Sugar Experiment Update

I’m back today with a diet update! It’s hard to believe that it’s been two weeks since I started my sugar experiment. Two weeks of struggle, honestly. I don’t really have anything positive to say about the experience. But I want to recap it and share what I have been through and learned up to this point in the journey.

Removing sugar is HARD. Dang. 

I can drop most processed sugars without issue but fruit is tough for me to let go of or even cut back on. 

I’ve tried my best though and I’m going to keep trying. I know that it’ll get easier the more that I do it and I’ll adjust. Until then though, ugh.

I’ve been super discouraged lately with these stomach problems. It’s been going on since last September and as soon as I think that things are improving, they seem to take me right back to struggle city.

In this time period I have become OBSESSED with trying to fix myself. Totally obsessed. It’s not healthy. I know that this isn’t a good thing, I really do. But when you don’t know why your body isn’t functioning properly you want to do anything to fix it. I feel like I’ve tried every remedy on the internet plus some that just pop into my head and probably have no correlation to my pains at all.

I’ve been to a doctor. I had test done. Everything came back normal which is great, but also discouraging at the same time because it gives me no answers.

Now I’ve decided to cut back on all sugars. I’m still eating some fruit but not as much as I was. I don’t think that fruit is bad at all and I don’t intend on removing it from my life forever. I also removed fluoride toothpaste. I stopped using fluoride toothpaste a while ago and then randomly started buying it again. I don’t really have any reasoning to think that fluoride is causing my issues honestly. But I don’t really know what’s wrong with me I’m just pulling experiments out of the sky and hoping that one of them will help me.

Here’s another thing, since all of this manifested I’ve been pretty stressed out. I still do yoga and meditate every day but I think about my disfunctioning digestive system more than I probably should. Yesterday I was listening to Food Psych Podcast and had a huge revelation. I want to try a new project. I want to try to trust my body.

Yeah, that sounds crazy. I’ve been thinking about it though and it makes sense. I don’t trust my body to function properly right now. I’m always paranoid that something is going to be wrong with it. Everything I eat I overanalyze because I don’t want to be sick. And now I’m beginning to wonder if that is the main problem. I don’t know. I could be wrong. But I so badly want to be right.

So that’s where I’m at right now. Still low sugar for the rest of this week just to see how it goes. But also trust. Lots of it. And whenever I’m not feeling the trust, I’m going to pretend that I do until I actually do.

We’ll see how it goes! I’ll continue with my experiments until I find a solution. I don’t believe that so many people out there struggle like this without a solution. So this week we start with trust. I’ll check back in sometime soon and let you guys now how it’s going. Until then, let me know if there’s something that helped your stomach issues. I’d love to chat about it. Much love. xx

7 responses to “Sugar Experiment Update”

  1. I am sorry that it has been rough. I relate, I really do, but I know that doesn’t make it any easier. But I love the trust revelation! Those less concrete but still hugely important things can sometimes make more of a difference than this food or that. And if trusting can maybe lead to less stress then I definitely think it could help! I find that when I travel my stomach issues tend to get massively better and it always surprises me. I think it’s because I am not focusing on it though, there is too much else to distract me. There is something to letting go, even though I suck at it too. Sending you tons of luck and love ❤

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  2. Hi Amanda,I can completely relate to trying to "fix myself" – whether it be an overuse injury, not eating perfectly, etc. Thanks for sharing this post. It is always supportive to know other great people struggle with similar issues. I DID come across this the other day that you may find interesting in your journey. http://www.ibsvegan.com/blog/interview-with-daniel-davis
    Happy St. Pat’s Day and have a great weekend.Lisa

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    • Hi Lisa,
      You are definitely not alone in your struggles. I hope that you’re able to experiment and find out what works best for you and your body. Thank you so much for that link, I can’t wait to listen to it.
      Have an awesome weekend!Amanda xx

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  3. Hey Amanda, we worked at TJ Maxx together years ago. It’s Joe. I check your blog from time to time because of your delicious smoothie recipes. I stopped checking for a while because I’ve been doing my own low-sugar – actually low-carb – eating. I watched a food documentary last night, and it reminded me of your blog, so I stopped by and saw this post. I’m glad I did because I might be able to help.
    I had stomach problems for years – pretty much my entire life.
    Things got worse a couple years ago, and I got worried. So I started doing research and experimenting with myself. It has been an extremely long and slow process because there is sooo much wrong information out there about stomach issues, and figuring out what is wrong is (or used to be) surprisingly tricky.
    After a year and a half of research and trial-and-error, I figured out the best diet for me, and what is very close to being the best diet for everyone (in my opinion). I’ll let you do the research on your own to back up what I am going to say. My favorite book on the subject is called "Perfect Health Diet." It is amazingly well-researched and informative. If you are having stomach issues, the chapter on ketogenic diets may be your solution. It was for me.
    Here is my current diet, that has finally done what no doctor could do, healed my stomach (although, I’m not 100% there just yet).

    Low carb – the only carbs I get are from vegetables (wide variety of organic veggies, and lots of them, when possible). No fruit, no grains, no starches (but I do plan on adding starches in when I am fully healed).

