Digestive Health with REAL Food – the book!

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Guess what? My book “Digestive Health with REAL Food: a practical guide to an anti-inflammatory, low-irritant, nutrient-dense diet for IBS & other digestive issues” is about to be released.

With almost 400 pages, dozens of practical charts and tables, chapters about problematic foods, gut-healing foods, practical steps to implement a successful elimination diet, supplements, stress management, troubleshooting and over 40 tasty real food-based recipes, this book is EXACTLY what I wish was available a few years ago when I started experiencing my own digestive issues.

DHWRF-book

I wrote this book to combine all the most relevant and up-to-date information about digestive health and I hope this will help the hundreds of people suffering from IBS and other digestive issues. You can find links to find the book on amazon.com, amazon.ca, amazon.co.uk, Barnes & Noble (USA) and Chapter Indigo (Canada) at this page: http://www.eat-real-food-paleodietitian.com/digestive-health-with-REAL-food-the-book.html


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1 year on the GAPS diet!

Today marks my 1-year anniversary on the GAPS diet. I started eating this way to control my SIBO (small intestine bacterial overgrowth). It’s been quite a ride but I couldn’t be happier with my results:

  • no more bloating
  • no more abdominal pain
  • no more problems with my bowel movements
  • no more skin rash
  • no more headaches
  • better mood (no more depression)
  • more energy
  • better sleep
  • better concentration (no brain fog)
  • improved PCOS (regular menstrual cycle, less PMS and other PCOS symptoms)
  • better blood sugar regulation

I still can’t eat dairy (besides butter and ghee) and still have to be careful with fruits and some vegetables, but I can tolerate a bit of chocolate, nuts and honey once in a while. A year ago, I was feeling so bad every day. I knew there was a connection between the foods and I ate and the way I felt but couldn’t figure it out. My dream was to have a list of safe foods to eat and a clear list of foods to avoid. I now have that. It took a few months, but the GAPS diet protocol helped me figure out what my body wants and what it doesn’t like.

I don’t really consider myself on the GAPS diet or any kind of diet anymore. It’s just the way I eat now!

Here’s what I eat on a daily basis:

  • non-starchy vegetables (all kinds, including most high-FODMAPs!)
  • butter, ghee, coconut oil, extra-virgin olive oil
  • homemade bone broth (1-2 cups daily)
  • animal protein
  • unrefined salt and other seasonings
  • green tea
  • fermented foods (raw sauerkraut)

and once in a while:

  • raw vegetables (cucumber, cherry tomatoes, lettuce)
  • dark chocolate (85%)
  • a few slices of prosciutto (just a little since too much nitrates trigger headaches for me)
  • coconut butter, coconut chips, almond butter, a bit of honey or maple syrup

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please visit my new website to learn more about the Paleo diet with Aglaee, the Paleo RD

Although I will keep updating this blog on a monthly or bi-monthly basis, I will be most active on the website I recently developed: paleo-dietitian.com

Please head over there to learn more about how eating real food and following the Paleo diet can help you manage:

  • GI problems (including IBS, SIBO, fructose malabsorption, celiac disase, gluten intolerance and other food sensitivities);
  • Blood sugar issues (including PCOS, diabetes, prediabetes and hypoglycemia);
  • Weight problems;
  • Autoimmune disorders (including Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, multiple sclerosis, rhreumatoid arthritis, vitiligo, lupus, etc)

Please visit me at paleo-dietitian.com. Don’t forget to sign up for the newsletter and subscribe to the RSS feed to make sure you don’t miss any of the free new information presented by Aglaee, the Paleo dietitian.

1 birthday and 2 moves!

Today marks the 1-year anniversary of my blog! Youppi! Thanks to all of you! It really means a lot that someone is actually reading my blog and I always appreciate hearing from you.

I have now moved to München (Munich), Germany with my husband, where I will spend a little less than a year.

I am amazed by the quality of the food in Europe, which I believe  is so much better than in Canada. I am very excited to have the opportunity to live here! If any of you Paleo folks live here, contact me! I need new friends and I definitely need help improving my German. Ich kann ein bisschen Deutsch sprechen, aber noch nicht sehr gut… =)

My 2nd move is a virtual one! I have been working very hard in the last months to develop my own website to offer free information about the Paleo diet and intend to specialize in GI health (IBS, SIBO, fructose malabsorption, gluten intolerance, celiac disease and other food intolerances) as well as blood sugar issues (PCOS, diabetes) and weight loss (for now, but I also want to add sections about autoimmune diseases at some time).

