“It’s not about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s learning to dance in the rain”.
This quote by Vivian Greene is spot on when it comes to my journey with IBD. IBD is different for everyone, that’s clear. It will affect your day-to-day life immensely and while there are some things you can’t do anything about, you can change the way you go about it. Yes, it’s an extra obstacle you didn’t ask for, but you’ll learn to overcome and deal with it because that’s the boss you are!
Throughout the years, I have adopted an eating lifestyle that works for my body. It’s helped me keep my symptoms under control and enabled me to focus more on the important things in life, like my family.
While there are many different healthy eating lifestyles that are recommended today, IBD is one that is specific to each individual. A fruit or vegetable may be very nutritious, but it may not be tolerable if you have a sensitive tummy.
That’s why, in this blog post, I want to share my journey with IBD and how I’ve been handling the symptoms as a mom of three, a business traveler, and an entrepreneur. Over the years, I have learned a couple of tricks that I hope can help anyone facing the same battles. Let’s keep it real here though, there’s no perfect recipe on how to live with IBD. I am going to tell you what worked for my body and if that helps anybody even just a tiny bit, I’ll be over the moon.
I have never used western medicine for my IBD. I decided to treat my condition using traditional Chinese herbal medicine, which includes specific diets. I kept tabs on the foods I could and couldn’t tolerate by keeping a food journal and was disciplined to stick with my restrictions. To be honest, it was pain at first, but after a couple of days it actually gets super fun! After seven years of being diagnosed, my most recent colonoscopy in 2018 confirmed that my GI tract is good shape and what I’ve been doing has helped keep things under control. My quality of life increased considerably with just a few simple changes in my everyday life and I’m going to share those with you.
My recipe for a good life with IBD
Eat little meals throughout the day instead of just three large ones. I like to think of it as keeping your tummy tank fueled sixty to seventy percent full when possible. That way you don’t splurge on eating too much when you’re over hungry. Eating too much almost always triggers abdominal discomfort so portioning meals is suggested. Also, eating smaller meals and eating mindfully makes it easier on your digestive system. But be sure to let your tummy rest, so don’t eat too late. On a sidenote, having little meals throughout the days means you get to eat more often. If that isn’t something to look forward to, I don’t know what is.
Next, you should always have lemon water nearby. No sugar, no honey. Just plain lemon water. Lemon juice acts as a digestive and helps clean the liver which leads to better digestive health. Plus, it’s a vitamin C bomb, and who doesn’t need a little immune system boosting here and there? So get to juicing those lemons!
There’s an abundance of spices that can be used for specific health needs. Our ancestors have passed on ancient knowledge that we’re still using today. What has helped me with my IBD struggles is adding ginger and tumeric to literally anything. Hot dairy-free milk, smoothies, soups, cooked veggies - you name it. It really helps to calm your bowel system.
Speaking of veggies, there are some foods that I refrain from including raw vegetables and salads, cruciferous vegetables, legumes, tomatoes, dairy and gluten. I mean, come on, is there a better excuse to NOT have the salad whilst eating out? It’s a win-win situation. Since there is a lot to be missed nutritionally from these great foods, I make sure to take my vitamin supplements daily and get my physical check up routinely.
When you’re eating out and you can’t find anything suitable on the menu, as always, order a la carte from the sides. Honestly, you won’t believe how great a full dinner made up entirely of sides can be!
Stay prepared. When I’m on the go I always make sure to have snacks stocked in my car or travel bag. Especially when flying for heaven knows how long, you don’t want to be starving yourself because you can’t eat the club sandwich they’re serving. Our PURPO purple cereal is a game-changer in that respect. It’s convenient, it’s tasty and most of all, it’s digestive friendly. As we like to say, snacking on the hop is being prepared with something you CAN eat no matter where you are! PURPO has helped teachers, fitness coaches, students, travelers, parents, kids after school, and even hospital patients eat the right food when you need it the most.
What really counts
I am blessed to say I have a wonderful family that has my back in every way. They do the best they can to accommodate to my eating lifestyle and help me to deal with my IBD. I think it’s important for people struggling with IBD to have support system that is flexible enough to adapt to their eating habits as far as needs be. My kids and husband know my diet very well. Being as sweet as they are, they’re always on the hunt for foods I can eat.
Through all the hustle, it’s important to keep in mind what really counts in life. My family is my number one priority. Knowing how stressful life can get, I am raising my kids to appreciate time and use it wisely by keeping them on productive schedules. Sports, music classes, school events, volunteer work - I make sure to keep them busy. I truly believe balance and proactivity are key to managing everything in life and that’s what I am trying to teach my children. When it all gets too much, I like to take short road trips with my husband or with the children every so often. Again, balance is key and we all deserve a break now and then.
I still struggle with eating right whilst balancing a full-time job with being a mom and a wife but I’m eternally grateful I’ve found ways to control my condition by learning what works best for my body. With that, I avoided having to take any western medicine or even undergo surgery.
My team at Beviva Foods and I are determined to offer easy, healthy and delicious alternative meals that you can indulge in without fearing the consequences. With PURPO, we have developed a new way for IBD patients to handle their everyday lives by snacking on risk-free delicacies. As it did for me, a new eating lifestyle fitted to your needs can really impact your battle against IBD in a positive way. Start or keep eating the right foods today and you will notice a difference in your quality of life very soon.
If you’re interested in trying one of our PURPO instant cereals, check out our products!