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likeanyother
Wow chacha, thanks so much for all that! What you say is so true, and so important to hear, as I’m one who often falls for the ‘health foods’ that you refer to. I turned vegetarian in high school for mostly ethical reasons, and naturally started eating the fake meat stuff that I now know is so unhealthy. I’m not a total vegetarian anymore, but I kept eating that stuff because it’s so expensive and inconvenient to eat organic, grass-fed meats. It’s sad that companies take advantage of people who are really trying to do something good for themselves and the environment. I guess even some nutritionists fall prey to it as well. That Raw Food Detox Diet I mentioned earlier is mostly good (I think) and it totally calls out soy products for being heavily processed and unhealthy, but it also encourages the use of Splenda and agave nectar as alternative sweeteners, which I guess isn’t so healthy after all….

Why must food and health be so complicated!? Even exercising is rife with confusion, carido vs. strength training, impact vs. no impact -- good, no bad, wait good....etc..... Glarg.
p_176
it's that wonderful time of the year where everyone at work has a cold, and thus i have one too. i've had a cold/sinus infection for the last 3 weeks, and the antibiotics - i'm not sure they worked. i'm doing saline rinses, taking vitamins and getting enough rest, so why am i still sick?? <sad angry face>
erinjane
Aw, that sucks p_176. Ever since I finished University in April I've noticed I get sick waaaaay less. I used to be sick almost once a month but I've only gotten sick 3 times since April, and the last time I was sick was in September! It's really exciting for me since I'm sort of known among my friends as 'the sickly one' who's always catching colds and getting sinus infections.

I haven't been to the gym in over two weeks. Ever since the bed bug incident, things just got too crazy and tomorrow I'm getting my wisdom teeth out. By Monday I'm hoping things will be starting to resemble normalcy and I want to try and stick to a running training schedule so that I can participate in our marathon (or 1/2 marathon most likely) in June.
p_176
well finally the saline rinses got the gook out of my head, so i'm feeling better and less sorry for myself. tonight i'm going to the gym, for the firrst time in a few weeks ago. i'm looking forward to it.
good luck with your wisdom teeth!
anna k
I got a free trainer assessment at the gym last Monday, and it went well. I have an average amount of body fat (not unhealthy), as 145 lbs at 5'4, but it's better than having been 160, and considering that I have strong leg muscles and a DDD cup size, I feel like that adds to my weight, and the trainer said he was impressed by what I could lift. I wanted to do more weight training because I've been at the gym for a year, and what worked for me for several months was not showing more changes, that my body had settled, and I wanted to challenge myself. So in the group classes, I moved up to higher free weights, and feeling better and stronger, despite my soft looks.

I've been making omelets with avocado and crushed-up tortilla chips for breakfast, they're delicious. I also like eating green apples after having fully digested my dinner, they make me feel nourished and satiated.
candycane_girl
Does anyone know of any good yoga dvds? I would probably need a beginner one because I haven't done yoga in a few years. But I'm excited to get back into a relaxed stretchy mode.
pollystyrene
I have this one, ccg. I have the Pilates one, too. I've had them for about 6 years and have never actually used them, I can't say if they're actually good or not.

I need to spend some more time in this thread......
anna k
I liked using Patricia Moreno's Yoga Dance Fusion. It has a great flow of movements that follows a certain choreography and grace.

I've lost several pounds, and am now at 138 lbs. I feel my biceps more, and my back more when I move. My pants feel baggier on me, and it feels really good. When I was this weight five years ago I felt very small and thin, and now I feel like I have more muscle and strength, not as miniscule.
PixiePink
Hi everyone. How is everyone today? I'm from Los Angeles, CA. What type of healthy snacks do you like to munch on during the day?
ketto
Healthy snacks...I have lots.

Cheese and crackers
Mini pita's filled with tuna salad
carrots/veggies and dip
Fruit-to-go's if I'm really stuck
apples
fruit salad
almonds (not with oil or flavouring added though)
pistachio's
home made granola bars (jenn has a great looking recipe posted on her blog)
smoothie (i put this as a snack because I find them extremely filling)

If I'm at home and get a snack craving in the middle of the day I love having cheese, a bit of garlic sausage, kalamata olives, a pickle (optional) and a few crackers, or a small home made cheese breadstick that my mom makes in bulk and freezes. It's a good snack because it has a mix of foods, but just a tiny sample of each. I also make sure to keep lots of varieties of cheese around so I can mix things up and not get bored.

Off the top of my head that's all I've got.

Totally haven't been keeping up with exercise over the holidays. The same thing happened last year. I gained 5 pounds and got lazy. I'm taking a skipping rope to work with me now though so I can do that when I need a break. I work alone so it's not a big deal to stop for 5-10 minutes and use some energy. It's too cold to even walk to my gym from work and I can't cross country ski so I'm sticking to my dvd for the next week or two.
hellcat
Hello healthy ladies! I just finished up my education degree in December and am now trying to distract myself from my constant "please hire me" plees with getting my body to a healthier place. The building I'm living in has a gym with an old treadmill and bike in it so these will be my two buddies for the next while. I'm not particularly fond of the treadmill 'cause my tatas are going all over the place (will have to hit up the big breast support thread!).
I can't afford a gym membership or a membership at the yoga studio right by my place. Once I get a job I'd love to join either of those places. I'm hoping this thread and a new bra will help me get into a routine.