I will also offer ebooks and nutrition counselling services in the very near future, so stay tuned and head over to paleo-dietitian.com.

Please sign up for my newsletter and suscribe to the RSS feed to stay up-to-date! You can also like my new facebook page here and follow me on twitter!

      

I will definitely keep updating this blog once in a while to share my personal experiences with the Paleo diet so come back here too.

Thank you once again for reading my blog!

eating out and other dietary mistakes setting me back in my gut healing

I have been sticking with my GAPS diet for almost 6 months now, but things seem to have been getting worse in the last couple of months. I have been getting some of my symptoms back, including fatigue, brain fog, lack of concentration, depression, bad mood and lots of bloating, abdominal distension, abdominal discomfort and pain…

…Not as bad as they used to be before starting on the GAPS diet, but definitely annoying and interfering with my quality of life.

Fortunately, I use a detailed food journal where I keep track of everything I eat, my sleep habits, exercise and any symptoms I have. I have records for everyday starting last May! This is SO helpful to do some detective work to find the cause of your food-related symptoms. Here is what (I think) I have learned:

  • During the Holidays, I have had a few coconut flour, nuthoney and fruit-based treats. Although it was not to bad in very small amounts, even what would be considered a moderate serving caused bloating.

I only ate out three times since the Holidays, but each time, I got sick for a couple of days… I always make sure the items I order are gluten-free and free of the most offending ingredients, but it seems like there is either always something hiding in my food or cross-contamination in the kitchen.

  • The first time, we went to a sushi place and I ordered sashimis, specifying that I needed my meal to be gluten-free. They seemed to know what I was talking about… and I had brought my raw coconut aminos (a soy-free, grain-free, wheat-free, gluten-free alternative to soy/tamari sauce). Strangely, the sashimis were served on a bed of rice, but I didn’t eat any of it… that night and for at least 2 days, I experienced bloating, pain, severe fatigue, fuzzy thinking and changes in my bowel movements.
  • The second time, we went to a regular restaurant with not that many gluten-free options, but they at least had a gluten-free menu available. I got the tartare duo (beef & salmon), which was served with French fries and a salad. I asked for the French fries to be replaced by veggies or more salad, and apparently they couldn’t do it…. How can restaurants be so lame at respecting their clients’ requests??? I didn’t eat any of the French fries. Again, I was sick for at least 2 days.
  • The 3rd time, I was meeting with a high-school friend I hadn’t seen in a year and chose a restaurant in my neighborhood featuring a gluten-free menu (which is quite rare in the rural part of Canada I was in!)… well they actually had 3 items: 1) gluten-free spaghetti (out of the question, I don’t eat grains AT ALL!!!); 2) a steak (which was a bit expensive, especially that it was definitely grain-fed); and 3) a chicken salad (very depressing chicken breast served on iceberg lettuce and a couple of spinach leaves). I got option #3. Although I asked for the dressing to be served on the side (a balsamic and maple syrup-based “homemade” vinaigrette, I had a bit of it. That evening, I started to get sick again.
And then, as I was starting to get better, I ate bacon…
  • After not having had bacon for sooo long, my husband found a new product offered here in Canada: “natural” nitrate-free bacon. I knew it contained some sugar and came from non-pastured pigs.. but just wanted to enjoy a few slices. Well, it turns out it was a bad idea… Although that bacon doesn’t contain “artificial” nitrites/nitrates, it contains cultured celery extract, a “natural” source of nitrites/nitrates… (see the CBC Marketplace reports here). Chemically, it is the same stuff! I had a couple of slices here and there and didn’t really notice anything. But then I had a few slices at dinner and a few more at breakfast the following day, which was probably too much within the course of 16 hours. Was it the nitrites/nitrates? Was it the small amount of sugar? Or the high omega-6 fat content of non-pastured pork? I don’t know, but IT WASN”T WORTH IT… No more bacon for me.

