Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Six Secrets of Successful Weight Loss - Elimination Diet

In December 2012 and January 2013 I took on a blogging assignment to follow the Elimination Diet as published in Dr John Mansfield's book The Six Secrets of Successful Weight Loss. Dr Mansfield has found that there is not a One Size Fits All solution to weight loss and has successfully treated patients as individuals with regard to managing their weight issues. The book is about identifying what works for YOU with regard to weight loss. I was not paid for this but I did receive a complimentary copy of the book. I have blogged about my experience accurately and with no bias or incentive to persuade you either way ... this is just what happened to me.

First of all there are Six Secrets. Here is a summary of each.

The First Secret of Successful Weight Loss - Avoid Low Calorie Diets
The Second Secret of Successful Weight Loss - Avoid Low Fat Diets
The Third Secret of Successful Weight Loss - Identify YOUR Food Sensitivities (the elimination diet)
The Fourth Secret of Successful Weight Loss - Treat Yeast Syndrome if Indicated
The Fifth Secret of Successful Weight Loss - Reduce High Levels of Insulin (low carb diet)
The Sixth Secret of Successful Weight Loss - Have Thyroid Levels Investigated

My Results

In total I have lost 5 kg on the diet. I started on 84.8kg on 30th November and at the end I weighed 79.8kg . At my lowest I was 79.1kg but for me the weight loss came to a bit of a halt when more carbohydrates were reintroduced, leading me to suspect that a low carb diet (particularly limitting refined carbs) is the way forward for me.

I have also lost 32 cm in total - that's over 12 inches, which is staggering really.



More about the Elimination Diet

The Elimination Diet has been written by Dr Mansfield as is the result of 30+ years of experience working with patients. Apparently 70-80% if people find that identifying their food sensitivities and then avoiding those foods (of having treatment to desensitise them to those foods) solves their weight problem. For others there may be additional issues (the other 5 secrets). Completing the elimination diet takes a minimum of six weeks.

Stage 1 

For the first seven days you eat only 42 foods which have been identified as very low risk for sensitivities. The 42 foods do cover a wide range and I was surprised to find that it was easy to follow. You eat as much as you like of these foods, so I was never hungry. The foods included meats, fish, nuts, fruit and veg so it is healthy. I lost 3kg and 6cm from my waist in this first week!

If you are interested in reading about my progress, here are the posts.

A Prelude to the Elimination Diet
I Survived Day 1!
I Slept Through the Night
Results at the End of Stage 1

Stage 2

Stage 2 is when you start reintroducing foods. You introduce one in the morning and one in the evening each day. These are foods that only a few people have sensitivities to, and include rice, chicken, beef, bananas, grapes, milk, eggs, tea and coffee. The aim is to broaden your range of foods that you can choose from as soon as possible. By the end of Stage 2 I had lost a total of 4kg and 8cm from my waist.

The Morning After (recovery from the grape issue)

Stage 3

This is where all the well known offenders are reintroduced, like wheat, soy, corn and different sugars. These apparently take longer to show a reaction and so the reintroduction process is a little different. Wheat, for example has to be eaten at all meals for 3 days. My weight loss ground to a halt in this stage. I wondered if it was due to fluid retention of a woman's cyclic nature, but it continued beyond that. Although I didn't identify any sensitivities to carbs, this (and what I know about myself from the past) is what makes me think that I should follow a low carb diet. 

In Summary

In summary I am pleased I did it, but there was no magic answer that made my fat go away. It has been an interesting journey, and I have learned a lot about how different foods affect my body and the way that I feel. It has proven to me without a doubt that I should reduce my carb intake once again, and has reminded me how much better I feel when I do this.  I have lost 5kg which is more than 5% of my body weight, and so will have a positive effect on my fertility, as well as many other aspects of my health.

If you are thinking of trying it, it is worth a go, and not as hard it might seem. 

The Future

Although there is no need to do the whole diet again (although apparently your food sensitivities do change over time so it could be valuable), I did feel great and lose weight on stages 1 and 2 and would happily follow a diet using those foods again, with the hope of boosting my weight loss even further.

