On Digestion - 13 Apr 2017

OK, so, upon reflection, it's actually more important to me that I get my digestive issues sorted out than it is to lose abdominal fat. I know this, because I spent the week trying to get my digestive issues sorted out, and not giving a damn about my waistline.

After three days of intestinal hell, I decided to do some more reading on SIBO and FODMAPs. I took everything that I was reading with a large grain of Himalayan salt, but one thing stuck: some people have been able to cure their digestive issues with probiotics.

Now, this isn't news to me.

I've even had it happen to me, personally; I was able to get myself somewhat functional again a few times by eating Greek or Icelandic yogurt several times a day for several days in a row, as a meal or a snack. The problem is that it wreaks havoc with my skin, especially my hands, and oddly, the outer edge of my right index finger. (Never figured that out.) There are also a ton of ethical issues around consuming dairy. (I'll leave this here, again. It is, by far, the tamest video I've ever seen that still gets the point across.)

I had tried probiotic pills in the past, but the only effect I noticed out of them was a weak correlation between my taking them and my declining ability to eat wheat without side-effects. It would be a long stretch to actually blame them for it, though, so I won't.

I've eaten plenty of spontaneously fermented foods: kim chi, sauerkraut, natto, tempeh, and kombucha, to name a few, but I can't say that I've noticed a positive effect from them in a long time. I still eat raw sauerkraut several times a week, usually as part of my dinner.

On a whim, I decided to give coconut yogurt another try. Coconut is hit or miss for me; there are times when it goes down fine, and times when it upsets my stomach. To my delight, right next to the So Delicious yogurt was the new Silk yogurt, now with a V on the side of it. Apparently Silk worked out whatever issues it had with producing vegan yogurt, and their new yogurt line is now vegan. (Also, interestingly enough, there are numerous label similarities between Silk and So Delicous. Never mind, apparently WhiteWave scooped up So Delicious around the same time it scooped up Vega.)

So, coconut and soy yogurts in hand, I headed home. I had a coconut yogurt (strawberry and banana) before dinner, and I was OK after dinner. I repeated the experiment with breakfast, and dinner tonight. Before lunch I had some kombucha, and after my run I had a Vega One bar, which includes probiotics. Now, sitting here, I can feel a tiny bit of bloating, but it's nowhere near as bad as it has been. I also picked up a probiotic supplement, with several strains of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, and without any Bacillus strains, since the risk of infection with Bacillus strains seems to be higher. Bacillus bacteria are all spore-forming, and capable of surviving harsh conditions, including, apparently, antibiotics. Ouch.

That being said, I do have a small supply of another product which does contian Bacillus coagulans. I'll be trying out as well, at some point, but I don't see myself taking it daily unless I notice a significant benefit.

Anyway, here's the plan, for what it's worth:

  1. Eat a fermented food with active cultures before each meal. Non-dairy yogurt, kim chi, sauerkraut, and kombucha are my top picks.
  2. Take a daily probiotic with several Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium.
  3. Eat three meals per day; add a small meal when needed for running.
  4. Continue to eat fully vegan.
  5. Keep running.