I was thinking about what causes so many people to fail on the low Fodmap diet. As I wrote about in my last post, this is a complex diet and there can be many reasons for failure, like lack of knowledge, lack of willpower, lack of support and so on, but I see a few things over and over again.
Not Being Prepared
Unlike others, we can’t nip out to a cafe to get some lunch in our break from work and grab a bread roll or a piece of quiche. It would be fatal. We must always have a supply of low Fodmap food with us at all times. It is crucial that we never get hungry because that’s when we will slip up. Hunger is a powerful life force that exists for our survival, and what do we head for when we are hungry? Fatty, sugary food. That’s what the body wants. Sugar for a quick fix and fat for the longer-lasting energy it gives us. Our bodies know what they are doing and this worked well in the past when everyone was active, and computers and desk jobs didn’t exist.
So the first thing we must do is to keep a supply of snacks with us at all times so we can dip into them if we feel the urge for that cream doughnut. When our hunger is satisfied, that doughnut doesn’t look nearly as appetizing.
I am sure they mean to be supportive but how often do we have to hear comments like,”Just a little drink won’t hurt you” or “I’ll just cut you a small piece of the cake.”? Or even, “So when will you be finished with this diet?” They don’t seem to take it seriously unless they have seen the results of eating their cake or drinking just one more drink. And most of us are so silent and embarrassed about it that we don’t make a fuss when we feel ill and so mostly they don’t see the consequences of their needling. I say to my clients in my coaching program to stand up and be strong about their needs. If you have a “don’t mess with me” attitude about you, then people won’t question your decisions more than once. It’s up to you whether they take your dietary needs seriously or not.
Lack of Self Care
Women are hopeless at looking after themselves and are often stressed out and lack sleep – two killers for those of us with IBS. We need 8 hours a night with a regular sleep pattern – going to bed and rising at the same time each day. There is no such thing as catching up with sleep. Sleep lost is lost forever and all that happens when you oversleep (as a catch-up) is that you end up groggy and cranky because your body has been horizontal for far too long. If you can get your sleep under control, you will feel like a different rejuvenated person. It will do your spirits and your health a world of good.
Stress will stir up IBS symptoms even if we are eating low Fodmap. The connection between the brain and the gut in IBS sufferers is super sensitive and we feel normal sensations as pain. Relaxation exercises are important for everyone but they are an essential part of the tool bag of an IBS sufferer. Daily deep breathing, visualization exercises or meditation are all good ways to create a new pattern for our bodies. If you stick to these practices, you will feel the results pretty soon and you will find that you will start to deal with stress in a completely different, more healthy way.
Sometimes, the body craves freshness in the diet and that’s what happened the other day. I kept thinking about crisp bell peppers and carrot sticks so I looked through the cupboards and found some rice papers that had been there for a while but looked perfectly good so my spring rolls were born. I though I would get some chicken but was walking past the fish shop when I changed my mind. The fish was delicious but it was a bit hard to keep it in long strips once it was cooked. It did want to break up. But the taste buds didn’t know that. I snuck one aside and put it in the fridge for lunch the next day but when I went out to the kitchen for a late lunch the day after, it was nowhere to be seen. Dario had gobbled it all up and I was bitterly disappointed. I have to get a secret fridge just for me.
- Fish (firm and thick)
- 5 tbsp soy sauce
- 6 tsp sesame oil
- A small knob of fresh ginger
- 1 red chilli, chopped finely
- 1 large carrot
- l large zucchini
- 1 yellow pepper
- Fresh coriander
- 2 tsp rice wine vinegar
- A packet of rice papers
- Cut up the fish into long fingers.
- Marinate them for 1 hour in a mixture of 1 tbsp soy sauce, 2 tsp sesame oil, the ginger and the chilli.
- Fry in a little oil until golden and cooked. Handle gently or they will break.
- Cut up the vegetables into long thin strips.
- Dress the vegetables in a mix of 1 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tsp rice wine vinegar, and 2 tsp pf sesame oil and some chopped up coriander.
- Prepare the rice papers one by one in water as per the instructions on the packet.
- Fill evenly with the vegetables and the fish and wrap as per the instructions.
- Mix together the rest of the soy sauce, sesame oil, rice wine vinegar and some more coriander to create a dipping sauce.