Wednesday’s are not for Dummies

Wednesday seems to be the best day of the week.  It means that Monday is gone (which is always blamed for being horrible) and  Tuesday (the boring day) is over.  Then there is Wednesday.  The day that reminds us there are only 2 more work days til the weekend. 
And I know it doesn’t exactly make your Wednesday better, but it’s the day I write a cookbook review.  Well, this Wednesday post is going to be a little different.  I am still writing a book review, but the book is not a cookbook.  It is a self-help book that has changed my life for the better and I have food discoveries and recipes to round it all out.
This is an embarrassing admission, but I have IBS.  I have struggled and stressed for many years with what is called IBS Syndrome.  Webster’s definition of a syndrome is: “a group of signs and symptoms that occur together and characterize a particular abnormality.”  And believe me I have many abnormalities’.  I won’t go into detail, except to say; it was extremely difficult to go out.  I never knew what would trigger the symptoms.  I would always wonder if what I had just eaten would result in an hour long trip to the bathroom.
What changed and put me on the quest to find a solution to this problem?  What put me over the edge to do research and take my health into my own hands?  Well, I had several pretty severe (what I call) attacks and my doctor did not have a solution.  This drove me to desperation.  Searching for information I went to the book store.  This is when “IBS for Dummies” entered my life.  
I read every page; highlighting and copying pages that I felt were significant to me and the struggles I had encountered over the years.  At the end I put myself on a 2 week elimination diet – eliminating foods and adding them back in slowly.  This resulted in finding all my trigger foods (the foods that would send me to the bathroom doubled over with cramps.  And, per instruction from the book, I would and still do start each morning with an 8 oz. glass of -my morning elixir- 30 minutes before I have breakfast.  This was to start a gentle cleansing process in my body (and it works). 
1 quart water
the juice of 1lemon
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
contents of one ginger capsule
Put in a container and store in the frig.  Shake before you open.
(It really wakes up your morning and now I can’t do without it.)
Then came the cleaning out of the kitchen pantry, the grocery list, and shopping. 
After the two weeks of the elimination diet were up I had found out my trigger foods.  It has been 2 months and what a difference.  I feel like a new person. 
*This is very important: this is not a one size fits all.  There are 3 types of IBS and what works for one person may not work for another.  You must do the research, talk to your doctor, and do your own elimination diet.  This is the only way you can fit your diet to your body.
My triggers are cow’s milk, cow’s milk products, and anything on the shelves of the grocery store that have cow’s milk products as an ingredient.  I cannot have refined processed white flour, white sugar, soda, processed meats, or fried foods.
I have replaced these foods with homemade breads (I grind my own wheat), honey, herbal teas, water, vegan butter, olive oil, & coconut oil.  As for the milk products – I can have almond and coconut milk; goat’s milk (I am making goat’s milk ice cream and goat’s milk yoghurt cheese) and any products made with goat’s milk; and sheep’s milk cheeses.  of course I can have lean meats, fish, eggs, vegetables, and fruits.
It sounds a bit restrictive and yet it has been very easy.  I have discovered new recipes and new foods.  And after all these years I finally have found a formula that fits my body and my health.  I feel great.  It was worth the elimination diet and all the changes I have made.  
Please, if you have IBS and have not found a solution to your symptoms – do some research, talk to your doctor, find your normal.  You will be glad you did.  
I have a 2 recipes for you.  In both I have replaced any cow’s milk (and cheeses) with either almond milk or goat’s milk yoghurt and cheese.
My favorite Breakfast Smoothie
8 oz. of chocolate almond milk
1 frozen banana
2 tablespoons peanut butter
Place all ingredients into a blender.  Blend until smooth.  
Heaven in a Glass!
Lunch is usually a salad with a vinaigrette dressing

This salad is mixed greens, blanched green beans, edamame, sliced almonds, dried cherries, and chopped tomatoes with a balsamic dressing.

I will share a recipe on Thursday for Rotini in meat and cheese sauce.



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