Thursday, 20 May 2010

Rediscovering good digestion

My wheat free ways of the last two days seem to have restored my tummy, for now. In France I was eating wheat at pretty much all my meals, and not just eating, but positively gulping it down.
I have been eating grains, but only small amounts of oats and brown rice. Everything else has been fruit, vegetables and a small amount of beans and seeds (no nuts) and of course some olive oil for flavour and gut soothing, rough skin repairing fats. Chocolate still exists on my recovery menu, but only in bar form, not choc desserts or anything. A little soy yogurt and vanilla rice milk to make breakfast interesting and that's just because I'm a weakling and need my comforts. Drinks have been plenty of water, peppermint tea and rooibos, and a significant reduction in coffee consumption, but unsweetened and unmilked, I don't think it does me any digestive harm.

The biggest "revelation" for me has been the importance of distinguishing between types of fibre, rather than just trying to eat as much as possible. It seems to me my tummy responds best to plenty of fruit and raw vegetables, and moderate amounts of oats (because of the mucilagey-ness I think) and some ground seeds (like flax, but not so good whole). Killers for me are wholemeal pasta, any sort of bread and All Bran cereal (uuuurrrgh, like eating wire wool although I love the taste).

I haven't been able to get my hands on any agar yet, but oat bran seems to be a good enough source of jellyish carbs for now, which definitely help soothe a wheat scratched tum.
Today's food:
Birchermuesli made with apple, oats, vanilla rice milk, lots of strawberries, raspberries and some banana, and topped with a little plain live soy yogurt. I'd forgotten how well a predominately fruit-based breakfast agrees with me, and also keeps me sated and energetic. Weird how something can be so filling yet very light in the tummy. I need to remember this.
Mix for dinnertime burgers: soaked sunflower seeds, sundried tomato, parsley, smoked paprika, thyme and sauteed onion. I mixed in some cooked sprouted aduki beans and blended it up a good bit, but still let it chunky. I got the recipe from a French health food book I bought in Toulouse to read on the flight home:

The book seems to be vaguely macrobiotic, as the first chapters are about dried legumes and then grains, all the milk in the recipes is non-dairy, and there's a chapter on seaweeds.

I ate my burger with leftover lunch salad (brown rice, cucumber, celery, carrot, yellow pepper and pesto) and 2 cups of spinach and rocket. I had the salad for lunch with lots of plain lettuce and a dab of paprika hummus.

I had a banana and a few plain oatcakes for 11s, and a generous dousing of chocolate after my dinner (YUM)

I started back running again this morning, and despite all the walking, I found a short 3 miler quite tough(!) I suppose running is a whole different motion. It didn't help that it was incredibly sultry and muggy this morning, even at 6am I was roasting in very light shorts and tshirt. My walk home was great though. I was really able to switch completely off from my usual rushing forward in my head (I spend so much time planning planning planning the next thing I intend to do). I just listened to the rhythm of my feet on the pavement (I was wearing small heels today so got a nice clicky sound) and enjoyed just being content rather than consciously doing something. It so easy for me to skip into the trap of thinking I'll find happiness in the things I do, like cooking, reading, running rather than just letting go and not talking myself into needing to do things, just letting myself be, and forgetting about the passage of time, at least, not thinking of it as a disconcerting thing:)


  1. Those veg burgs look awesome! Thanks for the recipe!!!

    Speaking of recipes, we should totally band together and try to invent a cereal that tastes super-wheaty like All-Bran but contains no gluten at all. I'm with you, I miss my crunchy wheaty cereals!!!

    Sorghum would be a good grain to start with. Maybe sorghum and buckwheat, cooked, processed and dehydrated into flakes? Oooooh we should totally try to do this!

  2. What a good idea:) I've not tried sorghum before though, never seen it in the shops. I guess I could experiment with millet to start!
    I'll put the burger recipe up properly in my next post.