Embracing life with chronic pain and illnesses.

Posts tagged ‘Low FODMAPS’

Baby Steps

For those of us that are dealing with chronic illnesses and conditions, it is easy to “lose heart”….to become frustrated……to yearn for the life we had before our every movement……every moment…..was dictated.  It is SO important to stop and remember the small things!

Last week’s doctor appointment helped me to finally understand this!  She helped me to see that any movement is excercise!  Simple stretching is excercise!  Walking down the hall is exercise!  She further emphasized this for me by saying “set a timer…..for every 30 minutes of activity of any kind….rest for 10 minutes”.  Wow!

Now I realize why I am so exhausted after going to the grocery store!  I was too stubburn to use the electric cart or sit in a wheelchair and have my hubby or son push me around.  After this conversation, I saw these tools….the electric carts and wheelchairs as a wonderful gift!  These are tools to take advantage of that provide me the ability to enjoy a trip to the grocery store while allowing my family to assist me!  They also give me the ability to conserve energy to participate in the most important parts of my day….like playing a game of chess with our son….or playing a game of Yahtzee with my hubby and son….or one of the other many games we enjoy together as a family!

Another major point my doctor made was the importance of taking….rather….making time for me.  Something that I am NOT very good at!  LOL  (I am sure everyone can relate to that!)  She was able to make this point by simply asking…..”Why aren’t you taking a bath every day?  Why do you only take one on the weekend?”  I had no response…..I simply fell guilty for taking time for me.

So…I am enjoying my daily naps!  I am not taking daily baths yet!  However, I am making sure that I am maximizing my relaxation……reading…..word searches…….hot showers……and yes, I am going to make time for a few baths throughout the week.

I am also focusing on how I can best take advantage of any “trip”……from the couch to the restroom?  Be sure to top off my cup of water in the kitchen……..

Be conscience of every movement and motion you make during the day!  Give yourself credit for each step….for each arm motion…..each stretch!  Soon you will realize just how much you are actually accomplishing in a day!

You will suprise yourself with all that you are managing!

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Keep A Log

I think of the most helpful things I started after my doctor appointment was to take advantage of the “Note” app on my cell phone! I am adding to this note each day…..I record the date and then hit the highlights…….”Arms burning, hips ache, stabbing pains in the back, hands hurt..” I also make a note as to how well I slept the night before….

In scrolling through my “little book”, I am able to get a good sense of what I have been dealing with! It helps to anchor me….to realize that I am struggling. However, I know this will be a huge help when I call my doctor for the verbal check up….and, of course, it will be invaluable for my next actual appointment. I will be able to print it out and take it. I will be able to show her….”see…this is how I feel when I go out of town for a weekend…..this is how a typical work week affects my body”……

The biggest insight has been confirmation that stress is a HUGE player in exacerbating my symptoms. Stress magnifies the sensations….the aches….the pain. It makes it harder to breathe!

Another IBS Trigger

I found another food trigger for my IBS! I thought I would try Hot Oat Bran cereal…..a possible Low FODMAP option to Cream of Wheat. It took 4 different servings on 4 different days for it to sink in that my body was saying NO in a big way!

I am hoping that I will connect the dots faster in the future when I try a new food! I know that I should suspect the food first! However, this was also the time that I was trying to take Advil (which was also upsetting my system)…..so it was hard to pinpoint the culprits….which, of course, was both! So I had to stop the Advil and then try the cereal again.

So yes, I did break a cardinal rule when you have such sensitivities! Never introduce more than one item at a time! Even if you think one will be safe. Each of us is so different! It is quite the challenge to “map” our own path.

Simple Is Better

This last year has taught me so much! I have learned so much with the Low FODMAP diet! It has also given me a greater sense of power….to know that there are a lot of things that I can do to help control the balance of my symptoms.

I know that there are things beyond my control….stress being one of them. I am so blessed to have had this last year and a half to participate to assist with all our son’s activities.

One thing is certain….the Low FODMAP diet has taught me that simple is better! The limited spices and paying close attention to the portions is truly not as restrictive as it appears! The freedom is so great!

