a couple of weeks ago, i discovered a sensitivity to carrageenan. i think. it's hard to know for sure, but i had been feeling pretty good in gastrointestinal terms, being faithful to leah's instructions for the cleanse, and then i made a smoothie that had an ingredient i hadn't been eating: cultured coconut milk, a yogurt-like substance that was so sweet and creamy and that smoothie was SO GOOD. but i was wrecked for almost three days. when i say "wrecked," i mean doubled over in pain, curled up in bed, diarrhea, gas, bloating, no desire to eat because that's just adding to the volcano inside.
so i've been studiously avoiding carrageenan, which is in a TON of things. mostly it makes buying milks (i use almond milk, rice milk, and coconut milk) very difficult because most have carrageenan added.
today i think i discovered another sensitivity, to either xanthan gum or gellan gum. both are ingredients in the trader joe's almond milk i'd bought a few days ago and have been drinking in my morning smoothie. and then i have spent most of those days experiencing those same symptoms as those i'd had after drinking the smoothie with carrageenan. (note: this seriously affects my ability to work, let alone to go out and enjoy life. fortunately, i have been able to take sick time for a lot of this, and i try to make up hours missed in the evenings and weekends.)
what's been really great about the cleanse, more than anything else, is that the possible irritants are so few now that it's pretty easy to spot a potential culprit. nearly everything i'm eating is whole, fresh or frozen produce; whole plain grains; plain canned beans; or these milks. so when i have a reaction, it's not too difficult to look back at the food diary for the past couple of days to spot a potential problem. the milks seem to be the villains so far. (fortunately, not every kind or every brand, so i can look for the okay ones, though it surprises me that even trader joe's isn't clean enough--only whole foods.)
so i'll be trying to avoid those ingredients, too. i have had a bit of guar gum in a couple of things and haven't had the same effects, i don't think, and i don't know enough to understand the differences between the three gums or whether the amount of guar gum was so small that it didn't affect me so much. but these bad boys are now on notice.