How My Husband’s Picky Eating Helped My IBS
My husband is a picky eater, and that is very helpful in dealing with IBS. As much as I was once annoyed by his refusal to eat certain foods, I have come to realize it was a blessing. I have only now begun to appreciate how helpful it is.
If not for his aversion to many of my trigger foods, we would have likely eaten many meals that resulted in misery. His refusal to eat certain vegetables made me adjust my recipes to exclude foods he disliked. Without realizing it, the benefits for me were great.
Salads are off the table
My husband does not eat many vegetables. Just about anything green is quite literally off the table during meals. I love salads, but it was much easier for me to avoid having one when he absolutely will not eat it. I never had to worry that he would have a craving and I would be faced with this temptation during a flare.
When I was a child, my family always had a huge garden. The abundance of fresh vegetables made it impossible to avoid these kinds of trigger foods. I do not have that worry now. I have not had a garden in many years. My husband does not buy many fresh vegetables. It is rare to find any in my home since my children are grown, and that makes it much easier to avoid trigger foods.
Ditching peppers and onion
So many dishes contain peppers and onions. All my life I ate dishes that were flavored by these vegetables. It is a staple in many homes. Chili, soup, spaghetti, and so many other things here in the south are usually made with bell peppers and onions. I love bell peppers and onions. My husband will not touch anything that contains either one.
Many years ago, I was greatly annoyed that I could not add certain delicious ingredients to my dishes. The flavor was not the same when omitting peppers and onions. It was a waste of time to cook meals he would not touch, so I adjusted my recipes. Over time, I did not miss them. I adjusted. This has likely saved me from countless miserable flares.
Refusing to waste food saved me from flares
I love fresh carrot slices, broccoli, and cauliflower as a snack. My children did, too. I am certain many flares were the result of enjoying this healthy snack. Now that my children are grown, I do not keep these veggies in the house. It seems a waste to buy items for one person. I could never eat all of what was bought, and much of it ended up thrown out when it began to rot.
I am one of those people who cannot stand to throw out food. Since my husband will not eat any of these things and the children have flown the coop, I do not buy them because throwing away food bothers me. This has made it very easy for me to avoid vegging out and suffering relentless cramping and pain.
Adjusting the menu
Some of the things I love the most are also some of the things that hurt me the most. I have always loved cabbage no matter how it was prepared. And no matter how it is prepared, it gives me fits. It was very rare to find cabbage or sauerkraut in my house even though I loved these foods. Only one of the kids would eat either one of these vegetables, so much of it was thrown out even when they were still at home. This made it easier to pass on them.
For many years, I was very annoyed by the limited menu I was able to cook. My husband and one of our children were both picky eaters. Cooking meals that both of them would eat was tricky, but I did it. I adjusted as well. I still crave salads, but many of the other offensive foods are much easier to avoid and rarely missed. My meals are not seasoned with peppers and onions. While many would consider the food bland, as I did for years, I have adjusted and it has made life easier.
Adjusting, accepting, and reaping the benefits
I try to find something positive in every negative. The realization that this annoying thing was helpful for me was definitely a good thing. Cooking to cater to my family’s picky eating saved me countless hours of agony dealing with IBS flares. Of course, it caused countless hours of me tearing my hair out over the menu, but the benefit was worth it.
If you are tired and stressed, try to find something positive and focus on that. Stress fans the flames of a raging IBS flare, so anything you can do to reduce stress is helpful. Look for a bright spot in your day. Find something to focus on besides the negative. It just might help calm the storm in your mind. Do you have tips and tricks for dealing with stress? I would love to hear how you manage to get through distressing times.
Did you make any New Year's goals or resolutions?