How To Eat Healthier Without Spending Your Day In The Bathroom
It took me years to figure out a diet that doesn’t upset my IBS on a daily basis. After a long period of trial and error, I finally started having multiple good days in a row – sometimes even weeks without a serious flare-up. And while I still struggle with my digestion in the mornings, it’s not nearly as bad as it used to be.
But while I’m so, so happy that I’m able to function somewhat normally, I did notice one issue with my diet: In my attempt to minimize my IBS-D, I cut out a lot of foods containing fiber. And unfortunately, these foods are also the ones that contain all the nutrients.
For the past couple of months, I’ve been taking advantage of my work-from-home routine that provides me with a private bathroom at all times to try and figure out a healthier diet without spending the whole day in said bathroom.
Introducing vegetables very slowly
Vegetables are not the best food for my IBS-D. Some just cause bloating, others can trigger actual flare-ups. But I wanted to find a way to still eat vegetables and not have a bad reaction every time I do.
I’ve noticed before that my gut seems to get used to foods, and that my safe foods are usually the ones I eat the most. For me, the key to introducing vegetables was to do it very, very gradually. Simply eating a whole salad for dinner did not work at all!
At first, I added small portions of veggies to my usual meals. A tomato salad on the side, a bit of spinach with my pasta… All I did was make sure that the vegetables I used were the ones that only caused bloating – not the flare-up triggering ones. In addition, I only did this for certain meals and never more than once a day.
After a couple of weeks of consuming small portions of the same 2 or 3 vegetables, my gut really did get used to them – as long as I balance them out with “safer” foods.
Eat something “safe” before consuming vegetables
One of the major things I have noticed about my IBS is that it’s way less likely to react to a new food if I’ve eaten something else beforehand. Basically, my stomach is way more sensitive when it’s empty.
This means that I’m not able to eat a “healthy” meal first thing in the day (I usually skip breakfast because I can’t eat in the mornings, so lunch is my first meal), but it’s fine if I had safe foods before.
Using this technique, I started eating salads after my actual meal or having fruit for dessert. This is pretty much the opposite of what people usually suggest – filling up with greens before having anything else. But it works so much better for my IBS!
Find foods that help your digestion
Another thing that makes it easier to consume fruits and vegetables for me is to mix them with ingredients that help my digestion. For example, ginger seems to really soothe my gut, so adding it to meals makes my IBS less likely to flare up.
If I’m having fruit, I might also make some tea at the same time to balance it out.
Don’t overdo it
No matter how much I would like to eat super healthy, I know that it would never work with my IBS. I think that it’s important to try your best, but also know your limits and remember that it’s not healthy either to constantly upset your digestive system. Basically, eating healthy will look different for everyone – at least in my opinion.
Did you start experiencing IBS symptoms before adulthood?