With the joys of Christmas come the joys of Christmas food. Well, for most people at least. For those of us that suffer from medically diagnosed IBS, the ‘joys’ of Christmas food can quickly become the most stressful (or uncomfortable) thing that we have to deal with!
I have medically diagnosed IBS and I experience the stress of managing the Christmas social events with the pressure of complicated dietary requirements first hand. What a PAIN it can be. But I have a few handy tricks up my sleeve to help get you through too if you’re trying to manage or avoiding symptoms like bloating, gas and poor bowel regularity.
So here are my top tips for managing medically diagnosed IBS in the Silly Season!
Whether it’s snacks or a salad for the BBQ, make sure you bring a plate of food that is FODMAP friendly, that way you know that there is at least something you can eat stress free. You could try these Carrot Cake Bliss Balls, Zucchini, ham and fetta frittata, or Lamb and tabouleh wraps (pictured above).
ProNourish® Digestive Balance Drink comes in the form of a powder, which means it is very versatile for use in a variety of recipes. It’s made with low FODMAP ingredients which means it is easier for you to digest, contains roughly the same amount of protein as an equivalent serve of protein powder (9g per serve), plus it’s got fibre (3.4g) and provides 50% of your calcium needs! Win Win Win! Try it in these Mocha Protein Bars or Chocolate Bliss Balls recipes.
You’ll be sorry if you don’t. Fibre largely impacts the health of our body’s digestive system. To avoid discomfort from constipation or to manage diarrhoea I use ProNourish® Natural Balance Fibre (yes, it’s one of the few fibre supplements that works to help manage both constipation and diarrhoea!). It’s made from Guar beans that have been milled and partially broken down already, so they are easier to digest. The type of fibre in these beans has been clinically shown to reduce bloating symptoms and relieve gas in those who suffer from medically diagnosed IBS. It can be mixed into hot or cold drinks or foods. For ease of routine I have mine with a smoothie style drink in the morning, that way I know my fibre needs have been met right from the start of the day!
4. Take a sachet of ProNourish® Digestive Balance Drink in your bag.
I do this in case there is nothing I can eat at a party. There is nothing worse than getting to an event and realising that there is absolutely nothing that is suitable for you to eat. Depending how sensitive your gut is, simple things like someone adding cous cous to salad, a crumb on the meat, onion and garlic in all the hor’deurves, or fruit salads filled with high FODMAP fruits like mango, peach, pear, etc., and all the desserts including lactose in them can make it very difficult to know what to eat without paying for it later. Sound familiar?
So that you are not stuck between the options of going hungry by eating only carrot sticks, or eating the food provided and trying to deal with the consequences I always carry a sachet of the ProNourish® Digestive Balance Drink in my handbag. Small, portable and easy to prepare. You may feel a bit silly the first time you have to use it as an alternative, but your gut will thank you. They taste good too!
5. Experiment with food at night.
If you’re going to branch out a little from your regular dietary routine, save the experiments to the end of the day, rather than the start. That way you won’t be stuck managing symptoms during the party.
So, this wonderful Christmas season, you don’t have to go without to keep your IBS in control. That’s a Christmas present in itself. Just do a little bit of planning, keep your Monash University App handy if you are testing your diet with the Low FODMAP diet and incorporate some ProNourish® Digestive Balance Drinks into your routine to make sure you are meeting all of your dietary requirements! HAPPY CHRISTMAS my IBS friends!
This post was proudly sponsored by ProNourish® (Nestle Health Science). I am a huge fan of the ProNourish® range, I use it regularly and am glad to partner with them! All thoughts and opinions are my own and have not been influenced in any way.
The ProNourish® range is available in leading pharmacies.
ProNourish® Natural Balance Fibre: Always read the label, use only as directed, if symptoms persist see your healthcare professional. Monash University receives a license fee for use of the Monash University Low FODMAP Certified trademarks. Monash University has assessed this product as being low in FODMAPs but has not assessed its suitability as a therapeutic good.
ProNourish® Digestive Balance Drink is a formulated supplementary food. Formulated to supplement a normal diet to address situations where intakes of energy and nutrients may not be adequate to meet an individual’s requirements. Consume as part of a healthy varied diet. Monash University Low FODMAP Certified™ food. One serve of this product is low in FODMAPs.