Have any of you found that keeping a food diary helps? I bet it will help my identify some problems and also guilt me into not eating out if I have to write it down.

anna_k that totally rocks that your body is feeling so much stronger! It is really encourgaging to hear. When do you your video? Did you have a lot of yoga experience before diving in?

ketto- mmm yes, tuna is one of my fave snacks!! I'm also a huge fan of using salsa in place of ketchup.
PixiePink
QUOTE(ketto @ Jan 5 2009, 07:32 PM) *
Healthy snacks...I have lots.

Cheese and crackers
Mini pita's filled with tuna salad
carrots/veggies and dip
Fruit-to-go's if I'm really stuck
apples
fruit salad
almonds (not with oil or flavouring added though)
pistachio's
home made granola bars (jenn has a great looking recipe posted on her blog)
smoothie (i put this as a snack because I find them extremely filling)

If I'm at home and get a snack craving in the middle of the day I love having cheese, a bit of garlic sausage, kalamata olives, a pickle (optional) and a few crackers, or a small home made cheese breadstick that my mom makes in bulk and freezes. It's a good snack because it has a mix of foods, but just a tiny sample of each. I also make sure to keep lots of varieties of cheese around so I can mix things up and not get bored.

Off the top of my head that's all I've got.

Totally haven't been keeping up with exercise over the holidays. The same thing happened last year. I gained 5 pounds and got lazy. I'm taking a skipping rope to work with me now though so I can do that when I need a break. I work alone so it's not a big deal to stop for 5-10 minutes and use some energy. It's too cold to even walk to my gym from work and I can't cross country ski so I'm sticking to my dvd for the next week or two.


Wow! Those all look like great healthy snack to involve in your routine. Don't feel so bad about not exercising too much during the holidays, I think its safe to say that's a majority here!

Wow, you make home made granola bars? That sounds great. Are they high in fiber and protein and all that good stuff? Have you heard of South Beach Living Foods meal bars? They have been helping me get thru lunches/breakfast when I don't have the time to make up a warm meal. Since they high in fiber and protein, they actually fill me up till the next meal. smile.gif They have a lot of flavors too, so it help keep things interesting.
ketto
I'm really a whole foods kinda gal so I try to make what I can at home (smoothie's, granola bars, fresh fruit, home-made soups, etc). I'm off granola bars right now (I go through food phases) but I'm totally into brie and pretzal sticks. Mmm...I'm eating some now. Turbojenn has a blog with great recipes: http://thewholekitchen.blogspot.com/2008/1...anola-bars.html

Heh, I was looking back at some of my posts from Christmas last year...I think I'm in a better situation than I was at that time. Went cross country skiing yesterday and it was fantastic but now the windchill is hovering around -35 to -40 so I'll be using my dvd more in the next week.
anna k
hellcat, I work out to DVDs sometimes, I did a kickboxing DVD tonight. I've been doing yoga for nearly ten years, mostly Ashtanga/Hatha-related stuff, and I do it sometimes, it's fun and reminds me of having been a flexible child.
rubberdollz
PixiePink be careful with those types of bars you eat. Sometimes they contain a ton of sugars, soy or some other unhealthy product that is going to do you more harm then good. If you can go to a store and find products that you want and make your own you are in a much better situation because you are controlling what is going into your body.
ketto
Does anyone else have a bad habit of keeping around old pants in the hope you'll one day fit them again? This pair of jeans that were too tight to begin with have been hanging around for a year. I put them on over the weekend and oh-my-god, they were soooooo tight. I could do them up and everything but things were hanging out all over and for some reason I kept them even though they're full of holes.

I finally threw them in the scrap pile to use for sewing. It was kind of a wake up call that I need to really get in shape - not even lose weight, just get exercising more regularly again. Since I've been smoking less weed I've got a lot more motivation so I hope it sticks this time. I'm really trying to mix my work outs up. I like to run at the gym, jump rope at home occasionally, do my DVD which is similar to tae boe type workouts, and get outside to skate or cross country ski. I think this is working better for me than any exercise routine I've done.

I've also starting writing down the foods I eat too. I'm perfectly fine during the day...good portion sizes, healthy, unprocessed foods, but as soon as 8PM rolls around it's like a ridiculous struggle to not raid the snack cupboard which my mom keeps. She keeps hiding food around the house for my brother and I keep accidently finding them. How can I possibly resist Swiss Rolls!?
chachaheels
Here's my .02 cents on how to resist swiss rolls:

First, read the ingredients on those swiss rolls. Nothing says "what the **** am I eating?" in shock and dismay like knowing you're some free-range guinea pig for plastics, genetically modified animal/plant form combinations, and "renamed" fats (my latest favourites being "interesterified" oils and fats...whooey).

Then, get some really great snacks of your own: make your own stockpile of treats that are actually great for you.

Some examples:

chocolate--the real stuff, not the stuff that "passes standards" for allowable foreign substance content. Real chocolate has a high cocoa content, it's quite pure, it has no soy lecithin, it doesn't have a lot of sugar in it, and if you want to really do some good in the world, there are very high quality chocolate brands now made for Fair Trade organizations to sell to you. Ethical chocolate consumption.

Currently I have a few bars of very dark chocolate with celtic sea salt added for flavouring. Hits my magnesium cravings and my iodine needs at the same time! Plus the salt gives the dark chocolate a richness where only bitterness would have existed before, and the whole experience is slightly sweeter because of the added salt. Each bar is a couple of dollars, I eat it slowly. A couple of squares is usually enough.

