I’m not sure when it happened, or where it came from, but at some point in my life health and wellness became a big deal to me. I know in high school I really started paying attention to the foods I was putting into my body, started limiting my sugar intake, and was concerned about physical, mental and spiritual wellness.
I remember this because my Nanny (grandmother) would tease me for eating healthy foods, being a hippie, or think I was going to judge her for eating cake for breakfast or putting a pound of butter on her toast (I was judging a little, not gonna lie).
But even as a small child, I would eat my vegetables first, then some of my meat/protein. But I would usually complain about it, gag on it, or refuse to eat it because I was super picky about fat and gristle. I still am. Sorry mom.
I also always had stomachaches and issues with going to the bathroom — a lot. This could have possibly had something to do with even having had Fructose Malabsorption back then, or it was just the beginning of my life-long struggle with digestive issues, who knows.
My pickiness has definitely gotten better over the years, and I’ve learned more about how to eat a balanced diet and live a healthy lifestyle, but it can still be hard to know what is good for my body and what isn’t, especially with Fructose Malobsorption and IBS/IBD/Crohn’s or whatever it is that is wrong with my intestines — we are still working on figuring that out.
A Balanced Diet
I know that I need to eat a good variety of foods. Vegetables, fruits, grains, protein, and healthy fats. I know I need to keep processed foods and refined sugars to a minimum. But ever since finding out I had Fructose Malabsorption and that I needed to eat a Low-Fodmap diet, it’s kind of messed me all up.
The weird thing to me is that the Low-Fodmap diet allows for refined sugars — like white table sugar. It doesn’t allow as much fruit and vegetables as I used to eat, and even promotes what I consider to be processed foods, like gluten-free breads and pastas.
I felt as though I was eating so much healthier and more balanced when I wasn’t having to rely so much on these foods just to get through the day.
The thing about the Low-Fodmap diet is that it’s REALLY hard to follow. I followed it “to the T” for about 3 full months. But it required a lot of planning ahead, a lot of grocery shopping and cooking on the weekend, and being hungry a lot. Because I couldn’t find whole, non-processed foods that I could easily snack on while at work or at my son’s soccer practice, or out and about.
It also meant I literally couldn’t eat out. Ever. Because there is no guarantee that anything cooked at a restaurant doesn’t have onion (powder), garlic (powder), gluten or dairy in it. My two biggest triggers seem to be onion and garlic, so I was missing out on a lot of social events.
So now, I’m trying to figure out my next steps. Do I just go back to eating the whole food, paleo-like, anti-inflammatory, somewhat plant-based diet I used to eat and just try to avoid the onion, garlic, gluten, and diary as much as possible? Or do I continue on with the Low-Fodmap diet and try my best to cut out the convenient foods I’ve found myself reaching for? Refined sugar is sooo addicting and all of the Low-Fodmap snack/sweet recipes and suggestions I find call for white sugar
I know I’m not the only one, but I live a busy life, and it’s only getting busier. I need the balance of being able to feel healthy, enjoy food, and enjoy my life as well.
How do you balance your diet?