Tuesday, 1 September 2015

A testing time in Cornwall

I have to admit to not feeling any difference after two weeks on the gut healing diet; however I’ve thoroughly enjoyed cooking all my meals from scratch and trying out new recipes with offal and bone broths. Ideally what I want is to be bouncing with energy after cutting out gluten as so many people seem to describe in their experiences… what I’m starting to accept is that gut healing may take many months and unless I cut out everything that could be irritating my gut and immune system that the magical day of leaping out of bed may never arrive.

For the Bank Holiday weekend we went to Cornwall for some scuba diving and surfing. I took some of my own creations with me, but inevitably I ended up stuck with a small caravan cafe at a dive site with little except burgers and pasties on offer (delicious though!). So I decided this was a good test to see how my tummy would fare after two weeks break. Eating gluten again seemed to have no obvious immediate reactions in my gut or anywhere else in my body. I ran along the coastal path for an hour each way and felt pretty energised, yay!

However four days later I experienced the worst hypothyroid symptoms I’ve had in months - extreme mental fog, fatigue and generally feeling quite unwell. Now it could be a complete coincidence or it could be a delayed/secondary immune response. Is two weeks enough to have made a difference? I’m left with so many uncertainties and questions I’m not sure where to go next with my diet. What I’ve decided for now is to continue with gluten-free and stick with the gut healing foods I’ve introduced. I’m not currently inspired to embark on a full elimination diet like the Auto-Immune Protocol (AIP) - cutting out pretty much everything nice to leave me with steak and carrots to eat!

I do have one issue to resolve with my gluten-free diet at the moment and that is to ensure I’m eating enough carbohydrates to fuel my training. During the Gut Gastronomy programme I had a couple of days where I effectively ‘bonked’ (ran out of energy) on a run and had to walk home. Although I’m eating huge plates of food for each meal, sometimes if it’s mainly salad or vegetables, meat or fish I burn through that energy pretty quickly and I’m not left with much to train on. So I’m working on planning better pre-exercise snacks such as oat cakes/apple and nut butter or a homemade oat/date/seed bar. Although some auto-immune diets refrain from even having brown rice, quinoa or buckwheat I currently can’t see how I’m going to survive without these in my diet. Having a plentiful supply of clean pea protein from NuZest has been a saving grace to ensure I’m getting adequate protein around each training session.

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