02 March, 2008

Even sand is looking appetising at this point...

I visited an acupuncturist / witch doctor this week. I'm not sick, but have been feeling a little off-balance for a while. I've had digestive issues for about a decade now-- it was diagnosed as IBS at one point, but I've always thought that that was just a substitute for: "I've got no idea what's wrong with you, but it's not serious."

Anyway, I've read about this woman and went in to see about a "tune up". I got a great feeling from her-- she's got a whole wall of credentials and has amassed more than 30 years of experience.

She did all kinds of diagnostic tests and deemed me a "very interesting case." (great...) She's convinced that I suffer from multiple allergies / sensitivities and has advised me to give up grain products and dairy. Those of you who know me know what a catastrophe this is-- I love milk and often drink almost a liter per day!

I'm not feeling very enthusiastic but figure I'll give it a go for 2 weeks just to see what happens. The problem is that I cannot metabolise sugar, so that's out. I've been a vegetarian for almost two years. Now no grain and no dairy? That doesn't leave much. Something's gotta give, and I'm afraid that my ethical principles might have to end up falling by the wayside in order to fill my stomach.

The one saving grace is that for some reason she says that spelt (dinkel) is OK. It's a mystery to me, since as far as I know spelt is just another type of wheat, but hey, I'll take anything I can get at this point! (Ze Germans are big spelt enthusiasts...)

I'm now on day 3 and I think I'm feeling better but I'm also RAVENOUS! Anybody know of any good low-carb vegan recipes? (ha!) Somebody HELP ME!!!


Anonymous said...

I've been lactose intollerant for at least 25 yrs and I survived. I can't stand milk and creme based stuff really doesn't do anything for me anymore.

There is such a thing as lactose free cheese too, or lactose low cheese. I can eat white cheese, like parmeasean, swiss and some others I can't pronounce in german.

I haven't had ice cream in ages but sometimes when it's 90 out, it's worth the pain.

My whole family suffers with IBS and I wish you the best. None of us are vegetarians though, so good luck with that!

I have to admit, the meat here in germany is better than what I was used to in the states. I make pasta sauce with hamburger meat here and there is no fat when it's fried up. Back home, I'd have to drain it after I cooked it.

As a matter of fact, I have a stew cooking right now. It's goulash meat and it's the leanest I've ever seen. Anywhere.
How do you get your protein?

Betsy said...

up until now I've gotten a lot of my protein from dairy products. I also eat a lot of peanut butter and tahini. Beans, tofu. I was never a big meat eater anyway, so I hardly even noticed when I dropped meat from my diet.

I bought lactose-free milk to at least put in my coffee. It tastes really awful to me straight, but is OK with coffee.

The thing is, the stuff I'm cooking tastes great, but it's hard to fill up on it. It takes a LOT of vegetables and fruit to fill you up, and then you don't feel very full for very long...

I think it's also a matter of getting used to it as well. Am hoping that after a few days I will have adjusted and won't feel so hungry...

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

Are rice and/or corn products okay or not? That definitely must be hard. I guess it's time to break out olives, etc.

Betsy said...

Rice is out, unfortunately.

Corn is OK but has a high glycemic index so I have to be careful when / how much I eat or I get into trouble with blood sugar.

Olives are great-- I had a bunch of those this afternoon. :-)

Anonymous said...

I have alot of problems with salty stuff and have to limit the olives and potato chips. Pre-prepared foods like soups are so salty, I can't eat them. I saw at Real that they have weight watchers soups, so I've been getting those (veggie and tomato).
Love peanut butter but it causes constipation sometimes.
My brother had celiac as a baby and now has to limit calcium because of his recurring kidney stones. I've lost track of how many he's had to have removed. Poor guy.
My nephew has to avoid wheat and beer which is hard for someone that's 31 and loves to party.

I hope you feel better soon.

Astrid said...

Spelt flour is used quite a lot in Norway too now. It's supposed to be healthier because it's a less white and less processed flour - if I got my facts right.

I'm sorry I can't help you out with any recepies but I'm glad you're feeling better!

Goofball said...

eumm a vegetarian without milk and grain? Pfff nope, I do not have the imagination to cook a meal for you. i'd have a hard time cooking for you as a vegetarian as it is.

cabbage with vegetable stew sauce on top of it? Stuffed peppers with lentils :p. if corn is ok, can you make a wrap from a corn based tortilla?

oh I love drinking milk as well! Still drink loads of it as well. But tea is a good replacer, not quite the same but can be nice refreshing. Well not tea, but herb infusions : mint, jasmin, calmomille, ...

