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!

FODMAP LISTS

So now that you have read my rant, here is a list of foods that, according to the study, has been tested and has improved lives of those with IBS, including yours truly. Now, as a disclaimer, IBS affects everyone differently. If you know that garlic makes you go to the bathroom for an hour, please don’t eat it, no matter how awesome and insanely delicious it looks!

-Luvs, Mel

High FODMAP food (things to avoid / reduce)

Vegetables and Legumes

  • Garlic – avoid entirely if possible
  • Onions – avoid entirely if possible
  • Artichoke
  • Asparagus
  • Baked beans
  • Beetroot
  • Black eyed peas
  • Broad beans
  • Butter beans
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery – greater than 5cm of stalk
  • Kidney beans
  • Leeks
  • Mange Tout
  • Mushrooms
  • Peas
  • Savoy Cabbage
  • Soy beans
  • Split peas
  • Scallions / spring onions (bulb / white part)
  • Shallots

Fruit – fruits can contain high fructose

  • Apples
  • Apricots
  • Avocado
  • Blackberries
  • Cherries
  • Currants
  • Dates
  • Grapefruit
  • Lychee
  • Mango
  • Nectarines
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Persimmon
  • Plums
  • Pomegranate
  • Prunes
  • Raisins
  • Tinned fruit in apple / pear juice
  • Watermelon

Cereals, Grains, Breads, Biscuits, Pasta, Nuts and Cakes

  • Wheat containing products such (be sure to check labels):
  • Biscuits
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Cashews
  • Cakes
  • Egg noodles
  • Regular noodles
  • Pastries
  • Pasta made from wheat
  • Udon noodles
  • Wheat bread
  • Wheat cereals
  • Wheat rolls
  • Barley
  • Bran cereals
  • Couscous
  • Pistachios
  • Rye
  • Semolina

Condiments, Sweets, Sweeteners and Spreads

  • Agavae
  • Fructose
  • High fructose corn syrup (HFCS)
  • Honey
  • Ketchup / Tomato sauce (check ingredients, some can be OK)
  • Milk chocolate
  • Sugar free sweets containing polyols – usually ending in -ol or isomalt
  • Inulin
  • Isomalt
  • Maltitol
  • Mannitol
  • Sorbitol
  • Xylitol

Prebiotic Foods

  • The follow items can be added to yoghurts, snack bars etc:
  • FOS – fructooligosaccharides
  • Inulin
  • Oligofructose

Drinks

  • Beer – if drinking more than one bottle
  • Dandelion tea
  • Fruit and herbal teas with apple added
  • Orange juice in quantities over 100ml
  • Rum
  • Sodas containing High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)
  • Soy milk made with soy beans – commonly found in USA
  • Sports drinks
  • Wine – if drinking more than one glass

Dairy Foods

  • Buttermilk
  • Cream cheese
  • Cream
  • Custard
  • Ice cream
  • Margarine
  • Milk – cow, goat and sheep
  • Sour cream
  • Yoghurt – including greek yogurt
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Low FODMAP food (good to eat food)

Vegetables and Legumes

  • Alfalfa
  • Bean sprouts
  • Bok choy / pak choi
  • Broccoli – avoid large servings
  • Brussel sprouts – 1 serving of 2 sprouts
  • Butternut squash – 1/4 cup
  • Cabbage – 1 serving of 1 cup
  • Carrots
  • Celery – less than 5cm of stalk
  • Corn / sweet corn- if tolerable and only in small amounts – 1/2 cob
  • Courgette
  • Chick peas – 1/4 cup
  • Chilli – if tolerable
  • Chives
  • Cucumber
  • Eggplant / aubergine
  • Fennel
  • Green beans
  • Green pepper (green bell pepper)
  • Ginger
  • Kale
  • Leek leaves
  • Lentils – in small amounts
  • Lettuce
  • Okra
  • Olives
  • Parsnip
  • Parsley
  • Radish
  • Red peppers (red bell pepper)
  • Potato
  • Pumpkin
  • Scallions / spring onions (green part)
  • Spinach, baby
  • Squash
  • Sweet potato – 1/2 cup
  • Tomato – avoid cherry tomato
  • Turnip
  • Zucchini

Fruit

  • Bananas
  • Blueberries
  • Boysenberry
  • Canteloupe
  • Cranberry
  • Clementine
  • Dragonfruit
  • Grapes
  • Honeydew and Galia melons
  • Kiwifruit
  • Lemon including lemon juice
  • Lime
  • Mandarin
  • Orange
  • Passion fruit
  • Paw paw
  • Papaya
  • Pineapple
  • Raspberry
  • Rhubarb
  • Strawberry

