The Life of a Gluten-Free Bodybuilder – Part 4

May 9, 2012

The Life of a Gluten-Free Bodybuilder – Part 4

Susan Maloney

Susan discovers another food intolerance, but stays positive about training for her next show.

Hello friends,

Time for an update and response to some questions.

One of my first posts of the new year started by outlining my plans for my next anticipated Pro Show in Richmond, VA on May 5, 2012. In the last couple of months, I continued to have workups done at the Cleveland Clinic which have revealed some new food intolerances and malabsorptive problems. I was diagnosed with fructose malabsorption/intolerance.

Admittedly, this news was somewhat discouraging, but I have to say that it has helped more than aggravated me as I’ve been able to understand why I still had daily symptoms despite being 100% gluten-free for over a year now. Eliminating sugar and cakes makes perfect sense and would not have proved difficult for me given that I rarely eat sweets (only on show day and holidays). But, did you know that asparagus, green beans and largely every green vegetable that I consumed daily was/is high in fructose! I’ve learned a lot in this ‘total elimination phase’ and ultimately, this has affected my ability to continue to train, get lean, and get sufficient low calorie carbs in to get show ready. Taking a bodybuilder’s vegetables away is a very big deal!

So, my show plans have been pushed back a few weeks as I look forward to the Master’s Pro World Cup in June. My biggest challenge in the last few months has been all of the fasting blood work and tests I’ve had to undergo. Fasting for a body builder often amounts to muscle loss and backward pedaling for your training goals. However, with each test comes more helpful answers and information that will ultimately improve my health and, indirectly, my training as well.

My new motto is that “It worked for Popeye, and it can work for me!” I’m restricted to ½ cup spinach twice daily and I’m going with the power of that green miracle veggie to meet my needs. Truly, ½ cup of veggies twice a day is a huge cut in my food intake, as I eat far more veggies than that daily. I usually laugh at the old standard “Food Guide Pyramid” as most bodybuilders do when they suggest 10-12 servings of grains and only 2 servings of meat/proteins daily. It’s usually the other way around for a competitive bodybuilder, and the veggies always go with the proteins as well. But, I’m optimistic and will be taking training photos to start looking at how my physique changes over the next few weeks until I step on stage again.

I invite readers to share their own stories, recipes, etc. that have helped them meet their nutrient needs and train with intensity!

In health,

Susan C. Maloney