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IBS + Meal Prep: How I Use Meal Prep To Alleviate My Irritable Bowel Syndrome

April is National Irritable Bowel Syndrome Awareness Month.

IBS Awareness Month

Now, you may be wondering, what the heck is IBS and what does it have to do with meal prepping?

Well, let me get a bit technical for a moment, I am an advocate for this chronic condition because most people are either ill-informed on WHAT it actually is or are too embarrassed to admit they have it.

 

Irritable Bowel Syndrome, known as IBS, is a chronic and unpredictable condition.  It is a functional gastrointestinal disorder characterized by a pattern of intermittent symptoms.  Simply put, the function of a person’s intestines who has IBS is faulty and there is not necessarily a rhyme or reason why.  The faulty interaction in the nerves and the muscles of the intestinal tract, Central Nervous System, and the “brain-gut” connection is what creates a slew of super fun symptoms. The intestines either function too much, resulting in IBS-D, don’t function enough, causing IBS-C, or if you’re lucky like me, you get IBS-Mixed which is a lovely compilation of the two.

ibs

SO, for me, having Irritable Bowel Syndrome means that every single thingeat has a direct effect on my intestines and whether or not I will have symptoms.  Since IBS is extremely individualized and symptoms and severity can vary from person to person, finding what works best for YOU and YOUR body is literally a lengthy process of trial and error.

ibs

For me, and many others, altering what I eat, has made a huge difference in managing my IBS. For a while, I feared food because I felt that no matter what I ate, my intestines would become irate, and they did. My flareups lasted weeks, and I almost was always experiencing symptoms for a period of time. I couldn’t pinpoint a cause to all my suffering, because there were too many variables (foods) causing it.

Per my doctor, I started tracking my food to see what caused symptoms, and what didn’t. Once I found out what worked for my body, I began cooking my IBS friendly options in bulk – welcoming me into the wondrous world of meal prepping.

colored meal prep containers

MEAL PREPPING IS MY SAVIOR FOR MY IBS.

  1. I have a laundry list of foods I have to avoid
    1. The list of foods/ingredients I cannot eat is quite lengthy, so I simply cannot buy “meals to go” or pre-packaged items because most often, they contain irritants for me – so cooking my OWN food keeps my healthy
  1. I always have food “ready to go”
    1. Ain’t nobody got time for that – Sweet Brown had it right, life IS busy, I don’t want to spend every single night slaving away in the kitchen when I’ve already had a long day at work and have lesson plans to write, workouts I want to do, or simply relax. Instead, I spend time cooking on the weekend. Plus, stress exacerbates IBS symptoms – so not sweating about what I’ll be eating later on not only saves me time, but also stress and helps keep me symptom free
      food
  1. Social situations are stress free when I bring my own food
    1. When most people cook – they don’t necessarily measure the amount of oil, onion or garlic that goes into a dish…since they add flavor. For me, all three of those are huge irritants…so eating something someone else has prepared often will make me anxious, unless I can literally know the EXACT amounts into the dish – which then can make me seem like a neurotic nuisance. It’s not fun to be eating something in fear of having a “flare up” later on. Instead, I often bring my own food to social gatherings that mock the menu of whatever is being served. Then I can eat stress free, savoring my meal and the company around me instead of stressing out over the ingredients used.
  1. When I am having a flare up and am too tired to cook – I already have food
    1. A common symptom of IBS is fatigue – and I’m not talking a little tired, I’m talking, feels like a semi-truck ran you over and then reversed. When I’m sick and flaring – I don’t feel like cooking, but keeping my body nourished is critical to overcoming the flare – so having food on hand allows me to keep my strength up, even when I’m sick.
  1. I can more easily pinpoint what may have caused my symptoms 
    1. If I am eating IBS friendly foods all week, I KNOW what I am putting into my body, so if I do experience a flare up, it’s much easier to play detective when there are less variables.

Meal Prep has helped me THRIVE with my symptoms instead of merely surviving. I would be LOST without my ISOLATOR Fitness bag, it’s pretty much my token accessory when going places.

I am happier and healthier than ever, because I am putting foods into my body that work for ME and my chronic condition.

If you’d like to learn MORE about me, my experiences with IBS, tips and treatments options, visit this section of my blog here.

Stay Happy & Healthy,

Amber

The post IBS + Meal Prep: How I Use Meal Prep To Alleviate My Irritable Bowel Syndrome appeared first on ISOLATOR FITNESS BLOG.


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