Take care of your tummy

Well it has been a while since my last post... I have just been occupied with other things (trying to catch up with work, reading, taking care of family, enjoying the summer, etc etc.)

It's not that I haven't been eating of course. That is one thing about having a food blog: you rarely run out of things to talk about. That is of course, unless you get too sick to enjoy eating.

My mother (who was visiting last month) unfortunately has an illness that doesn't let her enjoy food much any more. She has a severe case Irritable Bowel Syndrome - during the worst times, the insides of her large intestines got so irritated and raw that they were bleeding profusely. It's as unpleasant as it sounds, she said, and very painful too. She's been in the hospital several times because of this, with the doctors trying numerous treatments.

During her visit here last month, she was still quite enthusiastic about eating - like all of our family, she's somewhat of a foodophile. She can still have vegetables (cooked, preferably); vegetable oils like olive and sesame; fruit; fish and chicken; and not-too-fibrous carbohydrates. She was never that fond of meat anyway, so she doesn't miss it. Still, she talked wistfully about the cheese she could not eat (and really, being in Switzerland and unable to have even a bite of cheese is really sad), the eggs she can't have (we have some wonderful organic eggs here from a local farm, as I've written about earlier.)

My mom has never been overweight by more than a few pounds; she exercises religiously, and have never indulged in excessive amounts of rich foods. She did have a very stressful job before retirement though, and she confessed that going back to live in Japan after so many years away has been stress-filled also.

What's the moral of the story? I don't really know, but I think that people like us who are fond of food also need to have a fine-tuned awareness of the way our digestive, and other, systems are reacting to what we are taking in, both food-wise and life-wise. Life without the ability to fully enjoy what we eat and drink is not quite as rich as it should be.

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I'm sorry to hear about your mother. I hope her digestive problems become more manageable soon.

In spite of my fondness towards all types of food, I am aware that I have certain sensitivities. I have lactose intolerance, a sensitivity to wheat products, and need to be especially careful about fat intake. My body will let me know, in no uncertain terms, whether I've reached a certain limit on those foods.

It's more of a nuisance for me right now than a major health concern, but I know that my quality of life improves when I take notice of what I eat. I don't feel as if my diet is too restrictive, however, because there are plenty of things I can eat-- fruits, vegetables, rice, seafood-- that I can take delight in.

Sorry to hear about your mother.

I think that your last paragraph is right on point. People do need to be aware of how the food they take, ends up affecting their system.

Food is the fuel our bodies need, but most take it for granted.

I make sure that my car gets the right type of fuel, and that it gets oil changes every 3000 miles to make sure it keeps on running properly - yet I don't treat my body with the same attention. I tend to fill up with wrong fuel... junk food and snacks.

So needless to say... your last paragraph hit home for me.



I would like to invite you to participate in "I Like 'em Spicy!", a fortnightly food event, where all participants have to come up with a spicy recipe using the Star Ingredient (which id different every fortnight)!

The rules are simple:

1. The recipe has to use the Star Ingredient as the base of the dish
2. It has to be SPICY!!
3. Dishes can be of any form you can imagine, appertizers, mains, desserts, drinks...whatever you can come up with!

On the 1st and 15th of every month, I will the post the Star Ingredient and you are expected to email your entries to hookedonheat@gmail.com by the next two weeks.

At the end of the two weeks, I will post all the recipes on a special blog built especially for "I Like 'em Spicy!" so you can all view the fabulous entries!

For further details do drop in "Hooked on Heat", at www.hookedonheat.blogspot.com and join in on the fun!

- Meena

Has your Mom ever tried taking slippery elm bark? My Mom has IBS (and diverticulitis too) and she swears by a dose of slippery elm mixed with aloe vera gel 2x per day.

It's sounds like your mom might need a colon cleanse. you can find them at health food stores or order them on the net. it sounds very simple but is the sort of thing doctors don't tend to tell you about because, frankly, most doctors don't know s*** about keeping people healthy. Can't hurt to try it. here's one online source: http://www.drnatura.com/


I'm sorry aout your mum as well. It's got to be terrible for her. I wish her a speedy recovery.

Sorry to hear about your mom. The food we consume has changed too; over the years we've become more aware of healthier ways of eating and been cognizant of our own limitations (genetic and otherwise) -- so those things have affected the way we eat. Your last sentence there is right on the money. Has the drs. prescribed at least a Vitamin B complex (more info in the book by the Balches -- Prescription for Nutritional Healing, if you're interested)? Let me know if you'd like more info on it. I could e-mail you a copy of the pages for IBS.

Hi Maki,

I've been reading your blog for years, your recipes are just amazing and your writing never fails to make me smile!

I'm hoping you might be able to help me a little, my boyfriend has been diagnosed with IBS, he's in pain a lot and there's so many foods he can no longer eat, such as dairy and spices. I've been searching the internet for food suggestions and found a link back to your site! As you have experience, or rather your mum does with IBS, do you have any advice on what sort of foods or recipes I can cook for him? He's starting to get bored of fish and potatoes every day!

Anything you can suggest will be greatly appreciated, and thank you for writing such fantastic blogs!