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October 22, 2013 ~ Scroll down for full newsletter or follow the links:

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Ask Heather » The 5 Constipation Frustrations - Part Two!

IBS Recipe » Herbed Parmesan Scallops - Fast but Special!

Special Letter » First Vacation in 15 Years Thanks to Fairy Dust for the Tummy!

Heather Van Vorous, IBS Patient-Expert    Have questions? Call toll free (866) 640-4942.
Outside the US (206) 264 8069.

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Heather Van Vorous & Heather's Tummy Care
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Herbed Parmesan Scallops

This recipe makes a fast and easy dinner that also feels special. Scallops are always a treat, and this simple dish emphasizes their sweet taste and buttery smooth texture with a crispy, crunchy herbed topping.

Serve with crusty French bread or white rice for a soluble fiber foundation, add in a side of well-steamed green beans or zucchini, and you have a work night dinner that's lovely enough for guests. A hidden bonus? The parsley is a digestive aid, and the soy or rice Parmesan gives great flavor without any dairy triggers!

Makes 2 Servings, Easily Doubled

3/4 pound bay scallops
2 t olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 small shallot, minced
1/8 t garlic salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 T fresh parsley, finely chopped
1/4 cup fresh bread crumbs
2 T soy/rice Parmesan (at health food markets/some groceries, usually in a shaker jar)

Fresh crusty French bread or white rice for serving

Bring a small saucepan full of water to simmer, add scallops, and cook for just 2 minutes. Drain well. Heat oil in a small non-stick skillet and fry the garlic and shallot over medium heat until tender. Add the scallops, salt, pepper, and parsley.

Transfer mixture to small baking pan that will just fit the scallops in a single layer. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and Parmesan. Place under broiler just until golden brown and hot (scallops over-cook very quickly, so watch closely). Serve with fresh bread or rice.

Are you just learning how to eat for IBS? A little intimidated at the thought of special IBS recipes? Not quite sure just what makes these recipes special in the first place? Don't worry! Get Eating for IBS and find the answers to all your questions.

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divider First Vacation in 15 Years Thanks to Fairy Dust for the Tummy!

Hello Heather and Company,

I shouted with glee when I saw Dr. Oz and your wonderful Acacia Tummy Fiber on TV. I wrote to Dr. Oz telling him about this wonderful, magical fiber that gave me back my life. Whether he saw my email, whether it had anything to do with him featuring it, I don't know, but I'm so happy that more people were made aware of this fairy dust for your tummy.

Some background on me: I suffered with IBS-D for over 20 years. I had every test imaginable and tried every drug my doctor could throw out me for my IBS. Nothing helped. I was literally homebound. I had to stay close to a bathroom. If I ventured out, it was to my local supermarket or small mall, where you can bet I knew the location of each and every bathroom.

I missed so much: weddings, graduations, family outings. I would bravely wave goodbye to my husband and daughter as they would leave for an event that I arranged...Broadway show, concert, local movie, and then fall on my bed and cry.

Five years ago I found your site. I sent away for the Tummy Fiber, and I thank God each and every day that I did. When I say it gave me back my life, I'm not kidding.

Within a few weeks of starting it, I was able to attend my daughter's high school graduation (something I feared I would miss) without a hitch. Not only did I NOT need a bathroom, I didn't even THINK of needing a bathroom.

A few weeks later I went to a movie theater for the first time in 15 years. Granted, I sat on the aisle "just in case", but I sat through the movie comfortably. I enjoyed myself so much that I went to another movie the same week!

My stomach just continued getting better and better. I was able to travel by car to visit my daughter in college, a 3 hour car trip, which I never thought I would be able to do. My husband and I went on a vacation for the first time in over 15 years. And I started eating out! Oh my...I have an extra 10 pounds to prove it too!

I have not gone a day without taking my Tummy Fiber. When I had surgery last year and was in the hospital, I had my travel packets with me and got my doctor's clearance for taking them. (In fact, a hospital nutritionist asked me for a packet so she could inform one of her patients about it).

I have shared your product with numerous IBSers that I have met, either on line or in person. One person I know for sure has gotten his life back too and is a strong supporter of your product.

So thank you...from the bottom of my heart for this wonderful fiber and for all that you do for IBS. In a nutshell, it has given me back my life. I'm happy, I'm out and about all the time, and life is good! And I owe it all to you!

You can use my comments on your website or newsletter. I'm more than happy to share my success with your fiber with others. I want every IBS sufferer to have their 'ah ha' moment when they realize that they are 'normal' once again.


Great big bear hugs to you, Caren!! I am so extraordinarily happy for you!! ~ Heather

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divider The Five Constipation Frustrations - Part Two!

"What if you think you're doing everything you're supposed to do for constipation, but nothing is working?!"

Well, first of all, take a deep breath, relax, and realize that you're not all alone here - and you're definitely not helpless, even if it sometimes feels that way. Constipation tends to be one of the more frustrating IBS symptoms, and it does take longer to resolve through lifestyle changes than diarrhea. But - there are many, many ways to help alleviate constipation successfully, it just takes a little patience and persistence.

