Finally! Milkshakes That Don't Bother My IBS
I've already posted on this site more than once about how the development of IBS in my very early twenties forced me to give up a beloved staple of my daily diet. I spoke about how growing up, despite being from a relatively poor family, my one luxury was a daily "black and white" (basically a mixture of chocolate and vanilla) milkshake my grandmother would make me. When I got to college, all that changed.
Different ice cream options
I tried different strategies: giving up the chocolate portion of the milkshake (since chocolate in itself is a bit of an IBS trigger for me); trying skim milk or lactose-free milk; even trying a vegan shake made with coconut milk. But I still encountered GI issues most of the time, so finally just gave up entirely on shakes.
But at the end of last year, with the explosion of vegan ice creams on the market made from alternatives to coconut (which is delicious, but also can be rich and fatty, which for me is a trigger), I discovered a couple of kinds I can make at home that doesn't generally don't bother my IBS!
First I found a vegan salted caramel ice cream made from cashew milk. I blended it at home with organic almond milk.
It's delicious and rich-tasting without being fatty or heavy. Sometimes if I have one in my kitchen, I will also add a slightly under-ripe or just-ripe banana for some extra nutrition and calories. If I feel like I can take it, I will add just a tiny bit of regular organic whip cream on top.
My daily treat
What started as a weekly treat gradually increased in frequency until I was making these shakes for myself almost daily (side note: I don't make them as large as you'd get from a store or restaurant, but usually enough to fill a standard coffee cup size). I was pleasantly surprised that I just never seemed to get sick on them.
Then, sadly, the store chain stopped stocking the salted caramel flavor. But shortly after, I found another kind of vegan ice cream at a different store chain that I liked, this time a strawberry ice cream made out of oat milk. I again would blend it with my same organic almond milk. After a while, it felt like it was missing something. On a whim, I started adding a spoonful or 2 of peanut butter as again, a way to add some nutrition (and protein, which as a vegetarian I don't always get enough of). As with the other kind of shake I was making, I sometimes add a little whip cream to this too (sometimes not). As with the other shake, it also has not made me sick.
My love for milkshakes despite IBS
Drinking these nearly every day made me realize how much I missed shakes as a staple in my life. It also has led to me gaining a few pounds, which for me is a good thing, because I have a really hard time gaining and keeping on weight. I often tend to be just on the brink of being underweight or slightly underweight despite all my other efforts to add calories in a fairly healthy way. The thing about this is sometimes eating too much can instigate an IBS flare. So I have been really happy the milkshakes are helping me gain weight without bothering my sensitive gut. It also gives me hope I may be able to eventually find suitable replacements for other dietary staples I have had to either significantly reduce or give up altogether.
Of course, if I am having an IBS flare or my gut is growling or acting up on a certain day for other reasons, I will skip making myself a milkshake that day.
Have you found a good replacement for a favorite staple of yours? Can you eat ice cream with your IBS or what replacements work for you?
Do you have difficulties with setting boundaries and saying no?