I have learned to be more creative….to test….to try substitutions…..and to most importantly, not fear failure! Not every recipe works out….not all substitutions work. However, with continued perseverance and research the number of recipes has grown!

I now have breads (including rice flour muffins), cookies, pie and brownies for treats! Better yet a number of main dishes (casseroles, spaghetti, tamale pie – thanks to alternative pastas and corn meal), basic salads, soups, stews, and other side dishes (like Quinoa). So tasty!

I still bake my son his bread and enjoy preparing some of their favorites even though I can’t have them. I just have some of my modified foods in those instances. It is just nice to enjoy meals together!

Funny! My hubby and son are enjoying my modified diet as much as I am when it comes to our meals! They do prefer their breads! LOL

Understanding

I have close to a year under my belt with the Low FODMAP diet. It has helped so much in settling down my symptoms!

This in turn showed me the frustration that my specialists had! My system was so over-reactive and dysfunctional that there was no way to label what was wrong with me!

Now that my sigmoid colon, anus and rectum have been removed…..and I now have the Low FODMAP diet in place……my digestive issues are under control!

I now understand that my intestinal system is “not right”…..it is extremely overreactive! Only by controlling what I can….this means DIET….can I hope to maintain a semblance of normalcy!

There will always be that portion that I can not control….the portion called “stress”…..I can only hope to keep it minimized….as best I can. I will offset that with exercise, relaxation and just family time to minimize its impact!

Holiday — Joy and Frustration

The Holiday’s….a time to enjoy time with family and friends…..which includes gathering for meals. Don’t get me wrong….these gatherings are so important! Precious time shared…especially with our kids…..spending time with extended family that we have the opportunity to see very often.

This Thanksgiving I thought I had prepared things well. We had advised family that I would supply some additional food to supplement the traditional meal that was being prepared.

Upon our arrival, food preparation was well under way. We added our goodies…..tamale pie, seasoned potatoes/carrots, and pumpkin custard (adjusted for my modified, Colostomy friendly, Low FODMAPs diet requirements).

My mistake! I should have had a snack! With my “mini-meals”, I was off-track. I had hoped the timing of a late breakfast would allow me to delay so that I could eat at the same time as everyone else. Did not work out that way!

I ended up with the shakes and could feel the knot in my stomach! Yikes! I had to get a portion of the food I had brought. The frustration for me was from comment made about “well…your not going to eat what we are preparing”.

That cut! As anyone on a restricted diet understands, our diet is not an “option”…..it is a life change that we had to make in order to be healthy….in order to be able to participate in life’s adventures with our family and friends.

Our diet can make us the “outsider”……by bringing our own dishes…..it can at least attempt to bridge a gap….to let us feel that we are participating in some way.

Believe me…..it is hard to not join in! To not just simply think, ok….just a couple of bites won’t hurt! Yet…..in my case, I know it can (and has)! So I have chosen to not chance it! It is simply not worth it.

Pizza Night

I had decided to pick up a pizza tonight for my husband and son (taking advantage of the $10 pizza special through Papa Murphy’s). I can order so that 1/2 does not have cheese (since our son is lactose intolerant). I just bring home and sprinkle his cheese on top of his portion (the almond cheese that he likes or Sharp Cheddar).

Tonight though, I thought I would also try a Low FODMAP pizza for me! I stopped at the market to pick up some thin sliced ham that I could use. Once home, I got their pizza in the oven, then pulled out a boxed Chebe basic bread mix. Used that bread mix as my pizza crust. Rolled it out…..made a tomato “sauce” from a basic tomato paste I can use (seasoned with basil, oregano, pepper, sea salt, and a touch of sugar)…..added the ham and pineapple….sprinkled with Sharp Cheddar cheese and baked it at 400 degrees! YUMMM!!!!!

I will change my recipe a touch…..I will bake the bread for about 10 minutes…then add the sauce and toppings……put back in the oven to melt/brown the cheese. This will make it a bit more crispy.

Overall….YEAH! So cool to enjoy pizza night with my guys!!!!!

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