I also still have question marks over grapes, grapefruit, melon, and am not entirely convinced about my results for cheese and oats and so will re-test them in the coming weeks. Going forward, I am planning on a couple of days off, and then for to return to mostly stage 1and 2 foods so that there is less 'background noise' to make the retesting more obvious. I am going to add some flavours too, like chilli and garlic, and I am hanging out for some curry.

In the longer term, for a while I will also record what I am eating and how I feel each day, just to see how different foods affect me, and I will try and keep this in mind in the future too, instead of just stuffing it in! I am also planning on cutting down on carbs, particularly sugar, and avoiding alcohol. I will try to always keep the foods I ate and the way I felt during stages 1 and 2 in mind.

Update Feb 2013

I did revisit the diet, based on some Feedback from Dr Mansfield
I tried being Dairy Free, which wasn't as bad as I thought
But when I reintroduced dairy there was no reaction, so it wasn't milk
I did however discover some sugar issues and have reduced my refined sugar intake and started taking probiotics.

I still have not regained any of the weight I lost, which is a great thing!

Update March 2013

I wanted to feel like I did at the end of stage 1/during stage 2. After some thought about what I am eating now compared to then, I have massively reduced (almost eliminated) my wheat intake, and have reintroduced my Vital Greens. I felt better almost immediately. However, in the interest of the experiment, I tried eating wheat free cake. I think I am leaning towards the idea that it is not wheat in particular, just a carb thing. I am continuing with wheat free experiment though and have just ordered the Wheat Belly book just to see what that has to say. In the meantime, by avoiding wheat I am reducing my carbs, so that has to be a good thing.

Finally - (I hope, but fear not),  here is my personal opinion of the book!

If you are interested in buying the book it is available at AmazonWaterstones and The Book People. It maybe be worth checking them all as prices do change. Amazon also have a Kindle Version

Update April 2013

The process of wheat elimination begins!

To help me do this in a healthy way I did lots of research on the internet and I read It Starts with Food and then commenced the Whole 30.

Update May 2013

I finished the Whole 30. For me, this seems to be the way forward. It has changed the way I eat - I feel better and am losing weight and changing shape... I really think this could the diet solution I was looking for - though I never would have discovered it without The Six Secrets of Successful Weightloss

Update July 2013

The Whole30 is awesome. After some attempts to reintroduce different foods I came to the conclusion that I just feel better if I stick to an almost Paleo diet - it's hard to stick to with so many tempting treats out there - but so worth it! 

  Click here to select all posts related to The Six Secrets of Successful Weight Loss Elimination Diet

Sunday, February 24, 2013

The 2WW

So here I am on CD 13. It has been a challenging 2WW. BB and I are still sick. He has conjunctivitis a cough and a cold, I just have the cough and the cold. It's been a month now since we were healthy and I am soooo exhausted you wouldn't believe.

To add to that I seem to have become a bit of an insomniac.  I have read lots about how not having enough sleep can make babies and children have sleep problems, and I can only guess it's true for adults too. The combination of being sick, looking after a sick child, and working late into the night seems to have gotten my body into a routine where it thinks I should only sleep for 4-5 hours a night. I am waking up after about 4 hours sleep and then can't get back to sleep again. I feel terrible! I can't expect to be healthy or have a decent immune system if I don't sleep either. It's a downward spiral and I need to break it. If I was a potential baby, I wouldn't be choosing this body!

You may remember from a previous post that I had little hope for this cycle, as we had already been sick for 2 weeks and BB had been breastfeeding a lot more that usual. I wasn't looking for any signs as I really expected nothing. But, on CD6 I woke up feeling nauseous, and then later that day, so tired I went for a nap with BB in the afternoon. I thought it was too early for any symptoms, but it has happened to me before. Our first cycle TTC BB2 I was convinced (by nothing other than instinct of course) that we had fertilisation, but then it didn't implant.

During a wakeful night I did manage to do some googling on my phone and find out about Early Pregnanacy Factor, (EPF) which is apparently a substance produced by the ovaries in response to a signal from the fertilised egg, which tells the body to prepare for implantation. It can be detected as early as 6 hours after conception, but not much research has been done, apparently due to the fact that it would most likely prove that several forms of contraception are actually abortive rather than preventive, which would obviously cause a bit of strife. It would also be of little help to the mental well being of people like me in the 2ww as you would be get excited if you detected EPF, and anxious, and you still need implantation to be pregnant of course, so knowing would likely do more harm than good.

very faint line on a pregnancy test
Positive or evap?
Finding out about EDF did make me feel a bit less crazy though!

