In January 2016 (which was the last time I was in the hospital), I announced via this blog that I was embarking on a low-fiber diet. That’s what the doctors had suggested could potentially mediate my stomach problems. While there is no fool-proof answer to preventing the situation that puts me into the hospital, a low-fiber diet seems to be a step in that direction.
You might notice, by the way, that I am going to great lengths to prevent using the word bowel. If I could drink a shot of whiskey every time I used the word bowel in the past couple of blog posts, I would be in desperate need of a nap. So my euphemisms will have to suffice.
Sunday, while Bill was at the NASCAR races watching cars go around in a circle, I was home researching my condition. I am challenged by the notion that all of my hospital visits involving my small intestine have been here in AZ. I have not been able to find anything to address my questions, but I did stumble upon a message board consisting of comments from people like me. Hospital visits and surgeries and NG tubes were a running theme. They all shared my frustration that there doesn’t seem to be a lot to do to prevent hospital visits, but they also all talked about low-fiber diets being helpful. Many, like I, had been told to keep fiber to a minimum by their doctors.
I like to eat. I also like to cook what I eat. For the most part, preparing low-fiber meals is not fun. The whole concept is counterintuitive. Nutritionists and dieticians tell you over and over to eat high-fiber meals and lots of protein to fill you up. Though the days of the Atkins’ diet are mostly in the past, cutting down on carbohydrates – especially so-called bad carbohydrates – is still considered a good way to lose weight and stay healthy.
Unfortunately, while protein is generally low in fiber, it is suggested that steering away from red meat – especially tougher grilled chops, etc. – is the way to go. The truth hurts, because this is what I had for dinner the night I went to the hospital…..
Yep. Chops and broccoli. On the contrary, fish and chicken: rah rah rah. Also high on the list are potatoes, white rice, white pasta, white bread, canned vegetables and fruits. Mashed potatoes and milkshakes every night of the week would be splendid for my digestion! Gah. No fun to cook.
I did learn that the fiber that is the most troublesome for me is insoluble fiber. That’s the fiber that doesn’t break down. Eating insoluble fiber is a great way to feel full for a long time. But for people with my condition, it can cause all sorts of problems.
For a long period of time after my January 2016 incident, I was a zealot about steering away from fiber. Fiber was evil. I didn’t touch a refried bean. I peeled my celery before cutting it up for soup. I avoided broccoli and cauliflower like the plague. I took tomatoes from my salads or sandwiches and gave them to Bill.
But as the months went by and I had no health issues, I became lax. As of late, I had pretty much limited my fiber restriction to nuts, popcorn, and sweet corn. And once, when Bill wasn’t looking, I put a spoonful of sunflower seeds on my salad while visiting a salad bar. He has a way of looking disappointed and saying tsk tsk tsk when I cheat.
But, as we used to say to each other when we were kids, “Mom knows, and God knows.” So beginning immediately, I am back on the low-fiber band wagon. In addition, my new message board friends suggested small meals, tiny bites, lots of chewing……
By the way, today is National Potato Chip Day. And the good news is I can eat all the potato chips I want. No edamame, but keep those greasy fiberless chips coming!…..