My secret is every morning I split my breakfast in half and eat just half. I save the other half for a late morning snack. How does this help? Like others with slow digestive systems, I can never overload my stomach or I'm looking for trouble. Basically, my digestive system is so slow that by morning the next day, dinner from the previous night has still not left the building so to speak. If I try to shove a full breakfast in my stomach too, I'm going to have symptoms of bloating, nausea, digestive distress all day. Just a little breakfast doesn't produce those symptoms. I put a little in the tank to give myself a bit to go on and give dinner a chance to be fully digested. Then I put a little more in late morning and I'm set.
It really seems to be working. I haven't felt this well in months. Of course, there are lots of other things I do as well to manage my stomach situation but this trick is the frosting on the cake. It changed a barely tolerable situation into a totally tolerable one.
Other standard strategies individuals with IBS or other digestive disorders should put into practice every day include:
- No processed foods
- No dairy
- Cook all veggies or fruits (with the exception of ripe, soft fruits e.g. peaches)
- Avoid red meat
- No caffeine
- No carbonated drinks
- No artificial sweeteners
- No high fiber grains or vegetables
- No fried foods or artificial fats
- No popcorn
- No high fat foods
- No egg yolks (I can't eggs at all. I'm allergic.)
- Approach legumes, such as beans, cautiously.
- No coconut milk (too high in fat)
- No alcohol
- No whole nuts. Make sure they are ground up. (I can't eat nuts at all because I'm allergic.)
There are many other rules that I live by in order to keep my stomach "functioning." I'll share them through my blog.
Here is one of my favorite breakfast foods that I do the half now/half later strategy with.
Hot Amaranth Cereal with Toasted Pumpkin Seeds and Cranberries
Amaranth is a wonderful grain with a sweet, nutty taste. It seems like I'm eating a dessert when I have it because it's so yummy. It's also a super grain, high in protein and even calcium. It's very digestible, and I never have any problem with it if I do the half now/half later strategy. The pumpkin seeds are well tolerated if toasted. You also can grind them to make them more tolerable. Note: I add 1 T. of ground golden flax seed but I had to work up to this amount over several months.
1/4 cup whole amaranth grains (available at health food stores)
2 T. toasted pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup cranberries, cooked until soft in 2 T. grape juice concentrate
1 T. ground flax (optional)
1 T. vegan rice protein powder (optional)
1 tsp. olive oil or other oil
In a medium saucepan, toast the amaranth grains in olive oil for a few minutes. In the meantime, heat 1 cup of water to boiling in the microwave. Add the boiling water to the grains. Toss in the ground flax and protein powder. Cook the grains uncovered for 15 minutes or until all water is absorbed. Serve with 1-2 T. of cranberry sauce and 1-2 T. of toasted pumpkin seeds. But don't forget to split it in half first. Of course, this is not necessary if you don't have my problem.