Sunday, November 3, 2013

November resolutions

I'm not one for New Year's resolutions, but this November, I've decided it's time to implement a few changes to my life.
Nothing too drastic, just a few minor tweaks to my daily habits. I am very much a creature of habit (some would say I have an addictive personality), so it usually takes me a good 6 - 8 weeks or so to alter my behaviour. I am quite disciplined in some ways, but certainly lacking in other areas.
So, my November resolutions are to buy less stuff and not binge drink at weekends.

This is not going to be easy for me, as buying stuff is just too easy these days. Back in the day, consumption would involve actually going to a shop during opening hours. These days, of course, we can shop all day from our mobile devices, making the process of spending seem very unreal. so, I'm going to not buy any clothes (or related items) for the next 6 weeks. Then I'll take stock.

Drinking too much at the weekend is also going to be a hard one to stop, so I'm not aiming to stop altogether, just not get to the terrible hangover stage that I seem to manage at the moment.

Linked to alcohol consumption is the other thing that am doing - sorting out my ongoing gut issues. I've been doing this since September, so it's not really a November resolution. 
Naomi, from the fab blog Coulda Shoulda Woulda visits the Mayr clinic fairly regularly, and posted about her visits there earlier this year http://naomipicks.blogspot.com.au/2013/08/the-mayr-clinic-why-i-go-again-and-again.html.
The idea of a detox sounded like a good idea for me to consider, as I've suffered from IBS for many years, and recently it has become far worse. Naomi very generously sent me this book:


It's a very interesting approach to inner health, and I did consider doing it, but knowing my metabolism and lifestyle, I decided it was just too drastic for me to do at this current stage in my life.

As a result of the book, and Cilla from the blog Cilosophy, I made an appointment with a dietician to look into doing the Low FODMAP diet, from Monash University's research into IBS.

You can read more about the low FODMAP diet here - it's basically about cutting out fermenting sugars that sit in the large intestine and ferment, causing the various symptoms that fall under the umbrella of IBS.



Anyway, I did a 2 week elimination diet at the beginning of September, and the impact it had on my health was truly remarkable! I felt like a new person - no more debilitating pain and frantic dashes to the loo! the diet wasn't draconian, it simply involved cutting out foods containing FODMAPS:


After the 2 week elimination diet, I've been 'challenging' various foods I've eliminated, to work out which were the culprits. So far I've found that I can tolerate garlic and gluten in small amounts, but that onion and honey are not at all good for my gut. It's amazing how awful eating onion makes me feel - I can't believe that I've never realised before. I love onion, but am now trying to avoid it in daily life. This is easy at home, but harder when eating out. 

Next up is lactose, which I suspect is no good for me. I rarely eat dairy products anyway - hate milk and haven't touched it since I was about 6 years old - but I do try to eat natural yoghurt from time-to-time.

In addition, alcohol, particularly wine, seems to irritate my gut after a certain amount. Three glasses of white wine seems to be my limit these days, so even though the silly season is upon us, I shall be attempting to show some moderation. I failed this weekend, so must TRY HARDER next time….

Finally, here are some outfits from the end of last weekend and Friday night dinner with friends.

Friday night out for dinner. New Gary Bigeni dress. Wore flat leopards to walk to dinner, put on blue Mulberrys later:


Work outfit Friday. Gary Bigeni blouse, Nudie jeans, J Crew cardigan and APC sandals.


My weekend was super social, with dinner out on Friday (too much booze!) and a 51st birthday do on Saturday night (very moderate booze consumption). We spent Sunday at the pool and tidying the house.

Hope you had a wonderful weekend and sorry for the lengthy post!

25 comments:

  1. That's great that it's working for you, I know someone who went onto that diet years ago and it really did change her life. I'm so grateful that I can eat whatever I like, it's my head that needs sorting out rather than my body.

