Saturday, July 26, 2014

The Plan

I have joined that most annoying of tribes - of which my husband is a charter member - people who talk about their current diet. I've had gone on The Plan, a 20-day diet invented by Lyn-Genet Recitas which apparently aims to eliminate those "surprising" health foods that are making you fat and feel bad.


Turkey, salmon, greek yoghurt, eggs, cauliflower, beans, oatmeal and tomatoes are all healthy -  right? Wrong! She reckons that for many people these foods cause a toxic reaction that triggers weight gain, premature aging, inflammation, and a host of health problems including constipation (that's mine and a fascinating post that I will save for next week...something to look forward to)  migraines, joint pain, and depression.

She reckons weight gain has nothing to do with carbs, calories or fat.

I am incredibly cynical about diets and I've promised myself I would never do one, but I was so tired of feeling so tired all the time and of above-mentioned ailment, especially when traveling. So for 20 days I've put my life on hold and broccoli galore and flaxseed here I come.

I paid for the fully monty. It starts with an initial phone conversation with the author Lyn-Genet Recitas and email-updates with her every day. My skepticism meant I was pretty grumpy on the phone call but what she said started to make sense.

Broccoli and carrots galore. It feels like a  lot of shopping for herbs, spices and doing recipes but maybe that's me being disorganised.  I was constantly re-reading the pages all day long

You eat a special diet that adds a few different things each day and if it doesn't suit your body, there will be a reaction and the scales the next morning will show that you've put on weight.

When we analysed how much water I drank (pretty much none except for herbal tea), turned out the watermelon I inhaled was the only thing keeping me from being a rocking-back-and-forth mess. I like what she said next.  Don't pretend you're going to love drinking water  -  just get it down you - think of it as chugging a beer or downing a shot. I started chugging four pints (of water) a day. Funny thing I once complained to a friend that I didn't drink enough water and he said: "Pay to do a course" Now here I am.

Day One: Yes! I can do this! Oh...it's a lot of work... (five trips to grocery store and health store). Stay close to loo.

Day Two: Kept misreading instructions, menus take over life. So much broccoli..so much zucchini...ugh.

Day Three: Can't face flaxseed granola. Bingewatch Parenthood to take my mind off things.

Day Four: By this time find coconut milk and papaya are not good for me.

Fay Five: Dizzy. Blurry vision, smuggled pop chips into my mouth, fantasizing about Sthern BBQ. Glass of wine (allowed) tiny bit chocolate (allowed). Chocolate blows up my stomach - no more choccy. Haven't been out or seen anyone for days except my Parenthood friends... they're my friends right?

The Day Five Blueberry-Avo smoothie was good though


Lost 2 lbs from Monday to Sat morning -  which if you're trying to lose weight, would be a bit soul destroying. I will persevere but not in a good place. I don't usually think about food, now obsessed about getting to dinnertime for wafer of chicken.

Anyone else out there doing this - want to form a support group? Have you ever been on a diet that was helpful in any way, or found foods that were bad for you?



60 comments:

  1. I'm curious how this will work out for you. Stick with it cuz I wanna know. Something or things I digest make me bloat so bad I think I'm six months pregnant again. May need to research this if you like the results. Oh and two pounds in less than a week is fantastic...you should lose one to two pounds a week.

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    1. BB, six months preggers is where I live! It has ruined so many days on so many vacations for me. I'm really at my wits end, which is why I will stick with this.
      i already know that I am not good with dried fruit and nuts, my stomach is so painful with those i don't go near them. They are the snack for today so i will do watermelon.
      i also knew chocolate is bad, last night confirmed that, so I stay away from that.
      Sad about the papaya, I eat loads of them per week.
      However when you have a bad reaction you can take the 30-mllion probiotic tablets.
      Thanks BB- you've reminded me why I'm doing this, I'm determined to stick to it now with no cheating

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  2. I did a cleanse a few weeks ago. I lost more weight eating my way through Italy last summer. I also did not feel any better (not that I felt bad). I can understand your wanting to have more energy, but you don't need to lose a pound. Good luck!

