IBS Equals Misery

About a year and a half ago I was diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).  This diagnosis came as such a relief.  I could finally put a name to what I was experiencing and I knew for sure that it was definitely not normal, or “just how my body is”, as I told myself for way too many years.  It also helped to have a conversation with a friend that led me to just the right naturopathic doctor who quickly diagnosed me.  She recommended I add psyllium husk supplements into my daily routine.  Psyllium husk is a shrub like herb and is a soluble fiber; that’s the good stuff.  It provides bulk which helps clean the intestines and colon.

That little supplement was like magic.  Within a couple weeks my symptoms and issues were gone.  For the first time in I don’t even know how long I was ‘regular’.  I know, it’s a delicate subject matter, but one that must not be ignored!  So, let’s just say, I was singing hallelujah at my new found freedom from pain, discomfort and long bathroom visits.  This new naturopath gave me reading materials about my diagnosis.  I have to give full disclosure and say I did not read one bit of it.  Around the time of my diagnosis my mom got her breast cancer diagnosis.  Honestly, my most major issue had been resolved with psyllium husk and I just didn’t have the time or energy to learn one thing about IBS.  I was more concerned with my mom’s dire diagnosis and dove head first into researching anything and everything about breast cancer treatment options.

Fast forward to current day and I have been reflecting on my diagnosis, realizing I need to start paying attention.   Most recently, I have been experiencing what I believe is called IBS flare ups.  To make matter worse, I have also been experiencing some of the most horrid heart burn and GI distress to date.  I have wondered if there is a connection.

Since my mom died I admit my eating has become somewhat erratic.  I seek out comfort foods much more often.  I sometimes forget to eat.  I will tell myself I need food, but I have no desire to eat.  I eat too little.  I haven’t been eating the right things.  I have been known to “cheat” with foods, like potatoes.  I usually avoid them because they make my joints ache.  But, it’s a comfort food for me.  I make the choice to take the body pain because the desire for the comfort and taste over rules.  I know the consequences.

What I didn’t know was the eventual toll it would take on my body.   I have been miserable for too long now, with only a few days of relief once in a while.   This led me to at long last research IBS.  What I have learned is my heart burn and upper GI issues are completely connected to my IBS.

I need to learn more about this gastrointestinal disorder (GI) and how it affects my body.  I need to make an appointment with my naturopath again to discuss my new issues.  That right there is a process of time and self talk for me!  For now, here is what I do know.  I am tired of suffering from the bloating, the pain and the intestinal distress.  Every day I feel awful.  I am tired of trying to eliminate trigger foods.  Seems like it is everything at the moment.  I want feel comfortable in my clothes again.  I want to EAT!  I love everything about food yet I find myself  saying “why bother”.  My weight is slowly dropping.  While I would normally be thrilled with that, I am concerned about how my weight is being lost.

I added juicing and smoothies back into my routine.  I am working at keeping my choices clean for me.  But, sometimes I just want more than a protein and a salad.  This has been my steady diet now for weeks.  I love that I can just walk out the back door and down to the garden for my salad fixings, but I need more!  The moment I stray, I suffer.  It has been miserable.

I feel like I have become quite an expert at coming up with some pretty fantastic salads and I would like to share a few dishes with you.  Give them a try or come up with your own variations and see what you think.  Salads are tasty, healthful and a bowl of fresh salad veggies makes the perfect bed for grilled meat!

I have such a difficult time getting multiple pictures to upload properly so I apologize for the randomness of what you see below.  Regardless, there are some great ideas for your next salad adventures!

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grilled happy chicken thighs marinated in a mustard sauce. The sauce was made using Dijon mustard, a little pure maple syrup, a splash of rice wine vinegar, and a sprinkling of salt & pepper.

 

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IMG_2008 Farmer’s Market & our own garden veggies with a little balsamic vinaigrette makes a great raw, crunchy salad!

Keeping the clean eating on our recent camping trip!  Arugula, garden strawberries, diced garlic & onions, sesame seeds with Braggberry dressing.

Keeping the clean eating on our recent camping trip! Baby kale, garden strawberries, orange chunks, diced garlic & onions, sesame seeds with Braggberry dressing. Added a few slices of grilled chicken breast along with campfire roasted yams for a delicious, filling meal.

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this is a mixed veggie salad w/shredded tuna, balsamic vinaigrette and a few grilled yam slices on the side! Yum!

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9 thoughts on “IBS Equals Misery

  1. Good luck getting your diet under control! It’s especially difficult during stressful times to eat at the correct times, portions, types of food, etc. I hope you start feeling better soon (and I love the pictures)!

    Before my celiac diagnosis, my GI told me that he thought I only had severe IBS (having ruled out a thousand other conditions). “Only” meaning one condition, not that IBS is simple! One of the reasons they thought this was because no antacids or anything else could control my heartburn. Anyway, long story short, I met with a nutritionist about an IBS diet (before I knew I had to be gluten free), and still follow some of her advice today!

