My Personal Health-Awareness Diet for IBS

There are so many diets out there that are designed for many purposes. Some for weight loss, weight gain, maintaining weight, and health related reasons. Over the years of trying to lose weight while managing my IBS, I have done lots of research on all kinds of diets and recipes. For example, the vegan, vegetarian, low FODMAP, and the Clean diet were a few that I’ve tried for periods of my life. The general lesson I’ve learned about most diets is that they’re not all intended for permanent use. After months of following a diet, it seemed inevitable that I was going to cheat because there are some foods I just can’t live without! Therefore, I have created a personal health-awareness diet that I can stick to, based on how different foods affect me.

After years of experience with cooking my own meals and experimenting with different food, I essentially took bits and pieces from other diets I have studied and researched, and created my own regimen that works best for me. My version simply consists of balanced meals, decent portion sizes, and varies between non-triggering and triggering ingredients. Some of you IBS sufferers might be wondering why I would consider triggering ingredients, but I’ll get to that in a moment. It wasn’t an easy process coming up with my own diet; it took a lot of energy and self-awareness to figure it out. I had to study my own body very carefully and create a food-and-symptom diary. With this practice, I learned to categorize food based on what the consequences are, and I even color-coded them to red, yellow, and green.

Health-awareness food categories

Here’s a short example of what my health-awareness categories look like:

Red stands for triggering and very bad food/ingredients. These items take 2-5 days, maybe sometimes a whole week, to recover from.

Yellow stands for sometimes triggering food/ingredients. One day you can eat something and be fine, but eat the same thing again the next day or two, it will cause negative issues. These items take me 1-3 days to recover from if they bother me.

Green stands for food that are either always or generally good to eat.

Excess cheesePastaBananas
AlcoholFried foodWater
Ice creamBroccoliChicken

Cheat days

Clearly, the red and yellow columns are the ones to stay away from. However, I still include the triggering ingredients in my health-awareness diet for… simply put, my own sanity. Mac and cheese is one of my favorite dishes, despite how bad it makes me feel, and I can’t imagine going on with the rest of my life without being able to enjoy it once in a while (I’m sorry, I’m only human). The most important factor in my health-awareness diet is eating in moderation. One of the things I’ve learned from IBS, let alone in life, is that too much of anything is not always good. So if I were to prepare a mac and cheese dish, then I wouldn’t overindulge. I’d have enough just to satisfy me. The major point of this diet is that I am aware and have no regrets of what I am putting in my body. For the most part, I eat foods that are non-triggering. However, I guess you could say I have my cheat days. This might not be the most ideal health-awareness diet for some, but all that matters is that it suits my needs and desires.

What would your health-awareness categories consist of? Please share with us below.

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