I struggled with IBS when I was a teenager and into my early 20’s (not formally diagnosed). In college, I was diagnosed with gastroparesis after a long bout of sever heart burn and other unruly symptoms. I have been there, my friends. My gastrointestinal tract has never been my bestie. It is not easy dealing with gut problems and in-fact I have a funny story to tell to help us all get used to the fact that everyone poops and people who struggle with IBS know this all too well (unless you have the constipation version in which that’s no fun either).
Story: In high school my friends and I used to “cruise” in my 1983 Plymouth Horizon (pictured left). This is when my IBS was terrible and I would have serious stomach pains, bloating, gas, and diarrhea. One night while we were “cruising” it hit me…hard. I needed a bathroom and I needed it NOW! I drove through the “out” ramp in a fast food parking lot and as soon as I could jam the Horizon into park I ran… Thankfully I made it but sometimes those with IBS aren’t so lucky.
Look, it happens to all of us whether you have IBS or not. When people have IBS with diarrhea though, it happens all too often. This disease, regardless if you have IBSD (with diarrhea) or IBSC (with constipation), affects your quality of life socially, emotionally, and physically.
Things usually get better, you just have to figure out your trigger(s), find a good doctor, and stick to a diet that helps to improve your symptoms.
This is a GENERAL meal plan not meant to cure IBS (there aren’t any cures that we know of). This diet is intended to limit the symptoms and improve your quality of life.
Before we start, here is a list of what I recommend you do every. single. day:
- De-stress. Pray. Breathe deeply. Find the beauty in life. Smile at strangers. Be kind. Say no sometimes. Say yes sometimes too.
- Take a good pro-biotic supplement that does not contain dairy or lactose (remember the FODMAP diet recommends no lactose).
- Fit in ginger. Whether that’s tea, ground ginger, or cooking with whole ginger, eat it!
- Eat smaller meals. It cuts down on portion sizes and helps you digest food better (double bonus)!
- Exercise, be active, play, walk, bike, have fun outside!
Breakfast: Gluten free oatmeal with walnuts, blueberries, ground ginger, and ground cinnamon. Prepare oatmeal with lactose free milk or milk alternative. Drink with green ginger tea.
Lunch: Corn tortilla (use as a wrap) with grilled chicken (lettuce, tomatoes, pickles). Carrot sticks on the side. Grilled chicken marinated in balsamic vinegar, turmeric, ginger, and canola oil. Drink with ginger tea.
Dinner: Salmon cakes (made with wild caught canned salmon), with brown rice, and steamed broccoli. Drink with ginger tea.
Breakfast: Scrambled eggs with green pepper and spinach, gluten free toast, and strawberries. Prepare scrambled eggs with turmeric and black pepper. Drink with green ginger tea.
Lunch: Salad (lettuce, carrots, tomato, cucumber) with tuna and quinoa. Eat with a side of grapes (or put the grapes on the salad). Drink with ginger tea.
Dinner: Grilled chicken (marinated in balsamic vinegar, turmeric, ginger, oregano, basil and canola oil) with red skinned potatoes and green beans.
Breakfast: Gluten free cereal and lactose free milk or milk alternative with a scoop of peanut or almond butter. Green/ginger tea.
Lunch: Turkey on gluten free bread with carrot sticks and a banana. Ginger tea.
Dinner: Shrimp stir fry with brown rice and FODMAP approved spices (turmeric, ginger, gluten free soy sauce).
Snack: Corn tortillas (gluten free) and tomatoes and green pepper salsa (no garlic/onion)
Breakfast: buckwheat (gluten free) pancakes with nut butter and strawberry or grape jam/preserves. Green/ginger tea.
Lunch: Tuna Salad Lettuce Wraps (tuna, mayo, celery, pickles wrapped in lettuce) with berries (on the side) and carrot sticks.
Dinner: Turkey burger (bunless) with broccoli and quinoa
Snack: rice cakes and peanut butter
Breakfast: Smoothie (frozen bananas, other fruits/veggies, peanut butter)
Lunch: Chicken rice soup (no onion or garlic) with side salad
Dinner: Turkey tacos (make your own spice blend) with corn tacos shells, lettuce/tomato/taco sauce.
Snack: hardboiled egg
Breakfast: Oatmeal with pureed pumpkin, raisins, pecans, and pumpkin pie spice
Lunch: Grilled shrimp on a salad (low FODMAP veggies) with vinaigrette dressing (no onion or garlic) and gluten free crackers
Dinner: Stuffed peppers (ground turkey, brown rice, and green peppers)
Snack: Lara bar (they are gluten free and dairy free)
Breakfast: Cheese free omelet with broccoli, mushrooms, and tomatoes
Lunch: Tuna salad sandwich on gluten free bread with cucumber slices
Dinner: Quinoa pasta with ground turkey and pasta sauce (diced tomatoes, green peppers, mushrooms…no onion/garlic)
Snack: Banana with nut butter
I hope this helps dear friends. My IBS is under control but I know what my triggers are and what foods set me off (lactose is a big one!). It’s worth a try to help improve your quality of life. I know from experience that IBS can be miserable, embarrassing, and down right exhausting.
Comment if any of this is helpful or if you have tried the Low FODMAP Diet before!