Are all Omega foods the same: Omega 3 vs Omega 6

Put simply – no. Not all foods claiming to contain sources of Omega are the same, and can each have different effects on your body if you suffer with IBS.

The world over, we’re told that Omega 3 foods are good for you. They’re full of the good fatty acids you need to regulate blood clotting, build cell membranes and support cell health, just to name a few benefits.

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Healthy Gluten & Dairy-Free Recipes: Double Chocolate Fudge

Look. These happened.

fudge

It was a lonely Friday night and I needed Fudge! I wanted a yummy dessert and was looking forward to trying out some of my review products. And this miracle child was born.

So let me talk you through it – the ingredients are so simple and can all be bought online. They also all deliver to the UK. All you need are:

1 1/2 cups coconut milk (from Coyo)

1/2 cup smooth almond vanilla butter (from Keen)

1/2 cup grated OhSo chocolate (from Oh So Loves Your Tummy)

2 cups peanut flour (from Sukrin)

1 tsp honey

1 cup of nuts. I used trail mix from Wyldsson for a combination of both fruit and nuts, though, as I wanted something sweeter.

From this, start by mixing half the peanut flour and the coconut milk. Once this is well combined, add in the almond butter. The mixture should be thick now and look a bit like lumpy ice-cream. Then over a low heat, melt the grated chocolate and add to the almond butter mixture. After this, add in the final half of the peanut flour and the honey. By now the mix should be really thick and difficult to stir. If it’s not, add in more peanut flour.

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Scoop the mixture into a baking tin and keep in the fridge overnight. Once the night’s through – you’re free to eat up!

Healthy, delicious and, because they last forever, you’ll never want to snack on anything else! Perfection, if I do say so myself 😉

Healthy Food Swaps: Homemade Apple Crisps vs Potato Chips

Crisps are great (or ‘chips’ if you’re an American). Crunchy, smoky and flavoursome, they’re an excellent on-the-go choice and, despite being high in saturated fat, are always top of the list for most consumers looking for a quick, filling snack.

IBS sufferers might not enjoy them too much, though, given that they’re typically 25% sunflower oil, a troublesome ‘high fat’ food. So what else are we supposed to eat that will give us the same satisfaction?

Well, I struck the same angry thought the other day. I was hungover and desperately needed a crunchy snack that filled me up. In order for this to happen, I needed something that looked like a crisp, acted like a crisp… but was not a crisp.

Tough, no?

Easy, actually.

Two words. Apple crisps.

They sound weird, I know, but they’re FAAAABULOUS. They’re so easy too.

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All you need is a couple of your favourite apples (I did mine with green Granny Smith apples because I wanted something super sweet, but I’m sure any works just fine) and a sprinkling of spices. And that’s it.

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Just core and cut up the apple. Place on a sheet of parchment paper on a baking tray, sprinkle with yummy spices (I used Ginger, but Cinammon or a squeeze of lemon is always super tasty with apple) and pop in the oven on a low temp, around 160-170C for an hour or so, depending on how crispy you want them to be. apple2

And voila! When they’re done, you can pop them away in a tupperware pot and munch on them exactly as you would crisps without any of the sunflower oil and all of the satisfaction you need for a light snack! Just try and avoid swirling some ice-cream with them… the apple pie taste makes it very difficult to resist. Trust me!

Healthy Recipes: Homemade Tahini-Free Houmous

Sauces, spreads, they’re an arch nemesis which you don’t think about until you had IBS.

Then you have it and start realising that, yep, that ketchup you slathered all over that healthy gluten-free sandwich actually is brimming with sugar, salt and loads of other nasties that cause MASSIVE flare-ups.

Love Sweet Chilli Sauce?

You probably did. But given it’s high-sugar and spice (chilli, duh!)

Peppers

Go crazy for coleslaw? You probably don’t any more, given their raw veg content – which we all know as insoluble fibre is incredibly difficult to digest – and their high-fat mayonnaise – which your stomach evidently cannot handle.

So instead of living off dry meals for the rest of your life, why not try something that doubles up as a dip and a spread, perfect for just about any meal?

Yes – I’M TALKING ABOUT HOUMOUS.Hummus

I’m also talking about making it yourself. Not just for its health benefits (you really don’t need all that oil), but also because it’s super quick and you can un-FODMAP the recipe so that the spread is just the way you like it.

Perfect, no?

Store-bought houmous is lathered in rapeseed oil, tahini (sesame seed paste which can sometimes cause large flare-ups), loads of salt and transfats, and way too many chickpeas (chickpeas, whilst are a great source of protein, are one of the legumes high in FODMAPs which can upset the stomach).

When you make the houmous yourself, don’t follow a recipe. It honestly goes much better when you throw in your favourite ingredients and keep adding until you get the right consistency in the food processor.

What are the alternatives to just chickpeas?

Try mixing in butternut squash – this beauty is just as filling and gives a lovely vibrant orange tinge to your dip.

Sweet potato hummus

Go green and blend in avocado – perfect for all your essential fatty acids which you might otherwise be lacking on a low FODMAP diet.avocado

Drench your houmous in sun-dried tomatoes – glorious for a flavoursome, meditteranean tasting spread which is great with meat or by itself. Gorgeous!sundried

Feeling adventurous? Try beetroot-infused houmous which provides loads of the stuff you need for a nutrient-rich meal, such as potassium, magnesium, iron, Vitamins A, B6 and C, folic acid, healthy carbs, protein, antioxidants and plenty of soluble fibre (the best part!).

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Personally, my favourite is the Avocado mix as I can serve it up in a great big batch and nobody complains. And even if it doesn’t all get eaten, it freezes better than the rest and tastes just as good the second time around!

