Diet issues

Living in London Town, there were all kinds of foods that I couldn’t eat without having painful tummy rumbles. I can’t list them because there are so many but just to get an idea, most fruit and veg was out, caffeine, anything sweet and wheat. At one point I’m sure I was living off rice, tuna, rice, tuna and erm rice and tuna.

Food plays such an important role in my life these days and my relationship with food is a tricky one. I used to HATE eating because food is so complex for me. I went through many a phase where I was like “SCREW YOU J POUCH” and ate what I wanted.

This never, ever has a good outcome. I’ll be fine for a few days, albeit my tummy rumbles were in full force with everything I ate, but the pouch eventually would win. I’d feel run down, exhausted, I would have been bleeding heavily and I’d be feeling very dizzy because I would have been going to the bathroom heaps, therefore losing salts and electrolytes and feeling pretty dehydrated.

Now I know what you’re thinking, if I know it’s going to be so detrimental to my health why am I eating it?

Sometimes I just want to feel normal, and I miss the convenience of eating anything I want. I miss going for lunch and grabbing a sandwich rather than having to plan all my meals beforehand. I miss going to dinner and not having to make a fuss about what I can or can’t have. I miss going to a friend’s house and not have to give them a list of what I can or can’t eat.

What I miss the most? Easy food shopping. I now lose precious hours of my life in the supermarket. I detest food shopping because I have to check everything. Did you know that there is wheat in soy sauce? Neither did I.

There is no way I can go into a supermarket and spontaneously think of what I would like for dinner. I am so envious of all the people who are going through the aisles, they see something they quite like and it goes in the basket. I’m sure I’ve disturbed some people by looking at them with such green eyed jealousy, that they have cautiously backed away slowly, not making any fast movements for fear that I might pounce on them, or God forbid, strike a conversation with them.

Food shopping is a mission for me, I have to plan my food shops and if I don’t? Oh boy. I’ve gone into the supermarket once for a weekly shop and ended up leaving with some chicken and potatoes. That’s it! The thought of traipsing through the aisles without a list became so daunting I just picked up my “safe foods” and left.

I’ve even gone in once for a snack and left because the task was just too overwhelming/daunting.

So how do I cope these days? Well since coming to Australia and taking some amazing supplements, having a lot more sunshine and in general being more relaxed, there are a few more things that I can tolerate which makes shopping easier. Imagine my disbelief when I found I could finally eat broccoli and cauliflower without feeling like I was trying to pass eggs through my intestines.  I literally cried into my food when I found I could eat spinach again, in small doses mind you, don’t want to over do it.

Lists and pre planning. These are my best friends when it comes to food shopping and meals. Going to a restaurant with friends? Check out the menu or call ahead to see what you can eat.

Yes, it is a pain in the backside, yes it takes the fun out of food but with the glorious thing called the internet it doesn’t mean that your meals have to be boring!

If you’re strapped for time, take a day to cook your food for the week so you can just heat it up when you don’t have the time to cook from scratch. When making certain foods, make them in a big batch so you can freeze a portion or two and heat it up another day.

It does take time and effort to plan all your meals but it is worth it. Also I found when I was being really good and sticking to my diet, I found that in the long run I could tolerate more foods because clearly my intestines were healing.

As it stands, I’m on the brink of a flare because I’ve been stressed and not sticking to my diet, which is completely backwards because I know that when I am stressed I need to stick to it even more. I’m lucky though because I can recognise when things are getting bad and tighten the reigns so I don’t flare completely.

I know it seems hard but it is worth it in the end!

What are your diets like? How do you cope with food?

Tips for a festival

As I’ve been away for a long time, I need to fill you in on a few adventures that I have had, first things first, a festival.

In August, I went to Reading festival. I won’t lie, I was feeling very apprehensive about this but I really wanted to go.

There were so many things that could go wrong.

What if I have to camp far away and I can’t get to toilets in the middle of the night?

What if the toilets are so disgusting I can’t use them?

What if I have to poo in a bush/bucket?

What if I have an accident in my tent because I got drunk, passed out, and couldn’t wake to use the bathroom.

What if, what if, what if?

Emailing the organisers of the event, I found that because of my need of the toilet urgently, and the fact I use it so frequently, I was actually entitled to use the disabled part of the campsite.

The relief was insane. The fact that I could get access to close toilets, not only on the campsite, but in the arena as well, was such a weight off my shoulders.

I packed a RIDICULOUS amount of toilet roll, enough for a small family. Could you imagine being in a stinky portaloo, your busting, about to poo yourself and you have no toilet roll?

None to put on the seat, and none to wipe your bum.

The thought actually brings me out in a cold sweat.

Baby wipes and antibacterial gel are your best friends. Pack plenty.

Loperamide. I took so many tablets I only had to get up once in the night. On the other side I did have a bit of a bloated tummy but its better than having some kind of accident!

Water. Drink lots of water but do try to bring dioralyte with you if you’re feeling a little dehydrated.

I forgot to bring any but luckily they had an onsite pharmacy which I could buy some from. It was very expensive so bring some with you.

Paper towels for your bum. I didn’t want to sit on the seats so I would give it a wipe and put paper towels down. They’re a little thicker than toilet roll so I felt a little more comfortable parking my bum on the seat.

Food. Now I am still trying to avoid wheat where possible but it was quite difficult at the festival.

The first night we had a barbeque which meant I could limit the wheat intake, but after that it was quite tricky as wheat is everywhere. If you do have dietary requirements, have a browse of what you could pack with you that won’t spoil over the few days.

Or you can risk it, like me. It wasn’t too bad, but by the last day I was starting to feel it a little bit.

Enjoy yourself. I was a little bit worried about going to the festival, a little too worried about all the possibilities of what could go wrong, so I was a little tense. Have fun and enjoy the experience.

I would definitely go to another festival. If I could offer any more advice it would be to watch out for long periods of time on your feet. If you’re prone to dizzy spells and getting hot easily, like yours truly, just take 15 minutes out to have a bit of a sit and some water, and I am sure you’ll be fine.

Listen to your body, it will tell you if you’re pushing it a little too hard!