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Old 06-16-2012, 12:54 PM   #1
Jo Hsu
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Nutrition Check-in, Considering diet changes... IBS meets Whole 30?

Hey guys, sorry for another one of those "check my nutrition" threads. I've been reluctant to track my calories/ratios/etc because it all seemed tedious to me, but I finally did it. I'm a creature of habit so I eat very similarly from day-to-day, so it actually wasn't all that painful.

About me:
Height: 5' 2.5"
Weight: 105lbs
Training: Following Justin's 70's big S&C program right now. Squatting 2x a week, Bench, Press, and Power Cleans 1x Week. Some occasional sprinting, metcons never more than 15 min, and occasional O-life skill work.

About two years ago, I was diagnosed with IBS. For the first year, I was absolutely miserable and had to go on prescription medication. After cleaning up my diet a bit, I started to feel a bit better and eventually dropped to over-the-counter antacids. Still, I get flare-ups about once a month and I'm getting really sick of it. I've ordered a copy of It Starts With Food and I'm considering trying something like Whole 30, though honestly it's never entirely appealed to me because it is so restrictive... but if it'll save me from digestive disturbances for one out of every four weeks, it'd be worth it.

Anyway! Right now, my day looks like this:

Breakfast: Deli turkey + 1 slice Galaxy Foods Rice "Cheese" (lactose intolerant) + 2 tbsp guacamole
Leftover Veggies sauteed in coconut oil

Pre-Workout: 1 Quest Protein Bar + 2 TBSP Almond or peanut butter

Post-Workout: 1 scoop Nitrean +, 1 handful spinach, 1 handful mixed berries, 1/2 cup mashed sweet potato

Lunch: Sauteed Veggies (in coconut oil) + canned salmon (or some other small serving of protein) + 1 cup dry roasted edamame

Dinner: Sauteed Veggies (in coconut oil) + ~3 oz roasted chicken breast + 1 tbsp coconut oil

Snacks: I'm a muncher, so I usually end up reaching for some berries/almonds/jerky throughout the day. Sometimes I'll snack on pieces of avocado too. I also usually have a cup of coffee with soy or almond milk.

Based on one day's tracking, I'm at 2163 cals, 174g carbs, 85g fat, 202g protein

I've actually seen rather good, consistent gains on this program. I've put on muscle and some fat (though I'm not too worried about that at this point. Performance is my big concern so as long as I can lift both heavy things and myself, I'm okay. If the latter goes away, I'll start freaking out ). Looking at my ratios, though, it might seem like I'm getting too much protein and not enough fat? How would you suggest I revise my diet to adjust those proportions?

Also, I'm not hugely concerned about the big soy scare. Being Asian I grew up on tofu and edamame and never reacted poorly to it... but I think it might be the protein overload that's irritating my gut? So perhaps I should drop the soybeans for something lower in protein, but then should I go for something carb-centric or fat-centric?

Thanks for the help!
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Old 06-16-2012, 01:09 PM   #2
Eric Montgomery
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Re: Nutrition Check-in, Considering diet changes... IBS meets Whole 30?

If you're dealing with IBS or a sensitive gut I'd be more worried about the food choices themselves than I would about the macro ratios. You may see improvements by cutting out anything with gluten or dairy--check the labels on your jerky and protein bars (or even the deli meat) for gluten or wheat byproducts. I'd say there's almost a 100% chance that there's some suspect stuff in your protein bars, and a pretty high chance that there's some in the jerky or processed meat.

Remember that the whey and casein in Nitrean are dairy byproducts...higher quality protein supplements like Nitrean are less likely to cause digestive problems than cheap stuff with questionable ingredients, but it is still a possibility.

Whole9 and Robb Wolf have published some stuff about soy and other legumes leading to increase gut permeability and irritation but that may or may not be an issue in your case.

With all this stuff you really don't have anything to lose by giving it a shot for a month...there's a chance that cutting gluten, dairy, and soy could improve your digestive issues, or maybe it won't have any effect at all. Only one way to tell.
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Old 06-16-2012, 01:36 PM   #3
Jo Hsu
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Re: Nutrition Check-in, Considering diet changes... IBS meets Whole 30?

Ha, Eric. As always, thanks for your quick reply. I picked these protein bars actually precisely because they're gluten and dairy free. Bizarrely, the jerky does have "nonfat dry milk powder" added, so I'll cut that. However, I know I still experience irritation on days that I don't eat it. You're right-- I should just give it a shot, I've just been dragging my feet for the usual lazy reasons. That said, do my macros look all right to you? And if I am still interested in lowering my protein intake, would you recommend carbs or fat? I'm not feeling weak/gassed during my workouts, so I'd assume more fat... right?
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Old 06-16-2012, 05:00 PM   #4
Eric Montgomery
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Re: Nutrition Check-in, Considering diet changes... IBS meets Whole 30?

