hadleym

Day 29, constipated and in pain :(

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I'm on Day 29 and feeling incredibly bummed and frustrated! I've followed the protocol, yet for the past week I've been so constipated and uncomfortable. Might be TMI for some folks, but I have gone 4-5 days without a BM, and the pain/discomfort is really starting to bring me down. My husband is urging me to ditch the Whole30, but I'm still holding out hope that it can work for me. 

 

Before the Whole30, I had a fairly slow digestive system, but no IBS. I was also eating 90% clean, but included some whole grains and added sugar. I've stuck to Whole30 for 28 days, minus a bit of bran oil on some grilled shrimp three days ago (only protein option available when out with others). 

 

I'm active, and work out (running, circuits, spin) 6 days a week. 

 

Example of my daily meals: 

 

Breakfast: 

Preworkout - bit of protein (egg or chicken) 

Postworkout - egg whites (2), small sweet potato, followed by 2 eggs and some veggies an hour later 

 

Lunch: 

Big salad, carrots, peppers, salsa, 1/2 cup guacamole, grilled chicken breast 

 

Snack: 

egg whites or mini larabar. occasionally an apple, 8 oz. kombucha 

 

Dinner: 

roasted vegetables or cauliflower rice, 1/2 avocado, ground turkey or chicken sausage, 

 

Occasionally 1T almond butter and 1/2 banana after dinner 

 

I also take a probiotic every night. 

 

Please offer any advice you can! Feeling so discouraged to end my Whole30 this way!! 

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Your meals sound too light to me. You have to eat salad by the bucket to get enough food. The steadiness with which you consume snacks also says your meals are too light. Your meals also seem to include a bare minimum of fat. You don't mention how much water you are drinking. Good bowel movements come pretty regularly when you are eating enough food, eating plenty of fat, and drinking plenty of water. We define enough water around here as 1/2 ounce of water per pound of body weight per day, not counting how much you might drink during a workout. So, try eating more food, more fat, and drinking more water. Eliminate all nuts and larabars as they can be hard on digestion. 

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There are a couple of things here.

 

Actually believe it or not - you are not eating enough - especially for one who is so active.  And when one is not eating enough - your body unfortunately tends to hoard on to things..... :(

 

Okay - Yes you have nailed your pre and post workout meals, but after having your post workout meal there should be a right and proper template breakfast. When eggs are your protein source they should be at least the amount of whole eggs you can hold in one hand.  For most ladies - that's 3 to 4.  I also did not see any added fat in your breakfast - cooking fat is truly negligible unless you make it point on scraping any remaining fat on your dish. 

 

Okay also another clue that you are not eating enough is that you are snacking in between meals.  Also Larabars - yeah - they are in one word ummmmm - c-o-n-s-t-i-p-a-t-i-n-g.  As are nuts and dried fruit.  Larabars are emergency food only - like I'm stuck in a 4 hour traffice jam and I still won't be getting home in another 2 hours type of thing.

 

I also notice you are eating a decent amount of avocado - which fine but gives me a whole bunch of digestive problems.  Also cauliflower is a big problem as well.  Both of these food items are FODMAPs which generally are NOT a problem until we overload on them - which we have a tendency to do on a whole 30. So google Whole 30 FODMAP shopping list and an article that explains FODMAPs in more detail from The Paleo Mom - FODMAPs.

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Thank you for the speedy replies! 

 

I drink about 80-100 oz of water a day, so I don't think my problem lies there. 

 

I've researched FODMAPs a bit, and cringed at the list seeing a ton of my favorite foods on it! Is strict elimination for weeks at a time what is needed to recognize a FODMAP intolerance? 

 

I'm a pretty petite person, and I'm always full after I eat, but I definitely see that I could benefit from more fat. I struggle with adding good fat sources because I work for a company that provides my meals (Silicon Valley, for ya). I eat breakfast and lunch at work and most food is cooked in canola oil, so I have been sticking to avocado to provide my fat, but it might be too much for my body to handle. 

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RE: constipation, might I suggest you stop eating bananas. I eat bananas on the rare occasion I have diarrhea to put a stop to it.  I would stay away from bananas if I was constipated.  To get things going again, you could try some prunes or prune juice. I know this should be limited during W30, but it really does help.  Magnesium helps as well.  Just trying to help you relieve the constipation problem.  Hope this helps.

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Geez.  I am on day 21.  I am very uncomfortable and have a very hard - not six pack - stomach.  I have been having the same problem.  Avocado, banana, raw carrots, apples, raw sweet potatoes (one of my favs).  I can hardly move.  Am getting a blood work up for food allergies by the local naturopath.  And I just ordered a FODMAP book to go with It Starts With Food.  I have been feeling great until now.

