As promised, here is my recap for the month of January and my experiment with eating paleo/doing an elimination diet to see if my health problems are caused (at least in-part) by food.
Little forewarning: a couple of tmi parts, because it’s a post about GI problems.

FOOD AND SYMPTOM TRACKING

1.1
B: sweet potato hash with aidells chicken sausage, 2 eggs, coffee with almond milk, Chia squeeze pouch
L: 1/2 chicken breast pan-fried in olive oil, raw carrots and celery, mustard, handful cashews
D: curry turkey meatballs, broccoli
S: satsuma oranges, banana with almond butter, a few more meatballs

Didn’t eat enough during the day because I didn’t really have an appetite, then got really hungry at night. Was very nauseous and very tired all day. Stomach pain low today.
Woke up with a sore throat and a little bit of a cough.

1.2
B: small sweet potato with almond butter, cinnamon, and raisins, aidells chicken sausage, coffee with almond milk
L: 1/2 chicken breast, kale salad, 1/2 apple with almond butter
D: chicken and veggie stir fry with cashews
S: Banana with almond butter and raisins

I’m getting a cold. Not great timing, but doesn’t really put a dent in my experiment. Just have to stay away form cough drops, which kinda sucks. No stomach pain until early evening before dinner. Bloated and constipated today.

1.3
B: 2 scrambled eggs, chia pudding topped with pear, pomegranate seeds, and almond butter, coffee with almond milk
L: 3 leftover curry meatballs, kale salad, plantain chips
S: banana with almond butter
D: almond-crusted chicken strips, sweet potato fries

Feeling like crap, but I think it’s mostly from the virus I have. Horrible throbbing headache that kept me up half the night, aching body, low energy. Before dinner was so incredibly nauseous wasn’t sure I was going to be able to eat and had to make myself. Nausea got a lot better after eating. Mild stomach pain most of the day. Still bloated and constipated. Brain fog.

1.4
B: 2 scrambled eggs, chia pudding with mixed berries, pomegranate aerils, and almond butter, coffee with almond milk
L: Bone broth egg drop soup with ginger and spinach
D: Rotisserie chicken, Apple with almond butter

No appetite at all today, pretty much had to force myself to eat. Some nausea in the evening before dinner. Slept very badly again night.

1.5
B: 2 scrambled eggs, chia pudding with banana, raisins, pomegranate, and almond butter, coffee with almond milk
L: bone broth egg drop soup with spinach and chicken, cherry larabar
S: 4 satsumas
D: shrimp fajitas
S: apple with almond butter

My appetite came back today and I was hungry a lot. Stomach pain and nausea both very mild. Acne clearing up. Slept a lot better last night. Still sick, coughing a lot, but feeling somewhat better.
Started taking GI revive today and wow, it is gross. I’m not a fan of stevia, and this stevia sweetened Peach flavor is strong, has a weird gritty texture, and just yuck. Didn’t know if I was going to be able to finish the small glass. Will try to continue to take it, but it’s really gross.

1.6
B: 2 scrambled eggs, chia pudding with mixed berries, pomegranate, and almond butter,
coffee with almond milk
S: banana
L: kale salad, 1/2 chicken breast, almonds and cashews
S: 4 satsumas
D: curry chicken with bell peppers and broccoli

So far I feel like I’m gaining weight and that is extremely frustrating because that’s not what I want to happen. Today was a low pain and nausea day. Emotionally on edge, easily set off.

1.7
B: 3 scrambled eggs, kale salad, coffee with almond milk
S: 1/2 larabar
L: kale salad, 1/2 chicken breast, 1/2 larabar
S: 4 satsumas
D: lettuce wrapped turkey burger, sweet potato fries, pear

1.8
B: 3 scrambled eggs, chia pudding with pear, raisins, and pomegranate, coffee with almond milk
S: banana
L: leftover curry chicken, 2 satsuma, almonds
D: lettuce wrapped turkey burger, salad
S: pear with almond butter

Very bad stomach pain all day. Very emotional.

1.9
B: 3 scrambled eggs, chia pudding with pear, raisins, and pomegranate, coffee with almond milk
L: 3 scrambled eggs, salad
S: satsuma, almonds
D: ribeye steak, 1/2 sweet potato, snap peas

Very anxious in the morning. Really tired all day, got about 8 hours of sleep but don’t have any energy. Very hungry/snacky today.

