Tag Archives: Nutrition

Low FODMAPS, Week 1

Last week’s workouts weren’t much to write about. The week focused on (mental and physical) recovery from the Foster City 10-mile race. Yes, I needed a week to recover from a 10-mile race. Its humbling.

So instead a weekly workout recap, I’m recapping my first week on the Low FODMAPs program.


About a year and a half ago I was diagnosed with IBS and Adrenal Fatigue, and have been trying to find the best way to recover from it. I opted to focus on holistic care vs pumping drugs into my body. My doctors (PCP and holistic) conducted tests that indicated that my body did not process soy, dairy, wheat and corn. These foods contributed to my symptoms. So I eliminated those foods. In fact I eliminated grains all together and followed a mostly Paleo diet.

While I felt so much better, there were still some symptoms that didn’t go away. But I was well enough to get the green light to train for a marathon last Fall, which in hindsight I wasn’t ready for yet. As I mentioned in this post, the stress of marathon training and holiday sweets set me back. My digestive system went into a tailspin – again.

At around this time Sarah announced a 28-Day Inner Health, Outer Shine Group Program that she and Marissa were holding. I had been following Sarah’s blog for a long time. She suffers from digestive diseases and has made it her life’s mission to educate herself and others on ways to heal from them. She was also recently diagnosed with Adrenal Fatigue. So I thought I’d be able to pick up some tips and advice from her and Marissa and the other women in the group.

I shared my background and how I was trying to follow an Adrenal Fatigue recovery diet and it wasn’t working. She recommended starting with the Low FODMAPS diet and focusing on dealing with IBS first.

I spent the first few days reading up on it and it was overwhelming. It was a lot of scientific jargon that I didn’t (and kinda still don’t) understand. But Sarah armed me with a few key but simple resources that spelled everything out for me.

The biggest eye opener for me was that all the foods I had been eating were foods that I shouldn’t have been. Apples, almonds (including almond milk and almond butter), sweet potatoes, etc were on the “no” list. No wonder I still wasn’t fully recovered – these were my primary foods! Yes they are healthy foods, but not recommended when recovering from IBS.

So I decided to give Low FODMAPS a try. I fumbled through a few days of not knowing what to eat. I was lost, overwhelmed and hungry all-the-time. This was harder than Whole 30 and it wasn’t even close! Thankfully I had Sarah to learn on. She armed me with meal suggestions and recipes that I assembled into my weekly meal plan.

Here’s what Week 1 looked like:

Mon, 1/19:
Breakfast: Ground beef sauteed in coconut oil with kale, arugula and spinach
Lunch: Tuna on butter lettuce wrapped in nori
Snack: Sarah’s smoothie
Dinner: Lemon basil spaghetti squash with macadamia nut cream salmon
Snack: Bone Broth
Before Bed: 2 hard boiled egg whites (I eat a bit of protein an hour before bed to regular my blood sugar which was also off-balance.)

Tues, 1/20:
Breakfast: Same as Monday
Snack: Sarah’s smoothie with cacao nibs/powder and cinnamon added
Lunch: Roasted chicken sauteed in coconut oil with kale, arugula and spinach
Snack: Bone Broth
Dinner: Same as Monday
Before Bed: Monday

Wed, 1/21:
Breakfast: Same as Tuesday
Lunch: Smoothie- same as Tuesday + ½ banana
Dinner: Same as Tuesday
Before Bed: Same as Tuesday +: Bone Broth

Thurs, 1/22:
Breakfast: Roasted chicken sauteed in coconut oil with kale, arugula and spinach
Lunch: Same as breakfast
Snack: Smoothie
Dinner: Beef stir fry (carrots, sprouts, bok choy, ginger, coconut aminos)
Before Bed: Same as Wednesday

Fri, 1/23:
Breakfast: Paleo Pumpkin Pancakes
Snack: Smoothie – substituted blueberries with pineapple
Lunch: Beef stir fry
Snack: Hard boiled egg white + a slice of smoked salmon
Dinner: Beef stir fry
Before Bed: Same as Thursday

