It’s Not Cheese. And a Possible Approach to Eating Forbidden Fruits (literally)

Many of you suggested in your comments in previous posts that my problem might be the cheese I am eating rather than the vegetables. I just wanted to say a few things about my condition, especially to those who just started reading who might not have read my previous posts.

I do have a diagnosis, but I’m not going to get into it on here. Feel free to contact me, I will be happy to discuss in a less public forum. And I am trying a new medication starting Friday. We will see…

My GI problems started in August 2007. I didn’t see a doctor until November 2007. I arrived at the doctor’s with a food journal in my hand; I recorded everything that went into my mouth for a week a half prior to my visit. There was almost no dairy on this list.

Everything I ate was very high in fiber and extremely healthy. I ate oatmeal with banana for my breakfasts, spinach salads filled with veggies  for lunch, fruits, nuts and natural bars such as ThinkOrganic and Lara for my snacks. My dinners typically included brown rice or whole wheat bread. I had been eating this way for a few years by this point and up until my GI problems started I was at a weight I felt happy and comfortable with. I didn’t have any GI problems — until I did.

I did eat some dairy. My salads sometimes contained goat cheese. My sandwiches and wraps usually had cheese. Sometimes I had cereal with milk. Sometimes I snacked on Alpine Lace cheese. But dairy was not a major part of my diet. It was obvious to both the doctor and myself that lactose was not contributing to what was happening to me. I feel like I am always responding to comments and updating my posts in response to say, “It’s not cheese!” It’s become almost a tagline to this blog, as Mallory noted: Dori’s Shiny Blog: It’s Not Cheese.

 Dancing Cheese   Dancing cheese   Dancing cheese

 

My next doctor informed me that my high fiber, healthy lifestyle was making my symptoms worse. He suggested I cut these foods out and basically go on Atkins. He was right. Once I stopped eating fiber, my condition improved a bit. I wasn’t at all cured, I still had awful days with horrible pains and extreme bloating — but overall, I felt better. The discomfort decreased immensely. I had more energy. I was able to eksusize in the evening which was not an option at ALL when I was eating the foods most likely to bloat, the foods that were high in fiber.

After my doctor made this suggestion, I started incorporating more dairy into my diet. Really, what other option did I have? I can’t eat JUST chicken and fish. I need something more — and something snackable! And I can honestly say that it doesn’t bother me. I have cheese and yogurt every single day without  the issues I would have if I ate oatmeal or lettuce. A bunch of you mentioned that the sweet potato didn’t bother me when I ate it alone and not with cheese — but I DID eat it with cheese. My dinner that I ate with it had cheese. The sweet potato probably didn’t bother me as much that night because it was a smaller portion.  Which brings me to my next point, which I will discuss in the following section.

First, I just want to say that I have been seeing doctors for my condition since November 2007. I have had many tests. I have taken many medications. Believe me, if it was lactose, we would know it by now! More importantly, my main symptom is NOT a symptom of lactose intolerance. Simple as that!

Luckily, greek yogurt (right now Chobani and I will soon try and review Oikos) allows me to have a breakfast or a snack that tastes delicious and doesn’t upset my tummy. I am grateful for this. Today I had Chobani for breakfast AND lunch (mixed with some ricotta for lunch!), and I feel MUCH better than yesterday when I had half a butternut squash for lunch (more on that below).  So I think that speaks for itself!

Which brings me to… A new approach to eating?
I love the Real Housewives of NYC. It’s been my guilty pleasure favorite show since it started.  I am a proud member of Team Jill and think Bethenny is one of the funniest people I’ve ever seen. I have seen Jill in person twice. The first time she was walking down my street and I happened to be walking behind her (she lives right near me so I wasn’t surprised). I had no idea I was walking behind Jill Zarin until I heard her voice. She was talking on the phone and there is no mistaking that voice. My ears perked and I looked up at the head connected to said voice, and it had red hair and bangs. I was too scared to say anything to her. The next time I saw Jill was outside the entrance to Madison Square Garden. There was something going on there that night but I am not sure what. After surreptitiously walking back and forth past where she was standing, I noticed that at some point LuAnn had joined her as well!

