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digestive enzymes?

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Hey there,

On day 16! of my first Whole30. I will preface this by saying I've really been enjoying eating this way and definitely feel like I've gained a sense of control over snacking and sugar cravings, which is something I've never experienced.  I also think I'm sleeping better, have more energy, clearer skin and am just more focused. I am still experiencing a fair amount of gas/bloating/abdominal distention after meals, however, and am wondering if it's my portion sizes? Or if I need to add a digestive enzyme? 


Here's yesterday:

Meal 1 10am (I had the day off and slept in far later than my normal routine)

2 over medium eggs cooked in a tsp ghee

sweet potato topped with spinach/pulled pork

coffee with coconut milk


VERY full in the morning and some GI issues a few hours later. 

felt full all afternoon which was nice, as I'm normally a snacker/have had some trouble with making my

breakfasts filling enough


some fruit and 1/4 of an avocado after working out


Meal 2 5pm

pecan-crusted chicken

roasted zucchini and squash

collard/turnip/mustard greens cooked with compliant bacon and onions


Again, VERY full/distended after this meal.

I had zero hunger the rest of the evening and had some reflux as well followed by some bloating and gas

I should also add to this that I drink quite a bit of water, a 750ml bottle filled 4-5 times throughout the day.


This day was a bit atypical since I wasn't on my  normal work schedule, but I've definitely experienced similar GI symptoms on other days. I woke up this morning with zero appetite and still feeling a bit distended and uncomfortable. I know I shouldn't focus on the weight loss/how my pants fit just yet because it's still pretty early, but I feel so discouraged when I'm fighting this bloating all the time which is masking any weight/inches lost. It's hard to read about people noticing differences in the way their clothes feel at this point or earlier and not having any of that.  


Sorry this got a little long, but wondering if a digestive enzyme could help these issues? Maybe this seems like a lot of food but with breakfast I've found that if cut down the number of eggs or veggies I usually get hungry after only a few hours. Maybe I should reduce that meal and then have another mini-meal? Would be happy for any suggestions or thoughts.


Thank you!


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Guest WholeStanley

I had the exact same problem! It was so frustrating feeling great but also so bloated and constipated!


How is your water consumption? Sleep and stress?? ALso this is a little TMI but what are your stools like? (Mine were often floating which is a sign you're not digesting properly.


For me I knew I was drinking enough water and sleeping enough, and like you I had leafy greens and starchy veg in my diet so I felt like turning to a digestive enzyme was my only option left.


Last week I bought some enzymes and now have one with each meal, and also bought some unpasteurized sauerkraut (it has to be the right type to give your gut the good stuff) as I wasn't eating any fermented foods but heard good things about them on the forum for controlling digestion. At the beginning  i had two forkfuls with every meal, and now I have a couple of forkfuls once or twice a day, and it has made the WORLD of difference! Within a day I felt a difference, and now I am much more regular, no uncomfortable bloating and no more floaters (sorry for the tmi!)


I know not everyone has the same reaction but I would recommend digestive enzymes and/or fermented foods - I hope you have the same success!



P.s. Your meals look good to me although a Mod might have more input - the only advice I would give is to adjust your post work out snack - you should have lean protein in here rather than any fruit. How about some canned tuna or have a chicken breast mashed with avocado instead? It will make your muscles much happier!

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You are not eating too much! In fact, once you have your digestive problems worked out, you will need to be eating more.


You probably need to be on digestive enzymes. They won't hurt and they help a lot for many people. They help to digest protein and fat when your gut does not have enough of the bacteria it needs already to break them down. When you are not digesting well, you may feel bloated and full too long. Here is an article that offers guidance: http://whole9life.com/2012/09/digestive-enzymes-101/


Eating fermented foods to get probiotics naturally is a good thing. The proper sauerkraut, kimchi, or kombucha sells from the refrigerated section of stores because it includes living cultures. Anything in cans or bottles that are not refrigerated won't help. 


Your fruit and avocado snack after your workout fills your stomach, but does not help as a post-workout meal. Our muscles are especially open to eating for a short-time after our workouts - 15-30 minutes. Eating lean protein during this window is ideal for muscle recovery and growth. Eating fat with the protein is a problem because it slows digestion and keeps the protein from getting to the muscles fast enough to be maximally helpful. So you should not eat avocado or other fat sources as part of a post-workout snack. 


Review the meal planning template for more info: http://whole30.com/downloads/whole30-meal-planning.pdf

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Thank you so much to both of you for the response.  I'm going to go to the store after work today to pick up some kombucha/saurkraut and hopefully a digestive enzyme.  I'm hopeful that that thelps things. No need to worry about the TMI Stanley! I'm a nurse so it takes a lot to weird me out. My stools have definitely been floating the last couple of days so that's a good indicator I guess.  I knew that my post-workout snack wasn't ideal but I was out running errands and it was all I had so I had to make do! I do try to eat some chicken breast or something else like that most days after I exercise.  Thanks again for the recs, I'm hopeful to get things normalized with these additions.

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I scoured Whole Foods for a compliant digestive enzyme to no avail and have now been searching online...does this one look OK?




from the ingredient list I looked at it seems fine but I want to be sure before I spend the $30.


I also bought some kombucha and sauerkraut so I'll give those a go tomorrow. I had a miserable day of bloating and heartburn and am pretty eager to find a solution. These last few days have been rough and I'm definitely feeling discouraged. i want to finish out my second half of whole30 strong but it's hard to do when I feel so blah.  Thanks for the continued answers and support

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Hi guys


I'm on Day 8 of my first whole 30 / paleo way of eating and my first 6 days were fantastic!  I had a few days of meals (especially dinner, and more specifically osso bocco) just not sitting well and then my bowel motions showed for it as well the next day.


I did some reading on not having a gall bladder on the forums and started to take a digestive enzyme x 1 with each meal and started to feel better.  Then I bumped it up  2 with each meal and in the last few days to 3 (as per the info in ISWF).


However Day 7 and again on Day 8 every meal I have is just not sitting well on my tummy at all.  I feel full for hours (not in the satisfied way), my tummy & gutt feeling bubbly and a bit nauseous. I'm tired and lethargic because of it.  I'm either not going to the toilet and when I am it's like fatty liquid :(  (when previously I had very normal stools and was going to the bathroom regularly, it was like clock work).


I was reading through ISWF and this is suppose to be normal as my gut heals, but I guess I'm just a bit concerned because I don't have a gall bladder and the extra fat intake might be causing this, even with a digestive enzyme.  I've had my gall bladder out for over 3 years and haven't had any issues with it till now.


I came into the Whole30 eating very well.  It was easy to make the transition as the only things I needed to cut out where beans, legumes and wheat (morning oats mainly).  I was previously on a high protein, low carb and low fat clean eating diet.  So I feel like the biggest change for me is dealing with the extra fats I just haven't have had.


I guess I'm just looking for extra reassurance that this feeling will go away shortly, or any helpful hints on what I can do to make this easier and feel physically better.


Thanks x  ^_^

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