    Low meat/fish – I eat meat, mostly fish, always organic, about 3 times per week. The fat that animals provide is essential for a healthy digestive system.

    High fat – this one throws people off. Really it is high fat in the amount of calories, but fat has tons of calories, so it’s not a lot of actual food. Mostly coconut oil, avocados, olive oil, and eggs.

    Plenty of acidic/fermented foods. This includes vinegar (especially raw apple cider vinegar), fresh lemon juice, sauerkraut, kimchi, and (my favorite) kombucha.

    Side note: this one might help you when you are craving fruit. Lemon water and kombucha have that tangy-sweetness that fruit has, and apple cider vinegar does a little bit too.

    Multi-probiotic supplement taken daily, and digestive enzyme supplement taken with the first bite of each meal.

    No more than 3 meals per day. Once or twice a week, I skip a meal. The intermittent fasting gives the gut extra time to digest food and heal itself.

    No milk products, no grains, no sugar, no caffeine, no alcohol, no processed foods, no legumes, limit nuts to about a handful a day, no vegetable or seed oils (canola oil, peanut oil, vegetable oil).

    Wow, writing that out just made me realize there is a lot to it. It is really hard at first trying to figure out what to eat, but once you get the hang of it, there are tons of delicious options.
    Every body is different, so I don’t know if this will be perfect for you, you may need to tweak it as time goes by. But it is definitely a good starting line that will make it easier to know when your body is reacting negatively to something. I personally have been able to cut out the digestive enzyme pills and limit probiotic pills to every other day after a few months of following this diet.
    I came across your blog again at a good time. Now that I have my own gut figured out, I plan on posting recipes I’ve come up with and more details on the diet on my blog (I’m going to post this comment too, in hopes that it will help others). I’m not sure if how bad your stomach issues have been, so this stuff might not even be worth all the hassle to you. But if you are interested, it is joesmemos.com.
    PS, I’m kind of hoping you start on this diet because I want to see what kind of delicious recipes you come up with!

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    • Hey Joe,
      So nice to hear from you! I hope that all is well on your end and appreciate this comment so much.
      I totally agree that there is so much information out there about stomach problems that is completely inaccurate. It’s something that I often find overwhelming especially when I’ve tried so many different things that have not helped me whatsoever. I have also struggled with it for years. A couple of years ago I went gluten free and then vegan which eliminated all of my stomach problems for a while. I’ve been dealing with them again now for about 6 months and have been working on making changes to my diet and experimenting with whatever I think might help. Most of the experiments haven’t made much of a difference, but it’s a process that I’m willing to work through. I’ve had testing done that has all come back okay and the next step that the doctor wanted to take was putting me on medicine. That’s not something I’m interested in so I tried to make an appointment with a holistic doctor. I’m on a 6 month waiting list so I decided that in the meantime I need to try to take control and see if I can pinpoint my issues on my own.
      I’m coming from a pretty high carb diet with a strong emphasis on fruit but I’m trying to transition into more of a higher fat diet. It’s a process though. I’m finally away from my morning smoothie and that was the hardest thing for me. I can adapt fairly well and now I don’t really miss it much at all. I find that as I transition to eating more fat that I’m not as hungry as often so it’s easier for me to eat more structured meals instead of grazing throughout the day like I used to. That’s a big motivator for me to keep going with it.
      What probiotics do you take? I’ve tried Goodbelly, Inner Eco, and VSL#3. None of those made any difference for me. I’ve stopped experimenting with probiotics at this point because I’ve put a ton of money into them and haven’t had success with any of them.
      I’ve been adding apple cider vinegar to my lemon water in the morning a few days a week and that has actually been helping me a bit. I am also a huge kombucha (Health-ade and Buchi are my favorites) and kimchi fan, too. So good!
      I can’t wait to check out the recipes that you come up with! I’ve looked over the Perfect Health Diet website and I’m going to dive deeper into learning more about it and experiment with some recipes of my own.
      I’ll be checking your blog from now on and I’m so glad that you’ve reached out. It’s nice to know that there’s hope in figuring things out and to see what has worked for you. Keep in touch! xx

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      • That’s good you got an appointment with a holistic doctor. I’ve thought about doing that too, I really should. I’m with you on the whole medication thing. Regular doctors always seem to want to jump to an easy solution that fixes the symptoms instead of fixing the root cause.
        You bring up a good point about probiotics. I actually haven’t noticed any difference in my stomach from taking them, but I always figured taking them has helped my immune system, but that could just be caused by eating a healthier diet too. The probiotics I’ve taken are Culturelle and just a generic one in a bright orange box at Sam’s Club. I don’t have many pills left right now so I might try not taking them for a while and see how it goes.
        I know for sure that digestive enzymes helped me. I’ve experimented with taking them and then not taking them a couple times and I am much more likely to get heartburn when I don’t take them. Though, now that I am hungry less and eat less, I don’t take them anymore and don’t have any issues.
        It’s definitely not fun having stomach issues, but it is fun figuring out what kinds of foods are healthiest and best for your body, so in a way it’s not too terrible.
        Hopefully things will get better for you in the coming months. I’ll stay in touch!

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