My favorite scene is from season 1 when Jill and Bethenny went to look at apartments and they went back and forth between the camera showing Jill being Jill, nosy and know-it-all while they were looking at an apartment, and showing Bethenny talking to the camera privately, imitating Jill being Jill, spot on! The producers did this marvelously.

Bethenny & Jill

I met Bethenny at the Food Emporium last year when she was giving out samples of her healthy baked goods, BethennyBakes. I told her I thought she was great. I absolutely love her but I chose not to mention that. She wrote a book about her attitude towards eating called Naturally Thin. It came out on Tuesday and I picked up my copy the next day.

Naturally Thin

Bethenny used to be like many of us are when it comes to eating: obsessive, self-loating, self-abusing, trying all the diets, etc. She overcame these thoughts and has been freed from these obsessive thoughts. She does not diet. Instead, she has 10 rules that are a guideline for eating anything you want — NO diets. I read the first few chapters and can’t wait to read more — in addition to the wonderful advice, I love how her personality and humor shines through and I love reading her catchphrases from the show within the text. For example, when explaining how after you have a couple of bites of an indulgent food that you enjoy (fried calamari was the example here), and eventually the novelty has worn off, you should take that opportunity to simple stop eating it. She explains this with a phrase she’s said on the show that makes me laugh: You laughed; you cried; it was better than CatsWhile reading that, I could really hear Bethenny saying it. 

Anyway, the point here isn’t to gush about Bethenny! It is to discuss an idea I had while reading her advice — an idea that I emailed to my nutritionist and am waiting for a response. Part of Bethenny’s plan is “taste everything, eat nothing” and “you can have it all, just not at once.” This is fantastic idea for foods with high levels of fat, calories, carbs, desserts, indulgences, etc. But what about, in my case, fruits and veggies? An example: What if I eat just half a sweet potato one day? Another day, maybe I’ll have four strawberries. Four strawberries won’t hurt me, right? And I will never eat the strawberries on the same day as the sweet potato.

I will see what the nutritionist says, but I am  hoping this is a way I can get at least a minimal amount of nutrients back into my diet. And this way I’d get to have very small portions of the foods I most hate giving up – fruits! Forbidden fruits. Sigh.

I still have to finish the book and then I can say more about it and provide some  type of real review. But for what I have learned so far, I think this could be a good thing! Thoughts?

30 Day Shred
This is going well! I wake up early every day to do this 20 minute workout. I sweat and it is a challenge, but not impossible for me to do. I still despise push ups, but I force myself to do all 27 or so of them. Some might be half-assed. That is just my nature when it comes to push ups.

This is not me. But I do those girly push ups.

girl push up 

But there has been one problem. During the butt kicks (you kick each foot backwards to hit your tush, repeatedly, as cardio) I kept hearing a loud cracking sound. The sound was coming from my left ankle. It didn’t hurt. But it happened every single time I did the left footed butt kick.

I was alarmed for a few reasons. The first is that I get very freaked out when I hear any bodily cracking sounds. I HATE it when the boy cracks his knuckles. It really freaks me out. Another reason is that I sprained that ankle when I was 10. It is my brother’s fault. We shared a room and he didn’t like it when he could see the time on the alarm clock facing the room, and always made me turn it to the wall at bedtime. One night he asked me to turn it and on my way to the clock I somehow sprained my ankle. Ever since then, my ankle hurts when it is going to rain or already raining. I became concerned that the butt kicks would cause damage. I became more alarmed when I heard the cracking during jumping jacks and jump ropes as well — although it didn’t happen at every move the way it did during butt kicks.

I didn’t want to keep doing butt kicks if I was causing damage to my ankle but at the same time I didn’t want to stop doing that eksusize — or any others in the Shred, like jumping jacks — if I didn’t truly have to.

