Life without Anorexia

My motto is
'Dont let the sadness of your past & the fear of your future ruin the happiness of your present'

My life at the moment is completely different to how it once was. I spent 5 years sick with anorexia nervosia and depression as well as struggling with self harm and overexercising. I spent 2 years in different treatment centres.
And since 2012 i have been declared healthy from my eating disorder.

I have been blogging for 7 years, and my whole journey is written in my posts. I now represent healthy and happiness. I want to show anyone struggling that it is possible to recover, no matter how hard it may seem.

I now blog about recovery, my life, veganism and positivity!

If you have any questions leave them in the comment section as i am much quicker at answering there, otherwise you can always send an email: lifewithoutanorexia@hotmail.com

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Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Eating low FODMAP as a vegan

So... as i have written on pretty much all my other social media apart from my blog, the past 3 days i have followed a FODMAP ( Fermentable Oligo-saccharides Di-saccharides Mono-saccharides and Polyols) diet. This is because of a school assignment where we could choose between either a glutenfree diet, low carb diet, FODMAP/ibs diet, or an energirich diet for those who need to gain weight/have nutritional deficiency/hard to eat. 

The assignment is to try a new diet... one that would preferably make us change our diet alot, to experience how it would feel to have to change your diet suddenly due to an illness. Having to maybe make diet changes which you dont want to... having to cut food out which you like but cant eat because of your illness. But also to reflect on how to eat as nutritionally as possible not to mention if it impacts our social life, eating out, our food expenses, time spent cooking or thinking about food and what advice we would give to people in our same position but with an actual illness. After the 3 days we will calculate how much we ate and look at the vitamin and mineral amount and compare to our previous diet registration so we can see how our intake has changed from having to follow the diet... whether it maybe got better or worse.

Image result for low fodmap foods
Image result for low fodmap foods


My first thought was, this will be fun - i like the practical assignments and i think its great ot have experience and knowledge about different ways of eating when i i will help people in the future. But then when it came to choosing what diet i didnt know which to choose... i didnt want to do lowcarb and gluten free wouldnt be much difference in my diet and i didnt feel like doing the energyrich diet (been there done that, hahah!) so i decided to choose the ibs diet.... though i didnt really think about what it entailed until people began to ask "wow, can you really follow that diet as a vegan". Then i did my research and realised that the ibs diet is basically to limit som fiber rich foods which can be irritants and cause bloating, gas or pain. And my diet has ALOT of fiber. So many vegetables, soya products, oats, nuts, seeds, fresh veggies and frozen veggies etc and almost all of those have to be limited or not eaten on the diet.

With some research i did manage to compose a somewhat nutritionally dense meal plan. Of course i shouldnt be following a meal plan, instead eating like normally but i atleast wanted some back up meal ideas so i didnt just sit there eating tofu and potatoes because i didnt know what else to make.

What did i eat the past 2 days? Oats, and maybe not to the recommendation of FODMAP haha. The recommendation was 30g but i need at minimum 60g! Blueberries, banana, peanut butter, some oatmilk but less than usual. Tofu, carrots, lots of potatoes, seitan, rice cakes with spread (i didnt know if vegan butter was ok or not, but as avocado and PB should be limited and no hummus it was my only option), some nuts and seeds but not in the same amount. I wont go so much into food as i havent calculated my average food intake yet, but i can  write about that and the comparisons in another post if anyone is interested.

What are my thoughts about eating FODMAP as a vegan.... its hard? Of course FODMAP is only supposed to be followed for a few weeks and then successivly add more fiber rich foods so its not a life long diet, instead something that might be able to help many. However as this was just a school assignment and i dont suffer from IBS i wasnt fully motivated to do it 100% accurate, i.e i'll eat more than just the recommended 15 almonds and 30ml oatmilk. 
As a vegan who gets most of their protein sources from soy, oat or even pea protein it can be hard to get enough protein when those sources are cut out. Tofu, tempeh and seitan (in small amounts) are ok according to the diet however in sweden those 3 products are alot more expensive compared to the frozen fake meat products made out of soya. And not to mention that i ate 1 block of tofu per day and that would not be economical in the long term. Also lentils and beans - another protein source had to be limited or taken out, which once again limits a vegan diet alot as suddenly things like bean burgers, falafels, chillis, lentil soups etc cant be eaten. However quinoa is ok to eat and that is a complete protein source and if it wasnt that quinoa is so expensive i would have eaten alot of that these 3 days!

