Now that I’ve been working at the YMCA of the Rockies for over two months, I can say pretty firmly that I’m no longer really following the low-FODMAP diet. I eat mostly gluten-free or low-wheat foods, I usually take a lactose enzyme when I eat high-lactose dairy like milk or yogurt, and I avoid high-fructose and high-sorbitol fruits and vegetables like apples, apricots, and artichokes, as well as honey, high-fructose corn syrup, and agave.
If that sounds like a lot, trust me that that’s a lot more than I was eating on the strict FODMAP elimination diet.
I set up this blog in part because I wanted to introduce readers to the notion of the low-FODMAP diet, explain why it’s important, and present some more creative recipes for FODMAPers. I also wanted to talk about recovering from an eating disorder and how my IBS interacts with my past continuing struggle with food-related anxiety.
Here’s the thing, though: I’m starting to wonder if the low-FODMAP diet was really the “right” thing to do.
Even as I write this, I’m cringing, imagining scores of readers going off to proclaim how the low-FODMAP diet is just a made-up, ineffective fad. And I don’t believe that’s true. The low-FODMAP diet did help reduce my IBS symptoms and has helped me be able to eat more, more frequently, which my body very much needed to heal from years of undereating.
On the other hand, I also know that the low-FODMAP diet only helped to an extent and that I should have re-introduced high- to moderate-FODMAP foods much earlier.
Lately I’ve read a lot of speculation that the low-FODMAP diet can do long-term damage to your healthy gut bacteria. We need probiotics keep our gut flora in balance, and a lot of FODMAPs are prebiotics–the stuff that our gut bacteria eat.
Lately, I’ve been experimenting with taking a very high dose of probiotics: I tried the Garden of Life Raw Probiotics for Women, simply because it was what I could get my hands on. I don’t know that it will magically heal my gut, but I’m hoping it might help mitigate my symptoms, especially when I eat higher-FODMAP foods. So far, I’ve had mixed results. I’ve been more *cough cough* regular, but I’ve definitely still had crummy tummy days.
Long story short: there is no magic cure for IBS. I was hoping the low-FODMAP diet might be it, and although I believe it helped some, I still deal with regular (if less constant) flare-ups. I also hoped probiotics might do the trick, and I also believe they’ve helped some, but no magic healing.
Now I’m facing a question going ahead for the very identity of my blog (duh duh duh!): I know I’ll keep writing about IBS and eating disorder recovery (or what I think of more generally as “eating more and being okay with it.”) But will I still want to do low-FODMAP recipes? Should I continue to promote this little experiment? Or should I (without denouncing the low-FODMAP diet completely) encourage my readers to try other things? Or both?
If you have thoughts, feel free to share them, but in asking these questions, I realize I’m not so much looking for advice as working through my thoughts. These are just questions I need to work out for myself.
Okay. Genug damit, as they say in German. (Enough of that!) Let’s get to today’s What I Ate Wednesday!It was a Monday, so I joked around and called it “What I Ate Wednesday Monday.”
Bloggers: Has your blog ever gone through a major identity shift? Why did you decide to make the change, and what was the result?