Going 'low carb' was never a planned a journey of mine, it was my unknown destiny.
A few years ago when I decided to go 'gluten free' due to digestive discomfort, I developed a stronger than ever passion for nutrition and health and learned how not only gluten, but almost all grains affect the digestive system. I realized then that being bloated wasn't a feeling I should tolerate, it was one I should avoid. By avoiding it, I began to learn more as to why I (as well as others who don't have bloating side affects) should avoid foods that are claimed to be healthy like grains. There is so much to it, but that's another story.
Removing grains from my diet was very easy for me to do. I focused on eating more fruits and vegetables and healthy meats, fish, nuts, seeds, and dairy and only some legumes that don't cause me too much inflammation. Carrots seem tolerable, beans not so much - (but I'll eat them in a social context but know if I have too much I'll be bloated later), corn - (oh how I love corn on the cob, but will only eat it on occasion as my #2's will tell you and probably YOU, that we're not too happy with them), and the reactions are pretty much the same for the rest of legumes. It's more of an occasional, I feel poor, I'm on a budget food. Therefore, you'll know when I'm scraping to get by if you see beans in my basket at the supermarket. ...So please keep your eyes on me if you spot me shopping, maybe I'll be looking for someone to help me find some change at the register.
Aside from learning more what my body wants, my low carb journey has NOT ended at grains. Just when I thought all was dandy, or when I thought I had figured out what my body can and can't eat for optimal health and performance........... I STILL GOT BLOATED!
I was shocked. I was at times looking more pregnant than ever. Now, if you're still reading, it's important for you to know that even though I have spent years being bloated, I have still always gone #2 a few times a day.
So when I was bloated, I looked forward to my #2's, I was excited! I knew at the time of my #2 my bloating-ness would disappear and I would feel ME again! However, waiting for my #2's to pass by like a little kid waiting to see Santa could NOT BE, and was NOT going to be my solution for the rest of my life. Seriously, the bloating was getting out of control, annoying, affecting how I felt about my body (eishhh big no no!), and I don't think I could go on living my life revolving around toilets. Who wants that? Not me!
So what was wrong? I thought I was doing everything right. I thought I was at the top of my health. Well... I was close, but obviously not close enough. I had to analyze my diet more thoroughly. What's changed the most? Hm, easy, the more amount of fruits and veg I ate. But that's good for us too, right? So it couldn't be that. But wait, what if it really was? What if I am more sensitive to that, then even grains alone? WOW! Now that's something I didn't want to hear myself say after spending so much time being grain free.
I decided to do a few more experiments with myself. I decided to eat less fruit for a few weeks and months. Some days I followed through better then the days before, but what was important was for me to pay attention to how I felt during the times I succeeded at this experiment and during the times I failed (oh yea- I failed miserably somedays... put a mango in front of me, uh oh!). It was pretty clear - too much fruit = unhappy tummy. After this realization, I decided to go a week hardcore of super low fruit, only a small amount of blueberries, and some days no fruit. If I ate well and balanced, I didn't actually crave or want fruit. I would just want water or vegetables. What was so awesome about this experience was that in the whole history of my relationship with my partner, it was probably the first time where I didn't say 'I'm bloated' for several days. He normally would hear it from me at least a few times per week, sometimes more.
This leaves me today at a much fuller understanding of my body. I probably have reacted to fruit this way because I probably eat bigger portions of fruit compared to others (I just really love it), and I need to learn to have less. When I have less I am so much happier inside my tummy. I cannot commit to NOT eating fruit or always limiting my fruit, but I know I will make it a priority to avoid over eating it. I also know I will achieve this 90% of the time (minus the 10% during a special occasion or super fruit sale!), as I have succeeded greatly with all the other areas of my lifestyle and health.
Where does my diet stand now? Basically the same, just limiting the fruit. I am still very grain free 90-95% of the time (some times I'll eat something with a small amount of X inside it OR when I go for indian food and they serve you rice and there's no vegetable option - those few times aren't going to kill me (and luckily rice doesn't over bloat me like other grains - but I still know I'm better off without it), and I LOVE indian dining when I go out! I won't deny it!).
My fruit philosophy: When the sun is hot and I'm at the beach drinking coconuts and eating watermelon/mangos on the side, I may indulge a little much. If my tummy cries, I'll just explain to my tummy that it's fruit season and it won't be able to enjoy the fruit until next summer, so quiet down!
Thanks for the read, and I hope this post motivates you to eat well and find your balance with food!
If you follow a similar diet to me due to your digestive system needs or be it personal preference, feel free to share this post or write a comment below!