What to Eat When You Can't Eat Anything

We've all been there. And it's an awful place to be. There are some days when it seems like everything you eat triggers an IBS attack. So now you're afraid to eat anything.

This is not your imagination. When IBS is raging, your gastrocolic reflex can be so sensitive that simply drinking water can trigger dysfunctional colon contractions and IBS symptoms.

When this happens, you need to give your body a rest and stick to the safest foods and drinks possible in order to break the cycle of IBS. You need to be able to eat without fear.

Pain and diarrhea should resolve first, in just a few days. IBS constipation, especially if it's been chronic, will take longer. Please hang in there.

The best way to break the cycle of IBS is to restrict your diet for a few days to nothing but plain soluble fiber foods and your slowly fermenting prebiotic soluble fiber supplement, plus lots of high volatile oil peppermint tea. If you're prone to heartburn or reflux, drink high volatile oil fennel tea instead. Why?

Peppermint is a powerful smooth muscle relaxant, antispasmodic, and IBS painkiller.

Fennel is a strong antispasmodic, soothes heartburn, and is a fantastic carminative, which directly helps bloating and gas.

Also, try to be mildly active, even if just means moving around the house. Gentle exercise will work the muscles of the bowels and help get them back into a pattern of normal contractions.

Walking or stretching or an easy yoga practice is ideal. Exercise is especially crucial for IBS constipation.

Your soluble fiber foods and supplement will stabilize the GI contractions that are going haywire and causing pain, and will normalize bowel function from either extreme, whether diarrhea or constipation.

So stick to foods like plain white rice, instant oatmeal, pasta, noodles, sourdough or French breads, peeled potatoes, bananas.

Boring, I know, but it's just for a few days.

And if you're struggling to break a cycle of IBS attacks, make sure you're adding in a slowly fermenting prebiotic soluble fiber supplement. This is crucial for long term IBS stability.

After a few days, you should be feeling much better, and your gut contractions will have stabilized. IBS pain and diarrhea should have resolved though IBS constipation and bloating will likely take a while longer.

At this point, start carefully expanding your diet.

Keep the soluble fiber foundation foods and add in smaller portions of insoluble fiber foods, following the rules. For instance, blend fresh fruits into smoothies to have after rice cereal, or puree cooked veggies into pasta sauces or soups and serve over rice or potatoes.

The IBS recipes for zucchini, banana, and pumpkin breads work deliciously here, and so does the jok rice porridge soup. For safe proteins add a bit of grilled white fish, skinless chicken breast, scrambled egg whites, or silken tofu to your noodles or rice. Add a small spoonful of nut butter and sliced banana to instant oatmeal or a bowl of white rice.

If you're longing for a safe sweet treat, try the IBS recipes for Will's dreamy lemon rice pudding, the vanilla or chocolate silk puddings, family favorite peppermint fudge cake, or banana cream pie.

Keep your fat content very low and be extra careful as you start to incorporate the insoluble fiber foods.

As you stay stable, you can expand to all the other IBS recipes. Follow the general IBS diet guidelines - stay low fat, no trigger foods, careful with insoluble fiber - and you'll be back to a varied and healthy diet overall.

Continue to make soluble fiber the basis of your IBS diet, always, and have those foods as the foundation of your meals and snacks. Keep up your soluble fiber supplement on a twice daily basis as well.

Remember, it's not just ruling out trigger foods, it's ruling in soluble fiber safe foods. This is key to regulating your dysfunctional bowel motility and preventing IBS symptoms in the first place.

What To Eat Without Fear

* Plain white rice

* Plain baked potatoes without the skin

* Plain white breads such as French or sourdough, not whole wheat or multi-grain

* Toasted plain bagels

* Toasted plain English muffins

* Cream of Rice cereal

* Plain instant oatmeal (not steel cut)

* Pretzels (salted or unsalted)

* Fat-free Saltines

* Fat-free fortune cookies

* Plain angel food cake, homemade or from a mix

* Arrowroot crackers

* Cold fat-free cereal such as Corn Chex, Kix, Rice Chex, Rice Krispies, Honeycomb, eaten dry. AVOID bran, granola, and whole wheat choices, as well as cereals with raisins, other dried fruits, or nuts

* Homemade dried or fresh bananas

* Plain cooked regular pasta (not egg), sprinkled with a little salt

* Plain rice noodles, sprinkled with a little salt

* Lots and lots of medicinal strength, high volatile oil, peppermint, fennel, chamomile, or ginger tea

Take immediate control of your IBS symptoms with Heather's IBS diet kit...

Read on to learn all about your soluble fiber safe foods...

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