What I Eat With IBS

In Part 1 of IBS, Supplements, and What I Eat, I discussed some factors that challenge my digestion and dietary supplements I have tried along with the results. Now I would like to discuss my favorite subject: food!

Seafood in my IBS diet

I don't follow any particular diet program, but my choices are pretty close to a Mediterranean diet. Seafood is a main feature. In my cupboard are cans of mackerel and yellowfin tuna. They are rich in Omega-3s and protein. I often eat them right out of the can as a snack or small meal. If you are concerned about mercury in tuna, mackerel, and salmon, I've learned that the larger the fish, the more mercury they will contain. For example, I choose yellowfin tuna over albacore because I love the stronger flavor of yellowfin. But yellowfin might also be the lower-mercury choice of the 2 types as well since albacore is a much larger fish than yellowfin. If you're a stickler for maintaining safe levels of mercury, it is recommended that we only eat tuna two or three days a week. I love seafood in general. My grocery store chain carries freshly-made sushi, where I indulge in California rolls once every week or so.

Vegetables in my IBS diet

I happen to like vegetables, so I find ways to include them most days. Lettuce salads don't have the heft or the nutrients to carry a meal. So I've switched to garden veggies. Cucumber, tomato, chopped baby spinach, carrots, celery, red onion, radish, and feta cheese make a salad substantial enough for a meal. I add more protein to make it even more substantial: hard-boiled egg, cheese, fish, or meat.

Lean meat in my diet

One of my favorite meals is homemade chili using lean ground turkey meat. Jennie-O's 93 percent lean ground turkey package is browned and seasoned with chili powder, cumin, and garlic powder. I like to add paprika, regular or smoked, cayenne pepper for heat, and a can of Red Gold petite diced tomatoes with green chilies. That's it. I also love to buy a rotisserie chicken and use the meat for salads, stir fry, entrees, snacks, etc. Sometimes I marinate it in a special sauce. Whether marinated or plain, a rotisserie chicken can stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.

Starch and condiments in my diet

I eat starch, limiting it to pasta and English muffins. They are versatile and can be made into healthy meals. I love a homemade egg muffin. Pasta can be added to meat or veggies. And I snack on popcorn, the kind you have to pop. I do it the old-fashioned way in a pot with oil in the bottom. Then lightly salt it.

I use one condiment for everything. It is the marinade I mentioned earlier, and it is called Scallion and Ginger Ultimate sauce, made by Cindy's Kitchen. Its base is anchovy sauce, sunflower, and sesame oils. There is garlic, hot pepper, onion, ginger extract, and other savory spices besides. I use it as a dipping sauce for sushi and as a salad dressing in stir-fry, and it can be drizzled over vegetables, meat, potatoes, anything, really.

Eating out with IBS

When I eat out, Lebanese food is my favorite. Fattoush, chicken shawarma, hummus, grape leaves, raw kibbeh. Healthy and bursting with flavor.

The reason for these choices is simple. They please my palate, and lucky for me, clean whole foods hold a natural appeal. I don't know if it benefits my immune system or gut flora. But I am allowing my palate to follow its bliss.

Choosing food for me

Wondering why I haven't mentioned what impact these foods have on my bowel? It doesn't matter what I eat. It only matters THAT I eat. The moment I eat or drink in the morning, and despite swallowing 3 Beano capsules before a meal, I feel gas pains and have the first of several loose bowel movements within the hour. My IBS never goes into remission.

What do you eat? Do you choose based on IBS or other health conditions? Or do you eat whatever you want? Please share! We love to eat and talk about it. So please pass the plate and give us generous portions of your food story, won't you? I'm salivating just thinking about it!

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