Then on CD8 I had a big temperature dip, below the cover line and so on day 9 I tested and got this.

I posted it online for people's opinions and 93% of votes said +ve . I wasn't quite convinced that it wasn't an evap. but then the line faded, an evap. stays after the waiting time is up right? And it did have a slightly pinkish tinge.

So later that day I went and bought a FRER. A definite negative.

I have tested almost everyday since, still negative.

So, I am now fairly convinced that I won't be due to have a baby on my 42nd birthday, (that would have been the due date). It's pretty certain then, that if I do become a mum again, I will be at least 42!

I don't have any signs of AF coming though, apart from the fact that my temperature dropped this morning. Having said that, my first temperature reading was 37.5ºC which I thought was rather high, so I did it again and got 36.7ºC, so I came to the conclusion that my thermometer is not that great. The dip could therefore have just been due to the faulty thermometer, though with my sleep problem the whole BBT thing is a bit of a waste of time anyway...

So, I am thinking ahead to the next cycle -even looking forward to it in a way. It's always a good time for a new start isn't it. Soon after AF comes I am going to pick my night and take the one tablet that I have left from when I trapped my nerve,  to help me get a good night's sleep and hopefully start to correct my sleeping issues. I also can't help but think back to how good I felt when I was on Stage 1 of the elimination diet, so I might try and boost my health with that a bit too.

With regard to the sleep thing, I also need to change my habits, I work late into the night, I take my phone to bed and respond to clients emails from my bed, even getting up to check files on my computer, or to do something urgent for them at times. I also turn to my phone when I wake up, and google something that's on my mind, or play words with friends! I'm going to try leaving my phone downstairs tonight, and read a book if I wake up. And I am going to try and get into a habit of shutting down the computer at 9pm. Where possible, I am going to work when BB has his afternoon nap, so that I can relax more in the evenings... I know, I know - I am even boring myself now - I have said this before, right?

Well, new cycle, new beginning, coming up!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

How to Plan a Blissful First Birthday

Your child's firsts are the most exciting and important milestones in your life. From baby's first steps to his or her first day of school, the first moments in your child's life are special events and should be celebrated as such. Besides your baby's first steps and words, the first birthday is one of the key occasions in your little one's development and marking this day is significant for your child, you, and your family. Creating a successful birthday party is essential to making your baby's initial birthday memorable.

Organising a first birthday party can be a breeze if planned correctly. Although some families go to extraordinary lengths to construct the perfect celebration, you don't have to go to such extremes to throw a great first birthday bash. Although we went to several where they had hired a hall and brought in entertainment, ours was quite a simple affair, at home with family and friends.

I spent a lot of time thinking about how I wanted birthdays to be for us. It's not my scene to hire a hall, a disco, a magician and a clown, but I did want a way to make birthdays special, to establish our own traditions, without being caught up in consumerism.

Eventually I decided that our tradition would be the 3 B's of Birthdays: Bunting, Balloons and Birthday Cake!

Birthday Bunting
The bunting I purchased was quite expensive, but seeing as I plan to get it out for every birthday (adults included) for the next 18+ years, I needed something that would last. I also figure that the £25 I spent will work out to really quite a small amount per birthday, so I considered it an investment!

Balloons too are a good investment right now. We buy the sort that you blow up yourself at home and the cost is minimal. They last for quite a long time too (we still have some from my birthday last November!)  BB plays with them for weeks after, and its always special when someone has a birthday and we can blow up  some more.

Birthday cake is of course an essential centrepiece of any birthday, and in my opinion it should both look and taste great!

You might not choose bunting and balloons, but you can easily make your child's first birthday a delightful occasion with an awesome and appropriate birthday theme, tasty food, and some special touches for the wee guest of honor. Here are a few tips on how to plan the best first birthday celebration.

Establish a Theme

My personal attempt at a monkey cake.
That's a candle in his mouth not a cigarette,
and yes, he does appear to have acne on his
 chin - it got stuck to the table when I was
rolling out the fondant icing!
Having a theme may be a good way to start thinking about party planning. As you may already know, children's parties almost always have a theme these days. While it's hard to determine what your baby's interests are at this stage in life, choose a theme that fits his or her personality (thus far) or is something that your child likes, such as a certain type of food or a favourite toy.