Other examples: good rich artisanal cheeses to have with really good bread or some very nicely paired wine (one glass will not kill you, in fact it's very good for you).

Your favourite fruits (slice them up and eat with plain rich yogurt, if you like--you can sweeten that with real unpasteurized honey or real maple syrup)

Your favourite nuts and seeds (mixed with dried fruits, or with fresh fruit)

All that other "junk" stuff really doesn't taste as good, in comparison.
ketto
Thanks chacha. The silly thing is, I would NEVER buy swiss rolls myself because I know how hard they are to resist (even with all the bad bad bad stuff in them) but my mom is horrible for buying stuff and hiding it around the house. She's actually hiding them from me because I ask her not to buy them but she keeps putting them in places I need to look in. tongue.gif

That sea salt chocolate sounds good. I'm not sure if I've ever seen that, I'll have to check out a few places.

The grocery store near my house had 1lb of strawberries for 2.99 a couple of weeks ago and I stocked up. They tasted just like summer and were perfectly ripe. I can't wait for summer for all the fruit.
p_176
anyone know anything about Cushings syndrome? I'm being tested for that now, and I'm not sure how I feel about it. I'm not convinced I have symptoms of it (other than being overweight), and I'm reading that it's life-threatening if not treated. <sigh>

what's a swiss roll? is there a way you could cook your own, but of course healthier?
konphusion26
Hey chacha (or anyone else whose tried it) - What are your thoughts on Extra Virgin coconut oil?

I have read great things about it. And I'm going to try it in food. I already use it on my scalp/hair and have seen some good results.

crazyoldcatlady
never tried the evco, kon, and don't know much about it, but it sounds tasty.

random general musing: anyone get real bloated from soy? i'm trying to be a "good" vegetarian and round out the protein with more than nuts-n-dairy, but every time i eat it, i feel puffy.
rubberdollz
Other than the fact that soy is pretty bad for you... I'd try avoiding it altogether and not adding it into your diet. I follow the Weston A. Price diet and they have information on their website about soy, here's a breakdown of a few of the problems with it.....

-High levels of phytic acid in soy reduce assimilation of calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and zinc. Phytic acid in soy is not neutralized by ordinary preparation methods such as soaking, sprouting and long, slow cooking. High phytate diets have caused growth problems in children.
-Trypsin inhibitors in soy interfere with protein digestion and may cause pancreatic disorders. In test animals soy containing trypsin inhibitors caused stunted growth.
-Soy phytoestrogens disrupt endocrine function and have the potential to cause infertility and to promote breast cancer in adult women.
-Soy phytoestrogens are potent antithyroid agents that cause hypothyroidism and may cause thyroid cancer. In infants, consumption of soy formula has been linked to autoimmune thyroid disease.
-Vitamin B12 analogs in soy are not absorbed and actually increase the body's requirement for B12.
-Soy foods increase the body's requirement for vitamin D.
-Fragile proteins are denatured during high temperature processing to make soy protein isolate and textured vegetable protein.
-Processing of soy protein results in the formation of toxic lysinoalanine and highly carcinogenic nitrosamines.
-Free glutamic acid or MSG, a potent neurotoxin, is formed during soy food processing and additional amounts are added to many soy foods.
-Soy foods contain high levels of aluminum which is toxic to the nervous system and the kidneys.
Stone
QUOTE(anna k @ Jan 4 2009, 03:33 PM) *
I liked using Patricia Moreno's Yoga Dance Fusion. It has a great flow of movements that follows a certain choreography and grace.

I've lost several pounds, and am now at 138 lbs. I feel my biceps more, and my back more when I move. My pants feel baggier on me, and it feels really good. When I was this weight five years ago I felt very small and thin, and now I feel like I have more muscle and strength, not as miniscule.


"I've lost several pounds, and am now at 138 lbs."

How tall are you?
thirtiesgirl
QUOTE(Stone @ Feb 2 2009, 06:16 PM) *
"I've lost several pounds, and am now at 138 lbs."

How tall are you?

3'2".
crazyoldcatlady
i've heard the downsides to soy, some valid, some bunk, but the most concerning--and true-- is that it is an estrogen-mimetic, and that shit ain't right. but i suppose the way i reasoned it was that small doses of much-needed protein outweighed the side effects.

[rant]
i'm just such a bad. bad. vegetarian. and i hate cooking. i mean, i don't sit around eating donuts and crap by any means; i eat my fruits and veggies, but i'm just not well-rounded at all. i'm going to get all ramble-y now, so ya'll can hop off the train at any point, but i can't cook, i don't have time to cook, and the concern for eating correctly hasn't reached the tipping point where i will actually make life changes. i can't hire a chef, i know what a nutritionist would tell me, and sick sick sick enough, i feel like the only option i have left is astronaut food aka nutrisystem for the mere convenience of pre-packaged shit that (presumably) is balanced, not necessarily for weight loss. that, or get a houseboy. or start eating meat, and 15 years later, that shit is about as appealing as cat vomit. fuuuuuck. i feel like one of those prick-smokers that keeps coming up with excuses for why s/he can't quit, but then bitches about being short of breath.
[/rant]


eta: i heart thirtiesgirl, as usual.
anna k
Stone, I'm 5'4. But I wear a 36DDD bra size, so it adds to my weight.
tommynomad
Ketto, I have at least 4 pairs of pants I'm waiting to get back into.

