When you suffer from a chronic digestive issue, few things feel better than a symptom-free day; an all-day, feeling amazing without any symptoms whatsoever kind of day. They’re simply the best! Unfortunately, if you suffer from a chronic digestive issue, you know how challenging it can be to have those kinds of days. This is primarily because there are so many factors involved – what you eat, when you eat, how you eat, how you handle your emotions, how well you slept the night(s) before, etc. It’s like all the stars have to align perfectly in order for it to happen. It’s absolutely possible, though, it simply requires a lot of dedication and follow through.
I have noticed patterns in my days that are free from symptoms, and there are certain key components that all need to happen in order for the day to be that way.
Of course, what we eat does play a significant role in how we will feel and how prominent our symptoms will be. One poor decision can cause a flare-up, which is beyond frustrating! Luckily, there are plenty of tasty food options to keep you feeling full and satisfied, preventing you from making those poor choices. Below, I will go through a day of food (and the schedule I use to eat it) on a symptom-free day for me. All the foods shown are Low FODMAP and do not contain any specific or typical GERD triggers. The schedule I keep in eating them is paced so that I’m eating every 3 hours or so. You don’t want to over-stuff yourself but also don’t want to go too long in between meals because that makes it easy for the digestive system to fill up with extra air which causes more cramping and bloating. The specific times are of course due to my work hours, however the spacing can easily be adapted into your schedule. The keys are to eat within an hour of waking up, not go more than 3-4 hours between meals and eat 5-6 “mini meals” rather than a few larger meals. Also, weighing your portions of everything, getting in enough soluble fiber (I use a supplement in my water), drinking enough water, taking your time eating and taking small bites are essential as well. My days like this average about 1250-1300 calories, which is perfect for my weight loss routine, but everyone is different and has different caloric intake needs so make sure to check with your doctor for how much you should be consuming in a day and modify accordingly. I like to log my food in myfitnesspal.com (free website and smartphone app) to keep track of how balanced my diet is with calories, fat, carbs, sugars, fiber and protein to make sure I’m not overdoing it in one area or another.
For more digestive health information, visit our other digestive health pages, check out the other Digestive Health Pages: The IBS Lowdown, The Word on GERD (& Acid Reflux/Heartburn), The IBS & GERD Connection, Low FODMAP Food Plan and Shopping w/Dietary Restrictions.