Ask a Nutrition or health question


Due to an as yet undiagnosed stomach condition I’ve had to restrict my diet. I now follow a gluten free, dairy free and caffeine free diet. I also limit my consumption of red meat to once every couple of weeks, avoid fatty or fried foods and have increased my intake of veggies and fruit (although I have to avoid citrus fruit due to acidity). Whilst it sounds like a huge change it hasn’t been too difficult as I felt the benefits almost immediately. However the one thing I am struggling to curb is my sugar intake!! I have a sweet tooth and whilst I can no longer eat chocolate due to the dairy content, I still manage to pack in far too much sugar in to my day via flavoured cordials, sweet popcorn, soya chocolate mousse… if there’s something sweet in the house I will find it and in a moment of weakness will devour it. I know that refined sugars are bad for me and could be contributing to my stomach issues BUT I can’t seem to quit them. Has anyone managed to wean themselves off refined sugars? Any hints, tips or advice would be very welcome.


Sugar is hard @Michelle! I haven’t gotten rid of it entirely but I have cut way way back so that most days I have no refined sugar. It’s been a long process of cutting back little by little and has taken lots of willpower. Don’t substitute with fake sugar. It also helps to not have the temptation in the house and to have alternatives that were tasty and satisfying. Sugar is an addiction of sorts and a habit (for me at least). I found that after I broke myself of it, it got a lot easier to just not have it. It is now a treat that I can consciously choose instead of mindlessly gobble. Good luck!


Our household follows a mostly ketogenic diet, as my wife has high cholesterol levels. We try and avoid carbs as much as possible while off the bike. Chocolate is also our weakness, but we’ve removed refined sugars, sodas, and fruits with a high fructose content from our daily consumption.

For daily cooking, Swerve is a great sugar replacement, although it is somewhat pricy.


Yes, sugar is very hard and I did he same as Stefanie. It is like getting rid of an addiction, I guess, because the body and the brain get so used to it. It takes a little while, but like Stefanie said, after getting it “out of your system” you don’t miss it anymore. HOWEVER, I still eat refined sugars on the bike only- it is the only time the body processes it differently and uses it for fuel immediately.


I will have a good read through the messages and questions and discuss in coaches corner tomorrow :heart:


I forgot to mention on the coaches corner generation UCAN if GI is sensitive is good product


Yeah, I agree on the Gen UCan. It is great during long events.


@cullenac my gastro specialist has recommended a medical grade Precision biotic to help with my issue (apparently I have a schizophrenic bowel that alternates from IBS-C and IBS-D). I understand the principle behind the daily capsules but wondered if there is a way to permanently rebalance my gut bacteria rather than relying on a daily dose of bacteria that the gastro guy told me will leave my system as part of my body’s daily (sometimes hourly) routine.
And apologies for a follow up question:
I currently take a medication called linaclotide to encourage my bowel to absorb more water - it’s working and has significantly reduced my pain but I’ve been told I will only be prescribed this as a short term solution! Is there a natural product that would provide a similar reaction.


Hi @Michelle

ok i am going to be completely honest. in 20 years of working as a pharmacist and nutritional therapist i feel that the medical system deals with IBS terribly. it is not a disease, it is a functional condition triggered by something. that something is what needs to be identified and when identified and remedied you can CURE (did i use that word LOL), IBS; i fully believe this. what can be the triggers? stress and emotions play a huge role (gut is the seat of solar plexus and chakra 2; we feel through our guts so to speak), the microbiome balance (friendly and unfriendly bacteria, parasites, fungi, yeasts), diet and lifestyle, over training, history of antibiotics, proton pump inhibitors, pain killers, oral contraceptive pill, etc. food intolerances, poor digestive function, gastro inflammation, gluten intolerance, even environmental exposures and so on can cause problems.

the medical system tries to put something as dynamic as gastro function into a box of a diagnosis regarding IBS and has a limited arsenal of solutions: e.g. fibre, anti-spasmodics, bulking agents, stomach acid blockers; none of these are solutions to what is an ongoing concern for a patient. more often than not i find that the patient has an infection, an unwanted visitor combined with insufficient of the good guys. this can be tested for which is your question; how do you know the strains of the probiotics are correct. by looking at what is actually going on in the gut and levels of the good guys.

so if i am honest, i always recommend looking into the gut in better detail. actually testing the microbiome, assessing digestive function, looking at inflammation, improving the diet, dealing with issues like autoimmune gluten intolerance, etc, then when you know more treating the imbalances, healing the gut and restoring optimal function.

for this i recommend chatting to a functional medicine expert, or me as this is what i do (but this would be best done properly and not just on the forum; IF this felt right).

i often use this test, when patient symptoms are sufficient to merit the test there is a sample report here.

there are many diet strategies and i have attached a few helpful food charts; but if something more is going on like an infection, imbalance, inflammation, gluten intolerance etc food alone with not work. the GI map gives you these answers.


Thanks @cullenac I’d really like to get this guy issue nailed once and for all; how do I go about setting up a session with you? Thanks


if you pop me an email on
i do aim to answer as much as i can here but i think we owe this more attention. looking forward to hearing from you


@cullenac and others, what are your thoughts on bee pollen? It’s been recommended to me by a professional female boxer - she uses it in her post workout smoothies and says she feels it’s helped boost her immune system and reduce fatigue… has anyone tried it?


Is that the same as propolis?


I think it is slightly different to propolis - it’s effectively just pollen which the bees haven’t done anything with yet.
There are some companies that use pollen traps which effectively steal some of the pollen from the bees as they push themselves back in to the hive - I don’t like the thought of the poor little bees doing all the hard work and then being robbed as they enter their home, so have found a company that only use the pollen that has fallen on to the bottom of the hives whilst the bees get home and are unpacking their groceries :blush:


As someone who has pollen allergies, this sounds like a nightmare :sneezing_face:



Although this seems like an older thread, I’m going to try it because it seems like the appropriate place: What are your thoughts on Canola oil? Specifically, as an ingredient in processed food?


Does this cover it?


Thanks for the reply, Andrea. The processed food in question is a whole grain, whole wheat wrap: I tend to eat a lot of them because they are convenient and many of the “quick” meals I eat involve them: they keep your hands clean. :wink: I’m the primary consumer, but we also use them to make quesadillas for the kids. There are only a couple of brands at my local store; the oils in them have always concerned me a little. There’s also palm kernel oil, which also doesn’t sound inspiring to me.

We also have canola oil in a bottle for various cooking applications. Canola (Canadian Oil) is a big crop around here: it’s a beautiful yellow when it goes to flower, but it’s smelly (brassica) just before they harvest it.

I’ll keep looking for an alternative brand. I don’t have many alternatives though in my small town.


By “wrap”, I mean a tortilla. Clearly, nomenclature is not universal.