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    1. Linda - as we thought - Italian foods are your "Non-reactors" - well done you!
      I can't do food through a straw. I am saving that for when I"m 99.

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  3. I did the Virgin diet which sounds similar - to help with bloating and autoimmune issues - it was great for the time I did it but goodness I love food to much to stay so restrictive...I just try and 'rest up' occasionally and then eat less of what I love. Good luck with it!

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    1. Just off to google it - was it a long one?

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  4. The problem with diet plans is they cause you to obsess about food, I hear ya on that one. I had the bloating problem for years, giving up gluten cured that for me. I have tried adding it back and I bloat up like a balloon and feel sick, get this nasty rash, sorry for TMI.
    I drink loads of water and feel best when I eat a very vegetable heavy diet with no sugar or other fun things like potato chips. I don't love beans so I have to have meat in my diet... oh and the dried fruit thing, I can only eat that if it's organic, non-organic raisins and apricots bloat up my stomach and cause a disturbance for days. My theory is that most dried fruit is heavily sprayed.
    Keep going you can do it! It would be nice to get this sorted before your Big Walk!

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    1. So no bread, pasta etc for you except where gluten free?
      Yes my friend who is gluten free used to have the opposite of blating, in the end she could not cross the Bay Bridge as she needed a bathroom and she said to me it could be gluten as well even though the effects are opposite!

      How funny about the non organic dried fruit, that never occurred to me. Today is trail mix day and maybe I should give it a go

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    2. Yes and re the Big Walk, one of my faves is the cassoulet and I kept on eating it even in France, it blow my stomach up madly, beans and fatty pork, i guess its the motherlode of reactive foods for me

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    3. oh, cassoulet and related bean dishes blow up everyone, you're not reactive, you're normal. And think of all that lovely fibre!

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    4. The thing is - for me its not fibre. It's the opposite, my stomach blows up and stays like that. its really painful

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    5. The bloating is sooo painful and really bad when travelling, making flights even more hellish.
      No gluten for me at all, no wheat, oats, rye or barley. Also the gluten free breads etc are so hideous I avoid them, they are quite processed and also taste like sand.
      I am strict pork-free so I have never tried cassoulet but sound like a bloat fest.
      Oh here we are talking about our diets! ;)

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    6. I even tried those bottles of things you have to add to water so i would drink loads more water on the flight but eventually had to go back to the Magnesium when i got there

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  5. Oh, I feel your pain. What is supposed to be good for our bodies changes every day. I had not heard the negatives about greek yogurt, turkey, oatmeal or tomatoes. I made myself start eating Greek yogurt everyday just because it was supposedly the next miracle food. I can relate to you wanting to find a plan that gives you more energy. For me, the low carb worked FANTASTIC to keep me energized. I had loads of energy, clearer thinking, etc. Even so, I didn't stay on it for a long stretch of time. Now I eat low Carb every few days and get some benefits that way. You certainly have to try and see what works for yourself. One person's dream plan is another's nightmare. Hope you find the thing for you. I'll be checking in to hear all about your "ailment." and the latest on your Parenthood friends!

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    1. I used to eat loads of full fat greek yoghurt in London when Harley was a baby as that was all he would eat with bananas, it was so yummy esp the full fat one and i eventually had to go cold turkey not having it

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  6. Utter nonsense! Do that big walk and eat what you want. Our culture is so nothing in the food department, these "plans" keep popping up as a replacement for a way of eating that conforms to the culture. our way of eating is just bad.

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    1. Hi Lane, it will be interesting to see if the walking all day cancels out what the cassoulet does, maybe ?

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  7. Oh my goodness .. respect! Due to skin issues, I've been on many different and varied diets in my time. The one that I found most effective (it didn't clear my psoriasis - but I was bright eyed and annoyingly energetic!) was the dairy free diet. But I LOVE food ... especially lattes and cheese and chocolate so I'm pretty useless at sticking to it. Good luck, I hope you get some success from it. Weight loss however, is something that you definitely don't need

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    1. FF, that's really helpful. So far The Plan have only introduced goat's cheese, but I know in my family the dairy makes them excessively snorty - have been trying to get all out kids off the dairy too and the eldest three have bad skins!

