Some of you may know that my inspiration for Jessie Girl came from my health struggles with my stomach and food sensitivities. When I started Jessie Girl, almost a year ago now, I wrote a brief overview post on my wellness journey (the post is called My Wellness Journey if you’d like to read it). It has been too long since I’ve given an update, so I thought I’d share one with you now.
There is so much to update! First, let me start by saying that this journey is not a linear process. My journey is a lot of ups and downs, guessing, elimination, re-introducing, and figuring it out as I go because all the doctors I have seen cannot figure out a “cure” for all of my symptoms. So, a lot of it is my mom and I reading and researching to see if we can figure it out. I strongly agree with the quote, “health is wealth.” Health is the most important thing in the world because it honestly sucks to feel like crap lol! So, with that being said, I feel like, in the past year, I have had good periods and frustrating periods. It is too hard to summarize a year (sorry I really should have been better at updating my journey), I’ll let you know where I am right now.
So, in case you are new here (welcome <3), I have been trying to figure out my GI system for about six years now! I know..seems like a very long time! But, as I stated, it is a lot go up and downs. I had my most significant breakthrough two summers ago (wow time flies) when I started seeing a holistic doctor. He introduced to something called a low FODMAP diet because he was treating me for something called SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacteria Overgrowth). I have started the FODMAP diet again because my stomach health hasn’t been the best lately! I know many of you are probably wondering what the heck is the FODMAP diet, so I’m going to explain it as simply as I can!
If you are struggling with chronic stomach pain, bloating, discomfort, IBS, SIBO, irregularity, etc., I encourage you to try the FODMAP diet. I wouldn’t say I like the term diet because FODMAP isn’t a weight-loss diet or fad or anything like that; it is more of a helpful tool we should all utilize.
FODMAP stands for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides, and Polyols. Lol! These are simply foods that are poorly absorbed by the body and can cause discomfort. We eat SO many foods daily that are very hard to digest and inflammatory, but we don’t even think twice about it because it is normal for us.
Fun fact: your stomach is known as your second brain. Your stomach is a whole ecosystem that keeps you healthy and functioning. A healthy stomach leads to less stress, anxiety, and depression. It is fascinating how much the health of your stomach is linked to your overall mental state. I’ll write a more in-depth post about this topic!
Back to FODMAP. So, in general, the FODMAP diet is an elimination diet. It takes out all of the foods that commonly cause bloating, pain, gas, and so on. Some examples of what you can’t eat on the FODMAP diet are beans, lentils, wheat, dairy, artificial sweeteners, garlic, broccoli, nuts, onions, apples, etc. There are so so so many more. If you want a full list, google the FODMAP diet. Eliminating these irritants can give the gut a chance to heal.
The next step of the FODMAP diet is a reintroduction. Once you start to feel better, the diet encourages you to re-introduce certain foods, you have eliminated one at a time, so you figure out which foods bother you and which foods do not. Side note: you do not have to remove every food on the list – especially if your stomach symptoms aren’t that bad. I would recommend trying to eliminate the ones you think could be a possible irritant to you and go from there.
I firmly believe your stomach affects your overall health and your diet. The food you put into your body is essential. Eat to fuel your body. I have read incredible success stories of people who have changed their diet, and their migraines went away, eczema, arthritis, etc. Food is so powerful.
I followed the FODMAP diet strictly two summers ago, and I am currently following it again. I will let you know how I feel in a few weeks. Two big things I am avoiding are garlic and onion. These ingredients are in everything!!! They are very harsh on the stomach.
I’m excited for the journey!
I hope this post will help someone who might be struggling too!
“Health is adding a level of intention to every area of your life.” XO