FODMAP Diet: Experiment Conclusions

Okay, this is it: the end of the low FODMAP diet experiment. For two straight weeks I adhered to a strict low FODMAP diet – which includes going gluten-free – except for one evening, which I’ll talk about shortly. So how did it go? Did I see any pleasant results? Did I go mad at all?

Well, the first thing that I have to reiterate is that this experiment was exceptionally difficult to stick to with the limited food options I had available to me at my work camp. The bag-up room (where we gather the food we’ll be taking on our 12-hour shift with us) was the worst because aside from (some of) the fruits and veggies and the loose gluten-free bread and donuts, virtually everything in that room is high FODMAP, full of gluten, or has no nutritional info for me to work with. Because of this I ate practically the same thing every day (gluten-free toast with peanut butter, boiled eggs, strawberries, baby carrots…) which gets pretty damn boring and depressing pretty damn quickly. Dinners were better, since there’s always some for of meat and veggies I could eat…until the day there wasn’t. Yes, on one particular day every option was either breaded or some form of pasta; not a gluten-free option to be found. This was the day that I ended up “cheating” (because what else was I going to do…not eat?) and I’ll have more on that in a minute.

So, first conclusion: going low FODMAP is extremely difficult (and depressing), at least when you’re limited by the minuscule number of options at a crappy work camp.

The second thing I have to talk about is the fact that I saw virtually no change in my stomach/digestive issues. At first I thought that perhaps the effect was so gradual that I just hadn’t noticed it, but that brings us back to the day I “cheated”. If my constitution had improved at all, you would assume that suddenly reintroducing gluten to my system would have a violent effect, but nope. I had no problems at all (or, rather, no more problems than usual). Now, someone might say that I wasn’t on the diet long enough to see any real results (the suggested “cleansing” period is six weeks). However, there is one particular issue (which I won’t talk about because it’s majorly TMI) that should have cleared up within the first few days if gluten or high FODMAP foods were the culprits.

So, second conclusion: while I can’t say that this diet wouldn’t work for anyone, it doesn’t seem to do anything for me.

Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the one good thing that has come out of my two week diet: I actually lost a bit of weight. I’m somewhat surprised, because even though I was, in fact, cutting a lot of sugars out of my diet, I was still getting a full day’s worth of calories, on top of which I snacked on potato chips almost every night since I couldn’t have any of the sweets or desserts. Despite that, and the fact that I did absolutely no exercise the entire two weeks, I still lost four pounds. So yeah, there’s that for sure.

So, third conclusion: this is actually a half-decent (and healthy) diet to go one if you’re looking to shed a few pounds.

And there you have it. It was an experiment worth doing, for sure, although the results were not what I was hoping for. The little bit of weight loss is definitely nice, but I would have traded it in a heartbeat for any kind of relief from my digestive issues. I guess it’s time to look for a new experiment!

Accountability Tuesdays – Week 14

It’s the best time of the month. I’m boarding the bus to go to my last day of work for the shift, and that shift is only six hours long. What could be better?

Well, a lot of things, I’m sure, but still, I’m in a pretty damn good mood. And I’m not going to let Accountability Tuesday ruin it for me! Dammit! 😛

Health and Body Image Goal
I’ve been having a very difficult time on the exercise front, which I hope will be at least partly reduced once the Albertan sun starts coming up earlier. I’ve just been so tired and it really doesn’t seem as though there are enough hours in the day! That said, I have been doing fairly well with food intake over the past few days. Making salads, eating egg whites, all that kind of thing. Mind you all of that is likely to go to hell when my flight lands in Nova Scotia, but at least this week was good. 😛

Editing Goal
There’s not a great deal to report, although I’ve finally actually gotten going. It’s a slow process because I haven’t done any in such a while that I’m still more or less trying to remember what’s happening and what I want to fix. But baby steps are still steps, right? Right.

1,000,000 Word Goal
I had planned to go nuts this week, and that didn’t really happen as I’d hoped because work got ridiculously busy, but it was still a decent week. Between a combination of my work in progress, blogging, and a little love story that became as the result of a writing exercise, I wrote 9174 words past week. Adding to the couple of extra days that weren’t part of last week that means I’m up to 10877 words for Camp NaNoWriMo so far! Not too shabby if I do say so myself!

Now, if you don’t mind, I’ve got some good old fashioned happiness to get to. Be home in less than 24 hours before I’m home, baby girl!

