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How I Got My Stomach Back to Normal

This past July, I had a bad month. While traveling for a couple days, I ate foods that triggered symptoms of my fructose malabsorption. Additionally during the trip, I was bitten by a bug and based on the rash on my arm my doctor prescribed antibiotics in case it was a tick. Three weeks on antibiotics is not helpful for maintaining a healthy gut. I was a mess for weeks; I was bloated, my joints hurt, I had headaches, etc. Getting dressed every morning was a battle as I tried to find clothes to fit over my pregnant looking stomach.

When I first returned from my trip, I went back to eating my usual foods, which typically helps relieve my symptoms. But weeks were going by and I was not feeling better. I realized that the only way I was going to improve was to go back to the basics and return to the low FODMAP diet for at least a week, depending on how long it would take for me to feel better. I also added in some other tricks to ease my symptoms, get my digestive system back to normal, and eliminate toxins.

Every day I drank and ate the following:

Wake up: A glass of water, a cup of coffee (okay, not the best to promote digestion but important to wake me up), and a cup of hot water with lemon and mint. This may seem like a lot of liquid but I drank them over two to three hours.

Breakfast: Overnight oats with chia seeds, pecans, banana, vanilla, and cinnamon.

Lunch: A low FODMAP meal.

Late afternoon snack: Plain yogurt with fruit (banana or blueberries), chia seeds, sunflower seeds, vanilla, and cinnamon. Note: If you are lactose intolerant or lactose bothers you on the low FODMAP diet, you should eat lactose-free yogurt.

Dinner: A low FODMAP meal.

Throughout the day: I drank infused water with cucumber, lemon, mint, and ginger that I made the night before.

The recipe for the infused water is from my Pilates instructor. Thanks Lauren!

  • In a pitcher add cold water (I recommend a 64 oz pitcher)
  • Add half of a cucumber with the skin left on
  • Add half a lemon, but first squeeze the juice of the lemon into the pitcher
  • Add 10 leaves of mint
  • Mix
  • Place in fridge overnight

I probably did not need to do all of this, but it felt healthy, cleansing, tasted good, and I was on a mission to get better and decided to go full throttle. After a week, I was back to feeling normal and my clothes began to fit. Since then I have returned back to my regular FODMAP diet and am not as restrictive, but I decided to keep up with drinking hot water with lemon every day and eating my overnight oats and yogurt most days.

So what are the digestive benefits of the foods I ate? I discuss them below. An important note is that these benefits can relieve symptoms from fructose malabsorption, but may also ease symptoms from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, colon cancer, acid reflex, and other digestive disorders.

Water first thing in the morning:
Stimulates your metabolism, eliminates toxins, cleanses your colon, and supports your lymph system which helps fight infections.

Hot water with lemon:
Stimulates digestion, eliminates toxins, is anti-inflammatory, boosts your immune system, may relieve constipation and diarrhea, and helps the movement of digested material through your colon.

Mint:
Stimulates digestion, is anti-inflammatory, relieves indigestion and nausea. Peppermint oil can ease abdominal pain or discomfort originating from IBS.

Cucumber:
Stimulates digestion because of the water (95%) and fiber (skin) they contain, eliminates toxins, is anti-inflammatory, and may relieve chronic constipation. Additionally, cucumbers stimulates joint health, eases joint pain, and may also reduce the symptoms of acid reflux.

Ginger:
Stimulates digestion and is anti-inflammatory. Reduces spasms in the intestinal tract, gas, diarrhea, and nausea. May also prevent stomach ulcers, decrease colorectal cancer, reduce bacterial infection in the stomach, and enhance the absorption of nutrients.

Lemon:
Stimulates digestion, eliminates toxins, and relieves indigestion and constipation.

Yogurt:
Promotes a healthy digestive tract and boosts the immune system. Assist with constipation, diarrhea, colon cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome, and H. pylori infection (a bacteria that can lead to infections in the stomach and part of the small intestine, and can cause ulcers).

Chia Seeds:
Is anti-inflammatory, maintains a healthy gut, and promotes healthy bowel function.

Sunflower Seeds:
Is anti-inflammatory and may decrease colon cancer.

Low FODMAP Diet:
Reduces or eliminates symptoms related to irritable bowel syndrome and fructose malabsorption.

What do you do to help relieve or reduce your symptoms?

Photo found on PEXELS

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