Let me summarize this blog for you really quickly so you know what you're getting into: ice cream, potato chips and red wine.
I've been notoriously open about the fact that I eat like a seven-year-old. I love fast food with an unabashed joy, and the last time I was anemic I remedied that with Filet Mignon and Cabernet. I'm an overachiever. I'm notorious for posting about nutrition a few times a year to remind everyone that I'm still not too serious about it. Actually that's not fair - it's not that I'm not serious about it, but it's really hard to figure out what works. That stresses me out, and as a result makes it hard for me to take it seriously.
Last summer I took at stab at going low FODMAP (eliminating certain sugars that are hard for your body to digest). When I went to see the nutritionist I explained to her that I have Crohn's, I run marathons (or a lot even when I'm not training for a marathon), I have the metabolism of a hummingbird and I have no large intestine. Figure that out, nutritionist. I get it...I'm a tough case. But she immediately started telling me that FODMAP was the option for me, and I knew it was because it was her latest thing. Every nutritionist I've ever seen has the book of the latest nutrition fad on his/her desk, and that'll recommend it every time regardless of what I say. She had the FODMAP book on her desk ready to recommend it to anyone who walked in.
But I was a trooper. I tried it even against my GI doctor's concerns. He was worried that my inability to absorb so many nutrients would make the FODMAP diet too restrictive for me,but I wanted to try it out. I did discover that my diet of constant bread and pasta was maybe a bit much. I figured out that limiting wheat did make me feel better, but I am constantly hungry. Sometimes that works, but when I start training (you know to break 20 minutes in the 5k), I'm starving all the time. I can't get enough food. And being hungry makes me angry. I'm not very good at it.
I'm even worse at running nutrition. The morning of the New York Marathon I ate a granola bar, had a handful of almonds and two cappuccinos. Breakfast of champions! Around the halfway point of the race I was starving. I drank water and Gatorade at every stop, but after nearly five hours of running I was famished. It wasn't the best training nutrition plan.
Here I am then back at square one. I'm still limiting wheat, but I'm not sure that's the entire solution. Maybe it's just part of it. I'd love to find some other colonless active person to help figure out how they make it work. Sometimes I'll finish a workout craving sugar (which is odd because I don't have a sweet tooth) or salt. I've been known to run on the treadmill in my office and immediately scarf down a bag of potato chips because my cravings are so strong. I've learned salt craving is related to low stored iron, so I down the potato chips and go easy on the self judgment. I'm still trying to figure nutrition out and realizing that I may never get it right.
I do know that being too restrictive of anything not only won't work for me, but it's annoying. I love food. We build vacations around good food. The idea of a meal replacement shake or other unsatisfactory food options just does not work for me. Life is too short to drink a meal (unless one is drinking wine instead of dinner which is totally different). For right now I'll keep trying to figure it out one meal at a time even if that meal happens to be Doritos. Seven year old appetites unite!