In an effort to get there, I'm doing the hundred. I understand that increased muscle tissue contributes to fat loss. I've never done any upper-body work apart from yoga, so this is a real challenge. I'm way past 6 weeks and nowhere near 100 non-stop pushups, but I *do* feel better & stronger. And when I do unrelated exercises (cycling, ultimate), I can feel my bigger arms and my moobs don't bounce as much!
chachaheels
Not all soy is bad--the fermented kinds, like tofu and tempeh, are fine because they've been fermented. That's why soy's been eaten as a fermented food for at least six hundred years, and people have not suffered from it. Granted, it's never eaten as a substitute for meat in the countries where it's been fermented and consumed (it was always eaten along with meat and fish)...but that doesn't mean vegetarians can't also round out the protein from fermented soy by eating cheeses and nuts. Tofu based food (flavoured tofu with cooked vegetables or noodles and broth, or marinated and fried, miso, etc) can all be bought relatively inexpensively, no?

I don't think Crazy Old Cat Lady = Just as Bad As Smokers who can't stop/low rent vegetarian. If you eat only the fermented soy, the bloating problem will not be an issue. Soaking grains, beans, and nuts will eliminate the bloating you get from them too. The bloating comes from the phytic acid in the legume--it prohibits nutrient absorption; fermentation and soaking removes those phytates for you so you can actually use the protein and nutrients. The Soy "milks", "ice creams", "cheeses"--all that fake food is made from the unfermented soy, which should never be ingested.

If you're going to eat Nutrisystem "balanced" stuff, don't bother thinking you're getting good nutrition. And I guarantee you that the soy in that food (a lot of which is the "hydrolyzed protein", a type of msg'd "protein" making up the "flavour") is the worst possible kind of soy to eat. And it's super-expensive for the lack of food that you get. That stuff will kill you--and not in the long run, either.


I think our lack of personal power over our bodies extends to the fact that no one is given enough time to just look after their own human needs anymore, such as the time to make and eat your own food (and not from a microwavable pouch, either). It's a far bigger problem--as a culture I think we've given up our ability to determine for ourselves what we need and want, and we've been cowed into doing it. The shitty food has been sold to us just because we've bought into the premise about how much time is our own.

And that's the end of my rant.
ketto
Good luck Tommy, I said goodbye to my shitty, ripped, too-small pants and I feel far better for it.

I'm entering in my third week of regular, uninterrupted exercise and I feel sooo good. I already notice my energy levels are higher and I'm sleeping better again. I think the trick to get me back into the groove of things was to mix it up. We have the worlds longest ice skating trail so I've been trying to get onto that at least 2-3 times a week but the weather keeps dropping below -30. Still, on Friday I went skating with friends and then decided to skate the full 8+KM's home (plus a 15 minute walk to my house from the river). It was fantastic. It was 10:30 at night so no one else was out and it was gorgeous out. I raced my friends who were driver home and I was at home in my pj's before they even left to go home. It took me 50 minutes to skate it.

On the cold days I'm hitting the treadmill and today I managed to run non-stop for 15 minutes - I feel like I'm breaking through a wall that I typically hit at this point. My goal is to run the half marathon this June so I've got to keep the pressure on.
anna k
That's great, ketto! That ice-skating story sounds so beautiful and awesome.

I always feel happy after my gym classes tonight, where I take a dance class and figure out choreography and try to get into a good groove and really have fun, and the second class, which is challenging with weights and makes me feel so strong when I can handle more than I thought.
anna k
chachaheels, I got some Magnesium Phosphorica 6X tissue salts today, to help me with my stomach. I went to the doctor's, and he gave me a free sample of Nexium, but it didn't help much. I've been having bloat/gas/loose stools all through January after my period, then my stomach settled a week before my next period, and got back to bloat/gas again. I'm seeing the doctor again on Tuesday for the results of my blood test, and can see if he can refer me to a GI. I'm also taking peppermint oil capsules, though they don't seem to help a lot.

My diet hasn't changed much. I don't eat soy products anymore except as tofu or bean curd, and mostly like eating grilled chicken and eggs and fish for my meat products. I still eat dairy in the form of organic dark chocolate (though it may have soy in it, so I'll stop), eat a lot of veggies and fruit and nuts/seeds and brown rice and drink water and tea, and sometimes it'll feel like I don't eat a lot because I rarely eat gluten/wheat (it bothered my stomach before) or junk food, and often read labels/ingredients and get turned off by a lot of things. I don't like feeling picky, and I don't act picky when eating with friends and family, but I'm concerned about keeping my stomach healthy and being at a body shape that makes me comfortable and happy.

Sometimes when I've detoxed myself like this, I tend to pee/fart/poo a lot, and will feel woozy in the head. But after a few days or so, my body would feel much better. My doctor told me that I have low blood pressure, and to eat more salt, but I don't like salty foods.

For my workouts, I did a little more at the gym since I had some time off, taking a second dance class and going the gym 4 days a week. When I don't have time or don't feel like going, I do a DVD at home, one was a kickboxing workout on Wednesday, and last night I used a ballet workout one. I got into using the weight room more, finding it therapeutic to lift heavier weights the more my strength built up. But I have soft muscle tone, and don't look muscular, no matter how much I've progressed. It sucks a little to not look as strong as I want, but a plus with soft muscle tone is being good at yoga and Pilates.
chachaheels
Anna, I'm hoping the Mag Phos will help with the blood pressure issues and the bloatiness, as well as digestion regularity. I know you've been to see an endocrinologist (do I remember correctly?) and someone in the past who specializes in the GI...but this bloating has been going on a long time, and I like to see all possible problems (particularly the worst case possibilities) ruled out. The gassy/bloatiness can be a symptom of a number of ailments that don't directly involve digestion (it's often a sign of something going on in the ovaries or uterus, for example) and if you're seeing your doctor please ask him/her to make sure he/she can help you find out and rule out every possibility.

