My stomach issues have calmed down significantly lately. My husband thinks it’s because I’m avoiding red meat, but that’s really only one of many food categories that I’m avoiding so I’m not sold on the idea that I can just eat whatever else I want now. I think I’ve figured out that overeating can trigger gas pain, whether that’s eating a lot of watermelon or just eating more than I’m used to eating at a time. And I’ve been able to have small amounts of alcohol without ill effects, so I’ll probably continue to be judicious about alcohol intake.

I mean, I had to have my finisher beer at the Spartan Race this time. I earned it! And while I was consciously refraining from alcohol in 2018, this year I’m avoiding but not totally shunning alcohol. If I run into rafters offering beer on my solo hike, I may just have one. Or two. But no more than that because of dehydration.

I’ve been avoiding full fat dairy products, but not all dairy. So I drink yogurt drinks in the mornings before working out, and have low fat cottage cheese with meals, but no ice cream. It seems like there used to be a lot more frozen yogurt out there, but now that I’m looking for some, the grocery aisles are fairly barren. I’ve been getting the Yasso frozen yogurt bars. They’re pretty good, but I miss ice cream.

And I miss berries. Now, when I first got the diagnosis of mild gastroparesis, my doctor didn’t actually give me any guidance other than “a low residue diet” and that meant my husband and I had to look up what that meant and decide what to do for my diet based on internet searches. At my last visit, I did get a handout, but it was really short. So I’m not sure if berries are still off the table or not. They aren’t on the “Do eat” or the “Do not eat” sections of the handout.

But I’ll probably try them in moderation after the backpacking season is over. Well, after I recover from the backpacking season and feel like my stomach is in equilibrium, then I’ll start doing food tests and see what my body likes and what it doesn’t like.

I’m pretty sure I’m going to mess my stomach up a bit during the backpacking season, because backpacking food is what it is. I’m not going to change my entire way of backpacking eating this season. Depending on how it goes, I might change for next season, but we buy all our backpacking food pretty well in advance as things go on sale. All the food was bought well before I got this diagnosis, so I’m going to eat it.

I’m going to have Spam and meat sticks and nuts and bars with coffee in them and chews with caffeine in them and I’m going to hope that backpacking all day will help everything move smoothly through my system. And if it doesn’t, then next year’s backpacking food might look pretty different.

For the most part, I feel like I’m figuring out my stomach issues now. I’m acting instead of reacting, and I feel that I have a modicum of control. That’s what’s most important right now. I don’t feel helpless. I know that certain food choices may (or will) have consequences and I’m prepared to deal with those.

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