Monday, 23 January 2017

Making big changes to my diet


Just before Christmas, D won a competition). This time it was a Food and Drink Scan from YorkTest Laboratories.  To some it might seem a somewhat random competition prize to win but actually it was perfect for me. 

Last year saw me finally diagnosed with PCOS and IBS after many years of going back and forth from the Doctors. Before I was diagnosed, my gallbladder was looked at and I was tested for coeliac disease and inflammatory bowel disease (which I believe is primarily crohns and colitis). 

Whilst I've been diagnosed all I've been told is that both will improve if I lose weight and don't get so stressed (IBS), which isn't that helpful. Obviously I know that I need to lose weight, its an ongoing battle but with regards to stress, I don't know how I can improve that. I'm a self confessed worrier and I do often feel tense and stressed.  I have always wondered if there was a link with food. Of course I know that I feel sluggish and generally terrible when I eat a lot of processed or junk food but I hadn't been able to prove a link myself, other than noticing that if I avoided bread for a few days and then ate it again, I did feel quite bloated.

There's something about the festive period that makes me feel quite melancholic and reflective. I've known that something needs to change but it was a case of wondering what and, more importantly, how to do it and how to get my head in the right mindset. So, the Food and Drink Scan actually came at the perfect time for me.  

It was really easy do from home, all it required was me pricking my finger and providing a few drops of blood.  I was incredibly impatient waiting for the results to arrive. I thought they might show something but at the same time I was almost worried in case they didn't as I wasn't sure where to go from there.  As it was, the results were back within 7 days and did show something. Several somethings, as it happens.


A photo posted by Kate (@newmummykate) on

The results are given in three columns. Red means there has been a reaction and you are advised to cut the item from your diet, meaning that you should notice a big difference. Yellow is borderline and if the item is cut from your diet you may or may not  notice a difference whilst green means no reaction.  So, as you can see from the picture, I need to remove cashews, egg white, gluten and yeast from my diet and I may benefit from removing egg yolk and cows milk.  So no biggie.

Yeah, right.  When I read the results the immediate feeling was of relief, that I wasn't imagining it and something could be done about it. And then, of course, it was how the hell am I going to do that? Gluten and yeast are in so much of what we eat, as is egg and cows milk. 

So, as above, its a case of research, research, research. I think the biggest thing will be making sure that my meals are organised and I have everything to hand. Cooking meals from scratch doesn't worry me too much but I'll be honest, the snack side of things does as we all like having something to hand that's easy to grab on the go. Again, I need to research. So far, having looked in my local Tesco, I've noticed that many are dairy or wheat free but will contain yeast or cashews but as I don't consume much in the way of cashews, I'm willing to try and work with them. I think it will depend on the percentage contained in the product. For example, I picked up some Nakd bars. One contained 40% cashews and the other, which I went for, 5%. So far, so good. 

So, wish me luck in making these changes. Whilst I know I need to avoid them I think its going to take some time to retrain my brain to avoid the foods that I would usually go for. Not only that but I need to learn how to read food labelling correctly, working out what brands I don't react to and those that I do.  

If you have any hints or tips on going gluten, yeast, egg and cow's milk free, I would really love to hear them! 

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