One thing I’m still trying to figure out in this wacky IBS world–where hunger can feel like nausea and full-from-one-sandwich full can feel like full-from-Thanksgiving-dinner full and stomach pain can just appear out of nowhere–is exercise: specifically, how to handle eating before and after exercise.
I sometimes feel really, really bloated, like big ole hamburger and French fries at the brew pub bloated, after just a normal meal. It happens less now than it used to, but it still happens. And yeah, if I feel really lousy I’ll not worry about the gym and do other things, but if I never went to the gym when I’m having symptoms, I’d almost never get to the gym, because frankly, I’m almost always having some degree of symptoms. They’re usually mild enough that I can ignore them when I’m just moving about my day-to-day life, but then I get on a stationary bike or jump on a yoga mat and I’m like, whoa. This actually doesn’t feel good on my tummy at all.
All this is to say that my tummy almost always feels pretty crummy while I’m exercising. To my knowledge, a lot of people experience some degree of nausea when they’re exercising, especially when they’re really pushing themselves–for me it’s like that only, like, it also feels like I have a really big balloon filled with water and rocks bouncing on my queasy tummy. Because that’s a great image, right?
But I like the way exercise makes me feel otherwise. If I get to a good spin class once or twice a week, it can actually make my IBS flare-ups calm down–plus all the other nice things about exercise like endorphins and sleeping better.
In truth, the *best* thing for me when I exercise is just to not eat anything within three hours beforehand and at least an hour afterward. If I do that, I feel great while I’m exercising–but then I get crazy hungry later in the day for going too long without eating before and after a tough workout, so that’s not good either.
Lauren Renlund did a post about this back in March that I found really helpful. She suggests eating carb-rich snacks before exercise, and I do find that to work well if all I need before a workout is a smallish snack. On the other hand, sometimes I need to eat a meal shortly before I exercise, and I definitely want to make sure I’m getting a good amount of protein and fats with my meals because blood sugar crashes an hour or two after a meal are so inconvenient!
All this is really just a rant. I’m not even really looking for advice. I’m just saying–this is a thing that I strongly dislike about having IBS, and if you’re struggling with it too, a) I hear ya and b) I’ll keep you posted if I figure anything out.
Anyway, on that note, here’s what I ate today. The last couple of weeks I’ve done spin class on Tuesday, so a workout happened and yeah…I didn’t feel good. In truth, I really didn’t feel good all day. Oh, well.
Thanks, as always, to Laura for hosting Jenn’s What I Ate Wednesday linkup.Breakfast: I had these chocolate zucchini baked oats I’d prepped the night before. Yum! I put chocolate chips in mine because melty chocolate chips in breakfast things is the beeesst! Plus Applegate Naturals turkey sausage and some strawberries.Midmorning Snack: Once I got to my office, I decided to make some chai tea using a vanilla ProNourish low-FODMAP protein shake. I got a pack of these, even though I wasn’t wild about them the first time I tried them, because they were half price at Safeway and yeah–I was reminded that I still really don’t care for them. Oh, well.
Lunch: A BLT, baby carrots and grapes.
As time goes by, I prefer open-faced sandwiches more and more. Perhaps partly because gluten-free bread tends to be small and no room for toppings, so I just make two little open-faced sandwiches for extra topping room. Does that make sense? So yeah there’s another sandwich half buried in there.Afternoon Snack: After my afternoon workout, I was hungry but I just did not feel like eating. Still, I knew I wasn’t going to get home for a while because I had five papers left to grade and I needed to finish prepping for my lesson on Wednesday morning, so I had a Clif bar.In the early evening I got a ride home from my roommate and got some photos of the leaves while I was waiting for her. Autumn colors just starting appearing in northern Colorado this weekend!
Supper: When I got home I just did not feel like eating. But it was close to 8 and I hadn’t eaten since the Clif bar at 4, so I did heat up a little Palaak Paneer entree and half a corn on the cob. I don’t think eating corn on the cob with curry is very traditional, but I like corn on the cob with everything! Didn’t even try to take a pic because Palaak Paneer in a plastic tray after the sun goes down is just not going to be pretty, no matter how delicious.
I finished off the evening by trying my first muffin recipe from Amanda’s new cookbook. I haven’t tried them yet–still feeling crummy–but I definitely cleaned out the batter, and that was yummy for sure! Looking forward to having a couple for breakfast tomorrow!
Do you feel queasy and/or bloated when you exercise?
Do you ever just skip exercise entirely when GI issues flare up?