Luckily, the boy is a doctor and described my ankle cracking to an orthopedist he knows. The orthopedist said that as long as it only happens during this exercise and it is not painful, I should be fine. So I will keep doing the butt kicks! If it begins to hurt, I will stop — but for now, I have the okay.

I am really happy that I accepted the Shred challenge. I feel like I am doing something so great for myself. When I went to spin on Monday my calves were sore — good sign. At spin on Tuesday, I had a very hard time because my quads were BURNING. I was able to have a great spin experience regardless, but I definitely couldn’t push my legs as hard as I usually do. It hurt, but it was a joyous hurt because I knew I was making myself stronger. I also couldn’t push my legs much at spin on Wednesday either — although I had an amazing class anyway. My legs just couldn’t push the pedals at a high resistance! I’m not going to spin tonight so I can give my legs a chance to rest. And as you know, tomorrow is No Workout Friday so my legs will get an more rest — and hopefully by Saturday’s SoulCycle I will be good to go!

More spin news!

Missy and I have a great friend who invited us to join her at a Spin-A-Thon! I will describe more once my attendance is confirmed for sure, but I will say that it is for a charity and I will be spinning for an hour, which I have never done before. I am VERY excited — especially because I will be spinning with 2 of my closest friends. I never get to workout with my friends!

Delicious and Nutritious Chocolate Fix
After my nutritionist recommended I stop taking vitamins you swallow and switch to chewable, I found Viactiv chocolate chews! Every morning it is my treat! I wish I could eat them all day. Yes, I am aware of what the first 2 ingredients are, but I simply do not care. They are delicious. They are only 20 calories. They make me happy. I strongly recommend them!

Viactiv

And please check out Heather Eats Almond Butter’s Coconut Milk Product Giveaway and The Fitnessista‘s All Natural Gift Bag giveaway!

16 comments on It’s Not Cheese. And a Possible Approach to Eating Forbidden Fruits (literally)

  1. Mallory
    March 12, 2009 at 4:47 pm (9 years ago)

    I also hate push ups! Sometimes in Body Sculpt, we do pushups against the wall, which I can handle a bit better!

    I think the idea of eating a tiny bit of things is great! Hopefully it helps, because I bet it will help your psyche a TON to be able to eat those things you love so much without the pain afterwards. Good luck! Let me know what the nutritionist says about it!

    Also, dancing cheese!!!!

    Reply
  2. Heather McD (Heather Eats Almond Butter)
    March 12, 2009 at 5:11 pm (9 years ago)

    Dori,
    I love seeing pictures of you. I wish more bloggers posted pictures of themselves because I love being able to connect a face with a blog, and your’s is so pretty. Your face, not your blog…well, both are pretty. :)

    OK, so cheese is okay AND Greek yogurt, MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITE form of dairy. I’m so grateful you can eat this my friend, and I bet it tastes amazing with ricotta. Hopefully, you’ll be able to throw in a few strawberries soon and have yourself some strawberry shortcake. Who needs oats in the morning when you can have an amazing breakfast such as this?!?

    Have a good night my spinning mama!
    PS – My knees crack a lot in yoga when we go in and out of squats. I don’t think it’s a big deal either as long as there is no pain.
    PPS – I often have to do the girlie push-ups as well and thanks for the link love!

    Reply
  3. Sarah W.
    March 12, 2009 at 5:22 pm (9 years ago)

    hi! i just found your blog – I like it – i feel your pain about the GI problems! ‘cept I’ve had em all my life and have no diagnosis – fun right?

    Reply
  4. Missy
    March 12, 2009 at 7:08 pm (9 years ago)

    I love your dancing cheese people! I’m so happy you can still eat cheese so that we can go have some cheesy shrimp!!!!!! Thanks for the book recommendation! Can’t wait to read it!! I also can’t wait to do spin with you!!! I will be starting my 30-Day Shred Challenge on Saturday because I still feel too yucky to work out. I hate push ups too!

