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!