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Whole30 and Gastroparesis


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Hi. I'm on day two of my whole30. I have battled gastroparesis for almost two years and one thing that combats it is eating 6 small meals a day. I'm struggling with eating such big meals and waiting so long in between meals. Any tips? Will this subside?



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Welcome to Whole30 :) 

Many people struggle with eating 3 full meals in the early days. Our advice would be to plate a full template meal, eat from around the plate ensuring you get a littleof each food group, then wrap up the remainder to eat as soon as you feel able - your stomach should still get used to the increased volume in food.

That said, given your diagnosis is it possible that you are eating foods that are aggravating your stomach? Are you eating a lot of raw veg for instance? Or any foods that are new to you?

Perhaps if you could list what you have eaten over the past two days we can take a look and possibly suggest some tweaks for you.

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Thank you! I will definitely try that as opposed to forcing all the food down at once. I have been eating a lot of raw vegetables, but I always do. Before I begin the program, I ate crudités and hummus every day for lunch.

Here is my menu for the last two days:

Day 1:

Meal 1: sweet potato and a Bellpepper hash, three scrambled eggs and half a banana

Pre-workout meal: Half a serving of beef brisket and sweet potato and a Bellpepper hash

Post workout/meal 2: grilled chicken, crudités, spinach salad with cashew lime dressing

Meal three: pork chops, sauerkraut, cauliflower rice and a vita mix applesauce

I found my pre-workout meal to be too filling on day one so I adjusted it on day two.

Day two:

Meal 1:3 Sunnyside up eggs, Cauliflower rice and half an avocado

Post-workout meal: two egg whites and leftover sweet potato and Bellpepper hash

Meal two: left over pork chops and sauerkraut, crudités with cashew lime dressing

Meal three: I'm planning on making the whole 30 chicken cacciatore and Vita makes apple sauce with full fat coconut cream.

Thank you so much, I would appreciate any insight and help.

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Yeah, I find if I'm working out at any time other than first thing in the morning that I can just up the fat/protein in my earlier meal & forgo the preWO. And your postWO probably would have been enough with just the chicken & some veg - you don't want to be eating fat postWO as it slows down digestion & so hinders the absorption of protein when the muscles need it most. With those tweaks you may have actually squeezed in a third meal yesterday.

Today is looking better......

I'd probably cut back on raw veg to be honest. We see people struggling all the time when they eat them in abundance so maybe mix them up a bit for some more cooked.

Other than that my suggestion of eating what you can, and then eating the remainder of yiur meals as soon as you feel able still stands, and I'd say to make sure you are drinking enough water too - the recommendation is for half an ounce per pound of body weight, daily.

Hope this helps!

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  • 2 years later...

I also have gastroparesis, and I have started struggling with increased symptoms. I'm on Day 15, and for the most part, I feel amazing. More energy, clearer head, happier heart. However, the increase in protein and veggies in my diet has triggered my gastroparesis. More vomiting, more feeling full, and - here's the kicker - my waist has INCREASED by 4.5 inches due to bloating and distension. Needless to say, that has me feeling incredibly uncomfortable. It's even made yoga more challenging. I'm already eating four small meals instead of three, but it's definitely not grazing!

I went to the pharmacy this morning, and the pharmacist recommended Gas-X. I've never taken that before, but I'm hoping it will provide some relief. Here are my other thoughts:

1. Smoothies for breakfast with compliant ingredients. I know we're not supposed to have smoothies, but they're much easier for me to digest. It seems like a good compromise. Smoothie ingredients: chia seeds soaked in almond milk, more almond milk, berries and spinach.

2. Eat fewer raw veggies, opting for cooked instead.

3. Cutting my meat into teensy tiny pieces before eating it.

Any other helpful tips? I've been 100% compliant for 15 days, and I feel amazing. I love what I'm eating, and I love how I'm feeling -- except the increased gastroparesis symptoms!  I really don't want to quit now.

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Hi, @KrisBitz, I'm sorry you're having a rough time. I don't have personal experience with gastroparesis, so if some of what I say is useful but some is definitely not going to work or is against what your doctor would tell you, use what you can and ignore the rest. 

I understand thinking smoothies would be easier to digest. There are a couple of things about what you've listed that make me wonder how helpful they will really be. First, nuts and seeds, and anything made from them, can be inflammatory. They aren't a great thing to depend on every day or in large quantities (a serving size would be a small closed handful), because their ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 is off in a way that can contribute to inflammation. They are also just hard for many people to digest and lead to gas and bloating and other digestive issues, even for people who don't have underlying digestive problems. 

As an alternative, maybe consider soups, based in broth -- for best results, make your own broth from grass fed beef bones or free range chicken bones, but even store bought broth or stock would work. If it's hot where you are right now and the thought of soup is not appealing, look for chilled summer soups, like gazpacho or borscht or there are even avocado or cucumber soup recipes out there. The soups could be blended to be super easy to digest, but even just simmering the vegetables until they're soft should make them easier.

For meat, cutting it into small pieces, using ground meats, or using cuts that can be cooked "low and slow" to get super tender, falls apart when you stick a fork in it dishes may help.

You might also talk to your doctor about digestive enzymes, which can help break down proteins as you eat. You'd want to be sure they're okay for you to try and won't make your condition worse or interact with other medications. Probiotics -- either from fermented foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, or kombucha, or as supplements -- might help as well.

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I totally agree with what Shannon said. If you want to stick to a smoothie some days, consider replacing the almond milk and chia seeds with coconut milk and a protein on the side. Nuts aren't considered a protein source on Whole30, so that smoothie breakfast you listed actually doesn't have a protein. Maybe try having some chicken or other meat in addition to a veggie-heavy smoothie. But then again if cooking the veggies will help with digestion for you, the soups would be the easier way to go (cooked spinach in a smoothie might be kinda weird tasting). I had butternut squash soup with ground beef mixed in this morning and it was very good!

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