashed everywhere.
There was glass in K’s food and there was glass in my big batch of freshly-cooked cauliflower. It was all over the counter, the floor and between my fingers. So I hurled the food into the bin and I had a GOOD sob. Let me tell you, a GREAT one. It put the Oprah ugly cry to shame.
K of course ran to my aid and tried to help, but I just wailed at her about how I can’t stop breaking things and I’m always the one making mistakes in this relationship and I’m always screwing up and I’m so over cooking and I’m so tired of all the prep and IJUSTCAN’TANYMORE. The more she tried to reassure me with kind words and make me feel better with hugs, the more I insisted I was a failure. She laughed a little as I decorated her T-shirt with tears and snot, because it really was so ludicrous. But that only made me more indignant and hate the cauliflower and the microwave and the diet AND THE WORLD even more.
Anyway, I sobbed and snotted my way through the clean-up after chasing K out of the kitchen when she tried to help, and an hour later, new food had been cooked and we were enjoying our Sunday roast. That was a couple of hours ago and I feel fine now, my little tantrum a distant memory. I did, admittedly, feel like a crazy person when it happened – and even now as I feel so calm!
This is not a frequent occurrence for me. Of the 64 days on this diet, I can count on one hand the number of days my resolve has wobbled – with fingers to spare. I’ve felt committed, positive, strong and, more importantly, stronger the the sum of this diet’s parts. Which obviously is the only way to do this diet successfully.
But every now and then, things do feel overwhelming. It can be extremely frustrating to spend hours in the kitchen, just to eat the same food day in and day out, and to feel like your life revolves around what you’re putting into your mouth. It’s frustrating to have to plan your days and your life around what you can and – more to the point – can’t eat.
It’s also extremely frustrating to not be able to satisfy your cravings with a piece of cake or a slab of chocolate. Plus, you’re constantly planning ahead so that you don’t end up stranded without food. There’s no quick ‘running into the shop’ to grab a snack when you’re hungry – and gosh, if you have a family, this must be a million times harder, whether or not they’re doing the diet too. In fact, I really can’t complain because I have it pretty easy.
Anyway, the point that I’m trying to make is that even when you put your mind to it and think positively, there will be days that suck and there will be some or other insignificant mishap that pushes you over the edge and makes you feel like a raving loon.
Food has such a major impact on our mental state, that this kind of reaction from time to time is an inevitability. Go easy on yourself. Recognise that it’s a symptom of an intensive healing process, and move past it. Don’t let it become the norm, but realise that it’s all part of it. Perhaps just warn your family and significant others that this might happen… 😉