1.10
B: 3 scrambled eggs, chia pudding with pear, raisins, and pomegranate, coffee with almond milk
L: chicken curry with broccoli, raw snap peas
D: baked Asian salmon, roasted baby potatoes, snap peas
S: satsumas

Nauseous between lunch and dinner. Mild pain.

1.11
B: 3 scrambled eggs, chia pudding with banana, raisins, pomegranate, and almond butter, coffee with almond milk
S: snap peas
L: 3 scrambled eggs, salad, satsumas
D: chicken chili

Very bad pain all day. Huge lump in my stomach that feels and looks like a rock and I can cup my hand around it. So painful. No nausea.

1.12
B: 3 scrambled eggs, chia pudding with pear, raisins, pomegranate, and almond butter, coffee with almond milk
S: larabar
L: green salad with chicken, almonds
D: broccoli beef stir fry

Severe stomach pain all day, both in intestines and a dull, burning pain in between my ribs/upper stomach.

1.13
B: 3 scrambled eggs, chia pudding with pear, raisins, pomegranate, and almond butter, coffee with almond milk
S: larabar
L: green salad, 3 turkey muffins
D: lettuce wrapped turkey burger, sweet potato fries
S: a few satsumas

Pain bad, about the same as yesterday. No nausea.

1.14
B: 3 scrambled eggs, chia pudding with pear, raisins, pomegranate, and almond butter, coffee with almond milk
S: larabar
L: green salad, 3 turkey muffins
D: lettuce wrapped turkey burger, sweet potato fries, snap peas, magic green sauce
S: apple with almond butter

Constant stomach pain but not as bad today. No nausea. Good mood.

1.15
B: 3 scrambled eggs, chia pudding with pear, raisins, pomegranate, and almond butter, coffee with almond milk
S: snap peas, almonds, dried mango (unsweetened/unsulfered)
L: 3 turkey muffins, green sauce
D: chicken burrito bowls with cauliflower rice (never again), green sauce
S: apple with almond butter

Had an appointment with my nutritionist today. She recommended I try no nuts for three days, reevaluate. If I don’t feel better, try the same thing with eggs. If after removing one, I’m feeling a lot of progress, either just continue like that or start reintroducing. Will start eliminating nuts tomorrow as I’d already had some before my appointment. She also said the burning pain up in between my ribs is probably acid, and as I have a hiatal hernia (stomach goes up past the diaphragm) acid is just up there bubbling basically (excuse my terms, I’m not sure of the technological terms). It’s probably due to the giant amount of oranges I’ve been eating, so she recommended I cut those out too for now.
Bad intestinal pain all day, no nausea. Diarrhea in the morning. Not-food-related anxiety in the evening had my stomach in knots and felt like I was going to throw up, but for reasons unrelated. And cauliflower rice? Oh god I wanted to throw up. I couldn’t even finish my dinner, it was so disgusting. I don’t recommend it.

1.16

B: 3 scrambled eggs, chia pudding with pear and raisins, coffee with coconut milk
L: Mexican chicken salad with avocado dressing
S: dried mangoes
D: chicken and baby potatoes cooked in coconut oil,  green sauce

My nutritionist recommended I start drinking apple cider vinegar, so I tried that today. In plain water, I couldn’t drink it and became instantly nauseous. Until I find it palatable in just water, I’ll be drinking it in tea with honey (afternote: I have’t drank it since). Very bad pain and cramping/diarrhea in the morning/afternoon. Pain lasted all day. Starting drinking yogi detox tea.

1.17
B: 3 scrambled eggs, chia pudding with pear and raisins, coffee with coconut milk
L: 3 scrambled eggs, snap peas
S: banana
D: lettuce wrapped turkey burger, green salad with avocado dressing
S: apple, dried mango

Bad intestinal pain all day, a little better than yesterday, but some burning between ribs. Nausea throughout afternoon until I ate dinnerI feel like I’m having a hard time eating enough without eating nuts, but that just means I was relying on them too much. Really tired, tried to take a nap but couldn’t.

1.18
B: 3 scrambled eggs, apple chamomile chia pudding, coffee with coconut milk
L: green salad with  green sauce, more veggies, mango
S: banana
D: baked rockfish, sweet potato fries

Woke up in barely any pain! Gradually increased throughout the morning but still better than yesterday. Really tired in the afternoon. Side cramp and radiating pain on left side before dinner – usually a symptom when I eat gluten but I haven’t, I’ve been really careful about cross contamination, so I don’t know why this is happening 🙁 gums are starting to flare up, taking lysine.