If you're experiencing a "reflux" (which is why s/he'd want to prescribe the Nexium) then it's possible that you need to alkalinize your system. I put a lot of my patients who are on reflux meds and meds for GERD on Natrum Phosphoricum tissue salts, and have them take 4 of them after every meal. They stop using their prescriptions because the Nat Phos defiency is replenished, and they no longer suffer from reflux. You might want to try that instead of peppermint oil, which can be a little abrasive and only works for a small number of people with reflux issues (catnip is actually a far better mint for dealing with digestion problems, but it's rarely sold in health food stores and the staff is rarely knowledgeable to the extent that an herbalist would be). The thing about tissue salts is that they're very easy to use and not expensive, and they can be used in combination--so it's okay that you dose with the Mag Phos and the Nat Phos as well. My favourite thing about them is that their use is finite: once your body replenishes the deficiency, you don't need to take any more, your body will handle everything just as it was designed to do and it will cure itself whenever any problems arise there.

If you're averse to eating salty foods may I suggest substituting your ordinary table salt for some celtic sea salt? It has far more nutrients (trace nutrients and minerals we really need), it's pure, and it does tend to rectify some of the problems associated with salt/water balances in the body. You can even get Fleur de Sel, which is hand harvested and extremely flavourful, a little goes a long way but it is truly much better for you than plain old sodium chloride. Use it as a seasoning on your food, so that even if you use it sparingly you will still gain some benefit from its use. It has a bit of a "burst" of flavour when you bite into it (it's a course type of salt) and it is so much more pleasurable as a seasoning, too.

Soy lecithin is becoming a big ingredient in chocolate--it is probably a good idea to avoid it, since even in many high cocoa content bars where there is a minimum of fat content the fat will be soy, with all the problems of soy. That being said, you can still find bars made with better ingredients--but you will pay a premium for them. I happen to think chocolate has a value both nutritionally and as a pleasure in the diet--and eating without pleasure is unhealthy, in my experience. If you're craving chocolate, then you should eat some--but do be picky.

If we can narrow down the cause of the bloating to digestion, and rule out all other possible reasons, then you might wish to add some lacto-fermented foods to the diet in order to restore the proper balance of enzymes and microflora in the gut, as their absence is usually a major cause of bloating and gassiness. I would also recommend making certain that you eat regularly, perhaps once every couple of hours--nothing huge if you're not hungry, but simply enough protein in your diet to keep your blood sugar levels stable so that you're not feeling woozy as you describe.

Also, I've just remembered that sometimes people who take a lot of supplements experience these symptoms--so what I usually do is put them on an "elimination" plan, get them to stop taking all their supplements for two weeks or so to see if this makes a difference in their symptoms. If the bloating stops when you stop taking the supplements, and we re-introduce their
use one at a time, we can see if any one particular supplement begins to create those symptoms again, and stop its use all together.
anna k
I don't take a lot of supplements, the only one being the New Chapter multivitamin. I seemed to get this problem more after my period, I was feeling fine for months beforehand. You're right about the peppermint oil being abrasive, it did bother my stomach and not seem to help. I took the tissue salts and peppermint oil this morning, and will also take flak seed oil to aid with the detox.

I didn't eat much yesterday. I had a avocado and banana with water for breakfast (I didn't know whether or not to eat my usual omelet), almonds and cashews as a snack, a banana and an apple for a snack, a salad with pecans, goat cheese, and cranberries for lunch, then didn't get home until 10 pm and felt it was too late for dinner, so I made myself a banana and blueberry smoothie with almond milk. This morning I had green tea with an omelet and avocado, and have the same lunch packed, as well as a banana and an apple for a snack to have soon (I work at the front desk of a museum Thurs-Sun).

Thanks for the reccomendation about the Nat Phos.

I did once see a GI, who was condescending to me, making fun of me being heavier and gave me bullshit advice to avoid dairy and take Beano. That was back in late '07, and soon after I started going to the gym and keeping a food diary, and lost weight and didn't bloat as much.
chachaheels
Okay--the fact that the symptoms are aggravated after the period would have me looking for anything different in the reproductive organs. Tissue change can cause this kind of gassiness--so I like to rule out anything serious there, just so you know that making dietary changes is really the right approach. It pays to turn over every stone.

So when you do see your doctor and talk about tests to see if it's just the GI, discuss the concern about the reproductive system too. Just a physical abdominal exam often gives enough information to go ahead and explore further, and that can be done in a few minutes in the office as part of a work-up. There are very few doctors who still do physical exams, though they've all been trained to do them. Just ask for one. They take a few minutes and if you're with someone who's skilled enough to recognize the signs and symptoms, you'll be saved quite a lot of time. If you feel any pain from the exam in any area of your abdomen, mention it to the doctor.

If you still find the peppermint oil to be too harsh, do try the Nat Phos, I think you'll like them. You can use them on a routine basis (after each meal and snack) and you can also keep them handy for when you suffer the heartburn symptoms.

