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Changing The Way We Eat

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The past few months have been really challenging for us as a family healthwise. The biggest issue for me has been my digestion – having suffered from IBS for years, everything just seems to have become so much worse over the past year, with a rapid increase in symptoms since 6 months.

In desperation I saw my GP when nothing seemed to be helping and weight loss was added to the mix. He referred me to a gastroenterologist and after a busy few weeks of various investigations, I finally saw the gastroenterologist for a follow up on Monday.

It appears that everything looks fine internally, other than the fact that my digestive system isn’t working as efficiently as it should. So his suggestion was to change the way I eat to see if that would combat the nausea and indigestion I am suffering from after eating. Namely, he wants me to drink at least 3 litres per day and start eating 6-8 meals per day to help make things as easy as possible on my system.

That’s quite a change to the 3 meals a day, often at random times and struggling to make time to stop and drink even 2 litres a day around work and looking after a toddler! But it makes sense, so we’re trying it out…

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The problem is, finding a way to work around this new way of working. There are certain things that I cannot eat and haven’t been able to eat for years – wheat, too much meat, too much dairy, raw vegetables and leafy greens like lettuce etc. So I am already limited in my variety of foods, so how can I find enough for 6-8 meals each day?

It turns out it hasn’t actually been that difficult. I’ve discovered that I can easily create nutritious meals that last me several servings – things like “saladas” made from a mixture of green beans, peas and sweetcorn left over from the night before, added to egg mayo, cheese or ham the next day and split between two “mini meals” an hour or so apart rather than all in one go at lunchtime. Or a fruit salad, made in bulk one day (and kept fresh with a bit of lemon juice) and then eaten as a “snack” with some yoghurt or homemade museli at various intervals throughout the day!

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The upside of all of this is that I’ve really started to enjoy cooking and preparing meals again for the first time in a very long time. We’re experimenting in ways we’ve never done before – creating our own wheat-free muesli and discovering new combinations of tastes and textures. I feel pretty happy in the kitchen these days and find myself taking pleasure in feeding my family and myself in a whole new way. And that feels good!

As does the fact that my digestion seems to be dealing pretty well with the changes. I still have a long way to go before I am at the optimum suggestion made by the consultant, but so far so good. And whilst it’s working I am going to enjoy trying new things…

Tell me, do you have any tips for nutritious and tasty “mini meals” or meals that can be split over several servings?

This post is another of my “Joy in the Everyday Moments” posts as I am finding so much joy in the simple act of preparing food – you can’t get more “everyday” than that, can you?

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One comment

  1. Dawn says:

    Ha, yes, of course I have plenty of mini-meal ideas! I eat way too much: portion size for one 5’0″ sedentary person is hard! I would LOVE to eat 6-8 mini-meals a day, but Matt can’t each much more than a plateful in a normal sitting (he has that ‘normal’ thing where you feel full: I don’t experience ‘full’ until I’m actually making myself ill!). For those at-work days, my current lunch (see more later) is 3 portions of raw veg because it’s summer. In winter, I chuck 160g (2 portions) of frozen mixed veg into a plastic tub and microwave it at work. Add something a bit different like mustard, lemon juice, soy sauce, Maggi and it becomes a new meal every day 🙂 I have a massive glut of fruit at the moment: the freezer’s full and it won’t last long in the fridge, so I sling it in a saucepan and just let it boil/simmer for 5-10mins. No sugar, no water, just fruit and a bit of stirring (works for frozen fruit too). I eat it with icecream or yoghurt, or on its own: current vat is a bit tart because it’s blackberries, gooseberries and autumn (tasteless!) raspberries, but I like it tart :O ;P Can also stick it in front of guests with icecream for a quick dessert, or chuck some crumble topping over it and bake it. Again, it doesn’t last long in the fridge but longer than 100% fresh fruit! I think the freezer is the best thing for me: if I buy fresh pasta I only eat half and, while it doesn’t say you can freeze the one I buy, you most definitely can! So I just have half a packet and the rest goes back in the freezer for another day/week/month!

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