A Week of IBS-friendly Meals
Even though it’s not fully understood what causes IBS, we know that eating well and promoting good digestion is a key to managing IBS symptoms. The problem is, though, that we all lead busy lives, and eating well can be overwhelming—it may not even be a priority because it seems impossible! It’s absolutely do-able, though, with the right preparation! Here, you’ll get a week of recipes lined up so you don’t have to think about dinner. Set aside some time on the weekends to go to the market with an ingredient list (include amounts from recipes), so that when the week begins, you don’t have to worry about meals – more than half of the work will have already been done! Embrace the benefits of meal planning. There are many tasty, easy meals you can whip up in no time at all! Cooking for the whole family? No problem, everyone can benefit from these meal options. They are sure to satisfy, while giving you the nutrients you need. If you are feeling like your digestion is particularly finicky, eat a portion of your meal and set aside the rest for a bit later. Eating smaller, more frequent meals can be less taxing to your already challenged GI tract.
Scrambled eggs are always an easy go-to meal and can handle any add-ins that sound good to you. Try adding some sautéed spinach or bell peppers, top with a few slices of avocado and enjoy on whole-grain bread.
- Eggs are the gold standard by which other proteins like beans and chicken are measured. That’s because they contain all the amino acids in the right proportions that the body needs.
- Each egg has 6 grams of protein
- They are rich in B12, iron, vitamins A, D, E and folate.
Eat the yolks – that’s where most of the vitamins and minerals are found!
Salmon with sautéed spinach
Salmon and spinach are nutrient powerhouses that are easily digested, even if your symptoms are flaring up. One - 6 ounce serving of salmon is an excellent source of protein and B. It’s also rich in the minerals phosphorous, potassium, and selenium. Salmon contains heart-healthy omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. By eating just a cup of spinach, you’ll get a healthy dose of vitamins, including C & K, Riboflavin (B2), B6, as well as the minerals calcium, folate, iron, magnesium, manganese and potassium. Our recipe below pairs very well with baked potatoes. Skip the skin to make it easy on your digestion.
- 6 oz salmon
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 3 cups raw spinach
- 1 clove garlic, minced (if tolerated)
- Pre-heat oven to 350°.
- Season salmon with salt and pepper, place in a glass or ceramic pan in center of oven
- Turn oven to broil and cook fish for 9-10 minutes (a good rule of thumb for fish is to broil 2 minutes per side for every ½-inch of thickness).
- Meanwhile, in a skillet, heat olive oil.
- Add garlic and spinach and sauté until wilted (1-3 minutes)
- Serve alongside salmon.
This simplified take on Jambalaya is an easy weeknight dinner you can whip up in less than 30 minutes. One pot is all it takes to make a veggie-packed, healthy dinner that the whole family will enjoy. This dish is also great with frozen veggies, which will make it extra quick.
- Olive oil
- 1 to 2 cloves garlic, minced*
- 1 onion, chopped*
- 4 stalks celery, chopped
- 1 yellow zucchini, chopped
- 1 green zucchini, chopped
- 1 28-oz can diced tomatoes
- 1 can of low sodium black beans
- Thyme, chopped
- In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat.
- Add garlic and onions and sauté for 5 minutes or until onions become translucent.
- Add remaining ingredients, cover, and cook for another 5-10 minutes or until all vegetables are soft.
Tuna steak with mango kiwi salsa, black beans and green beans
This inflammation-fighting meal contains protein, omega-3’s and Vitamin A to help heal an irritated stomach.
- ½ pound tuna steak (any fish works here too)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Juice of ½ a lemon
- ½ red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 mango, chopped
- 1 kiwi, chopped
- 1 jalapeno, chopped (optional)
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
- 1 cup frozen green beans, thawed
- Juice zest of 1 lime
- 1 can low sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
- salt and pepper to taste
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
- Place fish in foil, brush with olive oil and fresh lemon juice and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Cook tuna for 15-20 minutes or until your desired doneness (15 minutes for a rarer steak, 20 minutes for a more well done steak, but don’t overcook it!*).
- Take out of the oven and let rest for 2-5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, mix mango, bell pepper, kiwi, and lime juice. Add jalapeno and cayenne pepper if you like it spicy!
- Mix green beans and black beans.
- To serve, place tuna steak on top of bean mixture. Top with mango salsa.
*If using other fish like salmon or tilapia, cook until fish is just flakey but not dry.
Potato and chicken sausage tossed over spinach
(adapted from: Nutrition Stripped)
This is perfect for those nights when you just need some good old sausage and potatoes. This lighter take with chicken sausage and spinach leaves you feeling satisfied without putting you into a food coma.
- 8 oz. fingerling potatoes
- 8 oz. red potatoes, cut into halves or quarters, depending on size
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 yellow bell pepper
- ½ cup tomatoes, chopped
- ½ cup red onion, chopped
- ½ mint, chopped
- ½ cup parsley, chopped
- 3 cups raw spinach
- juice from 1 lemon
- 1 pre-cooked chicken sausage, chopped
- salt and pepper
Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking dish with tin foil or parchment paper and place potatoes on dish. Drizzle with 1 tbsp. olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender. While potatoes are cooking, add yellow bell pepper, tomatoes, red onion, mint, and parsley to a bowl and toss in lemon juice and 1 tbsp. olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
Sautee chicken sausage over medium high heat in a small pan, until just warmed through. (You can skip this step, or microwave for 1 ½ minutes if you don’t want to dirty another pan). Once potatoes are cooked, cool for 5 minutes and combine with vegetable mixture. Serve over a bed of spinach and top with chicken sausage.
Disclaimer: We recognize that some ingredients listed in this recipe may be a trigger food for some people. Please feel free to omit or substitute any ingredients that don’t work for you.
Do you live with any sleep disorders (eg. insomnia, RLS, sleep apnea) in addition to IBS?