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    2. Was not able to give up my daily latte (coffee is allowed after the initial period) but for this 20 days replaced non fat milk with rice milk which seems fine

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  8. Feeling good is so important. I hope this diet helps reset things for you. For good info on women's health I highly recommend a newsletter and books published by Nan K. Fuchs, Ph.D Her entire focus is women's health. She identifies common health concerns (hormones, digestion/bloat, bone health...),and outlines very specific recommendations. She also provides lots of info on great supplements to achieve strong health. Have a nice weekend - Susan

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    1. Hi Susan. thanks for that, I will get that book for sure. I know loads of other female friends who suffer from the digestion ( e. e. constipation) thing so it does seem particularly female

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  9. Never tried this one. Only diet I ever followed was kathy freston's quantum diet. Very restrictive. Felt great at first and then a latent nut allergy blew up from overeating them. Friends were very happy when I went back to meat and alcohol. Mind you, I was deliciously skinny on Kathy's plan. I have the Virgin cookbook. Not following the diet but recipes are delish. Good luck!

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    1. Jen , I can't do nuts, they are like poison to me.
      Could never give up meat sadly, that would be the end for me. Thank goodness this introduces chicken early on

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  10. I did an elimination diet last year for 3 months to work out what caused my eczema. 3months with no sugar, alcohol, chocolate, dairy, gluten, plants from the deadly nightshade group (potatoes, eggplant, capsicum), tomatoes, citrus.... There wasn't much left. I couldn't keep weight on, even though I are a lot if what I did eat, and found gluten and citrus were my triggers. It's been useful to know, but as it's not life threatening I just eat normally when out or at friends places and avoid the rest of the time. You can do it! Plenty of people have food intolerances, and it's handy to know what your are. Xx

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    1. That is a lot of self control to stick to that sort of diet for three months. Heidi!!!

      Already I had two glasses of wine last night instead of one and felt dreadful, really bad. Citrus is interesting, is that unusual?

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    2. apparently not, and the whole eczema thing is annoying as I don't actually have sensitive skin (which people think is weird), but it's food intolerances… as a baby I had reflux and was taken for testing at hospital and they found I was allergic to 7 things. Unfortunately my Mother and Father couldn't remember what those things are. Yes, my Father is a Doctor!! But I do remember that if I ate too many oranges in Winter as a child I'd break out in hives, so it wasn't surprising to still have problems with it as an adult. Funnily enough I'd always get bad eczema in Winter and blame it on the cold and damp, not my orange and mandarin habit!!
      I was very self controlled, but don't beat yourself up about the drinking!

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  11. I can't do these kinds of plans (though right now I should!). the only thing that works for me is moderation and just lots of fresh fruit and veggies. My downfall is baked goods...Since hitting 50 I am finding it very hard not to gain weight, so need to find myself a new regimen, but I find that moderation, not deprivation, is the key for me. Plus, I don't trust ANYTHING I read now - something will be deemed unhealthy today and healthy tomorrow. The perfect way to test food intolerances is to start with white rice and then begin to add (or subtract) but honestly, I could never eat plain white rice for 4 days...

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    1. Agree with you on moderation Wendy - and as they say diet companies want to push moderation as it doesn't make money.

      When i go and get my latte in the morning I look at scones longingly but if I bought even one it would be floodgates for me.

      Funnily enough i ate loads of white rice when we first arrived in the US as I got a rice cooker and i added loads of soy sauce to it which was probably not a good move...

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  12. Won't do diets, I know what foods don't like me (dairy products, but I eat ice cream anyway), that most green veggies give me gas, but again, I still eat them. I have the same problem you do and my doctor had me start probiotics a couple of years ago, they help some, the B-12 shots I take now help even more.
    I've lost 25 lbs since Christmas, but it's exercise, not diet that's done it.