    Reply
  5. Sara
    March 12, 2009 at 8:50 pm (9 years ago)

    CHEESE GLORIOUS CHEEESE. If i was lactose…I don’t want to finish that sentence. I am a cheese fatty. Can’t handle. Enjoy your spin sesh xoxoxo
    sara

    Reply
  6. matthew
    March 12, 2009 at 10:01 pm (9 years ago)

    Yes, I asked you to turn the clock, but I do think it is pretty LAME that you somehow sprained your ankle while walking across the room to turn a clock!

    Also, in Why Do Men Have Nipples (i think), it says that rain or imminent rain does NOT cause sprained/injured body parts to hurt!

    Reply
  7. Danielle
    March 13, 2009 at 7:43 am (9 years ago)

    I do girly push ups too, one day I’ll do the real thing.
    I think your idea of eating a little taste of everything is great, I hope your nutritionist approves.

    Reply
  8. Jen, a priorfatgirl
    March 13, 2009 at 8:41 am (9 years ago)

    oh my gosh – I LOVE THOSE VITACHEWS!! Seriously, I eat them every morning and every morning I tell myself I’m going to dedicate an entire post to them because they are so yummy!

    My trainer just made me do those butt kicks this morning, no crackling here!

    Reply
  9. Sarah (Tales of Expansion)
    March 13, 2009 at 11:45 am (9 years ago)

    thanks for all the background info on the health stuff!! it must be the absolute most frustrating thing in the world to know that the most delicious and healthy foods are the ones that make you feel miserable!! i hope the potential new approach with just little bits at a time can help.

    glad the shred challenge is progressing well!

    Reply
  10. Kelly Turner
    March 13, 2009 at 2:28 pm (9 years ago)

    I love the real housewives. they make me happy im not rich so i dont have to deal with all that crap.

    Hope everything works out with your mystery illness. sometimes just knowing exactly why something happens to you makes all the difference. when i got diagnosed with my hyperthyroidism, I was excited because i knew exactly what was going on and what i had to do to control it

    Reply
  11. emily
    March 14, 2009 at 11:32 pm (9 years ago)

    It was great to meet you!

    Reply
  12. meloncauliflower
    March 14, 2009 at 11:54 pm (9 years ago)

    omg i used to eat viactiv calcium supplements all the time! they are so tasty! maybe i’ll try the multi!

    Reply
  13. Gillian
    March 15, 2009 at 8:26 am (9 years ago)

    Dori – I thoroughly enjoy reading your blog!

    As for RHONYC, I am a big Bethenny fan as well (the apartment seen between her and Jill was hysterical). I recently had a lunch at Bryant Park Grill, and who did I sit right next to, but Ramona! She barely touched her salad and just gabbed the whole time and checked her blackberry. Wonder what the Countess’s new manner book would say about that…

    Anyway, Im sorry about the GI issues. I have been dealing with GI issues as well, and they are so incredibly frustrating. I wish you the best in feeling better!

    Now as for the Viactiv chews, can you say delicious? They are a guilty pleasure of mine, and I know you are only supposed to have two, but one more cant hurt?!?

    Reply
  14. HangryPants
    March 16, 2009 at 9:31 am (9 years ago)

    I am glad it’s not the dairy. I always feel sad for those who are lactose intolerant – no ice cream!

    I want to read that book because I am thoroughly amused by Bethenny and love her ideas about eating.

    Reply
  15. Roger
    October 4, 2010 at 10:15 pm (7 years ago)

    I found your blog by accident – I was looking for the little dancing cheese online- thanks for that! You sound like you are into healthy lifestyle. I highly recommend Dr. Richard Schulze and his American Botanical Pharmacy ( no drugs, all-natural, etc.). My brother used Schulze’s methods to cure his wife’s Crohn’s disease (which I really hope is not your GI problem).

    I thought you might like an “alternative” viewpoint.

    Reply
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