I like salad, it hates me
March 11, 2013 2:53 PM   Subscribe

I've regularly eaten salad as part of a healthy diet, including a period my freshman year of college eating it twice a day. I had no issues. But now, no more.

Within recent years, salad has become a no go because it goes right through me. That's a shame because I honestly enjoy salad. The issues with salad have been within the last three years (over which I've also lost approximately 50 lbs) and don't seem to be tied into any particular location -- so not a case of poorly washed vegetables, etc.

Things I've considered:

- I am on Glumetza (an extended release Metformin) for PCOS and I switched to the ER after first having this issue. It went away for some time and was not an issue, generally, if I didn't take the pills with the salad. But now it's back. This is a side effect of Metformin, but my dose has been constant for about 4 years so that shouldn't be it. I do have a note, however, to discuss dosage with my doctor to see if weight loss has changed any.

- food allergies. Salad ingredients: spinach, egg whites, avocado, a splash of lemon dill dressing (olive oil, lemon juice, dill), cucumbers, green peppers, green olives, artichoke hearts and grilled chicken. I eat all of these in different meals and have no issue so I don't think it's an allergy/sensitivity/intolerance. I am lactose intolerant but there's no dairy near my usual salad bar.

Early 30s, female, mildly over weight, no health issues aside from PCOS. Any tips/suggestions/things I may have overlooked?

anon because, well, I don't need my digestive system linked with my name.
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (9 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Have you tried eliminating one ingredient at a time from the usual combination to see if the problem is still there? It might take some time but that should help you isolate the particular ingredient, or combination that is causing the problem.

If it's any consolation, this might be a passing thing (so to speak). I went through a phase a few years ago where the combination of red wine and broccoli, in any quantity, would make me throw up. Individually, neither of the two were a problem. I avoided them for many years, and then one day, I ended up accidentally eating broccoli in a mixed veggie platter--and I was fine. The problem disappeared as suddenly as it had appeared.
posted by rpfields at 3:21 PM on March 11, 2013

My husband is on metformin and that stuff really can tamper with your digestive system.

Are you mostly having issues with salad bought in restaurants and such? I have bought salad greens in bulk and have noticed issues like that if I eat it every day. If I space it out a little, not as bad.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 3:36 PM on March 11, 2013 [2 favorites]

Sounds like fructose intolerance to me. I have the same problem.
posted by chaoscutie at 3:38 PM on March 11, 2013

I don't know if this helps any, but salad has always run right through me, unless I eat it balanced with a more constipating meal.

But #1 on that list for me is spinach. Try cutting that out. That's a relatively common quasi-laxative.
posted by gjc at 3:41 PM on March 11, 2013

Sounds like fructose intolerance to me.

Yes, but fructose intolerance is a spectrum so please don't freak out. Out of your list, I know that I have a hard time with avocado. Try eliminating ingredients from your salad one at a time until you figure out which one is the culprit.
posted by ablazingsaddle at 4:43 PM on March 11, 2013

Try putting lots of cheese or chopped boiled eggs on your salad and see if that helps. Both of those are, er, binding.
posted by elizeh at 8:37 PM on March 11, 2013

I've had similar problems, but only when eating out. Stop getting your salad from a salad bar! Make your own salads, buy whole heads of lettuce, wash the leaves as needed. I think commercial establishments may put something in salad greens and vegetables to perk them up.
posted by mareli at 7:33 AM on March 12, 2013 [1 favorite]

Spinach kills me. I used to be able to eat it raw, but no more, not in any quantity, at least. I would eliminate/swap things out (like, romaine instead of spinach, perhaps) and see if any of that helps.

If you find that spinach is the thing that is killing you, you can try it in SMALL quantities - like, Organic Girl has a blend called "super greens" that has SOME spinach in it, but not enough to rouse my digestive demons.
posted by Medieval Maven at 10:05 AM on March 12, 2013

elizeh, the OP is lactose intolerant, so adding dairy would make the problem worse.
posted by WorkingMyWayHome at 2:08 PM on March 12, 2013

« Older Postcard to Japan   |   How to recover from ex-boyfriend who withheld sex? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.