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    1. Wow, that is awesome - 25lbs is a real feat. Congratulations Yes even if I find out I'm not good with a particular food that I like, I still may eat it. What grade is your probiotics - she said to do the 30 million whatever that means

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  13. When I was on the editorial staff of a scientific journal that focused on nutrition, an entire issue was devoted to obesity. Because of that, I'm enormously skeptical of any cause for obesity other than too many calories consumed and not enough expended in activity. About the time of that issue, we held the editorial board meeting and everyone (they were all MDs who also had PhDs) was singing the praises of flaxseed. I gave it a go and found it completely put paid to any and all bloating. I've suggested it to friends who suffered agonies with bloating, and it worked like a charm. So I can vouch for flaxseed. (The researchers were wild about flaxseed because of its lignans.)

    As for gluten, in the South we prefer low-gluten flour, which is all there was in America until the mid-1800s, when immigrants brought the high-gluten, hard wheat. Our recipes are all made for low-gluten flour and won't turn out right without it.

    I manage to down liters of water a day and being hydrated makes a tremendous difference in everything, including my energy level and mental acuity.

    Do you eat/drink anything with artificial sweeteners like sorbitol? I avoid those like the plague that they are. Sorbitol is a laxative, and I'm hypersensitive. One mint, and I'm desperate for a bathroom. I once unwittingly drank some tea with Splenda and had horrible bloating and GI distress for several days.

    Good like with the plan. I hope it works a treat for you.

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    1. Janet - this is so interesting. Ok now I'm happy I actually ate all the flaxseed granola which usually I can't get down the old gullet.

      I have thrown out all the bread we have so as not to temp me -toast is my downfall and I am really missing all the carbs, its really hard. I am finding that the bread here is very sweet and unsubstantial anyway - i cannot find something like Vogels (even in a bakery) which you get in NZ which is very grainy

      Re artificial sweeteners I don't drink diet coke or anything like that.

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    2. Is there a lot of ground flaxseed in the granola? To end the bloat, you need to eat a few tablespoons of ground flaxseed daily to begin. You can add it to liquids; it tastes nutty.

      Oh, I could never give up toast! You are made of sterner stuff than me. I get a good, no-sugar/fructose whole grain bread at a local bakery. It's dense and...Ack! Forget I wrote that. Keep to your program, but if you return to toast, let me know.

      I just did a quick bit of research to shore up my flaxseed experience. Here's the study abstract:
      Efficacy of ground flaxseed on constipation in patients with irritable bowel syndrome
      S. TARPILA, A. TARPILA, P. GR…HN, T. SILVENNOINEN, AND L. LINDBERG

      ABSTRACT: We studied in an investigator-blinded trial the efficacy of roughly ground partly defatted flaxseed on constipation in 55 patients suffering from constipation predominant irritable bowel syndrome. Fifty-five patients were randomised to receive 6-24 g/d either flaxseed or psyllium for 3 months. During the blinded treatment period 26 patients received flaxseed and 29 received psyllium. In flaxseed group, constipation and abdominal symptoms were decreased significantly (p=0.002) whereas in psyllium group the reduction was not statistically significant. After the blinded treatment period, the difference between groups was statistically significant in constipation (p=0.05) and in bloating and pain (p=0.001). Forty patients continued to the open period with flaxseed treatment only, 18 from flaxseed group and 22 from psyllium group. After the open period of 3 months, constipation and abdominal symptoms were further significantly reduced (p=0.001). Safety laboratory values were unchanged with exception of serum thiocyanate that increased from 40.9 to 153.7 mmol/l in flaxseed group. After additional 3 months treatment with flaxseed this value was decreased to 104 mmol/l. Blood cadmium was normal (3.4 nmol/l) after six months flaxseed treatment.

      Have you ever considered that your symptoms might be constipation predominant irritable bowel syndrome? If so, the flaxseed may do the trick, and you can eat as much toast as you like.

      Good luck! I hope this works for you.