Do you eat things like lactofermented pickles, sauerkraut, kimchee, tofu? They're really good foods to add to the diet, the lactofermentation boosts nutrient absorption exponentially (and the gassiness might be a result of not absorbing nutrients properly). Lactofermented dairy is good too-live culture yogurts and kefirs (beware of the ones with genetically modified "patented" microorganisms--they're pretty much bullshit and god knows what the hell those organisms do, we've never had them in the human diet before).
p_176
anna k - i googled "gas after period" and found a website describing endometriosis. but pain is, i think, the main sign of that. echoing everyone else, i admire what you are doing with your gym routine and yummy healthy snacks. i am sure you will quickly figure out what is causing your stomach problems, good luck!!

after much time and effort, i'm being tested for cushings syndrome/disease. i'm hoping the tests work, 'cause it would explain everything i've been going through. wheeee!
anna k
Thanks, P 176. I looked up endometriosis too, and it has symptoms that are similar to IBS, and since this problem started after my period, it could be related. The digestive enzymes that I've taken have quieted the rumbling sounds, but it's still bothering me, and I still feel woozy in the head, no matter how much I try to take care of myself. I hate this, and I don't know why my body is doing this to me, but I hope the blood test shows some results, or that the doctor can do a more thorough checkup on me.

chachaheels, I do eat tofu sometimes, not the other things.

I splurged and ate some pizza tonight (not the bread part, just the cheese and chicken toppings). I usually eat a healthy diet, but needed some fat and sugar for the night instead of something healthy that doesn't fill me up enough.

I worked out tonight, but felt crappy because of my stomach troubles, and felt like I looked heavier, even though I checked the scale and saw that I lost three pounds. I just miss what I looked like just a month ago, slimmer and happier and more comfortable with my body. Just some bloating is enough to make me feel really uncomfortable and unhappy in my body.
chachaheels
Anna, I'm a little troubled that you say eating healthy means you don't feel full enough. Your body desperately needs fats and carbs-but you have to make sure they are the best kinds.

If you are in fact in need of fats you will see all kinds of pathological symptoms in specific places in the body, for example in the neurological system (which could easily affect your digestion) and in the reproductive system--precisely because the endocrine system in so dependent on fat intake for health. So much harm has been done by the diet "movements" promoting low fat foods as a means to losing weight, and women are paying the biggest price through the resulting pathologies, it's terribly sad. Good quality fats are vital to good health, and they're vital in proportions many of the diet businessmen would balk at--40 to 80% of our diet should ideally be the high quality fats. Since those are scarce in our world, you can do with less (no less than 30% of your diet), but you cannot be healthy without enough of it. Same with carbs--they're necessary. High fructose corn syrups/sugars, aspartames and acesulfame potassiums are not necessary, splenda and all that garbage is not acceptable food. Raw honey, maple sugar and syrup, molasses, cane sugar and stevia--these are better substitutes if you need to sweeten things, as they provide not only the taste of sweetness but also trace minerals and enzymes for which we've no better sources at all. Real grains that have been ground by stone and have not been "enriched" because they've been so processed they have little value and pose a threat to the body without it are not acceptable foods--but the good grains, pulses, beans, particularly if they're soaked with whey to remove the phytic acid--these are really good sources of protein and B vitamins. They should be a part of the diet without fear that they'll make someone gain weight.

I must ask, are you consciously deciding to become vegetarian? There are some people for whom this is a good choice, but I have to stress that for many it is a decidedly unhealthy choice. I know there are ethics to think about, but the ethics have to do with the way meat foods and produced more than they do with eating foods from animals (we are animals, we're meant to eat animals and plants because we're omnivores...but it's nature's way, and there's no use denying it) There are ethical means by which your dietary needs can be met if you eat meats and fish. I wondered why you're avoiding dairy--some people just don't like it or they're sensitive to it because it's so overprocessed and pumped full of scary additives like soy and chalk, but there are alternatives that are whole which can be had more easily now. Are you avoiding eggs, red meat, and fish?

Adding the fermented foods does the same thing that taking digestive enzymes does--lactofermented foods are a source of those enzymes as well as a variety of microflora that you need for good digestion.

Many sufferers of endometriosis suffer no pain at all, particularly if they are not sexually active. But it is a great example of how tissue change in the reproductive system can lead to bloating and distress and pain. Many of the dietary changes I suggested above apply to treating endo and other reproductive system/endocrine system dysfunction...however, it's best to rule out every possibility so that you know what you're dealing with. It really is the fastest way to being about to do something that will result with you feeling better.
anna k
I don't know whether this problem is from my period or dietary changes, or a combination of both. I felt that I had a healthy enough diet, and for carbs I use brown rice and bread made with brown rice instead of wheat. I don't go for foods that are labeled as "low fat" because I assume they're full of sugar or other additives. I have fat in the morning through eating an avocado with an omelet, and for lunch, either grilled chicken or having a salad with nuts in it. I do eat chickpeas sometimes

I like eating chicken and eggs and turkey, I don't want to be a vegetarian because it limits my options and I don't feel like I can live on just beans and tofu for protein, I prefer meat. I eat dairy sometimes, but I don't eat a lot of it because I get afraid that it will bloat and irritate my stomach, but it's still bloated even with limited dairy. I use butter when I make omelets, I drink almond milk, and I eat goat's milk yogurt.

Thank you so much for your advice. I have my appointment today, I will bring all of this up. I also want to find a dietary regime to help my stomach (as well as my head, it seems like when my stomach feels bad, my head feels bad, and vice versa) heal itself.
culturehandy
As a side bar about ChaCha's comment about animals and how meat is processed, I know some Humane Societies endorse some farms that produce meat, the company doesn't use hog barns or whatever the case may be.

