God? Please Send Chinese Food...
God? If you’re listening, I would like to make a request. Please take away my IBS for one day…just one day…or two, if you’re feeling generous, so that I can partake in a blissful repast of CHINESE FOOD, CHEESEBURGERS, JALAPEÑO POPPERS, STEAK AND ICE CREAM. PLEASE!?!? Ok, I’m ok, just give me a minute. I am sick of rice, man. Sick of baked chicken, vegetables and yogurt. Sick, sick, sick…oh, yes, but alas, I AM SICK. Now that I’ve gotten my manic request out of the way. Let me share my self-care, IBS diet extraordinaire. Well, there’s really nothing EXTRAORDINAIRE about it, but it has stabilized my IBS. If I could only live a stress-free existence, then I would have nothing to fear but fear…yah.
Trial and uncomfortable error
Now, for the disclaimers. As we all know, what works for me, might not work for you and vice-versa. We have to practice self-discovery to find out, through trial and uncomfortable error, what works and what doesn’t work for our dietary lives. Ok, so I don’t eat dessert. That was easy for me and I know, know and know again that many of you are having a major problem with this. But see, you may not crave hoagies, Chinese food and TGI Friday’s appetizers…WE ARE ALL DIFFERENT. So, no dessert. No alcohol. This one took me a long time before IBS, so I earned the right not to have to deal with this particular frustration. I like chicken and fish, so I’m lucky. Not sure how fish works for the majority, but I am ok with it. So there’s the chicken, fish, select vegetables, select fruits…low acid for me. I cook with very little, healthy oil in a wok. Every single night. I mix it up by choosing different types of veggies and fish. Fruit is my something sweet. Oh, and rice cakes. I can get away with the caramel rice cakes. And yes, I really like them.
My daytime eating habits are also very basic. For lunch, I have turkey breast or chicken on whole wheat; hold the mayo. Green leafy stuff is my crunch. I have an apple and a yogurt. I eat a lot of yogurt, which I’ve heard works for some and quite to the contrary for others. Unfortunately, I’ve had to leave my favorite vegetable, which is tomatoes, behind. I have steel cut oatmeal with raisins for breakfast or eggs. I use eggs sparingly but can tolerate them. I try to keep my acid low and my fiber high. I take probiotics (ALIGN) every day. Expensive, but worth it.
Plain, but better than a flare
Now for beverages…well…uh…WATER. Can’t get enough and again, I’m lucky, because I’m a water drinker. I have had to sacrifice the club soda (I used to drink tons of flavored club soda) and cut my coffee intake by 90% I’m still working on the other 10%... Tea, tea, tea…all kinds. I truly believe that sampling different herbal and green teas has made a huge difference in the way my body reacts to IBS. I have found several that have made a tangible difference in both my physical and mental health. I do a detox tea occasionally and love my Kombucha.
Other than what I’ve mentioned here, I don’t eat much else, maybe some soup or crackers here or there, but I stick with what I know won’t hurt me. Going out to eat is still a challenge, but tend to stick with the chicken or fish dish and ask them to make it plain. Not fun, but neither is a nasty flare. I can’t wait to see what other folks are eating to manage their IBS. We are so very different and interesting. Isn’t this fun ;-).
Do you have difficulties with setting boundaries and saying no?