Meats, Poultry and Meat Substitutes

  • Chicken
  • Beef
  • Lamb
  • Pork
  • Quorn, mince
  • Turkey
  • Cold cuts / deli meat / cold meats such as ham and turkey breast

Fish and Seafood

  • Canned tuna
  • Fresh fish e.g.
    • Salmon
    • Cod
    • Haddock
    • Plaice
    • Trout
  • Seafood (ensuring nothing else is added) e.g.
    • Crab
    • Lobster
    • Shrimp
    • Mussels
    • Oysters

Cereals, Grains, Breads, Biscuits, Pasta, Nuts and Cakes

  • Wheat free or gluten free breads
  • Bread made from oats, rice, corn, and potato flours
  • Wheat free or gluten free pasta
  • Buckwheat noodles
  • Rice noodles
  • Porridge and oat based cereals
  • Cornflakes – 1/2 cup
  • Rice bran
  • Rice Krispies
  • Almonds – max of 15
  • Amaranth
  • Buckwheat
  • Brown rice / whole grain rice
  • Crispbread
  • Corncakes
  • Coconut – milk, cream, flesh
  • Hazelnuts – max of 15
  • Macadamia – max of 10
  • Millet
  • Oats
  • Oatcakes
  • Peanuts
  • Pecans – max of 15
  • Pine nuts – max of 15
  • Polenta
  • Popcorn
  • Potato chips, plain
  • Pumpkin seeds – max of 1 – 2 tbsp
  • Quinoa
  • Rice cakes
  • Rice crackers
  • Sesame seeds – max of 1 – 2 tbsp
  • Spelt
  • Sunflower seeds – max of 1 – 2 tbsp
  • Sorgum
  • Tortilla chips
  • Walnuts – max of 10
  • White rice

Condiments, Sweets, Sweeteners and Spreads

  • Aspartame
  • Acesulfame K
  • Barbecue sauce
  • Chocolate, dark
  • Chutney
  • Fish sauce
  • Golden syrup
  • Glucose
  • Jam / jelly, strawberry
  • Maple syrup
  • Marmalade
  • Mustard
  • Olive oil
  • Oyster sauce
  • Pesto sauce – less than 1 tbsp
  • Peanut butter
  • Saccharine
  • Soy sauce
  • Sweet and sour sauce
  • Sucralose
  • Sugar – also called sucrose
  • Vegemite
  • Vinegar, balsamic – less than 2 tbsp
  • Vinegar, rice wine
  • Worcestershire sauce

Drinks

  • Alcohol – is an irritant to the gut, limited intake advised:
  • Beer – limited to one drink
  • Clear spirits such as Vodka
  • Gin
  • Whiskey
  • Wine – limited to one drink
  • Coffee, espresso, regular or decaffeinated, black
  • Coffee, espresso, regular or decaffeinated, with up to 250ml lactose free milk
  • Coffee, instant, regular or decaffeinated, black
  • Coffee, instant, regular or decaffeinated, with up to 250ml lactose free milk
  • Espresso, regular, black
  • Fruit and herbal tea – ensure no apple added
  • Lemonade – in low quantities
  • Soya milk made with soy protein
  • Sugar free fizzy drinks / soft drinks / soda – such as diet coke, in low quantities as aspartame and acesulfame k can be irritants
  • ‘Sugar’ fizzy drinks / soft drinks / soda that do no contain HFCS such as lemonade, cola. Limit intake due to these drinks being generally unhealthy and can cause gut irritation
  • Water

Dairy Foods and Eggs

  • Butter
  • Cheese, brie
  • Cheese, camembert
  • Cheese, cheddar
  • Cheese, cottage
  • Cheese, feta
  • Cheese, mozzarella
  • Cheese, ricotta – 2 tablespoons
  • Cheese, swiss
  • Dairy free chocolate pudding
  • Eggs
  • Gelato
  • Lactose free milk
  • Lactose free yoghurt
  • Oat milk
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Rice milk
  • Sorbet
  • Soy protein (avoid soya beans)
  • Swiss cheese
  • Tempeh
  • Tofu
  • Whipped cream

Cooking ingredients, Herbs and Spices

  • Basil
  • Cinnamon
  • Cocoa powder
  • Mint
  • Oregano