I know the humane society here does.

/derailment
anna k
I went to the doctor's today. My blood test showed me to be healthy, and I still talked about my stomach problems. He did a physical on me, and nothing hurt when he pressed down on my organs. I brought up endometriosis, but he didn't think that would be the case, since I didn't have all the symptoms of it, and I don't hurt in my uterus area, but more in the intestines. Most likely it's IBS, with my head feeling bad due to lack of healthy fats and salt intake. He suggested someone doing a colonoscopy on me, but I didn't feel sure about it. I made an appointment with a GI he recommended, and will see him tomorrow, as well as seeing a gynocologist next Tuesday.

He looked at the supplements I showed, and other than the New Chapter multivitamin, the others didn't seem necessary. The digestive enzymes were of a low miligram, he thought the tissue salts were fine, and the flax seed oil was good but not necessary, as I get omega-3s from my brown eggs in the morning. As I don't have a prescription plan, he gave me Donnatal to treat IBS, and to take it three times a day. I'll see how it goes, but see the GI and the gyno as well. Today I had an avocado with an omelet and some goat's milk yogurt, and ate steamed chicken with vegetables and brown rice for lunch.
tankgirl
I just want to add that I love new chapter vitamins. They are the only ones I have ever been able to take that haven't hurt my stomach and made me feel more unhealthy. I am thinking of starting to take them again, the woman specific one. The one I took before was iron for my anemia. The only other vitamin supplements I take right now are fortified almond/rice/soy milks etc, nutritional yeast, and sometimes cereals, but rarely. I pretty aware of my health and what vitamins I am needing more of and eat the right foods. But, lately I have been pretty broke and haven't been eating a wide variety of foods. Rice and beans just isn't cutting it right now.
chachaheels
Anna, I'll be glad when all the possibilities are examined, and everything serious is ruled out. I'm happy to hear that so far, you have a clean bill of health. I truly hope everything is fine--then it's just a matter of using foods to provide what you need. I hate to say it, but I can see a few gaps in your diet that I'd love to see filled.

I have a few suggestions (still!) that help with nutrient absorption and maintaining health.

1. When you eat steamed veggies, use butter to season them. The fat in the butter makes the vitamin and mineral content of the vegetables accessible to you. You can use olive oil if you want, but the benefits of nutrient absorption are consistently higher if an animal fat is used. (For example: eat smoked salmon or smoked herring with sour cream or real cream cheese. The dairy fat intensifies the absorption and nutritional value of the omega 3's in the cold water fish. Also, these "traditional" ways of combining foods have become traditional because the intensified benefits have been observed repeatedly over the centuries. The same fish foods simply aren't as beneficial without the addition of the traditional accompaniment).

2. If you find that the digestive enzymes help, then by all means, do take them. If you feel better when you do, it doesn't matter that they're "low miligram"--enzymes by nature are a microdose item, a little go a long way. Bottom line is that you feel less discomfort. Right now there is nothing wrong with palliating some of your pain.

Also, consider adding some natural sources of enzymes to your diet--a variety of them. The lactofermented pickles, krauts, kimchees, miso, raw milk cheeses...all of these give you a lot more options for flavourful foods and they help both digestion and nutrient absorption.

3. Don't cut out the flax seed oil, but don't just take flax seed oil without another omega fat that's vital--specific omega 6 fatty acids. Even better, I always suggest to my patients that it is far better to source omega 3 fatty acids from fish oils (and I like the use of Cod Liver Oil for this purpose, it's really so much more than a fatty acid because it's also rich in natural vitamins D and A--and the science research is finally catching up to show that vitamin D is crucial in helping us maintain hormonal balance and avoiding diseases like diabetes. If you take a daily dose of cod liver oil and a daily dose of evening primrose oil these fats will go a very long way in restoring your health. As always, the fats have to be the purest available--expeller pressed, cold pressed, sourced from organically grown plants if you use the evening primrose oil; and sourced from fish in nordic waters, with the oils cleanly distilled. I really believe this combination is the best bet: one without the other means your prostaglandin production will be hindered...and from there none of your hormones will be balanced. Including digestive hormones.

Also: a daily dose is about 1 tablespoon of cod liver oil ( you can take this in capsules, so never fear) and about 3 tablespoons of evening primrose oil (I like Efamol capsules--it's reasonably priced, well sourced, you can find it almost anywhere, and my patients see results fast when they use it).

And yes, I love the New Chapter line of supplements, too--they are all in a lactofermented base, which makes them extremely easy to absorb, so you get a lot of good out of much smaller doses. Most supplements are chemically impossible for your body to use--Caveat Emptor.
anna k
I went to the GI today, and he was helpful, saying what I described sounded most like IBS, and was fine with the supplements that I'm taking for my diet/health. He took my blood to test for Celiac's disease, and I'll bring in some stool samples for next week. My stomach can still feel crappy, but I've been feeling a bit better thanks to the Donnatal and the digestive enzymes. My sister is also going to bring me some probiotics in a couple of weeks, as she's studying in the holistic health field.

Thank you for all those recommendations, I'll keep them in mind and get them at some point in the near future when I can.

I saw my aunt and uncle today, and the first thing they each said when they saw me was how much weight I had lost. They had said that around Thanksgiving, and I was significantly thinner, but have only lost about 10 pounds since that time, through using more weights at the gym and having a good diet. It felt nice to hear, but I haven't felt thin in a month, because of the bloating.
ketto
Sounds like you're finally getting some answers, anna. That's good. I know it's been a while.