Photo credit: the Globe and Mail
Finally, last week I met with my naturopathic doctor again and she recommended I take some liquid vitamin B12. My last vitamin B12 test showed it was adequate but my MCH (the size of my red blood cells) was slightly high, which may indicate a suboptimal B12 level, which is quite common in people with SIBO.  Unfortunately, she was out of her B12 drops, so asked me to buy some at my local health food stores.
  • I had never bought liquid B12 and it turned out to be very difficult to find in my area. The only one I found was not in the form of drops and contained the following ingredients: purified water, vegetable glycerin, citric acid, pomegranate natural flavor, potassium sorbate, ascorbic acid. The label mentioned it was free of dairy, wheat, gluten, yeast and corn. I was a bit skeptical of this strange ingredient list but thought it would do more good than harm… it proved to be the opposite. After a bit of research, I found that vegetable glycerin = glycerol = polyol = FODMAP! Although I managed to wake up with a flat stomach on most days, every afternoon, the bloating and discomfort started, increased in the evening and even caused insomnia  a few nights. After 5 days, I couldn’t figure out what was wrong in my diet and pinpointed it down to my B12 supplement.

I know I probably shouldn’t have had some of these foods, but sometimes, the circumstances are not ideal. You may not feel like making a big fuss at the restaurants, especially if eating with people that are not aware of your condition. You may just feel like a little won’t hurt too much….

Make the best choice of the options offered to you, but don’t take chances.

 

TAKE IT SERIOUSLY.

BE EXTRA CAREFUL

WITH EVERY BITE YOU PUT IN YOUR MOUTH. 

Stick to your regimen… it can take a lot of time to heal . I probably set myself back in my gut healing….

 

No more eating out for me for at least a few months. No more “natural bacon” either and no more coconut flour, nuts and honey. No more supplements with doubtful ingredients. Back to the GAPS diet I was following before the Holidays that helped me control my symptoms! I want to go back to not having any bloating and pain again! I will also double my dose of homemade bone broth to try to speed the process… I just hope I can go back to having a flat stomach for more than just a few hours in a row again…

 

Have you ever taken a step forward and two steps backwards while following the GAPS diet?

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Learn more about how to get started with the Paleo diet and how to optimize the Paleo diet for your own body with The Personal Paleo Code:

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Learn more about Paleo eating to enhance fertility, have a healthy pregnancy and deliver a super healthy Paleo baby with the Healthy Baby Code:

getting better

After a few weeks now following my ~quite strict~ elimination diet to find out what foods I am intolerant to, I have finally managed to get most of my symptoms in control. Until I decided to take a daily cup of homemade chicken broth (made with no vegetables, but only chicken carcass, water and salt). I thought it would be a good idea since it is an important component of the gut-healing GAPS diet… However, I started feeling sick again and realized that chicken broth is rich in amines and other natural food chemicals…

homemade chicken broth contains amines                                                               as well as salicylates and glutamates

I had been using salt only for seasoning my foods and decided to do a salicylates challenge. It consists in taking foods that contain salicylates, but not other problematic sugars or food chemicals. I thought, or rather hoped, that only amines and glutamates were problematic for me. So this morning, I added pepper, thyme and basil to my eggs… It was delicious! …but felt sick after a few hours… so salicylates are out of question of me too… at least I know, but it leaves me very few options now…

pepper, thyme and basil contain salicylates

I am going on vacations to Tasmania and around the state of Victoria to explore this wonderful country I have the opportunity to live in this year, so I will stick to my strict diet. I don’t want to be feeling unwell while traveling! However, when I return, I want to do some more challenges to see whether I can reintroduce some foods to my diet. For example, I want to re-test fructans, sorbitol, amines and glutamates individually to make sure I really react to each of these elements. I’ll let you know how it goes….

I have stopped a lot of supplements to make sure none of them were contributing to my symptoms but am currently taking about 1 tsp. of magnesium (Natural Calm) a day and 3 super enzymes per meal. It seems to be helping with my digestion and they seem safe for me.

At least, the good thing is that grocery shopping is super easy for me with only 5 ingredients to think of: eggs, chicken, beef, light olive oil and salt!I wish I could do organ meats, pork, fish or wild games, but they are also high in amines… so not for now.

my ~only~ safe foods

I must say that it is not always easy to stick to these foods. Especially when I don’t feel good, I feel like eating a bit of chocolate, coconut or vegetables couldn’t make me feel any worse… but I remember giving in in the last weeks and ending up feeling even worse, so no excuse unfortunately.

My boyfriend doesn’t have any of these intolerances and although he eats Paleo, it is very hard sometimes to see him it so many foods…. I just hope things will get better soon…

At least, going on holidays will take my mind off food for a while! =)



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