For BB's first birthday I chose a Monkey theme for several reasons. Firstly he was a little monkey, he loved bananas, was not walking yet but a brilliant climber, and cheeky with it too. Secondly, he had a monkey lunch bag which had become quite attached to, and thirdly I thought I stood half a chance at making a cake that looked a little bit like his monkey lunch bag! We already have The Hungry Caterpillar in mind as a theme for his second birthday.

If you can't come up with anything specific to your baby, go with a popular children's toy, game, or show. You can include your theme in the invitations, decorations, menu, music, activities, and birthday cake, which, after seeing my poor attempt, you may decide to order in a far more attractive and personalised one from M&S!

Choose Your Guest List

The average one-year old doesn't have a lengthy list of friends, so most of the guests attending your child's first birthday will be close friends and family members. If your baby is in daycare or in a play group, invite the children he or she interacts with. You may be tempted to invite everyone you know to celebrate your child's special day, but you should keep the party small as babies are often overwhelmed by crowds and a lot of noise or may be fearful of strangers. Remember that your little one won't even remember this bash, so anything extra will only be for you. With BB, on his birthday he was actually the only child here - he was fine with that as he was the centre of attention. We did have a Christening a couple of weeks later that his friends came to though, so in a way, he had the best of both worlds.

Plan Accordingly

Naturally, you'll want your baby's first birthday to go off perfectly, however, keep in mind that children, particularly one-year olds, are unpredictable. It's important that your baby is well-rested for his or her party, so avoid scheduling your celebration around nap time. We also tried to have a beginning and end time, hoping the guests would leave before his nap time, but they didn't! I might be more explicit about that next year.

Above all else, remember to relax, have fun, and relish the joy of this monumental day.

Disclaimer: Financial compensation was received for this post. 

Sunday, February 17, 2013

How many toys does a toddler need?

Like most parents, I want to offer my child the best childhood I can. I want to stimulate his mind, develop his curiosity, nurture his creativity. I don't want him to miss out on any strand of learning. Toys are a vital part of a child's learning. They help them understand the world, and of course I want toys for my child.

The thing is, I don't want too many toys, and we seem to have a lot. I am always trying to cull them, sort them, put some away for the next baby, pass them on. It is a never ending task that I can only imagine gets worse as your family grows. I do rotate a few (some go for a 'rest' in the box under the stairs), and then what we have left fit neatly into a small corner of the room. I go through phases of feeling good about the way I am dealing with this, but most of the time I waver between thinking that we still have too much, then on other days feeling guilty that we may have too little, like I am depriving my child. Perhaps he will be disadvantaged in the future, because he didn't have x y and z.

Every time we visit other people's houses for play dates I get the guilts. Every child, it seems, has much more than BB. There are baskets and bucket loads everywhere. BB loves playing with all their toys. Two or three toddlers in the room and everything is out all over house - the kids are having a fabulous time, there is plenty for all - including things I never even knew existed. They all capture BB's attention, even if just for a short while. After my initial overwhelm at the sheer amount of plastic and noise that surrounds us, I always find myself thinking "Perhaps I should get one of those, or those, or those... mmm, now that's good".

Then of course I worry about how people see me when they come here and see our more modest toy collection. Do they think I am too poor, too tight, or too mean? How will their children cope here on play dates? Will they be bored in seconds?

So, once again I have been in the process of evaluating if I am providing BB with enough. It certainly seems like enough. Having visited and worked in parts of the world where they have nothing, I often catch myself feeling grateful for how lucky we are, even guilty at times, for our good fortune.

Here is what he has. What do you think?

The play area - some of the toys on the shelves get rotated.  There is always
a shape sorter and a pull along toy, and the train set stays there permanently. 
The storage units to the left organised into; cars, animal, musical instruments, 
puppets, beanbags and lummi sticks, and balls. There is also a bag of bricks 
behind the oven. BB knows where to find stuff, and where to put it away.
He has loads of books on the shelf on the landing

He has an activity table and about 6 of these puzzles, but we only have 2 out at a time

And then we have the craft store (with pencils, crayons, paper and paints, coloured card, glue, play dough etc. etc.), which lives in my office.