In the last newsletter we tackled the first two Constipation Frustrations (Soluble Fiber Supplements Are Overnight Wonder Drugs, Right?, and Insoluble Fiber Foods Are IBS Triggers, So I Won't Eat Any!). This week we address the last three:

3. I don't eat anything at all when I'm constipated, because I don't want to make things worse.

As counter-intuitive as it may seem, you actually need to keep eating in order to help resolve constipation. The very act of eating, in and of itself, triggers your gastrocolic reflex, which in turn signals your colon to start contracting. The rhythmic waves of contractions - called peristalsis - are necessary to produce regular bowel movements. If you simply stop eating, your bowel will lose its signals to contract, and constipation will worsen.

What's most helpful is to eat small amounts frequently, making sure that you safely incorporate insoluble fiber foods. Try to keep to a regular schedule of light meals and snacks, so your body becomes accustomed to (and expects) food at predictable times. This will help get your gut in tune with a regular schedule of elimination as well.

As an aside, making sure that you're also on a consistent bedtime/wakeup routine will also help constipation. Your gut normally "wakes up" with you, and peristalsis increases shortly after you get out of bed and start moving around in the morning. Keeping to a set schedule of sleep (and getting enough of it!), plus following the same wakeup time every morning, will help your gut stay in a properly functioning pattern. With IBS, you're waging a daily battle against bowel dysmotility, so your goal is try and make every factor that influences bowel function - diet, stress, sleep, exercise - a gentle but persistent nudge towards regularity, in every sense of the word.

4. I drink eight glasses of water a day - that's plenty, right?

For most people without IBS, yep - this much water can be plenty. For people with IBS, it may take twice as much water - every single day - to help rein in constipation. It's not just your bowel, actually, but your entire GI tract, that needs water to function properly.

Soluble fiber, the foundation of the IBS diet and a terrific tool for managing all IBS symptoms, needs plenty of water in order to regulate bowel function. Soluble fiber also normalizes water levels in the gut, which in and of itself helps constipation. But, there has to be enough water in the gut in the first place for soluble fiber to work its magic. Together, fiber and water maintain gastrointestinal muscle tone, dilute toxic wastes in the GI tract, bind irritants, bring oxygen to the tissues, and help maintain the correct balance of intestinal flora.

With constipation, the slower your gut motility is, the longer it takes for the transit of matter through your colon. The longer this takes, the more time there is for the colon to absorb too much moisture out of the matter, and this makes constipation even worse. Drinking plenty of water (especially in conjunction with a soluble fiber supplement) will help alleviate this.

It's pretty difficult to drink too much water, so make it your goal to drink 16 full glasses of water each day, and if you can make it a little bit more, even better. It's easiest to just space out your water throughout the day, especially between meals. Keep a water bottle or glass at hand at all times when you're at home or work, carry a water bottle with you if you're out and about or at school, and keep water bottles in your car for when you're on the go.

If you're suddenly increasing your water intake, then yes, you will be running to the bathroom an awful lot. But hang in there, because it won't take more than a week or so for your bladder to adjust. The really interesting thing is that you'll likely find if you don't keep up with your new water increase once you've adjusted, you will suddenly find yourself very irritable and thirsty. Most people function better overall when they're drinking quite a bit more water than they may think they need.

5. I know exercise is important for constipation, so I get at least 20 minutes of walking in each day.

Exercise is more than important for constipation-prone IBS folks - it is absolutely critical. Exercise in general regulates bowel function and increase the efficiency of your entire digestive process, and it also reduces muscle tension. Exercise works your muscles (including internal muscles, like your colon), releasing the energy stored from involuntary contractions under stress, and allowing relaxation. With IBS, a relaxed colon is a happy colon.

The catch here is that moderate activity - which would help regulate constipation in a normal person - might not be nearly enough for constipation from IBS. You may well need a solid hour - or two - of exercise on a daily basis. You might also need a strenuous aerobic exercise, and not just walking or gentle workouts. This is particularly true if you are sedentary throughout the rest of the day (desk jobs are not good for the gut!).

Why would an intense workout be better for constipation than a series of shorter, lighter activities? The production of adrenaline that fast-paced, vigorous exercise produces actually results in something close to the "fight-or-flight" reaction of your body. Part of this reaction is an increase in peristaltic movement and a bowel movement. Light exercise won't necessarily produce the same results.

I know it can be difficult, if not impossible, to find this much time on a day-in, day-out basis for exercise. But if you can make the attempt, please try. Obviously, any exercise is better than none at all, so don't give up shorter, lighter workouts if that's all you can fit in.

However, if you are able to try at least a couple full-fledged, all-out, hard-core workouts each week, even if it's just for a trial run, you may see such benefits to your bowel that you become determined to find a way to make this a habit. Just make sure to drink plenty of water afterwards!

~ Heather

Don't miss the first two Constipation Frustrations!

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