Food Combining for IBS...It's Not What You Eat, But How You Eat



What is Food Combining? Well, let me start by saying I'm not a huge fan of following strict diet plans, even for my IBS. I just can't seem to stick to them and always crack when I get a little too hungry and have a craving.

Food Combining for IBS is not strict at all with the food choices, rather it matters more when you choose to eat the foods. The plan involves eating certain foods at certain times, and most importantly, it is about eating certain foods along with other foods. I must admit, when I first heard about this plan, I thought it was just a fad, but IT WORKS!

I have tried several strict diets, including wheat free, gluten free, the specific carbohydrate diet, FODMAPs diet, soluble fiber with every meal, um....have I left anything out? I would try these diets for several days, and still have the same issues and, really, just find them very difficult to follow. I thought I was eating well as it was.

Thanksgiving Day Nightmare

It was Thanksgiving day and I planned on being very good. I was not going to stuff myself and eat all the wrong foods. I decided to have tuna and rice for lunch, before the turkey dinner later that day. I knew I didn't want to be starving at the turkey dinner, since that would only make me stuff myself. Remember, with IBS you cannot stuff yourself or you will be miserable. So, tuna and rice sounds like a harmless meal, right?

Within five minutes of my first bite, I started having strong stomach pains. "What the heck is going on?" I thought. I took a digestive enzyme. Still problems. I should have just stopped eating, but wasn't thinking straight with the pain, and worrying what this was going to do to me on Thanksgiving.

The rest of the day was not pleasant. I ended up taking a pain reliever, but I was still full, bloated and in (a little less) pain the rest of the day. I popped more digestive enzymes, ate a Thanksgiving dinner and hoped for the best. Still pain and bloating. When I finally arrived at home, I took a prescription anti spasmodic and went to bed. Ugh.

The next day, I did some research to find out why in the world tuna and rice would make me feel so bad. My research led me to information about how eating protein (tuna) with starch (rice) is sometimes more than a body can handle, especially those of us with sensitive digestion. This was very encouraging! I learned there are whole books written on the subject of food combining. And best of all, I learned that you need not totally eliminate any foods, you just need to eat them in the right order. Wow! I had to give it a try!

The basic premise of the plan is that when you combine certain foods, your digestive enzymes work against each other and are not as efficient at breaking down the food in your stomach. This leaves improperly digested food in your gut, sitting there to rot and ferment, which of course causes gas and bloating, and a lot of pain.

A website called "Pain Free In One Day" explains all of this quite thoroughly and offers a free trial of the diet plan to try for 4 days to see what you think. Those of us with IBS know so well, we will try anything to JUST MAKE IT STOP! Well, it was worth a shot. Just as the plan states, within one day, my pain was gone.

I am now a sincere believer in food combining and am very careful about when and how I eat my foods.

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