Yeah, fat is usually the easiest way to add calories due to its density.

I don't see any particular need to decrease protein...yeah, you're on the high end even of the 1.5-2g per lb of bodyweight range that some people recommend for strength programs, but there's not really any negative effects to eating a lot of protein. Best answer there is the same advice...try a few different things and see what works best for you.
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Old 06-16-2012, 06:42 PM   #5
Joe Bernard
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Re: Nutrition Check-in, Considering diet changes... IBS meets Whole 30?

If you don't mind me asking, when you were miserable and had flare-ups what were your symptoms? Also, what medication were you taking? I wondering because I was diagnosed with IBS-constipation around two months ago and I'm pretty miserable everyday and am going to start taking Rifaximin as soon as my pharmacy gets the OK from my insurance company for coverage.

From personal experience, I agree with Eric's reccomendations. However, one thing that has helped me has been having greek or goat yogurt with breakfast, which might be because it is filled with probiotics. I also sometimes experience irritation on days where I eat solely paleo, and am fine on days where I don't, so it's weird. I'd also try avoiding cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower, these tend to be gas-forming and can cause issues with people with IBS. The most annoying thing with IBS is there's no one cure for everyone, so experiment and see.
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Old 06-16-2012, 06:43 PM   #6
Luke Seubert
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Re: Nutrition Check-in, Considering diet changes... IBS meets Whole 30?

Jo, as Eric mentioned, your IBS may be caused in part by gluten sensitivity. This is a condition which I have. I discovered this after going on a strict Paleo diet for many months, and then eating a lot of wheat based foods last Thanksgiving. My aunt also had the condition.

My research into gluten sensitivity led me to some online knowledge resources which you might find useful as you delve into whether or not you are gluten sensitive:While the video is about Celiac disease which likely doesn't apply to you, it does have a very worthwhile lecture on how to avoid gluten. If gluten is a problem for you, this section of the video will be very useful for you.
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Old 06-16-2012, 06:56 PM   #7
Jo Hsu
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Re: Nutrition Check-in, Considering diet changes... IBS meets Whole 30?

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Originally Posted by Joe Bernard View Post
If you don't mind me asking, when you were miserable and had flare-ups what were your symptoms? Also, what medication were you taking? I wondering because I was diagnosed with IBS-constipation around two months ago and I'm pretty miserable everyday and am going to start taking Rifaximin as soon as my pharmacy gets the OK from my insurance company for coverage.

From personal experience, I agree with Eric's reccomendations. However, one thing that has helped me has been having greek or goat yogurt with breakfast, which might be because it is filled with probiotics. I also sometimes experience irritation on days where I eat solely paleo, and am fine on days where I don't, so it's weird. I'd also try avoiding cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower, these tend to be gas-forming and can cause issues with people with IBS. The most annoying thing with IBS is there's no one cure for everyone, so experiment and see.
Joe: I think my symptoms must be the opposite of yours. Food rushes straight through me when I have flare-ups, which is particularly obnoxious with training because it'll sometimes leave me feeling weak. I also just get bloated even on an empty stomach, which is uncomfortable and unpleasant The medication I was on was Bentyl. It helped, but I just didn't like having to take so many pills every day (Bentyl was in addition to two Prilosec...)

I agree that IBS is frustrating in the sheer diversity of its symptoms/triggers... I actually love cabbage and broccoli, but I avoid them these days because they give me issues as well...


Quote:
Originally Posted by Luke Seubert View Post
Jo, as Eric mentioned, your IBS may be caused in part by gluten sensitivity. This is a condition which I have. I discovered this after going on a strict Paleo diet for many months, and then eating a lot of wheat based foods last Thanksgiving. My aunt also had the condition.

My research into gluten sensitivity led me to some online knowledge resources which you might find useful as you delve into whether or not you are gluten sensitive:While the video is about Celiac disease which likely doesn't apply to you, it does have a very worthwhile lecture on how to avoid gluten. If gluten is a problem for you, this section of the video will be very useful for you.
I've considered it. It seems even more likely since my symptoms have improved since I've cut the cereal-- probably the most obvious wheat-based thing-- from my diet... I'll look into what else I'm eating might contain gluten. I foresee a tedious period of trial and error ahead of me...
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Old 06-16-2012, 07:05 PM   #8
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Re: Nutrition Check-in, Considering diet changes... IBS meets Whole 30?