Sat, 1/24:
Breakfast: Paleo Banana Pancakes
Lunch: Lemon Pepper Tuna on butter lettuce wrapped in nori + smoked salmon
Snack: Hemp Seed Flatbread + Plantain Poppers
Dinner: Beef stir fry
Before Bed: Same as Friday

Sun, 1/25:
Breakfast: Banana + Plantain Poppers
Snack: Smoothie
Lunch: Hemp Seed Flatbread + Plantain Poppers
Dinner: The Counter Burger Bowl
Before Bed: Same as Saturday

Summary / Thoughts:

+ Yes I repeat the same meals a lot. While this doesn’t work for many, it works for me – cost and time effective.

+ My body responded so well! After YEARS I finally say the bloat reduced – almost immediately.

+ That is until I ate the paleo pumpkin pancakes. I assumed that pumpkin was on the approved list but its not and my gut told me this immediately. It was a setback and it took me a couple of days to get it out of my system but once I did the improvements continued.

+ After just one week I’m a believer. Its recommended to stay on this program for 4-6 weeks. It will be a challenge but after seeing improvements after just one week I’m committed to this.

Building Consistency

For the past few months I have been struggling to be consistent — with my workouts, eating, blogging and admittedly, even work.

Just when I think I’m finally back in a groove something interrupts my schedule and/or motivation.

I recently read this article that suggests writing about three things to take back control of your life:

1. What I ate
2. What I did (or didn’t do) for exercise
3. What I did with my life

In an attempt to hold myself accountable, I’m going to give it a try.

In my last post I wrote about the Whole 30 program and how I was starting another round of it.

I had every intention of doing so when I wrote that post, but it was interrupted by the five days that I spent last week “traveling” for work. I use the word “travel” on quotations because I didn’t actually go anywhere, but was required to stay at a hotel in the City for various meetings in relation to my company’s flagship event.

It’s really difficult to eat healthy, let alone Whole 30 compliant when eating restaurant food for every meal for five days.

I tried to follow it as much as I could but pretty much gave up by Day Two. And my health suffered because of it:

– I had excessive bloating – the most I’ve had since I started working with Dr Ponce last Fall. My clothes that fit fine when I packed my suitcase but barely fit during the week.
– My leaky gut (TMI?) returned which is never a good thing when running, or worse – when you have to sit through customer meetings all day.
– And the allergy rash that has plagued me for the past few months returned with a vengeance and has covered my arms and midsections.

So I officially restarted Whole 30 today.

I took this photo of a framed quotation that hangs in Dr Ponce's office.

I took this photo of a framed quotation that hangs in Dr Ponce’s office.

And in an effort to help me be successful this time, I’m going to attempt to write a Whole 30-related post daily for the next 30 days.

…and starting with this week’s workouts, I’m going to resume my Weekly Workout Recaps. Sprinkled in-between will be tidbits and posts on what I’ve done with the rest of my life.

Whole 30 2.0: Day 1 Recap – Mon, May 26

Instead of recapping what I ate (if you really want to know I’ll share this but after a few days you’ll find it repetitive and boring), I’ll share with you my two “a-ha’s” of the day:

1. I recently discovered the @whole30recipes Instagram account. It’s my new favorite source for Whole 30 compliant recipes.

Tonight I made this Tilapia Topped with Mango Pico recipe.

It was really easy and simple to make. And the best part of it is that I have leftovers for lunch tomorrow!

Whole 30 Thought of the Day:

2. I started re-reading “It Starts with Food”, the Whole 30 introduction book.

It’s funny how when you read something a second time you pick up new things that didn’t stand out to you the first time.

One of the things that stood out to me was how Whole 30 does not tell you how much to eat. And during the Whole 30 program you’re not allowed to weigh, measure yourself or track any calories. Their belief is that doing this causes unhealthy habits and messes with us psychologically.

Instead, their philosophy is that “your body knows how much you should be eating way better than any calculator you’ll find on the Internet.”

