How To Eat Healthy With IBS
Dieting and regulating the foods that I can and can't eat can be so challenging for me sometimes. I have issues mainly with IBS-C, but I will have IBS-D episodes if I am not very careful and selective with the foods I eat. The majority of the time, my IBS-D episodes are self-inflicted, and while I very much know better, I can be impulsive and careless with my food decisions. I am a single mother of two young children, and as much as I know what I should not eat, often convenience and the ability to grab something quick to eat trumps healthy. It's just reality!
How to plan ahead
What I have found most helpful that encourages me to make better food choices, is to meal plan. Of course, this doesn't always happen nor is it always feasible, but I find it extremely beneficial. I suggest starting by making a list of foods and ingredients that you not only enjoy, but are also appropriate for your personal gut-health. Everyone is so different!
Every Sunday, I print off a weekly meal-plan and grocery list templates. I then write out my ingredients needed and the meals I plan to cook so that I am prepared when I go into the grocery store. The worst choices are always made when I go into a grocery store hungry, or unprepared without my list! HA! I stick to the meal plan so I'm not tempted to make unhealthy choices.
Another struggle of mine is what to bring for my lunches, along with remembering to bring them! To help simplify my life, I have found it is beneficial to go ahead and put them together for the week so I'm ahead of the game, especially if you're short on time in the mornings like I often am! If I don't do this, I will shamefully sneak off to fast-food and regret every second!
Food tracker apps
I also suggest downloading a food tracker app. This was particularly helpful for me when I was learning which foods I should and shouldn't eat. If my stomach became upset, I could look back at my tracker and was more likely to determine what it was. I'm very much a visual person, so the app was also helpful at holding me accountable with the foods I was eating. I believe the more you simplify eating healthy, especially utilizing time-management, the easier it will be to follow through!
Do you read nutrition labels on the food you buy?