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    • Thank you for your comments and loving my pictures! 🙂 I agree that stressful times have made it difficult to eat correctly in all ways. As our school year is winding down and I look forward to having the summer off, I hope to find relief from ongoing daily stress, which I hope will help get me on the right track toward eating better once again.

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  2. I’m so sorry you have been feeling so awful. I know what it’s like to rely on comfort foods for…well, comfort. It’s tough when some of those go-to foods are in direct conflict with what we’ve now learned is best for us. Reading up and being ready to head back to the dr is a great step! I too finally went in to see a specialist I’ve been putting off for months and months. I’m waiting on blood test results and will see where I stand – and maybe I’ll blog about it. I don’t experience IBS so I can’t speak to that but I really believe in the food-mind-body connection now and I think that eating poorly (those comforts that aren’t good for us) bc we feel emotionally raw or in a bad place becomes a never ending vicious cycle bc those foods then have a negative physiological impact on our emotional well-being, which in turns make us (or at least me!) want to reach for more bad food for comfort. This realization was huge for me. It’s help me break that cycle – or at least now how to get out of it quickly if I slip. So maybe with a summer break you will have time to focus on you and your health and get yourself back to a totally healthy place – physically and emotionally. I know you can for sure!! And these salads look fantastic!!! Those grilled yams?! Wow! I’m making all of these!!!

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    • You are so right! Thank you for bringing this connection into my psyche. I do know on some level that by continuing to grab for my food comforts I am essentially destroying my insides and it is indeed a vicious cycle. Yes, I claim I don’t care and I ignore my body signs. I say a little bit doesn’t matter and it really does. Then I feel bad physically and my emotions turn negative, The cycle begins….it’s so hard to bring it to a halt, right?! End result-I feel like Sh*t.
      I do know that having a break from the daily stress of my job will help me a lot. I have such a physically hard job. Change and general chaos at work have created a lot of emotional challenges. Added are my own personal struggles, both emotionally and physically, so basically I’m a mess! I do indeed look forward to summer break!! I’m counting the days (8 more!)!!!
      I want my summer break to be devoted to focusing on my overall health and recovery. I am so ready to be back in a healthy place physically and emotionally.
      Thank you, DetoxMama for cheering me on and believing in me! I know I can do it, too! Even though some days I feel so exhausted by it all I want to say “why bother”. But, you’ve reminded me that attitude is what begins the cycle; one that I don’t want to start!
      Btw, those grilled yams are so delicious! Grilling brings out the sweetness of the yams and totally satisfies my desire for carbs!

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      • I know you can do it too! I think also that our culture is not one that allows us to really be in tuned with ourselves. I never realized this until I started staying home with my daughter (and working a bit too but on my own terms!). I truly know that if I hadn’t stopped working the 9-5 grind a year ago I never would have gone on this journey that has totally transformed my life. I was always stressed, busy, and never had time for me. I mean migraine my whole life and I never realized it was food! Chronic cough for 10 years and didn’t know it was dairy. Moodiness with frequent blues and never realized it was gluten! I’ve now learned a lot and laid the foundation. I know when/if I do renter the 9-5 world again, I’ve got the tools in place now; can’t unlearn what I’ve learned. I think this summer can be that time for you – to focus on you, listen to and watch your body. It knows. You just have to listen. Then come Sept, you’ll have the tools too. Ps – you already know much of it already. I read your blog so I know this!

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  3. Also, you’ve got to tell me the recipe for those campfire yams! What’s the sauce on them? I did some grilled yams this week and while yummy, didn’t satisfy the craving I had from look at your pics. Please let me know how to amen them!

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  4. LOL…that last sentence had me laughing! I will have to remember that phrase! I’m so glad they looked yummy enough to create a craving! I have actually had a phone call or two asking for more info on some picture I posted that caused a craving needing satisfied. I love it!
    Well, believe it or not, there is no sauce on those yams. I made a spice rub using garlic, cumin, parsley, oregano and a few grinds of coarse mixed peppercorn. I mixed the spices together in a bowl, put the yams in a tin foil pouch, drizzled with olive oil, then rubbed the spice mix all over the wedges. I sealed the foil pouch, put it into the cooler and once at the campground I just set it on the fire pit grill, away from direct flame. In no time I had a pile of tasty yam wedges! I definitely said amen to those! Hehe….

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    • Ha!! The “amen” was an auto-correct typo! But a fitting one!!! Can’t wait to make this. I’m hungry now. Lol. Thanks!!

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  5. Ha! You’re welcome. You know, I did wonder if it was a typo, but I thought it sounded like a great sentence so I went with it! Certainly does fit, doesn’t it!? I’ll be interested to know how your yams turn out!

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