I'm in week #4 of steady exercising. Unfortunately we had freezing rain and weather hovering at zero on monday, tuesday, and wednesday so the river trail I had been skating on (which goes starts a 10 minute walk from my house to the middle of downtown - about 9km) has flooded and most of it is closed for the season. That's especially disappointing because it's only been opened less than a month. They're going to open up a small portion, but the area near my house is totally finished. Oh well.

So right now I'm concentrating on running, which is fine too. The skating was nice because it was exercise I could do before work and I didn't need a shower after. I'm hoping to do the half marathon this year, which is on father's day, and my stamina is really getting better.

The only bad part is a recurring pain that's been ongoing for about 8 years. I need to get to a sports clinic. Whenever i try to increase my intensity I get a horrible horrible pain in my shoulders and down my right side - it feels like my muscles are being pulled really hard and the pain is excruciating. I'm hoping to get it checked out in the next couple of weeks because it's been happening since i was 16. I have a feeling that it's connected to my TMJ though (because the pain reaches up to my neck, jaw and ear) so I don't know if they can do much.
p_176
just got a halfassed phone call from my drs' office (not the dr personally) saying that my cortisol tests showed normal results. i'm very frustrated.
anna k
I got results back from the gastroeterologist about Celiac disease, and I don't have it. Which is good, but it's taking slower for my stomach to get back to normal. It still bloats, but it's not huge, which is better than before. The supplements and Donnatal have helped, and when I get some more money together, I can look into Align, which is what my GI reccomended that I take.

That's great about your stamina getting stronger, ketto. I hope your body doesn't get too worn-out.
ketto
P_176, that sucks. Hopefully you'll find an answer soon.

Anna, I guess it's good that you don't have celiac disease, but too bad you didn't get a concrete answer either.

Speaking of worn out, I spent all weekend sick. I'm mostly better today but still not great. I'm hoping to get to the gym tomorrow but I might need another day of rest yet. My body still feels pretty beaten.
p_176
to clarify, i was frustrated more that my dr did not discuss my test results with me. if i don't have cushings, great, that means no surgery. it means that the PCOS is causing my symptoms - but there's no cure for that, or significant treatment. i still have no idea why the metformin would cause my blood sugars to increase, for example. that's why i wanted to discuss my results with the dr. right now, i'm just waiting, and tracking my eating, exercising, weight, fasting blood sugars and symptoms (like mood swings, headaches, food cravings).

sending big hugs for everyone.
Persiflager
Does anyone have any good tips on reducing salt intake? I love the taste of salty food but would like to find some nice easy cheats for being healthier. Ooh, I'd especially like to cut out the salt that I don't even get the fun of tasting - I hardly ever eat bread, so that's an easy win.

Any tips on other hidden salts, or other flavours that I could use in cooking to make me not crave salt?

Thanks!

(((healthy vibes for all)))
chachaheels
The biggest reduction you could make in salt intake is simple: if you cook things from scratch, you'll cut out vast amounts of salt/sodium additives. Currently everything that's processed has both significant amounts of sugar under various names and monosodium glutamate under various names.

(Check labels for things like: "Spices", "artificial flavour", "natural flavour", "flavour" "monosodium glutamate", "hydrolyzed protein", "yeast extract", anything with the word "sodium" in it (such as Disodium Guanylate, Disodium Inosinate, or anti caking agents like Sodium Aluminosilicate--salt + aluminum + silica, yum) and even the word "salt". A lot of food additives are derivatives of starches or proteins which have been "hydrolyzed" are actually just plain old MSG. Here is a link to a page that lists a number of various legally acceptable terms which basically mean "monosodium glutamate" or similar salts. Often the "sugar" names also mask a component of MSG or sodium of some kind).

Don't forget that these ingredients are common on "health foods" as well--all those protein powders, power drinks and power bars and "organic" processed foods on the shelves in the health food store are commonly full of these ingredients, all extra salt. This stuff is everywhere (you'd be surprised where else it turns up--OTC medications, vaccines, toiletries, etc. etc. etc.) and it's all 'hidden' salt.

You know that Campbell's Soup commercial where they feature the man standing in a room full of salt that they've supposedly removed from their production recipes? If you listen to the voiceover, that image is only supposed to symbolize the salt reduction--this is the 25% less they've extracted from their recipe lately. So really, if you think of three of those rooms filled with salt--that's what they've left in their soup recipe now. For me, that's a much more stunning visual, one they don't provide. Soup should never be made without salt, but salt shouldn't be in every ingredient in a soup, either.

If you reduce your reliance on processed foods (this includes all fast foods too, as most of them are prepared to be frozen and cheap, so they don't use pricey real ingredients for flavour) you'll go quite a long way to cutting out a lot of salt in your diet. And this is without making any changes in the amount you actually add to your food when cooking it.

After that, you can check out various types of salt for flavour and mineral benefits, and use those instead--Celtic Sea Salt, fleur de sel, Dulse seaweed (this can be found in flakes to use like salt, it's loaded with hundreds of trace minerals you can use) various dried japanese seaweeds, smoked salts. Usually these real sea salts are rich in minerals like iodine, which you really need and can't really get from foods easily. Their flavours are much more intense, too, so you don't need to use as much of these salts as you do the plain old chem-lab formulated Sodium Chloride.
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