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Heather's IBS Newsletter ~ For Irritable Bowel Syndrome

November 14, 2006

Special Holiday Issue! All About IBS-Safe Travel, Parties, Family Feasts, and More!

Hello to everyone -

Welcome to our special holiday issue! This newsletter is devoted to keeping you healthy and happy through Thanksgiving feasts, car trips, plane travel, and more.

We have a wonderful letter from Ruth, who shares her secret for IBS--free travel.

Plus, we have an extra-special, in-depth Ask Heather column with tips and tricks galore for navigating the IBS holiday minefields successfully (yes, it can be done!)

If you missed our recent newsletters, we were thrilled to announce our brand new customer account feature! This has been a long time coming, so thank you for your patience, and please let me know how we can expand and improve the system to suit your needs. We're already working on additions thanks to reader suggestions, and my ultimate goal is to make living with IBS as pleasant and easy as possible for all of you.


Best Wishes,
Heather Van Vorous

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Heather's Favorite Thanksgiving Sweet Potato Pecan Pie

This is quite possibly the best sweet potato AND the best pecan pie ever - all rolled into one. It is also low fat, high soluble fiber, and thus a fabulously rich and decadent dessert that is perfectly safe to eat. It's so good, I think it puts all non-IBS friendly recipes to shame!

Makes 12-14 servings


8 graham crackers, finely crushed
1 Tablespoon canola or saffflower oil

Preheat oven to 325F. Lightly spray 10 inch non-stick heavy-gauge springform pan with cooking oil. Mix all crust ingredients together thoroughly and press firmly into pan. Bake 4-5 mins. Cool on rack.

Sweet Potato Filling:

2 1/2 Cups steamed sweet potatoes, mashed until smooth
2 T Acacia Tummy Fiber
(optional, but a great way to add extra soluble fiber and make your pie filling super smooth and silky)

1 1/2 Cups soy milk
1/4 Cup brown sugar
1/2 Cup granulated sugar
1/4 Teaspoon salt
1 Teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 Teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 Teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 Teaspoon ground cloves
4 organic egg whites

Raise oven temperature to 350F. In a large bowl mix all ingredients until well-blended and completely smooth. Set aside.

Pecan Filling:

6 organic egg whites
1/2 Cup granulated sugar
1/2 Teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons canola or safllower oil
1 1/2 Cups dark corn syrup
1 Cup finely chopped fresh pecan halves
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract

Combine first 5 ingredients in large bowl and beat throroughly until well combined. Stir in pecans and vanilla.

Pour sweet potato filling into baked pie crust and smooth top. Carefully pour pecan filling on top. Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes, until a knife inserted into the pie comes out clean. Cool on rack.

Enjoy a slice of this pie with Peppermint or Fennel Tummy Tea for a particularly soothing end to a great holiday meal.

For more Thanksgiving recipes than you'll know what to do with, check out our fantastic IBS Recipe Index!

Fennel Tummy Tea Peppermint Tummy Tea
Organic Fennel & Peppermint Tummy Tea Bags

Extraordinary Quality ~ Very Economical

Fennel is terrific for bloating & gas, Peppermint is great for IBS pain & spasms.

New Retail Stores Carrying Heather's Tummy Care Products
We're continuing our special rebate offer for people who buy Tummy Care products at their local stores, and we have new store announcements this week as well.

The chain stores listed below (ShopRite, Akin's, Hyvee) are considering adding us to all of their stores, so if there's a branch near you that's not yet on our list, please ask them to add our products for you and they'll be happy to do so.

ShopRite of New London
351 N Frontage Rd
New London, CT 06320

ShopRite of Norwich
634 W. Main St
Norwich, CT 06360

Nature's Garden
2089 9th St N
Naples, FL 34102

Hyvee Store #1869
4000 University Ave
Waterloo, IA 50701

Progressive Health & Rehab
358B S Hamilton Rd
Gahanna, OH 43430

Fontana Shopping Center
(51st & Memorial)
7807 East 51st Street
Tulsa, Oklahoma

Natural Nutrition Incorporated
377 E. Main
Hillsboro, OR 97123

If you don't have a store in your area carrying Tummy Care products yet, please give them this flyer to ask them.

Now with 50% More Enteric Coating!
~ Heather's Tummy Tamers ~
For the Dietary Management of Abdominal Pain &, Bloating

IBS Peppermint Caps
Peppermint Oil Caps with Fennel and Ginger Are Amazing!

Because our Peppermint Oil Caps have the added benefits of fennel and ginger oils, they are truly unbeatable for preventing abdominal pain, gas, and bloating!

divider One Reader's Secret for IBS-Safe Travel

Dear Heather,

First of all, please let me say thank God for the Acacia Tummy Fiber!!! It has literally changed my life. I now only have maybe one "bad" day every 4-6 weeks. EVERY day used to be a bad day, so this is an enormous improvement. I walk, I watch what I eat, I drink large amounts of water, everything - but most of my life I have had terrible problems with extreme constipation, and the occasional bout of explosive diarrhea.

Once I started on the Acacia, I noticed a difference within only a few days. Now I take some every morning and every evening. I even keep some at my office in case I forget to take it before I leave for work.

All I can say is now I can travel without being so tense. It used to be that, if I were sitting for even a couple of hours, as on a car or plane trip, I knew I would have days and days of pain and things not moving (!), and now I just do not have that problem.

I have even given some to my dad, who has noticed a real improvement in his life, also. I kept hoping that someone in the Denver area would carry this, and now I see that a couple of stores might have started, so I will call them today.