And the vegetables which were ok to eat were mostly fresh vegetables such as cucumbers, tomatoes, different sprouts, lettuce, a bit of kale etc and here in sweden those vegetables arent locally grown so they cause a lot higher climate impact than buying local cabbage or other vegetables, not to mention that they have a lot less vitamins and minerals compared to legumes and pulses, so basically they are more expensive, less vitamins and minerals, less filling and higher impact on the climate.... i.e thats why i very rarely buy lettuce, tomatoes or cucumbers.

I also found it hard when buying food... i had to double check my list all the time, i couldnt just go into the store and grab a snack (or well, bananas and rice cakes was the easiest to just grab and go), and i didnt feel so full from just eating salad and tofu and potatoes when at work. Or it wasnt until after i finished work that i realised just how hungry i was and that i hadnt eaten enough that day. As a vegan i dont actually check labels so much, only when buying new products or when i see a food which might be vegetarian or might be vegan, but otherwise i dont find that it takes long time or effort to food shop... i know what i want, i know whats vegan and i dont feel restricted. Now suddenly when i was going to food shop i felt restricted, food i wanted which i couldnt buy or eat, i had to double check on my list and in the ingredients to see that the food didnt have wheat or onion or garlic. I had to measure my food at home, double think about what was ok and not ok to eat. Of course if you follow the diet for a long time im sure it wouldnt feel as hard, its always the first week or two which is the hardest but i did feel restricted and everything took more energy and time.

I dont like diets, i find them time consuming and tiring. I dont want to think about my food or about what i can or cant eat, i dont want to feel restricted in my eating or have to check labels about what i can or cant eat.... of course you may be thinking, but isnt it the exact same thing as a vegan? No its not. Because with veganism its also a lifestyle and there are ethical reasons behind my choices, i dont want products with milk or egg in them, i dont want a sandwich with meat in it, its more than just food. So for me i dont want non vegan foods and im lucky enough to live in a country where  there are vegan options of most foods and so much variety so its not hard. Its not time consuming to shop or eat and doesnt affect my social life or my energy/nutritional status.... but following this diet affected all of that.

Did i feel a difference eating this way? I felt more hungry, i felt a little irritated but otherwise not really. I missed sweet potatoe and avocado and lentils and beans. I missed my huge kale/salad bowls and my lentil soup, but otherwise the food i ate was tasty and it worked. If you struggle with IBS im sure this diet could work and its not a life long diet, but instead to see what foods irritate your digestive system and which dont. However know that it is restrictive and maybe cutting everything out at once isnt the best if you struggle with an eating disorder.

This type of diet is supposed to help with stomach pain and bloating and if anything... its give me more stomach pain. I dont know if this has to do with stress though as my days are very busy and trying to do so much at once, or it might be all the carrots i have eaten. Even if carrots is seen as a low FODMAP food, its a food that bothers my stomach so i really shouldnt have eaten so much carrots as i did, haha. 

Is it possible to eat FODMAP as a vegan? Maybe for a short period of time, but i think it would be better to cut out certain foods over a longer period of time i.e if they dont cause a problem add them back into your diet and try it that way instead otherwise it might be hard to know which foods cause bloating/stomach issues if you cut everything out at once.

I could write so much about this, but i will keep it to my school assignment haha (dont want to be caught plagirisng just because ive written this online now... need to make sure i rephrase all my sentances XD The problem of wanting to share things on my blog!) And i might write a post about the nutritional differences after ive sent in my school work and done my reflection!