Craft Materials

Before Christmas, when I was trying to think of things to get for BB I did some research as to what and 18 month old should have. The list went something like this

1. Blocks
2. Puzzles
3. Crayons
4. Picture Books
5. Balls
6. A train set
7. Musical Instruments
8. Things to "Play House"

He already had everything on the list, so, as an extended family, we added to it modestly with a new puzzle, the saucepans, a boat for the bath, some craft materials and some extra bits for his train set.

In addition to all the things I listed already, outside he has a sand tray, and a mini trampoline. The only thing he doesn't have is a ride on toy. I am looking out for one second hand, but right now, it's not really the weather for it anyway. He also has bath toys in the bathroom, and soft toys in his bedroom.

As you can see then, BB literally has it all! And more... Right?

He also enjoys spending a lot of time doing things with me, like cooking and washing up, dusting and polishing, sweeping and mopping, loading the washing machine or dryer and putting the clothes away. The tea drawer and the teaspoons also provide him with as much entertainment as anything else in the house. We go outside a lot too and he has the whole of nature to explore. He doesn't ever seem to get bored. He seems happy with his lot.

When I ask myself what I want from the things I provide, the answer usually goes a bit like this... As well as helping him to understand the world, develop his curiosity and nurture his creativity, I also want to build the foundations for reading and writing, sharing and caring, making and doing. I want him to feel happy and confident with his place in the world. I want him to be creative, resourceful and considerate, generous, patient and tolerant, practical and dependable, clean and tidy. We have all we need, we have a place for everything so that we can keep it in order and find what we want, we take care of what we have, we are learning about and doing real life things too, and we regularly play with and share with others.

I think we have it covered.

So why then am I here, again, at my computer, googling to see if there is something I'm missing? I do it so often I decided to write about it, with links, so that next time I have this paranoia I can come back to my post and remind myself that we really do have it all, more than enough, and that sometimes less is more.

Maybe you are going through the same thing too, or the toys have taken over the living room, and the kitchen, and the garden, and the bedroom, and the bathroom... and you want to sort it out, in which case the links I have found may help you out too.

Interestingly, when I googled 'how many toys should a toddler have', every single site that I came across talked about having LESS.

I particularly enjoyed this article Why fewer toys will actually benefit your kids. I am not sure that any of it is backed up with research, but I like his ideas. Reading it immediately made me feel like I am right all along, which is what I like! Then there is Minimalist Mom who seems to have a similar idea to me regarding the amount of toys and how they should be kept, but it's inspiring too, as she also seems to be better at executing it.

Then I found this quote in an article in The Guardian,
According to Dr John Richer, consultant clinical paediatric psychologist at John Radcliffe hospital, Oxford, "The mistake that many parents make when they buy a toy, especially for very young children, is they get toys that can do a lot, instead of getting toys a child can do a lot with."
and then this on the Zero to Three website, both of which made feel better, and like we have the right kind of toys as well as the right amount.

And so, here I am now, feeling fully justified with my decision to carefully sensor and monitor the toy mountain. It's not just that I am thrifty, or a neat freak, it is actually better for my child.


Now, to remember this next time...

Monday, February 11, 2013

Illness and AI against all odds!

Things were quiet here for a while. We had a challenging week or so. BB was sick, I still don't think he is quite 100%. It started with vomiting a couple of Friday's ago, then high temperatures on the Saturday, seemingly improved on Sunday, worse than ever on Monday, then the development of a cold. He didn't eat much at all for a week and has lost a kilo, which is a lot for some one his size. Luckily he is a good weight so this isn't much of a concern yet, but he has changed.

On Thursday he ate dinner for the first time in a week. About 20 mins later it was like someone had flicked a switch and he was back and playful. It didn't last long before he was tired but it was good to see. He is still tired and sleeping more than usual, but I think he's on the mend.

