Hello everyone,

If you follow me on Instagram, you probably already know that last week I had my first appointment with a nutritionist at Earth Suit Nutrition in Guelph, Ontario. After having no real luck with the FODMAP diet and struggling to find answers to my digestive issues and IBS diagnosis, I am really hoping that this is going to help me to figure out what foods I am able to eat and what is causing all my problems! In addition to learning more about IBS and hopefully getting rid of the general uncomfortableness I am constantly feeling, I would also love to get rid of some more of the excess weight and balance out my hormones to help with my anxiety as well.

I met with Jumanah Beck via skype and had a long conversation about all the different symptoms I have been experiencing to date. It felt really good to have the total attention of a health professional actually interested in asking me tons of detailed questions. My regular doctor is usually an “In-and-Out: Everything is going to be fine” type of gal. She gave me a lot of information about how different nutritional deficiencies can have a myriad of different side effects – including stubborn weight and fatigue. She flagged that she thought my iron stores were too low, especially after taking iron supplements for a year. Unfortunately, skype stopped working towards the end of our appointment so I wasn’t able to ask all of the questions that I had. So – I have made a list for our next appointment this week and will keep you posted as I learn and find out more information.

Her treatment so far is a pretty intense meal plan, where everything I eat is prescribed and portioned out: breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinner. No wheat, no desserts or sweets, and no foods outside of those on the list I was given. I was pretty bummed that she wants me to start eating meat again until I address some of the deficiencies and we can figure out what is going on. I definitely let her know that it was something that I didn’t feel too good about, but I agreed to do it because I really am desperate to feel better and find out what is wrong. She agreed to limit the amount of meat to chicken, turkey, and fish.

I started the meal plan about a week ago and I wanted to show you some examples of what I am eating and let you know what I thought so far. It has been difficult – especially when there are treats in the house or in the office. I am actually writing this blog from Kitchener this week, and it has been even harder to eat the proper meals while I am away from home. The food has been really surprisingly good though – especially since a lot of the meals are something that I never would have thought of trying before now.

So, without further ado – here are some pictures of the food that I have been eating over the last week!

 

Breakfast

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For most of my breakfasts, I am having 1 & 1/4 cups of puffed rice cereal, 1/4 cup of blueberries, and a pinch of stevia with almond milk. I wanted to make sure to buy a nice high quality puffed rice that did not have any added sugar, so I have been buying bags of Nature’s Path Organic Rice Puffs. This is actually a very tasty and filling breakfast! Definitely something I will be continuing to eat and try with other fruit combinations.

013This meal actually doubles as a breakfast and dinner option on the meal plan. Two eggs scrambled with salsa and veggies (spinach, onion, zucchini, bell peppers) and an Ezekiel 4:9 English Muffin. This was a really interesting meal for me to try for two reasons 1) I had never tried salsa with eggs before and I really didn’t think I would like it, and b) I do not like traditional English muffins! I was pleasantly surprised however that 1) salsa with eggs was pretty tasty and 2) this brand of English muffins is very different from the usual kind! They are sweet and dense – so yummy! I wasn’t 100% sure if my vegan butter was allowed as part of the meal plan, but I put a small amount on top. This is a great meal and very filling!

 

Lunches and Dinners

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A meal which makes a number of appearances on my meal plan is a combination of grilled fish (cod, haddock, or trout) with stir-fried veggies (bok choi, asparagus, mushrooms, spinach, onions).  This picture is grilled lemon and dill trout on top of bok choi with a bit of kale, swiss chard, and onions. I love these meals – so simple to make and so yummy. You can have as many veggies as you want (I tend to really fill up the plate) and it makes great leftovers – perfect for next day lunches!

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A similar combination is grilled fish (usually haddock) on top of a basic spinach salad. In this picture, my salad includes a variety of veggies (carrots, onions, bell peppers) with a light homemade balsamic vinaigrette.  This is a meal that I ate before starting this meal plan so it is still a favourite for me! So healthy and filling – once again, you can have as many veggies as you want! This was a bit of a cheat picture, though. In the first few days of the meal plan, I had some leftover fish to use up so this is a very lightly breaded filet. Not something I am having anymore (no bread in the meal plan!).

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This is one of the only meals that includes chicken – a grilled breast on top of strawberry spinach salad (8 sliced strawberries, 1/2 cup of blueberries, 1 red bell pepper, spinach, and raspberry vinaigrette). I used garam masala spices on the chicken in this picture, since I am allowed to use a wide variety of spices as part of the meal plan. I loved how the spices contrasted and combined with the sweetness of the fruit. One of my favourite meals!

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This dish appears very often on the meal plan – stuffed squash! It calls for acorn squash, but as you can see in the pictures I have also tried it with delicata squash – both worked well! You cook the squash as your normally would (cut in half, 20 minutes on each sideat 350 degrees) and prepare stir fried turkey and veggies (spinach, zucchini, onion). Put all the ingredients inside the squash, top with 2 tbsps of shredded goat cheese and cook for an additional 15 minutes at 375 degrees. It is usually paired with a side of steamed bok choi or green beans. It does take a while to make, but it is really yummy and very filling. I find a medium sized acorn squash is enough for 2-3 meals! Great for the fall and winter when squashes are in abundance.

 

Those are all the photos I have for now! My next appointment with Jumanah is later this week, so let me know if you want me to keep documenting the journey so far and what the next steps will be. I can also check in when I have the next segment of the meal plan and post pictures of some of the new dishes she is having me eat! I have a lot of questions to ask her and I really want to know more about why she chose some of the foods that she did so I can begin learning the role that different foods will play in impacting my IBS.

As far as my symptoms go, I haven’t really seen any drastic results but I know that it is the only the first week out of a long term process. My friend who went to see Jumanah said that she really began seeing results after about 3 months on the program, so I know I just have to stick in there and hope that it will be worth it in the end. I really hope that I am doing the right thing!

Thank you so much for stopping by and I will see you next week!

-Courtney xoxo