Day 92: Aaaaahhhh-monds!

Yesterday I introduced whole roasted almonds to my diet, and I think it may have been a bit of a mistake for a few reasons:

  • They weren’t blanched (skins can be hard to digest)
  • They were whole nuts, rather than pieces (but that’s what my teeth are for, right?)
  • I didn’t chew them very well (I eat way too fast)
  • I ate too many (okay seriously, show me the hero who can stop after three?)

Today’s selfie

Over the course of an hour I devoured about 100g (yes, I’m feeling suitably sheepish), and I started feeling a bit off almost right away. The next thing, I developed this bizarre burning sensation in my stomach – it felt like someone had taken a burning log and shoved it through my belly and into my back. It was the most uncomfortable, unpleasant sensation and I didn’t know what to do about it.

I curled up in a foetal position, which didn’t help, and then I tried the child’s pose (yoga), hoping that would offer relief. It didn’t. Eventually I dragged myself to the shower hoping the hot water would ease the pain. I crouched down on my haunches, then I tried stretching out, but nothing alleviated the painful burning sensation in my gut and back.

Eventually, I popped one anti-inflammatory and a gut-pain pill. I don’t usually like to take drugs, but were about an hour from leaving the house for dinner with K’s mom, who had arrived in Cape Town only the day before from Kuala Lampur, and we had yet to see her. The pain finally eased and I had no further problems, but it was just such a bizarre experience. I’ve had little to no pain during my entire three months on SCD, and actually since starting on the Asacol last year, so it was completely out of character. Also (ever the martyr), I’m testing the almonds again tonight to be sure.

I’d love to hear from anyone else who’s experienced something like this? Could it have been the almonds? I’ve been doing a little research and today I learnt that almonds are high oxalate foods, which can cause digestive distress for those of us with compromised colons.

I haven’t yet delved too deeply into the subject of oxalates, but I found this great article on that explains oxalates and their effects on the body so well. Thanks Patty for this very informative, easy-to-understand piece.

Almonds: The good and the bad

Almonds are extremely healthy and they’re also one of the nuts with the lowest kilojoule content. They’re high in healthy fats, low in trans fats and cholesterol free. They contain healthy doses of vitamin E, phosphorus, calcium and antioxidants, and they’re loaded with fibre (watch out for that one, IBD’ers).


But almonds – like other nuts – can cause a lot of trouble for people with digestive issues, not least of all because of that powerful fibre punch. They’re hard to digest and can irritate an already-inflamed gut, so be careful with them, test them well and treat them with respect. Not everyone responds well to nuts.


A serving size of almonds (is that a serving size for ANTS?)

If you suspect you may be intolerant, try switching to nut butters instead, as they’re much easier to break down. Alternatively, try cutting them out (sorry!) and see if your symptoms improve. Sadly, they’re n(u)t for everybody 😦



Day 41: The worst thing you can do for UC

I’m sorry I skipped this post last night. We got home late from a gig at a bar in Hout Bay, and I was feeling yukky and tired.

The whole week I’ve been having cramps and discomfort in my stomach/colon, which means that for most of the day yesterday, I was stressing about whether I’m about to have another flare. know how bad it is to stress about this. You know it too. Why do we do it??

Selfie of me at the bar last night

Selfie of me at the bar last night

I kept trying to talk myself down but by the time we got to the bar last night, and my tight, gassy, noisy belly was making me long for my bed, I was convinced. This really is completely counterproductive and one of the worst things you can do for UC. Talk yourself OUT of flares, not into them!

Exactly how it feels

Exactly how it feels

Luckily, we came home, I spent some QT in the loo, had a long hot shower, and felt loads better. It’s not in the least surprising that after the week I’d had, my belly would be unhappy. Add to that the fact that I ate a whole avo and a bunch of bananas (quite literally) before we went out, washed down with a glass or two of wine, and it is freakin clear as day why there was a riot in my belly.


Us at Pride 2013, showing our support for our US friends before Prop8 was overturned

Us at Pride 2013, showing our support for our US friends before Prop8 was overturned

Today I feel good. In fact, I feel GREAT because it’s Pride and we’re going to march in a few hours. I really think it’s so important that we celebrate our freedom in South Africa. And it’s not just freedom to be gay. In SA, we’re have complete freedom of choice (obviously as far as your human rights don’t infringe on anyone else’s) – which means that whatever your race, religion, favourite colour or food allergy, you’re free to live the way you want. That’s not to say that there isn’t discrimination. There is. Which is of course another huge reason to hit the streets today and make a noise!

Pride 2012

Pride 2012

I’m starting the day with eggs and coffee – my favourite, though it feels like I’m someone’s grandpa! –  and I’ve bought a ton of veg to cook tomorrow for the week.

How’s your weekend going?