However, your body’s signals may be out of whack because of the foods you’ve been eating. Instead we over consume and our bodies become dysfunctional and our brain gets mixed messages on when and how much to eat.

As you progress through the program you body begins to correct itself and starts sending the right messages to the brain.

I can attest that this did happen for me the first time I successfully completed the Whole 30 program. After that first week and a half I no longer felt the need to snack and didn’t have cravings for non-Whole 30 compliant foods.

That’s it for today! Come back and visit tomorrow to see how Day 2 went!

Revisiting Sports Nutrition

One of my goals for this month was to read two books and shockingly, I finished both 10 days before the month’s end.

After not fueling well at SFM, and dealing with growing GI issues I decided to (re)read Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guide and Racing Weight by Matt Fitzgerald. I’ve read both books before but its been about two years and I needed a refresher.

Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guidebook

I first read “Nancy Clark’s Food Guide for Marathoners: Tips for Everyday Champions.” While it was a good read, I personally got a lot more out of “Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guidebook.” I thought it was a more balanced approach as she also discusses fueling for a variety of workouts (which I do).

My goal this time around was to revisit how to properly fuel before and during a workout (specifically a long run) and how to optimally recover from it. For me this meant getting into the math of just how many grams of carbs to ingest before and during a run, etc.

Having recently done a Resting Metabolic Rate test, I already knew what my caloric zones were and what a healthy amount of calories/day for me should be. Using this information I worked through the formulas listed in the book to determine how many carbs, protein and fat I need to properly fuel my body. In the past I’ve found that I’ve gone to both extremes of either being under fueled and over fueled. After doing the calculations I then punched these numbers into my online food journal to make it easier to gauge.

{Side note: I compared the nutrients breakdown to the numbers that were provided to me from the study I participated in last Fall. They weren’t too far off but these numbers are probably more accurate since they are based on my RMR test.}

As suspected what I found was that I was not fueling my body enough on my longer trainings runs. This is probably why I’ve felt like death during the last few miles. I also haven’t been recovering sufficiently after these long runs.

I now have some ideas of things to experiment with on my upcoming longer runs and will report back on what I find/how I feel.

Racing Weight

I have read several books by Matt Fitzgerald and really liked them all. I try to catch all of his articles that show up the Running channel on Flipboard.

What I like about this particular book is the discussion on the importance of optimal body composition, meaning the distribution of lean mass muscle vs body fat percentage.

Back when I first started working out with Trainer Dave (almost 10 yrs ago!) we recorded my measurements on a regular basis.

August 2003

August 2003

Although my weight hasn’t drastically fluctuated, nor I haven’t gone up in size, my body fat percentage has increased over the past couple of years. If I can lower it and regain the lean mass I used to have then perhaps I can not only lower my injury risk but also improve my running times and overall health.

August 2005

August 2005

Like the first book, this one also provides charts and formulas to calculate different targets based upon personal goals. I’ve set my goal to get back to the body composition I had a few years ago when I felt my healthiest.

August 2013

August 2013

One thing that I personally found helpful was the suggestion to breakdown your daily caloric intake. For example, if your target is 2000 cal/day to break it down as follows:

Breakfast: 20-25%
Morning Snack: 10%
Lunch: 20-25%
Afternoon Snack: 10%
Dinner: 20-25%
Evening Snack: 5%

It may seem like a lot of work, but if you already use an online food journal, once you calculate your targets its very simple to track. As someone who has been obese and continually struggles with portion control, I find this immensely helpful.

It has also been helping me to make wiser choices in the foods that I eat – not just from a “Is this healthy for me?” perspective, but also from a “Is this good for my gut?” perspective, particularly as I’m going through an Elimination Diet process.

Both books also offer a slew of recipes. I’ve tried some, had to modify a few but the ones that I tried were easy to make and tasted delicious.

If fueling, hydration and nutrition are topics you are interested in, I highly recommend both reads. It doesn’t matter if you run long distances or not, its just good knowledge to have on nutrition.