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    3. Hi Janet, thanks for all this. yes it's all flaxseed, its a granola supplied by The Plan if you sign up with them. It has loads of molasses in it though - 139 calories per quarter cup and I still find it pretty hard to eat. After this I might be better to add it to a rice milk smoothie

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    4. I'm very bloaty but have always eaten loads of flaxseed, if I even drink water - huge bloat, it's just my intestines crammed into a short waist, It's not any food group per se that does it.

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  14. I went off Diet Mountain Dew for the first time in years (per Bebe's scolding)for a couple of weeks and made a conscious effort to improve my diet re veggies and my appetite almost went away. I had to remind myself to eat. I had to pull some late nights last week so fell off the wagon but will climb back on soon, I read an article recently that said if you clean up your act by age 50 (smoking, bad diet, etc) you can undo all the damage the bad habits had created. I'm trying to get in under this Fall's deadline.

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    1. Hilarious! You are on the same diet as Cy. During the last two weeks in Pennsylvania, NY and now Sea Isle, Kevin said they doing a firm UNPlan diet, fried foods, no fruit and vege and loads of lollies.
      Isn't it funny how all the veges takes your appetite away _ I am finding the same thing

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  15. YOU doNOT need to lose an ounce!Now about feeling tired etc.......I think we talked about that a bit in the car!You are tired too cause YOU do so much.....heck you have 4 kids!YOu need strength for THE WALK...........my advise gain weight NOW you will lose on that WALK!!XXX

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    1. Yes, hoping that eliminating gluten will help too!

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  16. Sounds like you need a boost of CoQ10 http://www.drwhitaker.com/choosing-the-right-coq10-supplement

    I feel much better since I started eating nearly 100% organic food (to cut down on chemicals), and meat only from reliable sources from the butcher. I eat a lot of veggies and fruit, and blend a mixture of flaxseed, hempseed and sunflower seed before I add fruit and veg to my morning smoothie. Flaxseed has to be ground up to be beneficial. I've increased my intake of lentils, millet, etc. instead of potatoes.

    I also only eat the whole version of things like rice, flour (I make my own bread), pasta. Or try out kamut pasta or other low-gluten varieties. I have banned white products (rice, bread, pasta) from my diet except on special occasions.

    My weight previously had been creeping up, but it's now stable at 58kg. I'm not skinny but I certainly feel healthy and not bloated.

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    1. Meat from a French butcher sounds the ultimate in knowing where it comes from. We do buy organic meat and mostly organic fruit. I am off to find hempseed today.
      You have a really healthy diet! Do you find it a lot of work?

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    2. Probably a bit more work than before, but I've always cooked from scratch so the extra comes from working out what to do with the veggies and pulses to hand instead of just chucking a chop in a frying pan and boiling some spuds and frozen peas, and surfing the internet for imaginative recipes. Wholefoods like rice also take longer to cook - 45mins instead of 11. But they don't need any attention so you can leave them to it. :)

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  17. No way...I don't do diets, I wouldn't last. I love food too much. I eat relatively healthy any ways, but this would do me in. A rowing machine, walking, hip hop abs and tae-bo is all I need, haha. Good luck doll xx

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    1. That's a nice lot of exercise, no wonder you look so good. Life suits you!

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  18. I did some tests at the Mayr and I found out I was histamine intolerant which means nightshades bloat me but I looooove nightshades ( potatoes tomatoes and aubergine). So I do understand this concept bc I can eat loads of one item and not gain weight but have a spoonful of mash and blow up. As you are slim you have no need to lose weight but feeling great is really the most important thing no? Hope you find your compatible foods and you gain strength for your trip!

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    1. Naomi, fascinating - and I am so backwards on food stuff I had never ever heard of nightshades! Oh I love aubergine. See maybe I should just do some tests like that and it would be less painful than this way!

