Saturday, 3 July 2010

Kicking IBS with veggies, beans and tri training. TMI warning!

A bought quinoa, wild rice, edamame, red pepper and butternut squash salad with a lemon basil dressing. There were some pumpkin seeds in there too. Deelish! I need to recreate this at home.
Super gingery sesame collard greens, onion and pepper with a nut burger.

Below: a big melange of cannellini beans, tomato, spinach and onion. Probably peppers and courgettes too, I forget!

My 12 week tri training is supposed to begin on monday! I still haven't sorted pool membership though, I need to do this early next week. In case I don't get a swim back home in the early part of the week, I'm going to get a swim in tomorrow while I'm staying at my parents. My sister likes swimming so we are going together. It'll be nice to have a swim buddy as I am not as confident in the pool yet as I'd like to be. But I'm excited about making progress. Speaking of which, this time last year was when my GI issues stepped up a gear. I got pretty badly constipated and a result ended up with haemorrhoids that I still haven't managed to totally get rid of. However, the last month has seen big improvements. That's because I've been swapping grains out fairly often for pulses or extra veggies (see above). All the extra fibre seems to be helping things and isn't irritating my gut. So for example, instead of pasta or noodles with tomato sauce, I have a big heap of steamed spring greens or broccoli. Instead of rice, I cook up a big pile of green lentils. Not only does this boost the fibre content in my diet, but all those greens and pulses are high in protein, great for repairing and building muscle after the extra strength training I've been adding to my routine.

I think I am finally making some headway with my digestive problems.
Quite simply, lots of water, lots of fibre and lots of exercise.

Also plenty of sleep and breathing exercises to ease stress.

Sugar, fat or starch-rich meals aren't doing me any favours. I'm still eating grains, just a lot less frequently and in smaller portions, and I'm choosing them more carefully. I go for high protein gluten free grains like millet, buckwheat, quinoa and amaranth, although I just have to have some nutty brown basmati or short grain rice every now and again.

After some experimenting, a fruit based breakfast suits my tummy best, although the odd bowl of pinhead oatmeal in the winter is no problem. I can handle a little muesli, as I eat it with twice the quantity of fruit. I would like to get into the way of veggies at breakfast, but I think a diet with variety is the way to go, and I get my veggies in later. It's best to eat part early in the day.

I also eat a little more frequently than before, usually four times a day. I find my tummy copes better with smaller meals, but then I get hungry sooner. So I obey the hunger, because I don't want to put myself in an energy deficit and wreck my training.

My non breakfast meals are about 2/3 veggies and 1/3 pulses (I count homemade bean burgers and hummus). I can handle very occasional tofu munching, and I have tempeh in the freezer to try.

My go-to treats are soy yogurt or amazake with frozen berries, dark chocolate or non-dairy ice cream (LOVE Booja Booja). I can only take biscuits (i.e. cookies) and other baked goods in very small amounts.

I have pictures of my eats for today on my camera, but can't get them uploaded to this computer, so I will edit the post tomorrow. Get ready for training galore next week!

In other news, I think I'm going to get my periods back soon (they've been vacationing for a while). I ovulated yesterday. This is good in a way because I was worried they'd gone away because of the running and I was worried about bone density loss. Does anyone else feel ovulation? I get a sharp pain for a couple of hours in whatever side it's happenin' at this time around. While it's quite uncomfortable, I think it's pretty valuable info!


  1. Congrats on the progress with your IBS and a potential period! Good news. My digestive system sounds SO similar to yours it's unreal. Mine really doens't cope well with big meals, too many starches, sugar, fat and salt either. And it prefers fruit in the morning :) I think that's why i tend to lean towards a high-raw vegan diet. Just curious, how does your system cope with bananas and fruit smoothies? I'm thinking of experimenting with them but in the past they haven't been great. Looking forward to your photos. x

  2. Bananas don't seem to be a problem for me, if I have 'elevenses' it's usually a banana. That said, I almost always eat bananas alone, most of my digestion issues are when I eat things in combination. So I prefer to eat potential tricky things, like nuts or banana on their own. I can cope with banana in smoothies though. Smoothies are my perfect breakfast, very easy for me to digest and keep me satisfied. They usually consist of frozen berries and banana, rice milk and milled flaxseed. For a treat I add cocoa powder, and for extra protein I add hemp seeds. Current favourite is fresh, in season strawberries with frozen banana! So tasty and a beautiful colour. For them to last me all morning, they need to be a thick 500ml.

  3. Thanks Eimear! I love banana and strawberry smoothies. I usually eat bananas in combination with something else like on rice cakes with peanut butter so maybe that's where i'm going wrong. Will try eating bananas and smoothies on their own and see if it makes any difference. Thank you x