During the start of 2014 my weighted dipped to 51kg. I usually weigh 60kg, and this is with doing 100 miles a week. I could never get lighter then that. I reduced the amount of running I was doing because because of the hypoglycemia. To be able to run competitively you need to train a lot and do a lot of speed sessions. This results in me having to eat more often.
So I reduced my weekly mileage to about 20-30 miles a week. With this I dropped 9kg. I didn't have an infection. I just cut out sugar, and I didn't have a high fat diet. When I realised that my weight had gotten so bad I started to eat more fats, but still kept sugar out of my diet.
I was asked how is it possible to do exercise and keep or put weight on. To do it quickly, it is hard. But nutrition shouldn't be quick. You need to change it for good. No quick fixes.
I started to eat a lot of rice puddings with coconut milk and coconut oil. I would have porridge and use at least 1 tablespoon of coconut oil per day. I put good fats on everything. Foods high in fat but low in sugar. Fat can be used as a source of long lasting energy compared to sugar which is fast acting and acidic, meaning it will cause more inflammation. I would have smoothies but a ratio of 5:1 (veg:fruit) and add flaxseed oil, chia seeds, and nuts as a source of omegas and good fats.
The liquid meals that we are given such as Scandishakes or Ensure are loaded with sugar. Scandishakes have 7 teaspoons of sugar in it and an Ensure has 6 teaspoons of sugar.
I got a NutriBullet. It cost €120 but I use this every single day for smoothies, soups, or sauces. A great investment. I bring it with me when I travel to different countries for work or holidays. Soups are made within 5 mins. Chop up veg, blend it with water and spices/herbs and then heat it on a pot. Simple and much more nutritious then soups that are boiled to a pulp for hours. Smoothies would be great substitute to Scandishakes and Ensures. You are still getting the vitamins, minerals, fats yet not having the stupid amounts of sugar.
I was talking to another person with CF on Facebook the other day and she told me that the dietician tells her that there is no study to show that eating healthy benefits CF. Well if there is no study then it has to be true. I hate this theory. i don't eat a typical CF diet, but i suppose I'm not a typical person with CF either. In which i mean, i am not in hospital and my PFTs have gone up in the last 10 years since i was 18. I can't remember when the last time i was with the CF dietician. Speaking of which, Prof asked would i go in and have a chat with her. So this should be interesting.
I will go in with an open mind but i won't be taking any of the dietary supplements that are recommended as I don't think we should be using them. It isn't very hard to put on the weight as I have been able to. I am now 57.6kg. My BMI is 22.
So back to what i do.
Do I eat gluten products or consume dairy? Yes to both. I put milk in my tea and I would have cheese, but not very often. Although dairy doesn't create mucus, it makes the mucus that is already there thicker. That's why I don't have a lot of it. Gluten products? I feel that too many people say they are gluten intolerant because it's trendy. I do believe it exists but not to the extent that the public say. If you aren't gluten intolerant then you can eat gluten. However, I don't eat a lot. People with Leaky Gut Syndrome will be prone to suffer problems with food allergies. The gut leaks the specific item which your body then sees as a foreign substance and attacks it. This is a result of having too much of something. IE bread, pasta, rice, dairy etc. Cut out whatever it is, but then reintroduce it slowly and only have it occasionally. That's if the symptoms don't come back.
The "Anti CF Diet" seems to be trendy at the moment. I've pretty much always said it. Why consume empty calories for when you get sick? I still have no idea why people do this. It's not helping you at all.
Looking from the outside, I would say it looks like a lot of dedication. We were born with CF, and yes it is a pain, but we were given these cards, and it's how we play with those card that really matters. I look at it as a part of what I have to do. I have been able to reduce the amount of medication I was on when I was 18, and I'm 28 now. I am not saying that you should stop everything now. You probably won't be able to reduce the medication, but it might mean you won't be put on more medication, give you less hospital visits or a faster recuperation from infections. I know if I get sick, even if it's a cold, I bounce back so much faster, and even faster then the rest of my family. Usually a simple cold would travel down to my chest within a week. This doesn't happen anymore.
I use Golden Milk if ever i get some sort of viral or bacterial infection. Golden Milk is a drink that Indians use. It tastes nice but it has a huge health benefit by reducing inflammation. Anything with "itis" at the end of it means inflammation. Bronchitis - inflammation of the bronchioles. Tendonitis - inflammation of the tendon. Sinusitis - inflammation of the sinus.
GOLDEN MILK RECIPE.
- firstly make a turmeric paste. use 2 parts water to 1 part turmeric. place in a pan and whisk until blended. Then reduce the water by turning the heat up to a medium high heat. It should take about 9 minutes. Store in a sterile jar in a fridge for up to a month. You can add this to rice when the rice is cooked, or add to anything that you are making a sauce with.
- Use 1 teaspoon of turmeric paste in any milk you want but make sure it is unsweetened. I think coconut milk is best for this.
- Heat the milk and add the turmeric paste with a small amount of raw honey.
So to list the tips
- Add coconut oil where possible
- add avocados, oils, nuts and seeds to smoothies or cereals
- cut out sugar anyway possible, and use raw honey, stevia or Xytal. But try stay away from sweet things in general.
- eat every 2-3 hours, even if it's just a quick snack or a really small meal
- exercise at the least 5 days a week. Even if it's a 10 min run or a 20 mins walk. Use it as a prescription for CF. It's not just a good thing for CF, it is vital for it. I defiantly wouldn't be living the life I live without exercise.
- Use turmeric in foods like rice, stews, curries, and use Golden Milk once a day for a few weeks, and then whenever needed.
- Use cinnamon as a spice for sweetening foods/coffee, and it also stabilises blood sugar levels.