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    1. I've been ignoring my gut for years - I've had dysentery a couple of times, plus guardia and various other infectious diseases of the gut, and apparently that can cause this. Not eating onions and 'crap' bread is seriously so good, but I'm glad it only appears to be a few things I need to avoid

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  2. Love the outfits - that Gary dress really is fab. Good for you for looking at the foods that have an impact on you... as you know I did an elimination diet earlier this year, but I had to be on it for 8 weeks. It was very, very hard. But I did feel so even tempered, lost weight, had amazing skin... so I think you can conclude that I was better on the diet than off. But I was not a lot of fun, and I do enjoy food so it could never be a permanent thing. I find that knowing what causes my eczema has been a big help - and I do cheat and eat gluten from time to time (especially at a good restaurant, as I want to experience it 'normally'). Of course I pay for it the next week... Good luck with the shopping ban - stay strong! xx

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    1. 8 weeks would be hard, although the elimination diet I was on wasn't too hard, as I hate dairy anyway. The only real problem for me was cutting out bread. Thankfully, it seems that sourdough bread is fine.
      I also need to be careful not to lose weight, as I'm already quite light. I think the key for me will be to try to avoid the nasties in normal life, but not worry too much during times of socialising! I love food too, and we eat very well. I've already decided to ignore it when we go to Melbourne, although it's quite easy to avoid onion with a bit of planning!
      Hope you're well xx

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  3. Hi Ruth, I am walking more and eating less in an attempt to gradually lose the 10-15 pounds that are mocking me... Am down 3, but that doesn't seem to make a difference!

    I think the whole binge drinking is related to one's social circles and the whole "Ohmygodihadastressfulweekandideserveagoodtime" mentality and it is interesting - I heard a doctor on the radio just on Friday who said that really, women should only have 1 or 2 drinks at most a day and you can't save them up and use them all on Saturday night - that is so damaging to our bodies. I now drink my nightly wine allotment from a small Italian wine tumbler and fill it only halfway, then refill it - it gives me a sense of being able to have more!! The weekends are harder and am going to look into more juices to sip on at the early part of the evening before we go to the table for the wine. Lots of tricks for us to learn I guess!

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    1. Hi Wendy, well done on the walking! I think walking is the absolute best way to get exercise, if you live somewhere where it's possible. Hang in there with it!

      So true about alcohol. My social circle includes a lot of wine obsessives, and I do find it hard to eat a nice meal without a nice wine or two.
      I don't drink Monday - Thursday anymore, unless there's a special occasion. I stopped after my surgery in Feb as I was taking a lot of morphine and couldn't risk mixing my drugs! Plus I was on crutches and didn't want to fall over!
      I think my problem is that I am just not big enough to metabolise alcohol. 1 - 2 glasses is fine.
      Regarding drinking juice instead of wine, I'd stick to water - better for you and sugar-free!

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  4. I am glad that you are feeling better from it! the mayr clinic method also avoids fermenting sugars but I can see why you can't do it at home - lots of things and so much prep. Just to remind you that at the mayr they also say no salad at dinner because the body lacks enzymes to break down raw food after 4pm hence the sugars from the salad then start fermenting so that is a big nono. but also alcohol might overwork your liver and pancreas which are huge players in digestion so it might be good to take a break to see hwo you feel. I hope you feel improvements cpntinuallt bc feeling good is just soo important! But you look fab in that dress by the way!

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    1. Hi N, I would love to try the Mayr detox one day, but it just wouldn't work well at the moment. I think I'd need to actually go somewhere to do it. The no salad thing makes perfect sense - I think I probably instinctively don't eat salad at night anyway, but will avoid it from now on.
      I have 4 or 5 alcohol-free days and nights a week, but Friday and Sat are the real problem, especially at this time of the year when there are constant events.
      We're hosting a dinner party this weekend and my challenge will be to only have 3 glasses of wine max over the evening, plus no aperitif or digestivo!

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  5. Shopping and drinking have been my traditional vices as well! We've got loads in common! I stopped drinking altogether last year for a couple of months and I never did go back to drinking red wine. Now I can have small amounts of white wine but I have to be very careful. I try to have one or two a day and every couple of weeks I go 2 or 3 days without any at all. That has worked for me and I very very rarely have a hangover anymore, except for when Wendy and Barry visited me that is! We were into the St. Germain cocktails that evening!
    I've stopped ordering things online and it is saving me loads of money in buying of course but also returns. I really don't shop in real shops otherwise so no temptation there. Good luck and stay off the sites!
    I hope you can resolve your stomach issues... I went off gluten entirely and that solved everything for me. I also took Naomi's advice on the salads with dinner and that helps my digestion at night. I thought I had IBS but in fact I had every symptom of celiac so I either have that or a very bad intolerance to gluten, avoiding it has had a huge impact on my health.
    My #1 tip for digestion is to drink 2 glasses of water first thing in the morning, absolutely before drinking coffee or tea, that has helped me feel really well!
    Keep us updated Ruth we're cheering for you!