1.19
B: 3 scrambled eggs, chia pudding with raisins and pomegranate, coffee with coconut milk
S: banana
L: green salad, 3 turkey muffins with green sauce
D: steal fajitas
S: mango

Moderate pain all day, improved from yesterday though. Good mood.

1.20
B: 3 scrambled eggs, chia pudding with raisins and pomegranate, coffee with coconut milk
S: banana
L: green salad, 3 turkey muffins with green sauce
S: 2 carrots
D: pan grilled chicken, broccoli, 1/2 sweet potato

Even though it’s been more than three days, I’m going to continue not eating nuts because I don’t know if I’m starting to feel better or not. My digestive system moves slowly so I want to give it a little more time before I potentially reintroduce something I shouldn’t. Gums are hurting still but haven’t progressed very much further.

1.21
B: 3 scrambled eggs, chia pudding with raisins and pomegranate, coffee with coconut milk
S: banana
L: chicken, 1/2 sweet potato, green sauce
D: pan grilled chicken, broccoli and carrots

1.22
B: 3 scrambled eggs, chia pudding with pear, raisins, and pomegranate, coffee with coconut milk
S: dried pineapple and plantain chips
L: leftover chicken with green sauce
D: lettuce wrapped turkey burger, sweet potato fries, honey mustard made with homemade mayo
S: pear

I feel like I ate like shit today. Not enough veggies. Was really nauseous most of the day, moderate pain. Felt really low and bummed out about everything. Went to the gym and felt mentally better after but bad pain all evening.

1.23
B: 3 scrambled eggs, chia pudding with pear, raisins, and pomegranate, coffee with coconut milk
L: pan grilled chicken, carrots and bell peppers, green sauce
S: dried pineapple
D: turkey burger patty, mixed sautéed veggies
S: apple

So tired of everything I’ve been eating. After breakfast just feel nauseous and like I’m going to throw up I’m so tired of chia pudding. Will need to make something new this week.
Lots of pain throughout the day.

1.24
B: 3 scrambled eggs, stuffed breakfast sweet potato, coffee with coconut milk
L: turkey burger patty, green salad, green sauce
D: baked salmon, big green salad
S: apple

moderate pain most of the day. Surprisingly, no pain after dinner which very rarely happens. Very good mood all day. No nausea.

1.25
B: 3 scrambled eggs, 3 homemade turkey sausage patties
S: banana with cashew butter
L: turkey burger patty, green salad, green sauce
D: chicken fajitas

mild pain today. Good mood. A little nausea after dinner.

1.26
B: 3 scrambled eggs, 3 homemade turkey sausage patties, 1/4 avocado, coffee with coconut milk
S: banana
L: green salad with leftover chicken
S: one stick celery with Cashew butter
D: Asian beef stir fry with tons of veggies
S: apple with Cashew butter

Really bad mood today. So exhausted. Headache. Body hurts. Mild pain, very bad nausea in afternoon. Got a little better when I had the celery with Cashew butter pre-dinner. Was not nauseous after dinner but lots of pain after dinner. Gums are very bad – lots of pain and some bleeding.

1.27
B: 3 scrambled eggs, 3 homemade turkey sausage patties, handful coconut flakes and raisins, coffee with coconut milk
S: banana
L: green salad with chicken and beef, Larabar
D: grilled chicken, half a roasted Sweet Potato, leftover veggies, green sauce
S: apple with cashew butter

Bad mood again all day and still really tired, no energy. Stomach pain mild-moderate. Gums painful. No nausea.

1.28
B: 3 scrambled eggs, 3 homemade turkey sausage patties, handful coconut flakes, coffee with coconut milk
S: banana
L: 1/2 roasted Sweet Potato, grilled chicken, green sauce l
D: ground turkey on a green salad, avocado dressing
S: coconut flakes, cashew butter

Bad mood, anxious, overwhelmed. Cried before work. Mild-moderate pain. Gums still pretty bad.

1.29
B: 3 scrambled eggs, chia pudding with mixed berries, pomegranate, and coconut flakes, coffee with coconut milk
S: handful cashews
L: green salad with chicken, raw veggies, avocado dressing, some melon
S: snap peas with green sauce, coconut flakes
D: baked steelhead trout, green salad
S: pear

Moderate pain. Headache, but my upper back/shoulder hurt really bad so maybe from that. No nausea. Gums improving.