Keep up the great work you do. You have made life better for so many of us.

Ruth Uhl
Highlands Ranch, Colorado

Thank you so much, Ruth! I am thrilled that you are doing so much better! ~ Heather

Did you miss the last reader letter from Amanda, who found instant relief for her bloating and gas? Find it here...

~ Heather's Tummy Fiber ~
For the Dietary Management of Abdominal Pain, Diarrhea, &, Constipation

IBS Acacia Tummy Fiber

Organic Acacia ~ Pure Soluble Fiber

The prebiotic fiber that relieves both diarrhea and constipation!

** Very Economical ** Only 3 cents per gram of fiber!

divider Safe Holidays with IBS
"I'll be traveling over the holidays, going home for a huge family Thanksgiving dinner, and attending several parties. How can I stay stable while I'm out of the house, on the road and in the air?"

Well, first of all, rest assured that it is definitely possible (and not even all that difficult) to have a great time during the holidays, enjoy yourself at all kinds of festivites, AND keep your IBS safely in check. Let's take the holiday issues one at a time...

Thanksgiving Day

Remember that although it's an annual rite to stuff yourself like a Thanksgiving turkey, too much of any food is a bad idea. Keep your digestion stable by keeping your meal size reasonable. You can always have seconds later.

To help prevent overeating in the first place, have a good sized breakfast of a soluble fiber staple such as oatmeal or cream of rice, and add in your soluble fiber supplement. At dinner, take just a little of everything and enjoy every bite. After the meal, go for a leisurely walk (instead of crashing on the couch) to help keep your digestion on track.

Since Thanksgiving is traditionally centered around food (and lots of it), pick and choose the dishes that are both safe and delicious. For the turkey itself, choose just the white meat (no skin!) to keep your fat content low, and your digestion stable. Add a little cranberry sauce instead of gravy, and get a good soluble fiber basis from the stuffing.

If you make traditional mashed potatoes with soy or rice milk instead of dairy, they'll be a terrific low fat, high soluble fiber foundation for the meal as well. And don't skip dessert! There's no need to when you have a wealth of digestion-friendly options like the sweet potato pecan pie above to choose from.

Helpful Hints for Parties & Holiday Meals

* Keep your portions small so you can have a taste of everything without overloading your gut.

*Take a soluble fiber supplement like Acacia Tummy Fiber right before the meal, as this will keep your digestion stable. Remember, it's soluble fiber (which soothes and regulates the GI tract) that allows you to safely add insoluble fiber foods.

* If the meal is higher in fat than it should be for IBS, try taking an enteric coated Peppermint Oil Capsule an hour before you eat. This will increase your bile production (which digests fats) and help prevent the abdominal cramps, bowel dysfunction, and pain often triggered by fatty foods.

* Eat at a leisurely pace, chew thoroughly, and make sure you're breathing deeply so you don't rush through dinner. Take the time to enjoy the conversation and catching up with family members and friends just as much as you enjoy the meal.

* Make a point of drinking your most helpful herbal tea - Fennel for bloating and gas, Peppermint for spasms and pain. - all day long, both before and after the meal. This will help prevent problems in the first place. If you're having Thanksgiving away from home, take your own tea with you.

Travel Tips

As usual with IBS, the best defense is a good offense, and for traveling this just means taking some time to think things through in advance. It will be well worth your while to make careful but flexible plans, take some simple precautions, and prepare to ask questions or make special requests on your trip to get your dietary and stress management needs met.

By the way, feeling guilty about somehow being "difficult" in this regard is not allowed. Taking care of your health is a legitimate priority, whether it's a holiday or not, and that's that.

For travel itself, whether car, plane or train rides, bring your own food and a soluble fiber supplement. Do not assume that the meals being provided by travel services, or the tourist restaurants along your route, will offer any safe choices whatsoever. Odds are they won't. If you rely on fennel or peppermint tea to keep your symptoms in check, bring a supply of teabags with you as well, and just ask for hot water so you can brew your own.

It's very important that you are extra careful to follow the IBS dietary guidelines from the first day of your trip to the last, as travel is virtually always upsetting to your body even if you're not immediately aware of the effects. This physical stress can quickly rear its ugly head in the form of an IBS attack if you allow it, so concentrate on prevention at all costs. The power of precautionary measures is what will enable you to enjoy the holidays, not suffer through them.

In addition to taking dietary precautions, maintain your stress management program while traveling, or at least a modified version of it, to the best of your ability. You may have to replace morning aerobics with evening walks, find a quiet corner of your bedroom to regularly practice meditation or yoga, or ensure in advance that if you're staying in a hotel room it's in a quiet location so your sleep is uncompromised. Do whatever it takes, and feel free to substitute any alternative that works for you.

If exercise is key to your IBS management as well, make it a priority of your trip. Take your work out clothes and shoes with you and unpack them first so they're staring you in the face. If you don't have the option of exercising as planned once you're actually on holiday, change tactics and adapt - find any variation that works and run with it. Maintenance is the key here and flexibility will get you everywhere.

Disruptions to your sleep cycle are common when traveling, particularly if you change time zones. Make an extra effort to overcome this potential trigger as quickly as possible. If you can, pack your own pillow whenever you travel, and you'll likely sleep much better. As a daily rule, try to go to sleep earlier than you think necessary and get a little extra rest - this will definitely minimize your risk of attacks. Even scheduling a few naps here and there can make a world of difference. After all, family holidays are supposed to leave you happily well-rested!

~ Heather

Did you miss our recent "Ask Heather" and part two of what NOT to drink for IBS? Find it here...

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