Saturday, April 8, 2017

Two Week Food Intolerance Test

I don't remember how I came across this website, I suspect it was on Facebook but it intrigued me.  I had packed on an extra 5 pounds this past winter, was feeling really blah & oh, had this little cancer diagnosis I was still processing.  I needed something to kick start my metabolism & originally planned to start the Sunday after the Quarter Horse.  I decided to pull it in a few weeks for a couple of reasons.  One was I already dialing the intensity down thanks to my lumpectomy & two, I wanted to be off the sugar & carbs prior to starting radiation.

I started the two week test on Sunday March 5th.  The test seemed really straight forward.  The Yes food list was short.  Lots of veggies, high quality meats & full fat dairy.  I estimated the hardest thing for me was going to be giving up the sugar in my coffee & all the fruits for two weeks.  I knew I could reintroduce fruits after two weeks but the daily sugar is gone forever.

I was already pretty good with Sunday meal prep so that didn't change too much.  I added a lot more meat to my meals - bacon, beef, pork, chicken.  Before I started the test I created a two week meal plan & grocery list. This helped significantly with the food prep & meals especially during the week when time is short.

Breakfast consisted of some kind of egg dish.  I started fancy with frittatas & souffles but  after a few days ended up eating an omelette every day.  Initially it was really hard for me to eat so much food shortly after waking up.  Before the test I was drinking a green smoothie loaded with fruit on the way to work. I figured out if I brought the omelette to work & ate it when I arrived it was much easier. My daily omelette consisted of 2 eggs, a splash of heavy cream, spinach, sautéed onions, peppers, bacon & cheese.  I drank coffee with heavy cream but no sugar.

Lunch was either a cabbage or spinach salad.  I would add carrots, sweet peppers, feta and/or blue cheese, toasted almond slivers & some form of meat - bacon/chicken/tuna.  The salad dressing was homemade - olive oil, balsamic, salt & pepper.

Cabbage Salad

Spinach Salad
Dinner was various meat - pork, chicken, fish, beef & veggies.  My favorite was an alfredo recipe that I altered to use 'yes' foods. I used heavy cream in place of the half & half & creme fraiche instead of the cream cheese.  I used my spiralizer for the zuchinni noodles.  I think I could eat this every day - it's that good.

For snacks I ate almonds, macadamia or pistachio nuts and string cheese.  I didn't keep track of calories at all.  I just ate to my hunger level.  The first few days I was really missing fruits.  I felt sluggish for the better part of the first week.  Day 5 & 6 I had a wicked headache.  By the second week I was not craving any foods & had high energy levels.  My legs still felt dead which was really noticeable climbing the 2 flights of stairs at work.

I took before measurements & weight and re-took them at week 1 & 2.  In two weeks I lost 6.2 pounds & just over 7 inches.

Here are the notes I took right after the 2 week test ended:


- No cravings. Not stress eating or feeling peckish. This was a huge problem for me.
- Sleeping better, not waking up groggy. Another problem area.
- Garmin says I am getting over 1 hour more of deep sleep every night
- If I wake up in middle of night I fall back asleep right away. Prior to test I would toss & turn most of the night.
- Lost 6.2 pounds --> haven't been below 140 in at least 2 years.
- Lost a total of 7.25 inches across belly, hips & thighs


- Legs are dead on long runs. Even when changing intervals to 4 min walk / 1 min run. Legs really feel dead around 6 miles. Although, this test is supposed to occur in the off-season so long runs/races won't yield good results.
- Yesterday's 10 miler was a 4.8 of 5 effort. Even though I only ran 20% of the time.
- Weird taste in mouth. Ketones? Not sure what that this but read in the Q&A this may be the cause. This does make me brush my teeth more frequently so my dentist will be pleased.

Other Items of Note:

- If you are not used to food prep this will be a LOT of work. Also, our grocery bill went up but for me, my eating out bill went to virtually zero.
- Withdrawals will be dependent on how you are eating before the test. I ate veggies every day & limited my bread intake so it wasn't awful. I did have some nasty headaches on days 5&6 & I really missed fruit. I was also eating at least 5 servings of fruit everyday.

The past few weeks has been spent re-introducing 1 food serving per day. The order goes like this:

2Low-glycemic fruits (berries, grapefruit, prunes)
3Medium-glycemic fruits (apple, orange, pear, strawberries)
4Gluten-free grains (whole oats, brown rice)
5Grains with gluten, if not intolerant
61 teaspoon of organic honey with coffee or tea (excluding agave, or any other kind of sugary substance)

So far, fruits are OK but beans & sprouted bread is not.  A few hours after eating them my belly will feel bloated & I confirm this by my waist measurement.  Both cases my belly measurement was 2 inches greater.  Most days I notice a 1/4 to 1/2 inch difference between AM & PM measurements.  For the first week I was taking my belly measurement every morning & evening to see how the daily food affected me.  Now I am not so religious.  I am only measuring if I think something had a negative affect.  I can see how some folks could get obsessive over this.  That certainly wasn't my intent.

I am back drinking my green smoothie most mornings with modifications. Now my smoothie contains coconut cream or milk, spinach, carrots, a scoop of almond butter & 1 serving of fruit - either banana, blueberries or strawberries.

Green Smoothie Before

Green Smoothie After
My current favorite post test recipe is banana muffins.  Coconut flour is my new best friend.  These are surprisingly good.  The recipe makes a dozen & can be frozen.  These have been my mid afternoon snack.

Coconut Banana Muffins
I also made slow cooked steel cut oatmeal.  I used to make this recipe all the time.  The only modification I made was omit the brown sugar.

Slow Cooked Steel Cut Oatmeal
It's been 5 weeks now since I started the test.  I am down a net 5 pounds & my measurements are down 11.25 inches. Note that I actually gained back a pound but continued to lose inches over the following 3 weeks when compared to the post 2 week measurements. Personally, I really liked the test.  My husband on the other hand has not.  He isn't a fan of eating salads everyday. He also had terrible sugar/carb withdrawals, much worse than I had.  Now that he is re-introducing foods he is more aware of how foods affect him.  I think we are both glad we did the test but we certainly had vastly different experiences.   

Fitness wise, I still have the intensity dialed down due the cancer treatment. I am planning to do the MAF 180 test next since I already backed down my running to walking.  The timing for me to do these tests have been good.  This is something I have wanted to do for a long time but never had the proper motivation.  That is one good thing about this cancer diagnosis!  I am not sure I would have been motivated to do the 2 week test otherwise.

Happy, healthy eating everyone...

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