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  19. Prunes. Try prunes on bran flakes. That's all I'm saying.
    Sx

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    1. See that's where this diet thingy shows everyone is different. I love prunes, could live on them, but they have the opposite effect of what they should have on me! Weetabix works though

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  20. haha yeah losing weight is definitely not easy! I had fun reading your experience and I can definitely relate! The most I've lost in one shot of losing weight was actually when I came back from the south and I had a stomach flu, ahh man I felt awful but a few days later was plesantly surprised that I fit into my old jeans hahahaha

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  21. Hmmm-- this interesting. According to the diet, does everyone have different foods they react to? And what makes a food more likely to be reactive?

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    1. Yes! everyone is different and this is supposed to sort out what is best for you. still in a bad place with this diet-clease whatever as it is incredibly hard to stick to
      There is no particular food that is more reactive, diff for everyone, for example for me, i can't eat nuts and dried fruit and chocolate garlic dries out my head etc.
      Just found out today yeast is really bad for me, so vinegry things and yeasty things are out

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  22. Jody don't know why, but I'm skeptical of a lot of this food restriction stuff. If you have bloating though I hear you, as do most women around our age...
    Not to be a downer, but a close friend who is in her early 40s, has recently been diagnosed with colon cancer after suffering with bloating and stomach issues for 7 years.. They just kept having her try gas pills, IBS meds, gluten free and the like.. No one gave her a colonoscopy, ever. Just want to put that out there. I highly recommend anyone who has ongoing issues like this to just do it. Both my husband and I are going to. It's especially important if you have any family member who have had it and you have any issues. Don't wait until age 50..You have to be your own advocate.

    I'm sure you had yours as you are over 50. Gosh I don't know any friends who don't have the same issues. I swear it's our lifestyles and food and stress.

    I hope you don't lose too much weight! You need to have some for your trip!!
    Take care Jody.
    xx Kim

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    1. Kim, I am just so sorry to hear about your friend, thank you for sharing this, its just so sad. And also its going to galvanise me to check this out medically as well...

      Sometimes Drs do not turn to do the obvious tests. My friend had stomach pains for decades, very very pain every time she ate and drank. Got down to 90ibs, people thought she was anorexic and it was only when she changed drs and did more other tests they realised she had severe endometriosis. Its usually only a test people take when they are trying to get pregnant and she wasn't. All is good, happy ending for her.

      Actually having done this Plan for a week, I've realised how many foods blow my stomach. I had the old colostomy thing done at 50 - two years ago it was quite the deal. We found out on the weekend that I have an allergy to yeast (e.e champers). all clear on that front..

      http://aboutlastweekend.blogspot.com/2012/09/the-ultimate-cleanse.html
      a

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  23. All attempts at diet are off whilst on the road and visiting Vegas....fruit and nuts for breakfast dinner and tea when we arrive in Napa I think.

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    1. The wine counts as fruit right? Gosh all those vitamins

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  24. Not only did I find your post interesting and thought-provoking but the comments were so useful too. I know I don't drink enough water! A shame about your allergy to Champagne.

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  25. Hi there, I stumbled across your blog and have enjoyed reading various posts to catch up.
    I'll weigh in too, even though this is a late comment.
    Has Irritable Bowl Syndrome ever been suggested to you as being the cause of ongoing problems? Long story short..I've suffered this condition for years and after a colonoscopy and endoscopy last year the gastroenterologist suggested I try a Low Fodmap diet which has been medically devised by researches here in Australia. Rather than me try and explain the intricacies of how the diet works I shall advise you google, monash university low fodmap diet as well as shepherd works low fod map diet
    There is no quick fix and I found results were apparent after several weeks, I'm almost to one year of eating this way and honestly I've never felt better! Yes it can be restrictive and a pain when traveling but to feel well again and not bloated (my 'thing' was constipation too) is beyond wonderful.
    Good luck with your journey
    Annie

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  26. Late to the party but am more fascinated than ever now. I was out in an elimination diet and discovered gluten makes my stomach blow up like crazy!! I did it to see if my sinus infections would clear up. Turned out that gluten constipates me! The opposite if what I thought it would do.
    Now if any gluten sneaks into my diet I am miserable.

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