Healthy Snacks Review: CLIF Bars For On-The-Go Eats

Is gluten a particularly tough pill to swallow for you? 

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When you suffer with IBS, you’re given a handful of foods you can eat – these are foods you might not normally eat, may not even like, and you might think “well, how many ways can I actually eat oats without getting fed up of them?!”

I had that same dilemma. I was fed up of food. Food didn’t’ like me, even when I thought it was good. And I was bored of the bizarre food combinations I was throwing together in a bid to curb my IBS (try egg and houmous on crispbread… sounded good in theory, but is incredibly bitty and isn’t more-ish for a reason).

But the good thing was – I loved oats. So I started being a breakfast bunny – overnight oats, oatmeal pancakes, oat smoothies, and of course heaps and heaps of creamy porridge. Which was all well and good, but then I was flummoxed when it came to lunchtime.

I couldn’t double-breakfast, that’s nonsensical.

I didn’t want to feel stuffed, I wanted something satisfying that might get me through my day.

I was also craving confectionary that wouldn’t send my gut into a spin – I’m talking the good bad things, cookies, biscuits, anything and I mean anything that I could dunk in my tea.CLIF

And then, a beacon of hope came in the form of CLIF bars.

My cookie is healthier than your cookie!

What might look like a traditional cookie – which you would normally associate with bad ingredients and unhappy tums – is an incredible oxymoron. Looks like a cookie, can be eaten like a cookie – at ‘cookie-craving hours’, but gives you more energy than a cookie and keeps your intestines well in line… ready for another 😉

Those who suffer with IBS know that getting your vitamins in is a difficult task as any, especially if some of your trigger foods are items which are naturally high in vitamins and minerals, such as raw veg and fresh fruits. It makes getting the good stuff in incredibly hard.

Rather than simply containing traditional cookie ingredients, these CLIF bars come packed full of Vitamin B6 and B12 and, the best part, they maintain their ‘health benefits’ with no high fructose corn syrup. I mean, they take a look at traditional cookie ingredients (most IBS-unfriendly foods highlighted) –

Wheat Flour (Wheat Flour, Calcium Carbonate, Iron, Niacin, Thiamin), Sugar, Belgian Milk Chocolate Chunks (Sugar, Dried Whole Milk, Cocoa Butter, Cocoa Mass, Emulsifier (Soya Lecithins), Vanilla), Palm Oil, Fructose-Glucose Syrup, Rapeseed Oil, Glucose Syrup, Raising Agents (Sodium Bicarbonate, Disodium Diphosphate, Calcium Dihydrogen Diphosphate, Calcium Phosphate), Wheat Fibre, Whey Powder (Milk), Flavouring, Salt.cookies

And now you can see why you might feel uncomfortable after eating a cookie.

Why are high levels of sugar bad for IBS?

We all know high amounts of sugar are bad nutritionally anyway, you don’t need me to tell you that. But IBS sufferers might find that foods containing particularly high levels of sugar – and most prominently high fructose corn syrup, the strongest form of sugar – affect the bowel rapidly. Foods like cakes, sweets and even some cereals can be laden with high fructose corn syrup and, although these might be difficult to digest, you struggle to avoid them in daily life.

But you need to be headstrong and search for foods typically associated with high fructose which don’t contain this terrible ingredient.

The refined sugar in fructose syrup absorbs quickly into the pancreas, drawing on your current nutrients reserve. This can lead to chronic mineral deficits, overgrowth of bacteria fighting off the harsh metabolising effects in the large intestine, which then encourages great degrees of constipation, bloating, gas, cramps and diarrhoea. All symptoms sufferers of IBS know all too well…

Love the gym? You’ll adore CLIF!

Although these CLIF bars prove to be perfect dunker, I wouldn’t recommend them for daily consumption without being somewhat active.

These are great for pre- and post-gym snacks and are one of the most recommended bars for energy endurance activities.

You can sit at your desk and eat these every day if you so wish, but I can guarantee you’ll see the greatest health benefits when they’re taken as part of an exercise regime.health

I’m a regular gym-goer and found that these were the best go-to when I was on the move and perhaps didn’t have the chance to go home and make myself up a small meal.

It actually motivated me to go more as I knew I wouldn’t be starved afterwards and didn’t have to do a panicked superstore buy, leaving me to stare scrupulously at the back of the pack for the list of unhelpful ingredients.

So, whilst these bars are great for IBS anyway on the face of it, they’re also a great alliance in doing additional exercise – something nutritionists recommend as a great, natural way to curb IBS symptoms!

At the same time, eat them in moderation … like you would a cookie … yeah right, good tasting food bears no limits!

So get off your hands and grab a pack!

Healthy Snacks Review: Nakd Bars For Guilt-Free Grazing

Snacking is never a question of why, it’s a question of what, when and how can I snack healthily.

Snacking is the fundamental mechanism we use to thread together events in our day, whether this be sitting down at the desk, something to accompany a brew or the essential elevenses, snacking is most certainly an imperative part of the daily grind.

And when you suffer with IBS, you know that eating little and often is the best way to tell your tummy ‘it’s okay, there’s nothing to be afraid of here’.

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Can I eat a Graze Snack Box if I have Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

No-one ever said it would be easy but you CAN deal with IBS, if you do it right and make the correct nutritional decisions. IBS trigger foods differ from person to person – it’s a common fact. Whilst some sufferers can manage just fine with a piece of Cheddar & others bloat up to the size of a balloon, nothing is definitively set in stone.
Continue reading “Can I eat a Graze Snack Box if I have Irritable Bowel Syndrome?”