My diverticulitis had made me lose about 15 lbs. I was naturally a bit underweight to begin with, so you can imagine the uphill battle I was facing. My doctor referred me to a dietitian with the goal of gaining 12 to 15 pounds gradually yet healthily. This was coupled with my problem absorbing insoluble fiber and being patient with my body’s present adverse effects to acidic foods and absolutely no spices were to be taken. Also, nothing too fibrous, especially those extremely healthy foods in the cabbage family which, on top of cabbage, included broccoli, cauliflower, kale, turnips, Brussels sprouts, and a few more. No flatulence -inducing foods, meaning absolutely no beans and easily moving up the nut and dried fruit intake. Almost nothing fried. Easy on corn. No soya, tofu, and especially tempeh.
The dietitian looked ready to take on my case. She had my first week mapped out. There had to be tonnes of protein. So on to high fat Greek yoghurt I went. Breakfast was the amazingly flavourful yoghurt with a tablespoon of maple syrup, taken with 2 slices of either kamut, quinoa, or spelt bread.
I needed 2400 calories to maintain my weight. We were vying for 2700. And these breads are low in FODMAP. The less we tested the gut, the better. So this portion of breakfast was about 400 calories. Peanuts. The second part of breakfast would include a bagel with smoked salmon, cream cheese, and eggs, to be taken 2 hours later, at about 9 AM. This would add about another 500 calories to the count. My 11 o’clock snack was a raw hazelnut and cacao spread. A healthier version of Nutella on quinoa bread.
So this brings the daily count to about 1200 calories. I was full yet so far away from my goal. Lunch had to be light because I needed to spread the calories out and not get bloated from the fiber. It was usually 500 calories and included faux pasta like quinoa or rice. I couldn’t have pizza because of the acidic factor of the tomato sauce. But I also had to keep my dinner calories to a limit and have everything eaten by 7 so there would be no relapse. It was just a handful of caloric dry fruit like cantaloupe or pineapple for dessert. This was about 150 calories and my junk food for the day. I was at about 1800 calories when I had my Probar at 3.30. This brought me to 2200 calories.
I had only 500 calories left for supper.
I gained no weight for a month. The dietitian seemed upset at best and concerned at worst. She had even added the dreaded healthy avocado to the diet. She said I had to gradually start including pizza in the diet. She said people with stress often can’t gain weight and that she would give all the info to my doctor.
The doctor checked me for all kinds of cancer. She recommended smoothies with protein and peanut butter in them. All the tests were negative. My comfort in knowing this made me calm down but the dates in the store smoothies were difficult to absorb and digest. I made my own smoothies with top of the notch nut butters.
I started eating lots of burgers with only a real mayonnaise spread consisting mostly of mustard and olive oil. I ate veal, pork, deer, elk, bison, and kangaroo burgers. I made great tuna melts with Greek yoghurt, avocado, and cucumber mix on a rich panini bun. I sometimes relied on anti -bloating pills, but I had to succeed. It was mostly mind over matter.
I still can’t get around to having heavy spices, rich tomato sauces, some beans, and cabbage. But I’m almost there. My first breakthrough was raw tomatoes and all nuts. I can do fried again, but limit it because it’s not healthy. My blood tests this year have come out better than they have in 20 years. It seems like the deprivation was a healthy learning experience. It was an empowerment tool. And, believe it or not, I still haven’t reached what they call my optimal weight. But I look so much better than a decade ago.