…an IBS sufferer (I can imagine your disappointment as it’s not nearly as exciting as Lizzo).
I had originally planned to tell you of these fantastic arepas that I had multiple times this summer, but my stomach had other plans for me today. Specifically a lack of interest in eating.
Since the middle of the summer, I’ve gone into overdrive focusing on self care. This has resulted in a lot of working out, eating well, and generally feeling in great shape. My IBS hadn’t reared it’s ugly head in months. In fact, I couldn’t even remember the last time I had an attack.
And then last night zero’d out that streak.
I should have known after eating a chicken finger platter the other day (and subsequently feeling nauseous) that I was due. But that doesn’t make it any more fun or any less frustrating.
It took me years to realize that my IBS was triggered by food. And stress – you can’t leave out my good old friend stress aka anxiety aka depression aka #mood. Once I started paying attention to what I ate – painstakingly writing it down, tracking it, listening to what my body was telling me – I slowly learned what would make me feel like absolute crap. There are common triggers – such as too much dairy – but then there were times I had to really try and identify a hidden ingredient within the item (such as beer – I still haven’t figured out what exactly it is in beer so I just avoid it altogether now).
An attack is rather humbling, mostly because you say goodbye to any food drools I mean dreams you were having and focus on a BRAT (bananas-rice-apples-toast) diet. It can also be nerve wracking – I have no idea if the food I ate last night contributed to the attack. And when you meal plan like my OCD-self, and realize that breakfast includes a trigger food, you have to quickly think about what else you have that can be a substitute without rocking the boat.
I’m grateful that I’ve had kaya toast on the brain because when I had some space to move past the anxiety this morning, I pulled out my small kaya spreads (coconutty jam spread from Sinagpore), and made myself some kaya toast with a banana. I wanted to lay low for lunch and order something that is safe – Thai take away. I know I’ve mentioned that Asian food has become a comfort food for me, but it’s way more than that when I’ve been sick. It’s the one cuisine that I know I can eat – actually let’s be real – will have an appetite to eat and will not cause additional issues. I recognize I’m lumping all Asian food together, but it is the one genre of food that has none of the trigger foods that tend to greatly impact me.
I’m going to take the rest of the day to focus on other foods – such as shrimp – that are tummy friendly. And while they may not have me drooling and wishing for seconds, I know that by tomorrow I’ll be doubling down on the food dreams of those arepas, or hummus from Dizengoff, or that Iggles donut from Federal donuts or…..