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    1. Haha! we do have a lot in common! I stopped drinking for 8 weeks after my surgery in Feb, and now only drink on Friday and Saturday, but recently have been hammering it at the weekend, which I will blame on peer pressure!
      I'm sure that I will resolve my gut issues. I've had all the major tests for really worrying things, so can rule out the real nasties and coeliac disease. I think it will just mean that I need to be a bit more aware of what I order when eating out.
      Well done on your shopping parsimony. I've been deleting all the emails from online retailers, and haven't looked at J Crew for a while - yay! baby steps…..

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  6. Good luck Ruth! I need to read up on that diet as I have the same issues. I am lactose intolerant and you would be amazed at where you find dairy as an ingredient.
    I don't like alcohol, but shopping is my huge escape/stress reliever. It's do hard to stay away.

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    1. The Monash uni stuff is really helpful, I found. Plus, for me, seeing a dietician forced me to do it, as I was paying for someone to tell me what to do!
      I cook a lot, so it's easy for me to avoid dairy. It used to give me a very bad stomach as a child, so apart from Greek yoghurt and the occasional fresh cream cake, I haven't really had dairy for nearly 40 years!
      Good luck with your stomach issues!

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  7. Hi Ruth, I really feel for you on avoiding onion - almost every time I cook something I start with sauteing an onion, it must be so hard to cut them out. Good luck with it all.

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    1. Same here! I used to put onion in almost everything! However, it's pretty easy to leave it out and just use garlic and chives instead. I cook a lot of Asian food, so I've just upped my ginger usage, which I love!

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  8. You go girl! This is really hard to do, so hats off for your courage and determination. And I love that the blouse is making yet another appearance. It looks beautiful on you!

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    1. Thanks AB! the blouse makes me very happy!

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  9. Several years ago I had a lot of issues with my tummy that the doctor just couldn't figure out. Finally he mentioned IB and I just about cried...this was something I did not want to have and I feel for all that do. Fortunately (???) it ended up being scar tissue from hysterectomy wrapped around my colon and after surgery I was fine. Drinking...I have a tough time drinking to excess because of acid reflux. I do drink red wine, and only red wine, with little tannins. Rooting for you baby.

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    1. Thanks BB! glad (?) that your issues were sorted with surgery. I'm still in shock about how much better I feel. It's amazing that i put up with it for all these years, although it has definitely been getting worse as I get older. Or perhaps I'm just less tolerant?
      I love red wine, but my gut doesn't. White is my new vice! And vodka!

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  10. I could go the rest of my life without a drink and not really mind, but I do shop online way too much. I really have to stop that!! I hope the dietary changes make you feel better, best of luck!

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    1. Hi Cate, I wish I could give up booze too, but it is such a joy to have a lovely glass of Riesling with dinner!
      Stopping shopping is also hard.... but I am pretty stubborn if I set myself a challenge!

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  11. Hi Ruth, I am so glad to hear that this regimen is working for you and you are feeling so well! Your good health really shows in the photos, you are positively glowing. I have never been much of a drinker (very low alcohol tolerance, thanks to my Asian heritage), and I have learned to avoid foods which upset my stomach, like beans, lentils and peppers. Thanks for sharing the FODMAP info, I had never heard of it until now. I will take a closer look at the list of foods and see if there's anything else I should try avoiding.

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    1. Thanks so much Louise! I feel way better than I have for years!
      I'm not one for diets, really, but the Monash research is impressive, and it really does make a lot of sense. You should def read up on it and see if it helps you.

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  12. Hi, thanks for the shout out!
    Glad to hear you are getting better x

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    1. Thank you! So glad you recommended the low FODMAP thing!

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  13. I'm pleased you have noticed a difference following the FODMAP eating regime. It really is the only tried and tested and researched diet for IBS. There are so many other weird and wonderful 'diets' out there claiming to relieve IBS, but this really is the Ferrari of them all. You went to a professional. Good luck with it!

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