The FODMAP elimination phase and taking a step back
If you saw my recent post on why I decided to embark on the FODMAP diet again. You’ll understand my reasonings for putting myself through this for a second time. I have to admit, it’s not been easy, but with the help and support of my dietician and the resources she’s sent me, I’ve managed it.
I really have made a conscious effort, not just to change up my diet, but to focus on looking after my mental health too, and I now feel even stronger about the impact of stress on my mega sensitive gut.
FODMAP elimination phase
Having done this diet strictly before, I found it quite easy making the changes, but there were moments that I realised how much I haven’t really properly monitored what I can and cannot tolerate. I made the decision to not dine out unless it was really necessary. I wanted to do this diet properly so that I can properly assess what my triggers are. Although, there were a couple of times where this was unavoidable and I tried to pick something that would be easy-ish for me to digest. Both dishes I had, had a small amount of onion and garlic in them and I was able to tolerate them well – this bodes well for my reintroduction phase.
Along the way I discovered a great little online shop called FODMarket who have a great selection of low FODMAP products. I do prefer to cook my meals from scratch but I did discover a little gem that is Anila’s Sauces that I’d highly recommend. It was nice to have a tasty curry that you could add in the ingredients you like. I also made another interesting discovery along the way. I made some low FODMAP fajitas and these were made with red pepper. I had terrible upset stomachs after having these for two evenings in a row. I’ve noticed this before with red pepper and when I have tomatoes with the skin on. I’m not sure whether or not it’s too much fibre for me to tolerate but it’s not something that agrees with me.
Taking a step back
I also made the decision to take quite a step back from social media and focus on my mental health. I’ve taken up more fitness and yoga again, which I’m really enjoying and finding it great for my anxiety. I’ve also set myself quite a strict routine that I’ve found really effective. I’m ensuring I get 7-8 hours sleep each night, and with my mornings always being quite bad for my IBS I’m making sure I get up in plenty time and trying to make my mornings as relaxed as I possible can. I had quite a stressful day one day and could feel myself getting quite worked up and ended up having upset stomachs the next day, I know stress can be unavoidable at times but I’m really starting to see the link now. I’ve always talked about the Headspace app but I’ve recently found a new app called ‘Happy not Perfect’ which I actually think is more suited to me and I much prefer it.
To be honest I never thought I’d say this but I’ve seen quite a big improvement in my symptoms. My evening swelling and bloating has reduced most evenings and my D has decreased too. Don’t get me wrong, I still have bad days where I need to be near a bathroom and I’m in pain but day to day I have seen improvements. I’ve also learnt that I very much live within my comfort zone and I’ve lost a lot of confidence when it comes to socialising and travelling etc. There’s a definite big increase in my symptoms when I know I have something to attend or somewhere to be. It’s something I really want to work on and have decided to start doing CBT to help me process my thoughts and change my way of thinking.
As we speak I’m sending off an email to my dietician to arrange an Skype call to discuss reintroductions. I’m not going to lie I’m very nervous about this phase as I don’t want to trigger any flare ups but I know how important it is. I’m going to continue working hard on my mental health and keep active as I really have found this so helpful. Here’s hoping I’m successful and introducing quite a lot back into my diet.
My dietician is Lesley Reid who is based in Glasgow but also does Skype consultations, she is FODMAP trained too.