So, a lot has happened over the last two weeks. I have shifted to the repair stage and have been to see a few different alternative practitioners. It’s all about the healing process now, so I’m attempting to heal in every way possible. Here are a few things I have done to help things along..

I went to see Sarah Hanrahan, an osteopath, to see if there was anything out of place so as to make sure my body is working to its full potential. She informed me that there were no gaps between the vertebrae in my lower back and that’s where a lot of nerves to my gut are usually located. So she worked at loosening up those vertebrae. I was not sure what effects this would have, but my shoulders definitely feel less tense than they usually do.

I also had some acupuncture done by Marion O’Donnell. She told me (in Chinese medicine) that I’m “spleen qui deficient”, which makes a lot of sense having read about it. I also carry a lot of damp in my body and too much heat. I have only had one session so far, but interestingly I had a reaction to my soup on that day and felt some pain after eating, and I haven’t had any bloating at all since then,  a week ago now.

I decided to get tested for SIBO (Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth), so I could rule that out, and I am happy to say that the test was negative.

I reintroduced onions this week and didn’t have any bloating afterwards which made me very happy. I also tried sauerkraut (fermented cabbage) for the first time and had no reaction at all.

I had a small break-out on my chin which I was hoping was just my body’s way of detoxing. I did get a little worried that I had gone a bit too far on my remove stage and I’d cleaned myself out too thoroughly. But it’s clearing up now, which is a relief.

I moved on to some healing supplements, namely a multi-vitamin & mineral plus extra vitamin C & Zinc. I’m still having bone broth every day to help heal the gut.

I’ve done more research and found some more conflicting ideas about our gut microbiome. Some doctors/therapists are suggesting plant-based diets while others propose the paleo approach. Some say to exclude FODMAPs and others are keen to include as many as possible. Some say we shouldn’t ingest essential oils and others insist that they are highly effective for gut healing. All this makes it extremely difficult to be sure that you are doing the right thing for yourself.

I have managed to go out socialising and dancing a few times and not felt the need to drink alcohol. I sometimes enjoy a glass of wine if I go for a meal, but it’s only usually once a week. This has been a huge accomplishment for me as I was dreading this part of the protocol and wasn’t sure if I would go out much because of it.

The first time I went to the cinema in January I really missed eating popcorn, but now I’m not even tempted by it. And I steered clear of cheese this week because I felt I had been eating too much of it.

Here are a few things I consumed over the last two weeks that are worth mentioning.

I marinated a wild caught tuna steak in lime & coriander, pan seared it and had it with grilled gem lettuce heads & lemon. I left the tuna rare in the middle as it’s much more tender and juicy that way.

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I pan seared a mackerel fillet with aubergine, thyme & lemon. Mackerel is one of the healthiest fish you can eat: wild caught, it’s full of omega 3 essential fatty acids and being a small fish it doesn’t have as much mercury content as bigger fish like tuna would have.   

I had a friend over for dinner on Friday evening, so I roasted a whole duck with orange zest & Chinese 5 spice and had a nice rare breast with roasted celeriac chips, courgette and tomatoes with cinnamon & orange juice.

Conclusion:

I feel like I have achieved so much in the past 11 weeks and I’m suitably proud of myself for managing to keep it up, although I must admit it has been very tough on occasions. At the same time I think it’s important not to become totally obsessed with the whole process, so I’m trying to relax a bit more and  not put quite as much psychological  pressure on myself to achieve my desired results.

If I don’t achieve everything I set out to do, I will still be happy with what I have achieved. There have been so many positives so far:

·         I proved to myself I have the dedication and will power.

·         I found a new love for yoga.

·         I have lost over ½ a stone.

·         I feel I don’t need alcohol when socialising or going dancing.

·         I can eat onions & garlic and feel happy inside.

·         I have built up some great recipes.

·         My creativity has flourished.

·         I’ve had more time & energy to focus on my hobbies like photography, mixing records, hiking & cycling.

I’m at a point now where I need to make a decision about where to go from here. My instinct is to continue with the specific carbohydrate diet and hopefully I will feel fine with FODMAPs from now on. I am going to be eating lots of fermented foods thus encouraging the garden in my gut to flourish like it should. I will get tested again when I feel it’s the right time. I will keep you updated when I do!