10 years as sugar-free – Free from IBS and aching stomach

In the past, Frida has introduced herself to her addiction problem here at Leva Sockerfri and we thought you should also get a chance to understand where I (Charlotte) come from.

My problem is my stomach – or more correct – my digestive system – and on December 1, 2008, I did what would turn out to be my last experiment to get my digestive system back in order.  At that time, I had just read online that the exclusion of starch had shown to have positive results on some individuals with IBS, a diagnosis I had received early i life.

It was the last in a series of many experiments, as this is where I would find the biggest key to my digestive problems. Since then I have continued to “peel deeper layers on that onion”, and I will also write about that in later posts.

Some of this can also be found on Dietdoctors page as one of the most read health stories of 2016

To start with the beginning I grew up in Denmark in the ’70s and ’80s. Denmark is, if possible, an even bigger bread curlute than Sweden and I was therefore raised on porridge, sandwiches and rolls for breakfast,  sandwich for lunch and then some kind of home cooking for dinner (which included a large proportion of potatoes).

As a child, I was very small and thin and had difficulty eating – basically chewed the food dry and had a constantly malfunctioning stomach. Either it went through to fast or far to slow.

Can’t even try to count the times I’ve sat in the bathroom with stomach cramps or lying on the couch/bed in a fetal position with stomach ache and cramps.

As an young adult, I was finally diagnosed with IBS and I was told to increase the fibers. So now i had to pour inulin on the low fat youghurt when eating breakfast. To no surprise – this didn’t make anything any better

Now it is the 21st century and along the way i got married and had three children. I put on a bit of weight with every childbirth, but mostly as a comfort kilo – and my IBS thrived. I Had days when I couldn’t be far from the toilet and sometimes whole weeks when nothing happened at all and constantly bloated and gassy on top of that.

I tried to exclude different foods in different phases.  I tried minimizing lactose, gluten, soy, single foods (e.g. apple, leeks, cauliflower, onions…) and finally felt that it was not possible to eat anything at all – of course, what I ate would be low-fat and full of added sugar.

The turnaround came in November 2008 when googling on IBS, I found a notice that the exclusion of starch had been shown to have a good effect on IBS’s symptoms.

I read up on starch in my food and concluded that this would require quite a big change as it means, first and foremost, removing cereals, pasta, rice and potatoes. And I loved my sandwiches and my potatoes!

I decided to give it a chance and on December 1 I began excluding starch and promised myself to give it until Christmas to let it take some time.

What happened? THREE (3) DAYS it took – then I suddenly felt that my stomach became calm and flat and no gases – and no toilet problems. I was completely lyrical and at the same time a little pissed off that no one had been able to tell med this earlier. 40 years of my life with IBS and then it was possible to fix in three days with the right diet!

So – what did I do? Instead of starchy products, I switched to filling more vegetables on the plate and eating more of the natural fat ( replacing low fat products with full-fat products). Wow, this was a huge change in taste as well. At the beginning of 2009, I noticed that the weight started to point upwards – During december some kilos had disappeared as soon as I removed the starch and added more vegetables and fat.

I put two and two together and concluded that, of course larger amounts of fat and sugary foods (i still ate friday and saturday snacks) was not a good combination. I removed the obvious sugar from the food and there it was, I had found the diet I was made for and felt good about – I had found my way back to basics – what I prefer to call a human diet, as I have removed the biggest food changes we have added to our culture here in the Nordic region for the last 4,000 years.

This diet I have eaten ever since and feel prime. My IBS is a fairy tale only and the stomach is usually calm and nice.

So -what am I eating? A LOT of vegetables, just enough protein (fish, seafood, eggs and meat) and I eat the fat that is natural with the protein sources. I drizzle olive oil on my salad and food (when fried) fried in butter/ghee or coconut oil. A certain amount of dairy has also found its way to the stomach, but I have also reduced it drastically. When I eat, it’s full-fat products.

The sugar and starch cause so much trouble in our bodies and for some it settles in the head (like the addiction for Frida) and for others it messes up the body (like IBS for me) – and for many it creates problems throughout the system.

Here at Leva Sockerfri we pay attention to all this and work from a holistic perspective where the body and head are connected – as a whole.

The food is a foundation on which to build – but it is no more than 10% of the solution. The rest is what we call life and that’s where we need to put most of our effort. That’s where we find the big sustainable solutions – not by just looking and focusing on the food.

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