a person is cooking n a slow cooker in their kitchen, they're tasting what they're cooking as other ingredients are spread out on the counter

Cooking and Being a Foodie With IBS

Cooking is one of my favorite hobbies. It's a calming activity to me, especially when I can cook for other people. I love feeding people. I love the communal sense of a meal. I love hosting and entertaining. However, I am also the slowest cook on the planet; a recipe will say it'll take thirty minutes, and then suddenly it's reached the hour mark before I've even put anything in the oven because it can take me a long time to prep everything and use my time management skills wisely. Regardless, I love it. However, my IBS limits what I can cook, which is sad for me because there are so many great recipes. It is definitely a barrier to something I find so much comfort within.

Meal kits and IBS

Every so often, I will pick a selection of three meals for the week from meal kit companies that I am subscribed to. These meal kits are easy-to-make recipes that take half the food prep work out. They also come in reasonable-sized portions (most of the time). Even though eating large portions works against people with IBS, I generally eat large portions, so these meal kits force me into smaller portions. Meal kit companies will try to cater to healthy food options. A few meal kit companies try to cater to low-FODMAP diets, in particular, which, of course, is helpful to those with IBS.

The downside, of course, of meal kits, like meal planning, is that I could be feeling great going into the week of getting a meal kit and then suddenly have a terrible week of flare-ups and not be able to eat anything. Planning is a blessing for most people but can be a curse to us.

Going out to eat at restaurants with IBS

I also love going out to eat at restaurants. I enjoy a great meal at a local restaurant, where I'll walk away satisfied. There have been many instances of trying dishes I am less familiar with at restaurants only to be met immediately with our old friend, IBS. I am fortunate enough to live in a place where I am accustomed to eating from various cuisines consistently. It ruins a great dining experience when I want to be experimental in my culinary knowledge. Then I end up in the restaurant washroom or at home, with a faint memory of the taste of the delectable meal in my mouth mingled with, well, the smells of the bathroom activities and just the overall level of pain and discomfort.

My friends will often say that it's a real shame for me to have IBS and love food as much as I do. I wholeheartedly agree with that. I am not ashamed of having IBS, but it is frustrating when I want to enjoy eating what I want without worrying about running to the toilet (especially on a nice date or otherwise formal dinner).

Would you consider yourself a "foodie?" Do you like eating meals out of the house or cooking? Let me know in the comments!

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