Saturday, May 26, 2012

Low Residue, FODMAPS, and Why I'm Not Motivated To Cook

The "foodie" in SoleFoodie is dead. Here's why:

Following my hospital discharge I was instructed to eat a "low residue" diet. The goal of the low reside diet is to increase intestinal transit time. This means little to no fiber. The hospital pamphlet encourages the consumption of refined white bread products, cereals,  and potatoes. They restrict the consumption of nuts, seeds, any fruit that has seeds, coconut, any meat product with a casing, and most raw vegetables.Basically the opposite of how I normally eat. 

The day of the North Face 50 miler found me spectating instead of racing. Needless to say my morale was an up and down helter skelter affair. I was glad to be up and moving and out of the hospital bed; but not so happy to have 4 months of training seemingly down the drain. Then I saw a Dunkin Donuts sign. Normally a donut with its offending wheat and sugar is not something I make a habit of eating, but in a moment of self-pity I could not say no. Plus it fit the low residue diet plan.Doctor's orders! As the other ordered coffee I stepped up to the plate and picked out a dozen not realizing that no one else wanted any. 9 donuts later my morale morale was satisfied and my sugar rush was buzzing out of control.

After two weeks of following the low residue diet plan to the letter I decided something had to give. My gut was back and forth. Some days I felt great other days had me wondering whether the pain was coming back. I was eating crap. The low residue diet is basically no different from the Standard American Diet (SAD) and didn't seem (isn't) conducive to long term health. I checked out the Perfect Health Diet blog and sure enough they had a few articles on bowel disease

Following the advice of Paul Jaminet of the perfect health diet and  I am back to wheat free, dairy fee, sugar free, and am staying fiber free after a dish with plantains ripped me up for a day. Nightshade vegetables are out as well so good bye potatoes and tomatoes. 

I was consuming large amounts of coconut milk, mixing it with homemade chicken stock to flavor the copious amounts of ride I was eating, but after reading an article by Chris Kresser titled "coconut milk may not be your friend" I decided to cut it from the dwindling list of allowable foods. Plus it seemed to be annoying my stomach. 

Constant internet sleuthing led to the discovery of the FODMAP diet. This diet is for people with IBS and limits consumption of the following: Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols. That quite literally takes the cake. I like science, but a polyol? WTF! You have got to be kidding. 

Fortunately the FODMAP diet was not much different from Jaminet's bowel disease diet. A few more things to remove from the list included avocado's, applesauce, honey, and onions. I usually mix honey with brown rice syrup, molasses, and maple syrup. Unfortunately that sugar combination doesn't sit will in the gut either. 

At this point there isn't much left to eat. Whether my problems stem from inappropriate levels of gut bacteria, psychological issues, or carbohydrate absorption issues I am officially on a low food diet. My gut feels fine on rice, sweet potatoes, bananas, grass fed beef, heritage pork, wild caught salmon, and eggs (even eggs are questionable as Jaminet suggest the protein in the white can cause issues).

Perhaps now you can understand why the "foodie" in SoleFoodie is dead.  

Although these gluten free banana pancakes are pretty tasty after a long trail run.



  1. Hi, this was written such a long time ago. I cam across your post because I am essentially going from just a low fodmap diet to adding in low residue plus I can't eat anything that causes gerd and recently potatoes seem to be a problem. Are you still eating this diet?

  2. I found this post the day after my doctor put me behind on FODMAP and added low-residue diet. I also already know I'm sensitive to wheat, soy and dairy. It does take the foodie right out of you, doesn't it? There's not much left to eat! I hope you've found relief.