It’s June now, which means it’s my birthday month and also the official start of summer. It’s one of the best months ever really! And it’s time for a recap on my recovery from SIBO.
One Year Anniversary
I made excellent progress from December to March on which I did a recap for 10 months. But then as I drew closer to my one year SIBO recovery anniversary, I felt like I was starting to plateau. Not horribly so but I was still struggling with a little bit of acid-reflux – even though it was much improved – and started to bloat a bit after meals which caused a teeny bit of panic. Okay, maybe more than a teeny bit of panic. I really didn’t want to end up with SIBO again!
Within the last few weeks, I decided to problem solve to see if I could figure out what was going on before I made a worried phone call to my doctor. As healthcare provider, I know that often when something isn’t going properly it’s because the client/patient hasn’t continued with their treatment at home. And low and behold who was getting lazy and no longer following through on some habits? Yeah…
Time to rebalance!
After taking a look at my daily life I concluded that I was stressing myself out with working too much again – it’s actually quite hard for me to say no to work now because I have so much more energy and often feel as though I need to work to make up for the last few years. Also, as I mentioned before, I’m a healthcare provider and for many of us there is a lot of guilt surrounding taking time off, or scaling back work when necessary. It is important to live life outside of work as well, especially for those of us with physically and emotionally demanding careers. Thus I took steps to get a better handle on my work life, trying not to over-schedule myself, and intentionally scheduling some extra time off. On my days off I made more of an effort to chill and do things I actually wanted to do such as, read, play in the garden (at home or at my parents’), get some sun, cook, and whatnot. Life can go by so quickly if you aren’t paying attention and before you know it half the year is over!
Rest and Digest
In the process of noticing that I was stressing myself out with work and not living life, I realized that I wasn’t giving my meals my full attention anymore. Thus I wasn’t ending up in a relaxed state of mind to digest my food well. As it turns out, listening to podcasts while eating breakfast does not work for me. I tightened down my routine around meals, making sure I was always prepared with apple cider vinegar, didn’t drink much at all before and directly after meals, and practiced giving my meals proper attention – chewing, tasting, and taking my time.
I also realized that I had stopped meditating about the time I started on my thyroid meds – I was feeling so great I just fell out of the habit. After all, I didn’t need meditation anymore right? Maybe not. A post by someone I follow on Instagram reminded me to get back to it. This time instead of just doing it on my own I started with guided meditation. Apps and the internet are an amazing resource!
Re-adjustment to Diet – Again
Beyond the tweaking of a few habits, I knew I needed to address some signals my body was giving me about the food I was eating. I had been getting lazy about including fermented foods and bone broth in my diet – both which are a focus in a SIBO recovery diet like SCD, GAPS, or gut healing paleo. Soups and broth-y things became more frequent on the menu. I made a couple of different batches of sauerkraut. I also quit eating raw veggies at lunch on work days. While I’m doing a lot better about maintaining a focus on my meals I’m still struggling a teensy bit over lunch at work. Often I don’t have exactly enough down time for my lunch to eat said raw veggies. So I’ll include them with breakfast or dinner and that seems to have helped quite a bit.
No Longer Missing: Satiety Signals
Something strange started to happen in the last few weeks as well. I started to feel like I was eating too much. I’d fill my plate with a fair amount of food and wouldn’t want to finish it. This hasn’t happened since I was a young teen or child. My cravings for food in general decreased quite a lot, especially fat. I’m assuming that it is because my body has healed a bit more and my thyroid meds are doing a good job. Thus I’m actually feeling satisfied again.
What I Learned, Again – Don’t Discount or Ignore Stress!
To wrap everything up, I was again reminded, that managing stress properly is incredibly important for recovery, progression, and general happiness. As is being consistent with supportive things for SIBO recovery. Thankfully I no longer feel like I’m stuck at a plateau. Nor do I feel as digestively delicate and am much more tolerant to everything. I’m so unbelievably excited for summer and the rest of this year. Taking the time to give one’s body what it needs it totally worth it!
To read more about my recovery from SIBO check out the following: