I was a very fussy eater. I didn’t like different foods touching and often I would eat one thing on my plate to then move onto the rest rather than mix it all together. I would go days and sometimes weeks of just eating the same thing, I remember one time only wanting to eat sausages all week and nothing else and another time only wanting to eat dairy. Luckily I’m now over all these odd phases. I would definitely say my diet was unhealthy, as you can tell from the image above (I’m on the right) even if it was for my niece’s birthday.
For many years I was a pescatarian, it made it easier for my Mum who did most of the cooking as my Dad was too but it was my decision and I felt good for having more fish and vegetables and cutting out meat. However, a lot of the go-to vegetarian freezer food has wheat involved. So I probably didn’t help myself by having toast or cereal in the morning, taking a packed lunch with a sandwich, crisps and most likely a cheese-string as they were popular back then and goodness knows whatever unhealthy snacks. I do remember going through a phase of giving away the unhealthy things to other class mates or trading my chocolate bar for an apple.
This is when my problems began… actually to be honest I’m sure they began a lot sooner. This is really where I started paying attention to what my body was telling me, not that I had much choice as I was continuously being ill. I knew I had to figure out what was triggering my discomfort after eating, I monitored my pains and found I felt particularly bloated after eating, especially at lunch. I used to have sandwiches, cheese or ham and yoghurt and fruit. I decided to cut out wheat and dairy and introduce things slowly. I quickly found out wheat was my main culprit.
I changed my morning toast for porridge and have rice cakes instead of bread for lunch. But I was still having pains. I took out oats, therefore porridge and was feeling better.
It wasn’t as simple as it sounds and had quite a few trips to the doctors and phone consultations before I was prescribed to have IBS tablets, because I had already cut out wheat from my diet I couldn’t have a blood test to see if I am coeliac and I don’t fancy a tube inside me for someone to tell me there’s no cure but to eat well. Although, in desperate times I did try a holistic allergy test involving changes in muscle strength when in close proximity to different allergens. Using this method it claimed I am allergic to gluten, wheat, strawberries and green beans, an unproven test but seemed to be quite accurate for me.
Now (25years old)
I am far from being healthy, I’m still catching every cold I come in contact with and sometimes my stomach will unexplainably upset or will feel uncomfortable after food and some days I just feel absolutely exhausted. So I have decided to really monitor what I am eating and would like to share my journey to help others and gain more knowledge and basically – get to grips with my gastro system and find a friend in food rather than seeing it as something that bothers me!
The first change was to swap sunflower oil for olive oil, which is a more stable fat and therefore healthier… look out for a post on cooking oils coming soon.
I try to make sure I have eggs at least once a day, avocado too, if possible for protein, vitamins and minerals – a whole lot of good stuff!
Using my ‘safe foods’ my foundation diet of these foods is as follows;
Breakfast -Two eggs and half an avocado (or whole depending on size)
Lunch – A range of organic greek yoghurt, goats cheese on rice cakes, nuts with half a cube of dark chocolate and fruit (banana, apple) and sometimes a carrot or two.
Evening Meal – Based around rice or potato (mostly jacket potato with skin on) with fish or chicken and vegetables.
I drink a lot of water, at least a pint or more before I set off for work and always have a glass next to me throughout the day.
In the morning and evening I tend to have peppermint tea or any herbal tea that has a mix of peppermint to aid digestion, plus keeps the breathe fresh after all the eggs and fish!
I have tried and should try harder to have sauerkraut on the side of every evening meal as it full of ‘good’ bacteria to help inhibit bad bacteria in the gut.
I have just started out on this new diet and will keep posting as I discover new things. I have already started, as mentioned in my last post, identifying my own ‘safe foods’ and intolerable foods.
Safe food: Cashew Nuts
Intolerable food: Peppers
… learning something new everyday!