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Joined: Jan 2008
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I'm 37 years old and have suffered with AS for almost 25 years. I've kept myself healthy and active and mostly medication-free. The past few years have been pretty rough and I'm back on meds. I feel very encouraged by what I've read about no-starch and started today. I have a couple of questions, though:

- I've read here that citrus is OK? I've always thought of it as inflammatory, but maybe that's not AS-related. What's the scoop?
- What about non-starchy nightshades?
- Red wine?

Thanks!


A man goes to knowledge as he goes to war: wide-awake, with fear, with respect, and with absolute assurance.
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Major_AS_Kicker
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Welcome to kickas and welcome to the NSD forum! I hope you find the NSD helpful. Please feel free to post your questions; there is lots of experience here.

Citrus isn't starchy, but the white pith is. Some people have problems with it.

Non-starchy nightshades are generally okay. Most cooked tomato products are starchy, however. They can be tested with iodine. Some people have issues with nightshades not related to their starchiness.

Red wine isn't starchy.

Karen


I cannot make the universe obey me. I cannot make other people conform to my own whims and fancies. I cannot make even my own body obey me.

Thomas Merton



Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul - and sings the tunes without the words - and never stops at all.

Emily Dickinson


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Hi JCD,

Welcome to Kickas and I hope you find answers to your AS just as I did nearly 6 years ago now.

Regards to questions...
- I've read here that citrus is OK? I've always thought of it as inflammatory, but maybe that's not AS-related. What's the scoop?

Most citrus is not starchy, the pulp from oranges can be issue at times if fruit not ripened.... if you drink OJ, should drink non-pulpy variety.

I eat grapefruit, oranges on occasion and love lemon in water and also for cooking.

Too much citrus can be problematic for the intestinal lining, so I do not eat too much. I believe we have compromised intestinal tracts to some degree and I am attempting to heal mine and therefore avoid excessive citrus.

- What about non-starchy nightshades?

No problems for me.... I love tomatoes (I guess this is citric as well), green & red peppers and eat them often.

- Red wine?

I generally avoid alcohol for same reason I talked about intestinal lining above. But if I do drink, it is generally red wine, this seems the safest for me. But if I drink often I can notice problems personally. But I believe for others they do not see issues and I believe Bilko even enjoys beer (in England... but particular brands I believe).

Keep coming back and asking questions or you can also search in the forum on topics as well. Glad you found us.

Tim


AS may win some battles, but I will win the war.

KONK - Keep ON Kicking
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Thanks Tim. I have to admit, I'm feeling optimistic but cautiously so. As I'm sure many here have experienced, I've tried so many different dietary approaches over the years and have found very little that have made significant difference. I'm always up for an adventure and can be incredibly disciplined when it comes to food and healing myself, so we'll see.

I think the biggest mental hurdle for me is the shift away from low fat whole grains to increased animal protein. I'm an endurance cyclist and have been preaching the complex carb doctrine for years - I eat a ton of pasta, rice, and Clif bars during the biking season. I'm a little worried I'll gain unwanted weight by increasing fat and meat - what's your experience with that?


A man goes to knowledge as he goes to war: wide-awake, with fear, with respect, and with absolute assurance.
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Major_AS_Kicker
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It sounds as if you are really motivated and able to stick with an unusual diet. It's going to be quite a change to switch from high carb the NSD. I do hope the NSD is helpful for you. Keep us posted on the results because we all learn from one another's experiences.

If you are engaged in heavy exercise, you might want to consider another carb source. I usually avoid simple sugars, juices, etc. but when I did some extended hiking last fall (which is certainly not as rigorous as endurance cycling) I found it hard to keep my energy level up. If I did something like that again, I would take fruit juice or something similar along to give me some quick energy. But perhaps you are accustomed to getting quick carbs on the road.

Good luck!

Karen


I cannot make the universe obey me. I cannot make other people conform to my own whims and fancies. I cannot make even my own body obey me.

Thomas Merton



Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul - and sings the tunes without the words - and never stops at all.

Emily Dickinson


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Hi JCD,

I started NSD last July and LOST weight. I eat mainly fish and chicken/turkey (rarely red meat).

I found some non-starchy snack bars in Whole Foods that I bring with me when I go backpacking.

Best,
Daniela

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Major_AS_Kicker
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Those non-starchy snack bars of yours caught my eye! I've been looking for something like that for when I travel.

What kind do you buy?

My weight has been stable on the NSD.

Karen


I cannot make the universe obey me. I cannot make other people conform to my own whims and fancies. I cannot make even my own body obey me.

Thomas Merton



Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul - and sings the tunes without the words - and never stops at all.

Emily Dickinson


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Iron_AS_Kicker
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Hi and welcome - I can tolerate citrus in moderation. I use fresh lemon juice in a marinade, and I can drink one glass of lemon aide on occasion, but I learned I cannot consume it on a daily basis. My first year on NSD, when all the lemons on my tree ripened and I started drinking lemon aide, I became inflamed after a few days. That was a tough one to swallow. Very depressing. But I'm over it now. YEA!

Same goes for night shades. I can have them in moderation, but not in large amounts.

Keep a daily journal. Write down everything you consume, meds, pain level, exercise, etc. You will realize what you can and cannot tolerate.

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Karen,

I don't remember the names but I spent 1/2 hour one day at a Whole Foods store, looking at the ingredients of snacks and in the gluten-free section I found some that were also NSD (nuts/seeds and honey). Some of the bars were advertised as RAW. I'm not sure what that means. I have to warn you, most of them are awful tasting. I found one-two kinds that I like. Frankly, lately I just pack a bag of Macadamia and pine nuts. And of course dark chocolate (I allow myself very little).

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JCD,
I have been on the diet for around 9 years now and for me it was pretty much a miracle cure - to my shame I have more or less given up posting on this forum, as AS is no longer an issue for me (other than continuing on the NSD!). I thought I would drop you a note about cycling however - I do long distance riding also (I run cycle training tours in Portugal - www.fcarvalho-ciclismo.com) - I have found ways of adapting my energy food on the bike. Before a long ride I generally have eggs and either bacon or smoked salmon (my preferred breakfast!) and a couple of pieces of fruit and some yoghurt. For my drink on the bike I have either coke or orange juice 50/50 diluted with water. Then for snacks I have raisins, nuts, fruit, macaroons and coconut cakes.
I have not figured out a way to get electrolytes for really long rides as all the energy drinks are of course high carb. You will probably find that you need to eat more regularly on the bike, as of course you will be missing a key source of medium term energy from the carbs, but I have not found that this has slowed me down.

Incidentally on the alcohol issue, I am fine with all alcohol other than beer; as with many things on this diet, what alcohol people can drink seems to be personal.
Best of luck on the diet - you can always contact me via the website if you want to talk NSD cycling directly!
Regards,
Charlie

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