Broke College Student with IBS

Okay y’all, I was diagnosed with IBS in July 2014 and life has not been easy up to this point. I thought life might get easier with a diagnosis, but as it turns out, life sucks even more. Now, I don’t mean to be so pessimistic or even cynical, but I realize that I am not the only girl in the world who suffers from this disease. As it turns out, “IBS affects between 25 and 45 million people in the United States (10 to 15% of the population). About 2 in 3 IBS sufferers are female. About 1 in 3 IBS sufferers are male. IBS affects people of all ages, even children.” This is all according to the International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorder, or the IFFGD for short (that was a mouthful to type out-geese). So, I got to thinking, “all right, now what?” Well, the “what now” part is where I have to get my behind into action by now eating and living with this wonderful diagnosis for the rest of my life. Did I mention I will have this for the rest of my life?! Anyway, apparently with IBS I have to super careful of what I eat…go figure. No more McDonalds’ fries and sweet tea runs at midnight anymore… Now I have to be a “good girl” and eat a well balanced diet. By a “well balanced diet” I don’t mean that I get to go out and buy all the fruits and veggies I see! No. It’s exactly the opposite. IBS hates fruits and veggies; more so veggies than fruit. Great. I had another “What now?” moment. I thought to myself “What on earth am I supposed to eat?” I found this weird study that was going on with IBS users on Pinterest, and it is called the FODMAP DIET. I really thought at first it said FOODMAP but there is only one “o” please don’t humiliate yourself like I did. Anyway, “FODMAP stands for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols. Well, perhaps that definition doesn’t clarify things much. That name contains a list of indigestible sugars that are found in many foods.” When they say “many foods” they’re not kidding. So, according to the numerous lists out there, I could not go into the store and buy apples anymore. In fact, I cannot even eat the peal! Way too much fiber!! On my first excursion into Whole Foods with my printed out list of foods I could eat, I guided my way through, and when I checked out, I dropped about $160.00 worth of groceries. As a college student, that was a month’s worth of gas. I thought to myself “Oh, dear God, what did I buy?!” Well, as it turns out, I bought a lot of food, but it consisted of very plain stuff that would not do me one ounce of good. By this I mean, I had Dijon Mustard instead of Mayonnaise that cost me four dollars a bottle, and Kale that cost me another four dollars a bush. I don’t think Kale and Dijon Mustard by themselves go together very well. Imagine my whole cart full of that. I had picked up very, very, very basic ingredients. So when I got home, unloaded the goodies, I found myself standing in front of the pantry not knowing what to make for lunch. I would like to say that I was a good girl and made something, but instead I ran to my room and cried. I cried so hard and threw a pity party for myself thinking I did so well, but I actually wasted my money and my time. My boyfriend had to pull me out of bed and drag me back into the kitchen and make me something to eat. I had eggs. That is how far I had fallen. I thought that this would never, ever be an easy way to do this, nor will my life ever get easier with this disease. Skipping forward to today, seven months later, I have to say that life has gotten easier. I only spend ten dollars when I go into Whole Foods, three days a week, after school. I mostly buy the 2 for $5 cups of mixed fruit and pineapple (because I could eat pineapples all day, everyday), kale, and a piece of fish. On one of the other days, I will buy my milk (Lactose free, as if IBS wasn’t hard enough I have a dairy intolerance and a gluten intolerance) and eggs to last me for another two weeks. My goal is ten dollars. You ask, “how I do this”? Simple. I do not touch a basket or a cart. If I reach for a cart or a basket, I am setting myself to fail and spend anywhere between fifty dollars and a hundred dollars. I love Whole Foods, but for real guys, I need the money for tuition. Also, once I got over my initial “Life sucks” I decided to start blogging about my experience, for myself. I had no intention on posting this for others. This blog was going to be my own, “WAKE UP GIRL, YOU CAN’T EAT WHAT YOU WANT”! But, hey, if this helps someone else out, then I am so for it! Please let me know if you have any recipes that help you in living with your IBS/IBD/Celiac/Chron’s because we can use a little help. In the mean time, I will post simple, simple ideas about recipes and specific brands that have helped me in my battle of IBS.

-Luvs, Mel!

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