A Sample Day of Meals to Support IBS-C
Eating the right diet can keep your bowels moving, helping you feel your best, so you can be productive! Whether you’re straining or feeling impacted, dietitians are sometimes called the poop police. There’s a reason for this: we help regulate the bowels! I’ve had clients share stories with me about how they’ve dealt with severe constipation, which at times has been debilitating. The good news is there’s hope: You can make improvements in IBS-C! I’ve seen diet changes lead to dramatic strides in clients I’ve worked with.
In addition to diet goals, I often end an IBS-C session discussing the importance of hydration. Remember, fiber and fluids go hand-in-hand. Fiber needs fluid to absorb water to consolidate and pass. So drink up and stay hydrated! Here are some sample meals and tips, courtesy of the poop police, to ensure your inner plumbing stays on-track.
Tropical yogurt bowl
- 1 cup Greek yogurt or lactose-free yogurt
- 1 cup tropical fruit (papaya, pineapple, kiwi)
- 1/4 seeds (such as hemp, pumpkin, sesame)
- 1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds or 8 walnut halves
- 1 cup water
- 1-2 cups coffee (regular or decaf)
Food Tip: Many of my IBS-C clients can tolerate Greek yogurt and find it helpful for its probiotics. Heat up your favorite fruit in the microwave or stovetop. Then mix with your yogurt and nuts. The heated fruit will taste sweeter and a warm breakfast can be soothing for people with IBS-C.
Fruit & whole grain
- 1 slice spelt toast w/ 1 tbsp olive oil or algae oil
- ½ cup blueberries
- 1 tbsp almond butter
IBS-C tip: Get on the hydration highway, and don’t get off! Whether having a big water bottle or a large teacup gets you onboard. Figure out what works and stick with it. Some clients set a time, where others use a hydration tracker. But you need fluids to keep that plumbing moving.
Veggie frittata & salad
1 large slice veggie frittata made from:
- 8 Eggs
- 1 cup cooked swiss chard or baby spinach
- 1 cup cooked squash
- Olive oil
- A small salad (2-3 cups) of lettuce or arugula, cucumber, tomato w/ olive oil or tahini dressing
Food Tip: Cook once, eat three times, now you’ve got lunch for the next 2 days!
IBS-C tip: Take a 15-minute power walk after lunch. Schedule it in like it’s an appointment.
Fruit & nuts
- 1 cup grapes
- 1/4 cup nuts (avoid cashew or pistachio if FODMAP-intolerant)
- Flaxseed crackers
Fun fact: Did you know flax seeds have nutrition coming out the wazoo? They’re a great source of fiber, muscle-building protein, and heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids!
- 3-5oz white flaky fish (cooked with olive oil or algae oil)
- 1/4 of an avocado
- 1 cup lettuce
- 2-3 small corn tortillas
- Pineapple salsa (avoid onion/garlic if low FODMAP)
- Optional: Spoonful of plain Greek yogurt or sour cream, if tolerated
- Roasted bell peppers and zucchini
Flavor tip: Boost up the flavor with some herbs. Herbs provide an antioxidant punch!
Optional after-dinner snack
- 1 frozen banana
- A few dark chocolate squares
Tasty Tip: Cut a banana into rounds and freeze. Melt chocolate and pour on frozen bananas, eat once it hardens.
Still unsure of what to eat with IBS-C?
Don’t despair! As long as you consult with trustworthy healthcare professionals and maintain a steady dose of fiber and fluids, you can keep your IBS-C in-check. As you can see, from fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, to veggie frittatas, salad, and fish tacos, there are a plethora of foods that will help support you on your IBS-C journey. Be mindful of these food choices and don’t forget to drink a minimum of 8 glasses of water a day to stay hydrated and wash all that fiber down! And before you know it, you’ll be showered with praise and given a good citizen award by the poop police! Keep up the good pooping!
Do you live with any sleep disorders (eg. insomnia, RLS, sleep apnea) in addition to IBS?