It was in my teen years that I really noticed the effects of IBS. As you know better, you do better and that has somewhat become the mantra of my life.
In the summer of 2019 I had what I originally referred to as a “scare” however I believe it was simply a wake up into being more conscious and purposeful with my life.
After meeting with my Gastroenterologist she encouraged me to give the FODMAP Diet a try which essentially means removing 6 categories of food from your diet and then slowly add them back in to see what causes discomfort, pain, bloating, urgency to go etc. I will admit after I left my appointment, I fell into that same feeling I was programmed in knowing – defeat. In that moment I was once again feeling defeated by my body. But WHY!? My husband challenged me. Why was I feeling that way? What did I think I couldn’t handle? Why not just set a date and do it? I had gotten my health and weight to where I was, so why didn’t I think I could get myself to the next level. I was so used to thinking the worst when it came to my health, because so many years ago that was my norm. By the time I got home, I had already shifted. I went into planning mode, if i was going to do this, I needed to know what foods I could have so I could somewhat prepare. Without much more thought, I began simply by being conscious.
If you are someone who has digestive challenges I highly recommend:
- Pay attention to HOW you feel.
- Do a cleanse. Honestly this I believe was the BEST thing I did, because it literally cleaned me out, but in a very gentle non invasive way. The benefit to this is removing built up gunk in your intestines allowing for better food/nutrition absorption. I personally chose a Cleanse & Restore Program that would naturally help cleanse my body of toxins and then restore good bacteria back into my gut. I highly encourage you to do research and find a program that has research behind it and that you feel will work with your lifestyle.
- Digestive Enzymes, Vitamins, Minerals and Omega’s were some of the best investments I have made in my life. On going digestive support to live and be at my optimal health but also to support in those moments of potential discomfort. I also always have my trusty DigestZen oil blend with me which along this journey has been a life saver at times!!!
- Fuel your body right! This is SO different for each individual person. I found out years ago that I cannot eat reheated pasta, rice, potatoes. It was a trial and error as I would typically eat left overs for lunch. There is something that happens to these starchy foods when they are reheated that can cause some massive discomfort in some people’s digestive systems. I just happen to be one of those people! Slightly inconvenient, more so when eating out, however honoring my body. Ive recently shifted to Gluten Free living! One of the best decisions I have made that has truly supported my body in feeling better than I had ever thought possible. Yes this means, learning new ways of living and eating. Is it challenging. Honestly not so much! Its very do-able. As long as you rise above the “poor me” mentality. So I cannot have deep fried foods or breaded wings… does that suck… kind of but in all honesty I felt like shit after eating them anyways?! Its really pushed me to make more foods at home. At home we make home made chicken fingers with corn flake home made breading, fries in our actifry and honestly pretty much anything you can buy pre-made you can DIY at home to fit your lifestyle. Truth be told Ive written “diet” a few times and have erased, because its NOT a diet. Its a lifestyle. I was on an elimination diet to figure out some foods, I still have a few more to test but a “diet” is not a solution – in my opinion.
- Shift your lifestyle. As I mentioned above a “diet” does not solve anything for you. YOU need to do the work. You need to figure out what foods are good for you and why. I say this simply because Im not a fan of a “diet” telling you what you can and cannot eat. You should make these decisions based on YOUR body. This is what I honestly learned to love about the FODMAP Diet – because its helping you educate yourself on what your body does and doesn’t like. I can eat meat, grains, vegetables, fruits, limited dairy – which I knew before. I am not specifically cutting large groups of foods out. My opinion on this is by simply following some of these fad diets you aren’t actually educating yourself. Nutrition isn’t cookie cutter. Shifting your lifestyle also means processed foods, what do you clean your home with, what do you clean your body with? Endocrine disrupting chemicals DO have an impact on IBS! I know this because its personally affected me and Ive actually felt benefits within my digestive system from this shift.
- Water is key!
If you think you have IBS – you most likely do. The good news is, you can literally be the architect of your life and decide HOW you are going to live!