Routine is so important for those of us with IBS, especially routines around the basics of life like sleeping, eating and toileting. I thought it might be of interest to you to show you how I structure my low Fodmap day, including my routine, my meals, drinks and exercise. For a visual on what I actually eat during a typical day, check out this post – What I ate today.
Planning a Low Fodmap Day
Today I’m going to talk about my low Fodmap day and how I plan it out.
My name is Suzanne Perazzini and I’m the author of two low Fodmap cookbooks and the creator of two low Fodmap coaching programs. I live a low Fodmap life. I have my final expanded diet which I will have to follow for the rest of my life. Obviously, it’s not the same as the elimination diet because I found out what my triggers are and what are not my triggers. So I now have some of the high Fodmap foods back in which puts the prebiotics back into the diet and keeps the gut bacteria healthy.
Anyway, we start off the day obviously with getting up. And having a good sleep routine that’s the same every day of the week is really important. The body loves a routine around the basics of life like sleeping, eating, and toileting. So I work from home and I schedule my hours accordingly. Your hours will probably be different, especially if you’re having to leave home and have a commute to work. I get up at 7 o’clock every morning, every day of the week, and I got to bed at 11 o’clock every day of the week. If you vary that too much then your body feels like it’s a little bit jetlagged, like you’ve traveled to another country. And, in fact, it wasn’t long ago that we had daylight savings come in and that threw me for a loop because then my body was a complete hour out. And it took a good week or two for me to get back into that routine again. Anyway, I get up at 7 o’clock. I go immediately and turn on my computer and check the emails that have come in overnight. The majority of my clients are from the other side of the world in the USA and the UK. I live in New Zealand. So I do like to check what’s been happening overnight. But within half an hour, and this is very important, I have my breakfast. I’m out in the kitchen, preparing it. And in my case, it is a muesli that I make myself from oats with some yogurt and some fruit. This morning it was strawberries and banana or it could be kiwi fruit. Because I have IBS with constipation, kiwi fruit is really good for that. Then I go back into my office and do a little bit more work. By the way, I make sure that I have a glass of water. I have a glass of water with every single one of my meals. And one glass of water in between each meal. Don’t gulp it down. Our gut does not like having very much in it at once. So sip your water through your meal. It helps the digestion. It does not hinder it. It does not dilute the digestive juices. And then just sip one for three hours between your meals as well. And that means by the end of the day you’ve had plenty of water through your system. So, about half an hour after my breakfast, I go to the toilet. Again, this is a routine and my body knows that’s what it’s supposed to do. And then I go and have my shower for the day. I come back, I start work again, and I’m sipping that water. It sits on my desk. And then at 10:30, I have my snack. I go out to the kitchen and I get maybe some peanut butter or some tahini and put it on some rice crackers. It could be some leftover chicken or fish or meat from the night before and that makes the protein part of my snack. The rice crackers are the carbohydrate part. And I also always have a box of cut-up vegetables in the fridge. Could be carrots, zucchini, fennel, radishes. Just depends what I have at that time. So I get a handful of those as well and that’s my snack with the water.
Then I work again. And also usually at this stage depending on which day of the week it is, I go to the swimming pool and I do aqua-aerobics there. When I get back, it’s normally about lunchtime which is 1:30 and I have leftover dinner. I always make sure that there’s something left over from the night before. I put it aside before we eat so it doesn’t disappear and that’s what I have for my lunch. Again, with another glass of water. Then I go back to work.
And during the segment of three hours between my lunch and my next snack, I go for a walk as well because the aqua-aerobics is not weight bearing exercise and we need the weight bearing exercise for our bone density. So I go for a walk usually down to the beach and I walk along the beach sometimes around the rocks. We’ve got a path that takes us around the rocks between the bays. And then on the way back, I pass by the shops and I buy our dinner. I do this every day.
Now to dinner. There are two ways to do this and I’ve done it both ways. One is to plan out all your meals in advance in the weekend and this can be really useful if you’re working in the corporate world and need to leave home five days a week. You can do all the shopping at once for what you’ve planned for the whole week. I don’t do it that way. I actually make the plan on the day. I decide what the recipe is. I go into my blog and I’ll think, “Okay, chicken today.” And I’ll put into the search engine of my blog “chicken” and it’ll come up with all the recipes of chicken and I choose one.
I try to have a variety between red meat, chicken, fish, and vegetarian scattered throughout the week. And then I make my little shopping list and that’s in my pocket when I go for my walk. And I stop by the shops and buy what I need and bring it back. Then I go back to work again.
And at 4:30, I have my snack, which might be very similar to my morning snack but it could also be a sweet treat – a slice of loaf or a cookie that I’ve baked and that I’ve frozen. But I also make sure I get a few more of those vegetables from the container. And maybe at this point, I have a glass of milk for my protein. So again, you’re getting your vegetables, your protein, and your carbohydrate. It’s really important for each meal to make sure that those three components are in there.
In one of my snacks, I’ll also have a second fruit. Could be a tablespoon of dried cranberries. Could be a little piece of melon or some pineapple. Now, I go a little bit easy on the pineapple because I do have some reflux. It’s not bad, but pineapple’s not the best for reflux.
Then, I cook dinner and we eat it about 7:30. So again, I’ve got that three-hour gap between the snack and the dinner. After that, I usually go back and do some more work because most of my clients, as I said, are on the other side of the world. We often have phone calls after dinner which is in the middle of the day for them. And I don’t eat anything else at all because I want at least three hours to pass after I’ve finished eating before I go to bed. And we normally finish eating about 8 o’clock. So I go to bed at 11:00 and I’ve left those three hours before going to bed so most of the digestion is finished and I’ll have a really good night’s sleep.
That’s my routine for the day and how I plan it. Obviously, that changes if I travel but when I’m not traveling, I do try to stick to it because our bodies function far better if we have a routine, as I said, around sleep, eating, and toileting.
Hope that was helpful for you. Thank you for watching and goodbye.
Make sure you register to attend my free webinar, “4 Secrets to a Conquering Your IBS Symptoms”, which is on 27th October at 6pm US EST. I will do my very best to record it if you can’t attend but I can’t guarantee it. Also, there will be a live Q & A afterwards so you can ask anything you want about IBS and the low Fodmap diet. https://www.strandsofmylife.com/low-fodmap-diet-webinar