Brain Dump

A few things, some bigger deals than others, have been happening lately, and since I find Sunday to be an excellent day to talk about the week that has just passed, you get to hear about them all. 🙂

– As previously mentioned, a week and a half ago I got a call offering me my job back at the paper mill. The job offer is conditional on the sale of the mill being completed, which is conditional on Nova Scotia’s Utility Review Board okaying the deal that the buyer has created with Nova Scotia Power. If the Board okays the deal, the buyer is hoping to start up the mill some time in August.

Personally, I don’t see it happening that way. For one thing, even though the government is probably going to be pushing the Board to okay everything and get the sale over with, I don’t think they’re going to agree with it right off the get-go. The deal the buyer and NSP came up with is, in my opinion, overly complicated, and also gives NSP the rights to 18% of any profits made by the mill. I’m sure everything will get the okay eventually, but I don’t think it’s going to be a quick process. I believe the Board will have a few issues with bits and pieces of the agreement, and that will slow things down.

For the other thing, I think the buyer is drastically overestimating how easy it’s going to be to get staff back in that mill. A large number of maintenance workers have already found other jobs or gone out West for work, and my understanding is that many of them are reluctant to come back. Why give up an excellent camp job for the absolutely sickening contract we were strong-armed into? Also we seem to have lost quite a bit of management (of the necessary type) and it’s going to take time to fill those positions.

No, I definitely don’t think that mill is starting up in August.

– The reason I bring up the uncertainty of when the mill might start up is because last week I got a call for another job…a camp job working for MMR Canada. This company will fly me out to the site where I will work for 14 days straight, then fly me home for 14 days straight, rinse and repeat. In the 14 days that I work, I will make more money than my husband and I made combined at the mill. In other words, it is a really good opportunity that is impossible to pass up. Even if I only work there until the mill starts up (a decision that will have to be worked out later, once I know what it’s like out on this site), it will still be more than worth it. So this Saturday my hubby is flying home from the job he’s been at, and he will stay with the baby while I’m on my 14 day shifts.

I have a powerful belief that the baby will lose her tiny little mind when she sees daddy come through the airport gate. 🙂

– Because of the impending start date of my camp job, I’ve been really trying to force myself to write. I’ll never find the time to write while I’m on camp (I’m working 12 hour days!), but I might be able to find a few minutes a day to edit, which is why I’m desperately trying to get to the end of my zombie novel before I leave (June 19th). And I’m so close I can taste it. My main character is currently at the ‘big reveal’ moment, which is essentially the end of the story. If I had to estimate I’d say that there might be about 5000-6000 words left to this story, so if I work really hard (and my brain starts cooperating with the ‘big reveal’ wording) then I might actually have it finished this week. ^_^

– Also because of the impending start date of my camp job, I’ve been thinking that I need to start trying to get into shape. If my duties are anything similar to what they were at the mill, I’m in rough form. And the fact is that the work I’ll be doing out there will probably be much more physically demanding than what I’m used to. With this in mind I decided yesterday that today I would start getting up early and running again, as well as trying to eat better.

I set my alarm for 6 am. The baby woke up at 5:30 am. 😐

Since I can’t use my treadmill while the baby is awake (it’s in the basement, which is also where a bunch of dangerous stuff and also the kitty litters are, so I can’t just take her down there with me), I’ve been waiting all day for the little booger to lay down and take her nap so I can get my exercise in. It is now coming up on lunch time and she appears to have no plans of the sort. I’m at least twice as tired as she is.

And as far as eating better…..I’d forgotten how hard that is. I had a bowl of grapes, a glass of juice, and a coffee for breakfast, and a little later I had a bowl of oatmeal that I hoped would tide me over until lunch. I’ve also since had 2 more glasses of juice (it’s a calorie-free concentrated thing that you mix with water) to try to keep my belly feeling full. It’s not helping. I’m freakin’ starving. And it doesn’t help that we have a whole closet just packed with the discount Halloween candy we buy every year after the holiday. 😐 I’m not cut out for diet and exercise.

– And finally, my word counts for the week. Aside from one crappy day and one day where I evidently forgot how to write, I did pretty well! An average of 1303 words per day!

Sunday – 1396
Monday – 2617
Tuesday – 1098
Wednesday – 211
Thursday – 0
Friday – 1960
Saturday – 1839