The Nutrition Self-Experiment continues with the first 2 weeks of reintroductions going fairly well. I was able to reintroduce a few foods as well as a probiotic supplement without any major setbacks. Traveling put a little sidestep in my general plan, but I was able to get right back on track. Keep reading to hear more about how I manage traveling while following a strict eating plan and how to stay sane. Check out the Reintroduction Weeks 5 & 6 Recap below to read more about the past 2 weeks.
If you are new here and want to get up to speed, check out the Introduction post to read more about the purpose, hypothesis, and general plan for my experiment. To get access to the first 14 Day Meal Plan and the Daily Journal template that I’m using, go back and check out my ‘Meal Plan’ post. Read the ‘Preparation’ post to learn more about how and why I chose the foods to eliminate for this experiment and download my AIP & Low FODMAP ‘YES’ Foods list!
Traveling & Staying “On-Plan”
Traveling is one of my favorite hobbies and is, in my opinion, one of the greatest ways to learn and expand our horizons. Because of this belief, I highly encourage traveling, regardless of how strict of an eating plan you follow. I don’t let my own eating plan keep me from having diverse experiences and I don’t think that you have to either. That being said, every person is different and it is necessary to take precautions and do a little extra planning to ensure a fantastic trip and minimal disruptions to your healing.
I took a quick 3-day trip that was completely guided where I had no control over where I would be eating or what food would be served. This is pretty extreme as most times when I travel, I make sure I have the majority of control over where and what I’ll eat. However, this experience was a once-in-a-lifetime kind of trip and I wasn’t going to let food stand in my way. Due to the short nature of this trip, I decided ahead of time that I would simply do the best I could for those 3 days and then once I returned, basically pretend like they never happened in terms of my experiment. This meant that when I returned, I just jumped right back into where I was before I left. This allowed me to enjoy the trip without stressing about food. It also was a good reality check, for me personally, that I was able to consume foods I wouldn’t normally eat without any major reactions, which shows great signs for my healing progress.
One of the best things anyone can do to prepare for a trip is to plan snacks accordingly. This way, any time that you have a less than optimal food choice presented to you, you can turn to your snacks for backup. Some of my favorite airplane-friendly snacks that I took on this trip are: cut up carrots, pre-peeled orange, Epic bars, Wild Zora bars, Wild Planet tuna pouches, Larabars, Inka Crops plantain chips, and Dang unsweetened coconut chips.
If you have control over where you will eat, do some research ahead of time and pick out restaurants in the area you will be. Search for terms like “gluten-free”, “organic”, “farm to table”, and “healthy” to narrow down the selection to restaurants that will be more friendly to those with specific dietary preferences. Browse the menus to make sure that you will be able to “design” a meal that fits your needs. You can also scope out grocery stores where you will be so that you can stock up on more snacks when you arrive, especially if you can’t travel with much food.
The last thing I want to say is to go live your life! You have survived up to this point and are still here to talk about it. Don’t let what you eat or don’t eat keep you from enjoying what you love because that defeats so much of the healing process. Do the best that you can, always be prepared, and then enjoy your life. Even if you have a few setbacks, you are already doing so much better for your body than you were before and you will rebound that much quicker because of it.
My weight is holding steady at 124 lbs and I’m continuing to see improvements in my hair loss. I have not received my stool tests yet, but once I do I will be anxious to begin addressing any gut issues that are apparent. I am continuing to experience bloating and constipation at about the same level as Week 4. Starting Week 5, I introduced a probiotic every other day, increasing it to once a day during Week 6. Introducing the probiotic has increased general GI activity and it’s possible that a few other symptoms can be attributed to adding this in (like fatigue and excessive sweating), but they could also be from seasonal allergies. I plan to increase the dose again in Week 7 and am hoping that this will really start to improve my constipation.
During Week 5 I was able to reintroduce coconut milk and sweet potatoes and then in Week 6, I reintroduced yams and coconut butter. I didn’t detect any symptoms with these reintroductions and so I am looking forward to reintroducing more items in Week 7.
I will be getting some extensive lab work done during Week 7 to check specifically my thyroid, iron, and vitamin D levels. This will be a good guide for any additional supplementation that I feel is necessary to boost my body’s ability to heal itself.
Phase 2 Foods for Reintroduction
I’ve identified the AIP-compliant foods that contain only moderate FODMAPS to use as my Phase 2 Foods to reintroduce first. You can check out my AIP & Low FODMAP – Phase 2 Foods that I am using as a guide to begin my reintroductions.
Reintroduction Weeks 5 & 6 Recap
If you would like to see my daily journals from Weeks 5 & 6, you can access them by clicking the link below. Note, if you are leery about poop talk and other digestive symptoms, considered yourself warned. 😉
There were not a lot of symptom changes during Weeks 5 & 6. However, traveling and eating “off-plan” didn’t really set me back noticeably either. So I consider that a win! Week 5 I started the probiotic and didn’t notice any major changes so I increased the dosage during Week 6. I was really focused on getting plenty of sleep, rest and relaxation during these 2 weeks because I knew that traveling would be an extra stressor for my system. I’ve been experiencing some seasonal allergies with symptoms like a runny nose and the continued smoky air hasn’t helped. Because of this, I’m making an added effort to support my body’s ability to detox with dandelion root tea and lemon water as well as plenty of rest.
Enjoying trying new foods and new recipes, like cassava/yuca root fries and roasted duck wings! Here are a few highlights of what I’ve been nourishing my body with:
Elimination Phase of Experiment: September 1-30, 2017
Reintroduction Phase of Experiment: October 1 – November 30, 2017
Stay Tuned for updates as I continue the reintroduction phase of my experiment!
Also, follow me on Instagram @marcelle.phene so you can view my story where I am posting pictures of everything I’m eating.
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I have saved a ton of money during this experiment by shopping at Thrive Market! This has been my favorite place to shop for real food pantry staples and non-toxic home and personal products for over 2 years! You can read my review of their service in a previous post. Think Costco + Whole Foods + delivered to your doorstep!
Ballantyne, Sarah. The Paleo Approach. Las Vegas: Victory Belt Publishing Inc., 2013.
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Disclaimer: The information in this post is not intended as medical advice, or to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional. Marcelle encourages you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research, and in partnership with your doctor, licensed dietitian, or nutritionist. The information provided in this post and the entire contents of www.marcellephene.com are based upon the opinions of Marcelle Phene and are for general educational purposes, and have not been reviewed nor approved by the FDA. You are solely responsible for your health care and activity choices.