He could still look cute though, even when he was ill.
His sleep pattern changed and he needed me with him to sleep, so he spent a lot of time in my bed. If I put him back in his cot he would sleep for maybe 40 mins if I was lucky, and then wake up. As you might imagine we had some long nights. I don't think I've ever felt so tired. I was more than happy to have him in my bed, and when he was really poorly that was fine as he was still, but generally he moves around a lot in bed so I was constantly on the alert to grabbing him as he neared the edge. Finally when DD came on Friday, he fetched the bed rail from the loft so that BB could safely sleep in my bed. We both had one night of solid sleep - it was amazing! I have since had a couple of nights encouraging him back into his cot, and tonight it seems we cracked it. Hopefully that will be good from here.

His eating habits have also changed. He is still not eating properly, and actually wants you to spoon feed him a lot of the time. Foods that he used to love he now wont touch. It is interesting though, that when I sought advice on what to give him the general consensus was let him choose and it will stay down. This absolutely worked. On the day he vomited he wanted banana and dry biscuit, then he moved on to yoghurt, and since he had his cold he has eaten so many oranges. It all makes sense with what science tells us that we need, and I have always believed that the body knows, but it is amazing to see it so obviously in child who has not been taught any of these things yet.

He has also been breastfeeding heaps. The night before he was ill, he wanted each breast three times. I started to think that perhaps my supply was down and that maybe I should be giving him other milk at night. In fact I did fetch him a cup of milk that night, but he wasn't interested. I am guessing now that something within him knew he needed all the help he could get with what lay ahead. During his illness he had days where he was almost exclusively breast fed.  I was encouraging that too as he was in danger of dehydrating for a while. I even woke him to feed him at night a few times on one of his worst days when he had only one wet nappy in 24 hours. As a result, he seems to have gotten a taste for it again. He is still feeding a lot - at least six times a day I would say - we were down to two or three.

BB's new favourite activity - walking mummy's slippers!
With all of this going, you would hardly think it would be a good time to try and get pregnant. I was feeling sick and exhausted, had not been eating the best that I could, and I am aware that high frequency breastfeeding can prevent ovulation and shorten luteal phases so as to prevent implantation. I haven't been able to find anything out about wether a sudden episode of more frequent breastfeeding would have that effect, or if the point in the cycle that this occurs makes any difference, but the timing was possibly the worst it could be as it is O day today. Well, I think it's O day. I forgot to mention that I too have had the bugs, my temperature peaked on CD8 with the stomach bug, and I now have the cold. As a result of this and the wakeful nights, charting my temperatures is likely a redundant activity, but I continue to do it, just in case. Luckily we are also using a monitor, and I know from past cycles that I usually O on the first peak day, which is today.

Still, despite everything, we went ahead anyway, with inseminations on Friday and Sunday.  I'm not holding out much hope, but I couldn't give up the small chance we may have. So, now, once again, here I am in the 2WW!

To continue with the 'against all odds' theme that surrounds this particular attempt at TTC, DD got stranded on his way home. Having stayed here until after BB was in bed last night to give us the closest possible time to O day, he headed home on his motorcycle. Although the weather was fine here, just down the road it began to snow. He made it half way before the conditions got so bad he had to stop and check into a hotel over night. If we do get lucky, it will be a really determined child I think!

Of course I'll keep you posted, though I am going to try not to think about it too much. It's always hard thought isn't it, not to see every little thing as a 'sign'.

Cooking with Kids

BB loves to help out with all sorts of things, especially cooking. We made some scones a couple of weeks ago and he managed to sieve the flour, rub in the butter and mix in the sugar and the egg, then he cut out the shapes. Obviously he needed a bit of help with all of these things, but it is amazing what he can do already at 18 months.

He often stands on a chair beside me and watches when I am preparing dinner too, though it can be harder to include him with lots of things, especially if they require the use of the hob. Many recipes for kids seem to be sweet foods and cakes, and I would love to have more savoury and healthy options. I have begun a search for things that he can make or help with and thought I would share with you what I have found.

We have recently started watching I Can Cook, which is a show on TV here in the UK. There are some great recipes that kids can do. They are all available online - lots of savoury ones too which is great. The BBC Good Food site also has some great ideas, as does Netmums. Ocado also have a section on their site.

I have my own Pinterest board, and recently joined with a collaborative board, and am making a new effort to get things on there. I will also try and blog more about what we make, especially the savoury dishes, as this seems to be where the gaps lie.

Meantime, here is the Bread and Butter Surprise that we made yesterday.