Have you tried FODMAP... as a vegan or non vegan? What were your thoughts?

4 comments:

  1. I think that's an amazing way to learn! Because even when you're a nutritionist, you can be more aware of the consequences of following those kind of diets so you keep your patients informed. :) I never really tried anything like that, but I'm aiming on low-gluten diet because I have Hashimotos thyroidistis so I don't tolerate most carbs very well. As a nutrition student, do you know which foods suit well with people suffering from hypothyroidism? What foods to eat and avoid? Thank you!

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  2. From what you've shared on your blog so far your studies seem very well designed in preparing you for your future career. I.e. assignments like this one that are going beyond just learning in theory but additionally give you the actual experience of potential clients.
    Regarding the fodmaps protocol: A blogger friend of mine has IBS so has to eat according to fodmaps 'rules' - not temporarily but all the time - so I knew a bit about the diet already. Not about the vegan way of following it, though. Being a huge fan of legumes, oats and the likes myself, I can imagine how hard it was to eat this way; let alone the social component or cost. A website you might find interesting:http://thefodmapfriendlyvegan.com/

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  3. I have IBS and due to food intolerances have been eating a vegan diet as not only do I agree with it for the ethical reasons, but it also means I can eat a wide variety of foods that are not restricted by my food intolerances.
    I followed the FODMAP diet and found it quite hard because of the restrictions on foods such as beans but I also found it very useful in that it helped me identify trigger foods for my IBS. I used to eat a lot of broccoli, cauliflower and sprouts but now know to cut that right out as it gave me so much tummy trouble.
    But generally speaking, following the diet didn't make a huge difference to me IBS wise and I found I had to cut out foods which I was pretty sure were ok for me, so that bit was hard as although they were deemed as not allowed on the FODMAP they caused no side effects for me so it seemed unnecessary. The biggest difference I guess was not feeling so full during meals and where I was cutting out foods that triggered my IBS I didn't get so much pain and bloating.
    Although I don`t follow it 100% now I still stick loosely to the guidelines as I have found this works well for me and I haven't attempted to reintroduce foods that became known triggers. I have also found that limiting my intake of some foods in terms of quantities helpful ie although kidney beans are not allowed I can tolerate small portions.
    Following this diet didn't completely make the symptoms of my IBS go away which was a disappointment as it would be so nice if it had! So I suppose what I can take from this is that my IBS isn't brought on by food alone - there are other factors such as stress maybe. It was beneficial in that it identified a few definite triggers which I now know to avoid or cut right back on, so that has helped.
    I think its great that your course has things like this in it for you to study as I think it will give you excellent insight and knowledge into just the kind of things you may well be recommending to your clients one day! And I think you always learn more from experience - so well done for completing the three days even though it meant you had to go without your favourite foods!
    I would be interested in reading what nutritional evaluations you obtained from this diet, whether eating in this way is just as healthy or not considering there are food restrictions, so if you decide to post about that, that would be great.
    Now you can enjoy your chickpeas again :)

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  4. I've also been diagnosed with IBS and although I've attempted to follow the FODMAP diet, I was too impatient to follow it completely. I also like a lot of the foods listed so I found it extremely difficult to do. I love sweet potatoes, hummus, apples etc. (Plus, a lot of the foods listed are where I get the majority of my fiber from, and ever since my year of constipation when I stopped eating, I have a fear of being constipated.) Luckily, my symptoms went away for the most part. I still can have some issues but I can deal with them. Everyone's different and like annoymous said above, it doesn't always help.
    I was just wondering, have you ever heard of people developing IBS or other digestive issues after their eating disorders? About a year ago I was having a lot of stomach "cramps" before being diagnosed. It's hard to explain quickly or even at all but I would get a weird pressurey feeling in my lower abdomen. My doctor said it had to do with me not eating enough or what I was eating. At that time I was only really eating fruits or other really "healthy" foods. Since then I have stopped but it took a few months for me to feel somewhat normal again, not that I even know what normal is anymore though.

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