the kind cure…

Last week, I wrote about my ongoing relationship with IBS. This week, I’m going to cover what I’m doing about it. 🙂

What I’m about to say may sound like sacrilege, especially if you know me personally, but so be it. A few weeks ago I finally admitted to myself that my constant cleansing and inconsistent dietary dogma just plainly weren’t work. Truth is, I’m tired of it. Then, whilst in my oh-so-flattering hospital attire, I realized that I needed a slight paradigm shift (well, I realized it awhile ago but it really sunk in last week).

Here it is: I have decided to cure my IBS with… wait for it… kindness!
Here’s why: There is an absolute wealth of information out there about how to be healthy. Some folks argue that a completely plant-based diet is the answer. Others suggest wheat is the devil (I read that exact line somewhere last week). Others still convincingly argue that dairy must go, or sugar, or both, and most agree anything processed is a no-no (well, I agree with the last one). 
But with the plethora of information available, and everyone’s good intentions, it’s easy to get down right lost. I know I did. I read so much and listened to so many people, that I started to see all food as the enemy. 

It’s really no wonder my gut said “no thank you!”

While it’s certainly great to take an interest in your health and be proactive, I think it’s even more important to do so with a discerning eye. The best prescription is the one that works for you because no two of us are the same. 
Apparently I am a chocolate monster… 🙂
How do you find the perfect prescription for you? By really, truly listening to what your body and self need – not what you think you want because you have deprived yourself for so long, or what you think you should want because you read it was healthy, but what you truly really need at that moment. Trust yourself to know the answer.
The only stipulation I’ll add is that it would help if you respond with real food (i.e. if you want bread, go to your local bakery and get the fresh baguette made with five ingredients rather than the suspiciously fluffy white stuff with 50,000 ingredients) – your taste buds and health will thank you. But even this stipulation can be broken, as we are all human after all! 🙂

And here’s the thing, after over a week of this kind approach, I can tell you honestly that I have never been happier about my eating and my gut has never been so joyous.

Phew, another long one. Thanks for reading!

Happy tumbling & stumbling!

P.S. I almost forgot! This kind approach is also quite thrifty. You can save yourself the magical potions and fancy pants foods, and focus instead on wallet-friendly whole, real food.

IBS epidemic…

In my last post, I mentioned that I was in the hospital this past week. I was getting my insides checked for scary things, and it turns out there are none (yay!) 
Instead, my far-too-handsome-to-be-checking-my-insides doctor confirmed that I have IBS. 
What is IBS? IBS stands for Irritable Bowel Syndrome. There are a lot of opinions out there about whether it actually exists, what the causes are, etc. It essentially means “your belly isn’t happy and we aren’t sure why”. There is no one cause, no one solution, but it is an indication that something is a little… well… off kilter in your gut.
Here’s what I’ve realized since being diagnosed several months ago: IBS is epidemic, especially among young women. Three of my very best friends have been diagnosed with IBS and the plethora of blogs on this topic is absolutely overwhelming.

Why the epidemic? 
Is it because the food we are eating is incredibly bad?  Possibly, but the people I know who suffer from IBS are among the healthiest eaters I know. They eat like saints on a cleanse.
And why so many women? Is there something in the extra X chromosome that makes us particularly susceptible to digestive issues? Possibly… but I doubt it.
The most delicious decaf almond mylk latte from Mylk Uncookies… joyous yum!
I think what we really have on our hands is an epidemic of unhealthy relationships with food and our bodies. Men certainly suffer from this as well, but women are particularly afflicted with calorie-counting, thigh-lamenting, and obsessions with being “healthy”.
Many of us see food as the enemy. We worry about how the calories will manifest on our bodies before we even take a bite. We worry about what the glutenous croissant will do to our GI track before we even order it. It’s no wonder then, that the food we eat often becomes an unhealthy lump in our stomachs that our bodies just don’t know how to deal with. 
Sure, there are common triggers and things that can be removed to make you feel better (wheat, dairy, deep fried and processed foods) but I would venture to say that none of that will work if your relationship with food is completely out of whack.
My new favourite dark chili chocolate from Chocosol!!
To cut this already far too long post short, I leave you with this to contemplate: your stomach is your second brain. It’s something my holistic nutritionist told me and my GI doc reiterated this week. Quite simply, if you’re stressed, anxious, unhappy with life or worried about your dietary issues, your stomach will reflect that and even the healthiest green juice will cause problems.  
So how can you give your stomach… and yourself… a break?
More about all of this soon… as for now, I’m off to enjoy the sunshine!
Happy tumbles and stumbles!