Bread and butter pudding with chocolate drops
Bread and Butter Surprise

Sunday, February 10, 2013

It wasn't milk

It has been ages since I posted. BB has been poorly for over a week and I have been exhausted. I will write more about that later. In the meantime I thought I would fill you in on the diet.

I didn't really lose any weight in the week of restricting the foods again. I kept a record of everything I ate and am beginning to get some insights. The main purpose behind it though was to re test dairy. I enjoyed some great dairy free products in the meantime - the ice cream I already mentioned, but I found a great coconut and rice milk product which was lovely on your cereal. I would carry on with both if it were not for the price being so much more than milk.

After a week of strictly no dairy I introduced cows milk throughout the eighth day. No effect whatsoever. It has been tricky continuing with the process while BB has been sick, but I have tried cheese today, and I now have some grapes and grapefruit in store to test so we will see if there is anything in that.

What the food table does show is that I eat lots of high carb foods I gain weight. Also there was significant gain both times that I ate foods covered in 'breadcrumbs'. I am guessing it was additives, but will be investigating further.

If you are interested in buying the book it is available at AmazonWaterstones and The Book People. It maybe be worth checking them all as prices do change. Amazon also have a Kindle Version

Friday, February 1, 2013

Reflections on my sugar binge

As I mentioned in my last post, I had a massive sugar binge yesterday. I bought sweets at the servo and ate them all while driving home - like a crazy thing! Even as I was doing it I was thinking "this is mad, I am supposed to be avoiding sugar and I am eating much more than I ever do right now, all in one go..." but I carried on! I have been thinking about that a lot since, like "what am I doing? am I sabotaging myself? what is really going here?".  

At first I was looking for a psychological answer. Perhaps I am scared about TTC, that PP will freak out again, that it won't work, that it will work.

But then I had arm pain again last night. I put this down to alcohol before but it definitely wasn't that this time. So I g**gled arm pain + sugar and came across this article on fibromyalgia. This really seemed like I may have hit the jackpot. When I wrote about Yeast Syndrome I was aware that this was likely, that it could affect me a little bit, but I thought it wasn't a major issue for me. I don't suffer from thrush or UTI's which are the main symptoms, and I did lose lots of weight in the first few days of the elimination diet, which suggests sensitivities, NOT losing weight in this time would have indicated a yeast problem. Well, anyway, despite all that, I think I was wrong. I feel a bit silly too, as I studied all of this as part of my Nutritional Medicine studies, and I am so sure that I am on the right track now I can't believe that I didn't see it before.

Also this morning I have had really itchy feet. I have observed before that this is linked to sugar intake. This could well be caused by the yeast syndrome. Also, if you think about all the foods that cause me problems, they are all ones you should avoid if you have yeast syndrome.  I had a good look at my weights and what I had eaten. I have been writing absolutely everything down this time. It seems that every time there is an issue I have been eating something that you should avoid when on the Candida Diet. Yeast was iffy on the elimination diet, and grapes carry lots of yeast. And I have noticed bread is an issue in the past. Soy sauce and Vegemite have been a problem for me since the elimination diet, sugar obviously is.

So now I am thinking that my sugar craving was caused by yeast (I am not the only one who thinks this) and not by being mental, which is many ways is a good thing! I am guessing that the yeast were being starved by my lack of sugar in my diet, then got a little taste when I ate ice cream on Wednesday, and craved more yesterday.

I think I do need to do something proactive about a potential yeast issue. As I said before, the book recommends drugs, but they are not an option when you are TTCing. Diet plays a major part though, and it involves avoiding sugar, alcohol, and things containing yeast, so that couldn't do me any harm. The book  says to identify food sensitivities first before dealing with candida, so I will carry on and retest dairy and the other things, but I am going to try and be stronger and resist the sugar urge, and begin do what I can towards starting the yeast elimination in the meantime too.

Tip: If you are planning to do the diet, WRITE DOWN EVERYTHING YOU EAT, even though it doesn't ask you to. You could miss something, and having that record would be really handy. sometimes symptoms like diarrhoea make your weight low and you could miss a sensitivity.

If you are interested in buying the book it is available at AmazonWaterstones and The Book People. It maybe be worth checking them all as prices do change. Amazon also have a Kindle Version