 

I drink plenty of water, do not skimp on fat - I love fat.  I usually eat a sliced whole baked potato lightly fried in coconut oil with a jalapeno and a bit of onion, then scrambled with 3 eggs for breakfast.  A massive salad with my own homemade Habanero chipotle mayo for dressing - usually about 2 heaping Tablespoons worth - it is a huge salad.  Dinner leaves me filling stuffed.  For an emergency craving killer I eat raw carrots, apples, raw sweet potatoes, raw almonds, sunflower seeds, etc.

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As above, I'd take out the bananas. I also see a lot of raw vegetables and nuts, which can all contribute to issues of which you speak.

I don't see a ton of non starchy veggies... you may want to add them (brussels, brocoli, cauli, asparagus, mushrooms, green beans etc...).

I see the salad but if it's just leafy greens, even a wheelbarrow full is not a ton of vegetables if you're not eating non starchy veg at your other meals.

Your emergency craving killer is likely keeping your cravings alive. You've chosen the sweetest vegetables along with fruit and nuts/seeds and none of that is recommended as a stand alone snack. If you do have cravings, a handful of olives, a half an avocado etc... those are craving killers.

What is 'plenty' of water? Are you getting the 1/2oz per pound of body weight that we recommend?

If you would like more specific advice, please list out your last few days of meals including portion sizes, meal timing, fluid intake and any outstanding medical issues you have that could be contributory.

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ok.  doing it wrong I have been.  I am looking at a baggie of sweet potatoes and carrots right now.  Guess they will not get eaten.  I just tuned into the whole FODMAP thing.  I work nights, 6 pm to 6 am, 3 -4 days a week, not counting overtime. I usually work around 60 hrs a week, sleeping both days and nights trying to adjust to the family.  My eating schedule is not typical or consistent.  I drink two 32oz bottles of water a "day" + the odd 8 oz glass of water.  I weight 164 ish, or did, I haven't checked for awhile.  So 80 oz is pretty close.  I sleep anywhere from 3 hours to 12 hours in a 24 hour period.  I need more sleep.

 

the salad usually has grated carrots, 1/2 of an avocado, mushroom, green onion, sliced jalapeno, salmon/chicken/egg/roast/turkey/some kind of protein.  mayo.  all broad/loose leaf lettuce.  no iceberg.  figure about 12 cups of salad. 

 

dinner has been thai food, my own.  all whole 30 ingredients, I've checked.  no vegetarian.  figure about 2 cups.  +another two cups of some type of thai soup - squash/sweet potato/carrot/.  I use a lot of coconut milk and oil.  next week I switch to Cajun - much harder with whole 30.  but I can do it. 

 

exercise isn't great.  I usually average 20k steps in a day (so says my fitbit)- at home or work.  this includes many flights of stairs.  I try to hit the treadmill or bike at least 3 times a week for about 30 min.  My cardiologist says that I need more and that the "steps" don't count.

 

other snacks include boiled eggs.  the potatoes are all baked and stored in the fridge.

 

and I quit all forms of caffeine and soda pop last November. 

 

and I've had several bouts of diverticulitis in the last few years.  Though my doc says that the lower GI did not show typical diver-t signs.  I have been checking and belief that it is actually a severe lactose intolerance that mimics the symptoms of diver-t.  And I have sleep apnea.  I do use the cpap,there is no point in going to bed otherwise.

Edited by Jon Ball

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Oh gosh, how do you manage if you only sleep 3 hours? I'd be homicidal!

I didn't say you can't eat the carrots and sweet potatoes... just that stand alone on their own as a craving killer they're not going to work like you would hope.

I suggest that you cook them instead of eating raw to see if that helps your symptoms..

Good for you for making all your own food and ethnic theme weeks sound like such fun!

I think if you start cooking your veg and make sure you're getting the template recommended 1-3 cups per meal (a combo of starchy and non starchy) then you'll start to feel better. If you're making it 4-5 hours between meals, then you shouldn't need to snack. The meal template is linked in my signature below.

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Thanks a bunch.  I just downloaded a FODMAP list.  I am not FOD compliant.  I use garlic or onion in everything - but it is always cooked.  I am thinking I may be eating too many raw veggies and apples and bananas.  I like them all cooked too.  It will just take a bit more planning. 

 

ps - roasted Cajun green beans, and roasted Cajun lemon broccoli, roasted Cajun sweet potato spears, grilled salmon with a Cajun rub are awesome.  I had to practice for next week. 

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