Iíve been trying to follow the IBS diet from your cookbook for over a year now Ė and it has mostly worked. I have not been officially diagnosed with IBS, but my alternating bowel habits follow the unpredictable nature of the symptoms of IBS. Sometimes you canít predict when undesirable results will occur. I have written this letter because Iím still a little confused about how and what I should eat. Here is what Iíve come to understand: In order to prevent the ďdĒ word, from happening, I have to eat foods containing soluble fiber (regular white flour, rice, brown rice, potatoes, oats, corn) BEFORE I eat foods containing insoluble fiber (foods with whole wheat, and harder to digest grains such as rye, triticale, spelt, etc.).
Here is what I ate for breakfast yesterday (and many other breakfasts have followed similarly): First I ate oatmeal with ghee (clarified butter with the milk solids boiled out slowly), blueberries, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, a bit of honey, a little peanut butter, and wheat germ; second I ate a frozen apple turnover with white fillo style dough; third I ate half a whole wheat bagel. For me, I donít think that Iím eating enough whole wheat (or ďwhole grain,Ē or ďmulti grainĒ, those terms are a little confusing to me so I always read labels). I feel like Iím filling up on regular white flour foods when Iíve read that whole wheat foods are really more nutritious. I can see what your strategy entails, though- to eat something with regular grain AND donít eat whole wheat on an empty stomach.
I was frustrated last week when I used Metamucil (psyllium husk powder) about 1 Ĺ hours after dinner and before bedtime. I mixed the 1 tsp. psyllium with about 8-10 ounces of warm water and a tiny bit of apple sauce and a bit of leftover peppermint tea. The next morning I had a bit of ďd.Ē Iím wondering if I drank too much water in combination with the psyllium, and/or I drank it too close to going to bed. I donít drink Metamucil every night because itís just too much to do before going to bed! Maybe I use the Metamucil once every two or three weeks Ė maybe Iím not consistent enough.
If your time allows, I would appreciate a response to these questions:
- Do I have to fill up before meals on white flour? I have been eating a small amount of tortilla or sourdough or regular grain with ginger while cooking dinner, for example. During dinner, I eat grains according to the order I described in my breakfast example. I wait to eat whole grains and salads after the main entrťe.
- My other concern is that since Iím so worried about getting ďdĒ (I worry about this all day at work and in my everyday life now, even though my IBS mostly shows itself as constipation, I do occasionally get ďdĒ) that I donít think that I drink enough water or other liquids. Mostly I sip warm water during meals (very small amount) because too much water can douse the digestive fire and cold liquids can go against the digestive systems ability to digest food. This summer, though, it was very hot in Albuquerque and I experimented with drinking cold fruit juice mixed with room temperature filtered water and I was okay (but I didnít drink the fruit juice during a full-blown meal, only with a snack of a bit of bread and/or a few nuts).
Some of my ďrulesĒ for eating come from the Ayurvedic system of medicine. I work at an Ayurvedic clinic in the herb department in Albuquerque, New Mexico. One of those rules is to eat fruit alone, without other foods, because of its sweet and acidic nature. So yogurt (dairy) mixed with fruit isnít a good idea - but yogurt mixed with digestive herbs like ginger, cumin, and cardamom, is a better idea.
I have also been experimenting with making breads without yeast and combinations of different flours (white with a little whole wheat, oat, rice flour, for ex.) because my body type (you can research this within the philosophy of Ayurveda) doesnít tolerate yeast very well. I have also experimented with store bought breads made with a combination of white and whole wheat flours. I only eat this bread after I have eaten something with regular white flour.
Thank you for your time and I would appreciate your responses if your time permits.