1.30
B: 3 scrambled eggs, chia pudding with mixed berries, pomegranate, and coconut flakes, coffee with coconut milk
L: pan grilled chicken, small salad
S: handful cashews and raisins, 1/2 cup applesauce
D: lettuce wrapped turkey burger, sweet potato fries, avocado sauce
S: pear

Very bad back/shoulder pain today, headache. Moderate pain. Some nausea between lunch and dinner.

1.31
B: 3 scrambled eggs, chia pudding with mixed berries, pomegranate, and coconut flakes, coffee with coconut milk
S: banana
L: 3 scrambled eggs, plantain chips with avocado sauce, celery with cashew butter
D: homemade chicken soup

Shoulder pain is horrible and I think it is making me nauseous because I’m in so much pain, so I don’t think today’s nausea is food-related. Good mood today though. Intestinal pain and diarrhea today. Gums flaring up again

SO WHAT IMPROVED?

My nausea has improved immensely. My skin looks better and I haven’t really been breaking out lately. I’ve had a lot less headaches (and the ones I’ve had are usually related to work-induced neck pain). I’ve also had a lot more energy most days.

My mood has also improved way more than I expected. It’s so interesting how the way you eat affects your brain and your moods, but it truly does. I’ve experienced so much less anxiety this month than usual. I’ve cried a lot less and felt less overwhelmed. Of course, it’s not completely better, I still have my days, but improvement is improvement, and I’m happy about it. Another mood related improvement that I didn’t expect is that I’m getting over my own personal roadblocks with certain foods, being scared to eat certain things and high amounts of fat. Basically, this month has forced me out of my comfort zone in the best way. I’m learning to cook foods I’ve never made before, I’m letting myself eat things I used to be too scared to eat because I’m worried that if I eat them, “I’ll get fat”, and I’m putting less of an emotional attachment on food. It’s not there to make you feel better, it’s there to help you survive and should be making you healthy. Tasting good is a bonus 🙂

I know for some people, eating grains and dairy makes them feel great. And that’s awesome! I will never be one to put down anybody else’s food choices. I live with someone who eats the healthy food I make, but he also enjoys some cold beer, delivery pizza, and ice cream. And that’s totally fine. My food = my business. Your food = your business.

OKAY… NOW WHAT?

Well. That’s the hard part. I wouldn’t really say I feel “better” enough to start to introduce anything, so I guess I’m going to continue how I’m going. I should probably try a few days without eggs like my nutritionist talked to me about, I just never got there. I know I should though, so I guess that will be one of the first changes. If that doesn’t make a difference, I’ll continue with eggs and a small amount of nuts. I’m beginning to wonder whether or not the pain is actually a food intolerance symptom, or if it is a sign that something else is going on. I’ve had a lot of improvement this month (acne, nausea, headaches) and I would have expected the pain to improve if intolerances were the cause. I’m not sure exactly how long it takes for the toxins to leave the body, but I know I have a lot of healing to do and it’s quite possible that a month just isn’t enough time for my body to make those repairs.

I don’t mind the way I’ve been eating at all, I don’t find it difficult unless I fail to plan ahead, so I don’t have a problem continuing. In fact, after I reintroduce foods to discover what my intolerances actually are, I don’t know how many of the groups I’ve removed I’ll even want to add back into my diet long-term. I’ve been reading a lot, and there is so much information about the foods that we eat and how they are truly affecting our body. I do not think I will be eating much, if any, soy even if I tolerate it well. Same with grains. Dairy, I don’t eat much of, but I wouldn’t mind eating some grass-fed butter and I think my body will be able to tolerate it fine. For now though, I’ll just keep on keepin’ on with eating paleo and I am a-okay with that.

Comments

This battle breaks my heart. I know the difficulty of trying figure out what the heck is going on with your GI, but you definitely got thrown a very tricky journey. I don’t know if this helps, but I noticed that I tend to get REALLY gassy (cute!) when I have onions or garlic. Just a little will set me off. I don’t know if you might want to add that to the list?

Also, screw worrying about “getting fat.” You look like you have a healthy diet. As long as your healthy and active, your weight will just be a number!

Cheering for you!

Thank you. I haven’t noticed any problems with them but hey, worth trying! And I know, just hard to convince myself that sometimes. But I do know I’d rather feel better.

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