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Originally Posted by Luke Seubert View Post
Jo, as Eric mentioned, your IBS may be caused in part by gluten sensitivity. This is a condition which I have. I discovered this after going on a strict Paleo diet for many months, and then eating a lot of wheat based foods last Thanksgiving. My aunt also had the condition.

My research into gluten sensitivity led me to some online knowledge resources which you might find useful as you delve into whether or not you are gluten sensitive:While the video is about Celiac disease which likely doesn't apply to you, it does have a very worthwhile lecture on how to avoid gluten. If gluten is a problem for you, this section of the video will be very useful for you.
The thing is, I eat paleo and avoid gluten as much as possible. I tried adding in oatmeal this past December and stopped after getting stomach pains awhile after eating them. I know I am gluten intolerant because I get stomach pains if I eat grains with any regularity (not the one time cheat meal or oatmeal once a week). The deviations from paleo that I do are greek/goat yogurt, potatoes, and almond milk. Regular milk doesn't agree with me, which is annoying because I need a good source of liquid calories to gain some weight. I've lost (and keep losing) weight unintentionally with this IBS and it's very frustrating; I also can't workout when I feel like crap.

Thanks for the links, I'll check them out tomorrow because I'm too busy watching the U.S. Open now heh.
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Old 06-16-2012, 10:29 PM   #9
Jo Hsu
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Re: Nutrition Check-in, Considering diet changes... IBS meets Whole 30?

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I've lost (and keep losing) weight unintentionally with this IBS and it's very frustrating; I also can't workout when I feel like crap.


I suspect that gluten doesn't sit well with me... I've been keeping my intake to a minimum, but haven't been vigilant about it. I'll try being truly clean and introducing things one at a time...

It's honestly a little relieving to hear I'm not the only one dealing with it... though finding solidarity in digestive disasters is kind of sad in and of itself ;p.
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Last edited by Jo Hsu; 06-16-2012 at 10:32 PM..
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Old 06-17-2012, 10:25 AM   #10
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Re: Nutrition Check-in, Considering diet changes... IBS meets Whole 30?

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Joe: I think my symptoms must be the opposite of yours. Food rushes straight through me when I have flare-ups, which is particularly obnoxious with training because it'll sometimes leave me feeling weak. I also just get bloated even on an empty stomach, which is uncomfortable and unpleasant The medication I was on was Bentyl. It helped, but I just didn't like having to take so many pills every day (Bentyl was in addition to two Prilosec...)

I agree that IBS is frustrating in the sheer diversity of its symptoms/triggers... I actually love cabbage and broccoli, but I avoid them these days because they give me issues as well...

I've considered it. It seems even more likely since my symptoms have improved since I've cut the cereal-- probably the most obvious wheat-based thing-- from my diet... I'll look into what else I'm eating might contain gluten. I foresee a tedious period of trial and error ahead of me...
I don't know how I missed your reply before mine last night, might be due to the U.S. Open being pretty tight. Anyways, while I am backed up most of the time, I also experience what happens with you about once every week or so and it also leaves me feeling weak. It's annoying because I'll have no appetite and not eat for a day or two, then that massive bowel movement happens, then I become starving literally the second I get out of the bathroom. I am not aware of Bentyl, but if Rifaximin works I don't care how many pills I have to take, my IBS is getting ridiculous with the amount of weight lost and my quality of life. This past week I couldn't eat anything for three out of the seven days

I love cabbage and broccoli as well, I still eat them but limit them, used to have them everyday.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jo Hsu View Post


I suspect that gluten doesn't sit well with me... I've been keeping my intake to a minimum, but haven't been vigilant about it. I'll try being truly clean and introducing things one at a time...

It's honestly a little relieving to hear I'm not the only one dealing with it... though finding solidarity in digestive disasters is kind of sad in and of itself ;p.
I just noticed today that the pre-made sides (potatoes + broccoli) I get from Wegman's have a chance of cross-contamination from wheat due to shared production area, so I might cut that out and see how it goes.

I agree, but at least we can share what has and has not worked so we can keep progressing to eventually living without the flare-ups, which for me happen at least 1-2x/week.

Did your doc prescribe you to up your fiber intake? Since I'm backed up more often than not he has me taking Miralax twice a day and supplementing with fiber and/or flax seeds. I try to get 30g per day, but other sites have said that sometimes you need to eat less fiber because being backed up might be due to too much fiber. This is why it's so annoying, there is no one fix.

Last edited by Joe Bernard; 06-17-2012 at 10:45 AM..
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