Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A non-alcoholic lac-fruc-tard...say what??

I am still going to leave this blog up here, but I just received a call from the doctor's office that the nurse read the results wrong and I am not fructose intolerant, but fructose sensitive...basically I am just more sensitive to foods very high in fructose (apples) but I don't need to avoid it completely...WOOHOO....but still read the blog, hahah

In the past year I think I have made my diet the most complicated thing on earth. First I quit drinking therefore taking out most appealing beverages served at restaurants (limiting me to soda, fruit juice, and iced tea). Being the self proclaimed health nut that I am, I don't drink regular soda so that pretty much leaves me with diet coke, unsweetended iced tea, and maybe pineapple juice if I don't mind the high sugar intake. Oh and don't forget sparkling cider...boy did I drink my fair share of sparkling cider over the holidays...

Then I determine I am lactose intolerant. So now remove most desserts, usually most items on fine dining menus (however, good restaurants are incredibly accomodating), and a lot of healthy snacks from my diet. Once I removed the dairy from my diet (mainly string cheese, yogurt, ice cream, milk in my coffee), my stomach was feeling better...or, at the very least, I stopped feeling cripplingly nauseous. Fortunately with the combination of soy/coconut products as a substitute for dairy being the latest health craze and more food manufactures being conscientious of food allergies, finding dairy free items/substitutes has been a breeze! More importantly, my loving boyfriend and excellent chef has done a fabulous job of coming up with great dairy free recipes.

So then I realize that my stomach still bothers me. And I have sort of just been accepting that as the norm. Constantly being bloated and gassy (sometimes to the extent of painful cramping) was just a way of life. Until I decided it wasn't. Maybe if I lived by myself and never left my home this could be acceptable...but having stomach "issues" at work, with friends, and with a boyfriend is just miserable. Soo, back to the doctors we go...

His first suggestion- fructose intolerance. Really? So, my body just hates sugar apparently! After some research I decided this must be it. Fructose intolerance is similar in symptoms to lactose intolerance but you cannot take a supplement to assist in the digestion, you basically will always have a harder time digesting this type of sugar. Fructose exists in some of my favorite foods (oh yay! *sarcasm..*): apples, so clearly sparkling apple cider, diet foods/soda (in sorbitol), pears, watermelon, honey, raisins, and (most importantly) high fructose corn syrup. So for the past two weeks I have done my best to eliminate fructose from my diet and have honestly felt a lot better. Sometimes I am not as careful as I should be and indulge and immediately can notice the effects. So this week I went and had a fructose breath test done to confirm my self diagnosis and I was correct. I am now a lac-fruc-tard.

This, my friends, has been the most difficult diet news I have had to encounter. Just when I felt I had a good hold on a regular diet (breakfast foods, snacks, drinks, dinners, substitutions...all of it), I have to go and make it more difficult! Now, my drink options at restaurants are literally limited to water and iced tea (I do okay with regular sugar/sugar in the raw). No more sparkling apple cider! No more granola bars because of the high fructose corn syrup. No more diet sodas, diet dressings or diet sauces. No more APPLES!!! No more honey in my tea. Boy oh boy. Now on a brighter are some foods I CAN eat...

- POM juice: I can have berries and it is 100% berry, no sugar added (great for mocktails!)
- Bananas, Oranges, Berries, and Pineapples are still safe: WHEW!!!
- Evaporated Cane Juice: I believe this is okay but I need to do some more research...but it exists as a sugar replacement in a lot of organic foods
- Almond Milk: I love you and I love your chocolate version.
- Nuts/Peanut butter: I still love you.
- Eggs: I will always love you.
- Meat: yum.

So while these discoveries have most certainly limited my diet and made eating out super difficult. I have learned a TON more about nutrition and cooking, and have been able to easily adjust.

If you notice that you have any stomach discomfort...don't assume that it is just the way your body is. Keep a log of what foods you eat and when your body isn't happy and take it from there. Given the fabulous organic, gluten free, dairy free, vegan, sugar free, etc etc options out there, it is very easy to eat for you :)


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