As hard as you can try to do the right things for your gut whilst on holiday; rich food, cocktails and heat are never going to be the perfect combo for a flat tummy so the chances are, if you have a sensitive tummy it might come out to play whilst you’re away.
If you suffer from IBS or food intolerances, you’ll probably be pretty familiar with keeping a food diary. Noting down everything you eat and drink each day, and any symptoms along the way. It’s one of the first things that we’re told to do in order to identify our triggers, and often the most effective (in fact, contrary to popular belief it’s the only proven way of identifying intolerances – intolerance tests are not proven to be accurate guys!).
There’s a lot of sucky things about having IBS, and if you search online you’ll find plenty of lists of how IBS can affect you in a negative way. These lists have been so helpful to me; making me feel like I am not alone, and they can really help form a community of support. However, I think a little bit of positivity could be a good idea right now (let’s face it, this weather is miserable so we probably all need it!). Searching “the good things about IBS” returns literally zero results (that I could find), and although I’m by no means saying having IBS, or any gut condition is a good thing I wanted to help spread a few of the positives that have come into my life from suffering with an unhappy tummy!
So after a crazy weekend of gaining over a thousand new followers in less than 24 hours, I thought it may be helpful to share a bit about me and my tummy story so far. I really hope it doesn’t sound too self-indulgent, but instead wanted to share some of the challenges and mistakes that I have made, in the hope that you guys don’t have to make the same.
Having a gut condition doesn’t just affect your physical health, but more than often it can have a pretty big impact on your mental health too. Not being able to eat what you want without rubbish consequences can be really frustrating, upsetting and often even embarrassing.
Last year I suffered pretty badly with the mental side of things. I don’t think it was just due to my stomach problems at all, but it definitely didn’t help. However with the help of some amazing people in my life, a bit of hypnotherapy from Kent Therapy Clinic (will do a whole post on this shortly) and learning my own personal ways of dealing with things, I’m now a million percent happier. In fact, I don’t even recognise myself when I think about six-months-ago me.
Two of my favourite things in life are eating, and working out, so I thought I’d share with you what a typical week looks like for me in terms of food and fitness, including my full meal and exercise planner below…
I first discovered Iberogast when I was on a weekend city break in Barcelona. Although I was very careful eating out, I spent a lot of my time there feeling very sick and fairly bloated. At the time I was taking a prescribed antihistamine; cyclizine hydrochloride to help with the nausea (which did actually work brilliantly) however unfortunately I ran out whilst away.
So it’s 1.30am and I’m lying here clutching a hot water bottle for dear life, trying to finish my sixth peppermint tea of the night. I have the half marathon in 8 hours and my stomach feels like it’s got a watermelon inside and all I want to do is pop it wish a pin and relieve some of this pain!
Restaurants are definitely getting better and better at marking up menu’s, with it now being pretty much standard to mark up gluten free and vegetarian options (thank god!). However when your food intolerances expand to anything further it can be a lot trickier.
Following a low FODMAP diet and being highly gluten intolerant (I haven’t been tested for coeliac disease as too scared about having to ingest gluten prior to the test!) my main triggers are gluten, garlic, onion and lactose. Helpfully, these are possibly the most common ingredients of pretty much every dish! I have written an eating out guide to help with picking a restaurant/ meal and overall have had a massive success with following this process, however every now and then I still get caught out – especially if I can’t research and pre-select the restaurant.
So I started writing this post on 8th January. It’s now 24th so my goals aren’t going quite as well as planned but I’ve finally caught up with work, house jobs and life admin so I’m posting this now anyway despite being late to the party…
Happy New Year! Not to say I couldn’t have sat on the sofa eating cheeseboards (lactose free of course) whilst watching the Game of Thrones for a few weeks longer, but I was actually quite excited to crack on with 2018. The plan was to wake up on 2nd, smash the gym at 6am, have a productive day at work, cook a much-needed healthy dinner and write my first blog post in months…
How much of that did I achieve? None. Instead I spent the first five days in bed feeling sorry for myself with what I’m pretty sure was the Norovirus (that or the plague).