Betsy said...

HAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! The last line of your comment cracked me up because supposedly I'm sensitive to herbs as well. When I told her I'd been drinking fennel tea to soothe my stomach she shouted "OH! DON'T DO THAT! NO WONDER YOUR STOMACH IS IN KNOTS!"

I've actually found a soya milk that doesn't taste too bad, so at least I can put that in my coffee.

The diet is a challenge at the moment, but I have to say I am feeling a lot better!

Goofball said...

so what do you eat now?? I can't picture anything.

hey Belgian fries is vegetarian, no milk, no grains! Oh yes, I can totally picture what to eat all of a sudden!!!

Betsy said...

I'm not eating much of anything right now. that's the problem. ;-)

Oh man! What I wouldn't give to visit a real Belgische Frietkot right now!!!! You've made my mouth water!

Betsy said...

Hi anon(s)! I'm glad you've been able to find out what works for you.

I guess I'm lucky because I'm not actually sick from these sensitivities. (or not yet, at least. who knows what would have happened if I'd continued to ignore the signs my body was giving me that it wasn't happy...)

Anyway, I figured I'll look at the next couple of weeks as a sort of experiment. Narrow down my diet and cut out the foods that the doctor suggested might be causing a problem. I'm already feeling better, so that's a good incentive for sticking it out.

Then at the end of those two weeks I'll try adding back foods again one at a time and see what happens.

Milk will be the first, no question about it!!!!!

Brit Sung Kyung Kim said...

thanks again for the help with my blog :)

I'm presently experimenting with variations over this dish:
butter beans (soaked overnight, boiled and then peeled)
+ squares of tofu - sligthly fried in coconut oil
+ veggies of free choice and colour (carrots, pastinak, broccoli or leaves of sellery) al dente boiled and just briefly sautéed in a drizzle of vinegar, slight pinch of sugar and salt and some good oil..

(+ small amounts of freshly ground ginger, garlic and a touch of tumeric and.. chilli)
mix while temperatured ..like a protein salad..

finish with a drizzle of freshly chopped coriander or basil or mynth..(where did I pick up this word - drizzle!?? isn't it sth from that Greek godesslooking mother of 5? children. Nigela.. omg)

mmmm.. well, I enjoy it on it's own or with a mixed green salad

or even a greek salad with tomatoes, cucumbers and onions..

mmm jummy jummy^^

Brit Sung Kyung Kim said...

ps.. how does one spell jummy...?! yummy?

anno said...

Are sweet potatos at all possible? Or what about grains such as quinoa? This sounds really tough... if you're not feeling dramatically better, it might be worth finding a second opinion.

I keep eyeing the vegan cookbooks by Isa Chandra Moskowitz, but there's no way the rest of my family would buy into the concept.

Good luck with this -- I'm interested in hearing about how you resolve this.

Betsy said...

Hi Anno! I think Quinoa is OK-- it wasn't on her list. I had a nice big bowl of that last night along with some carrot ginger soup.

I hadn't thought about sweet potatoes but I love them-- will definitely pick some up on my next trip to the supermarket.

And don't worry-- I've been screened for everything. According to western medicine I'm the picture of health. This is my second opinion, and she seems to think that some diet modifications will make a big difference in my energy levels and IBS. The diet is dramatic, but I've always wondered if I was sensitive to something, and this just seemed like as good a time as any to test out my theory...

Africakid said...

My youngest daughter has an extremely sensitive stomach, and does a lot better with lactose milk and small helpings of cheese and other dairy products. I've wondered if it's IBS. She also avoids too much fat, it upsets her stomach too. But your case sounds way beyond hers! Hope you find more to eat...

Can you ask the doctor to recommend good websites with recipes?

christina said...

Oh wow, I was going to suggest corn and rice too but I see that they're not really in the picture either.

Maybe after a while you can introduce one food or the other again and see if you have a reaction. Removing all dairy and grains from your diet seems pretty harsh.

I'm amazed that she told you not to drink fennel tea since the Germans are so big on that. I get a huge stomach ache from most kinds of herbal tea, especially peppermint and fennel.