Vegan with IBS?

I haven’t stopped blogging, and I’m not planning to either, even though it has been awfully empty here lately. My inspiration for writing has been almost non-existing, so I’ve just let it be – sometimes you need a break even from things you love.

A few days ago I got to know – after several days of severe pain and visits to the doctor’s without any relief – that it’s possible that I have IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome). I’ve had similar pains every now and then for several years, even though not as intense and long-lasting, and I’ve had my suspicions that it could be IBS – but no doctor has ever confirmed it before.

My problem now is where to start figuring out which foods cause pain and which ones are okay to eat. I’ve tried to notice connections between the pains and foods I’ve eaten before, but I have never noticed a connection to any specific food.

However, it has been found that in IBS the bowel reacts to a specific type of carbohydrates in foods like:

  • Legumes (beans, lentils, peas)
  • Different types of onions
  • Cabbage
  • Foods containing lactose
  • Foods containing xylitol, sorbitol, mannitol or maltitol
  • Grains (wheat, rye and barley)
  • Apple, pear, cherry, plum, watermelon
  • Asparagus, artichoke
  • Mushrooms

In other words a lot of the foods on which I base my diet, so where do I start? I’m positive I can still find a way of eating well within a vegan diet and that I don’t have to totally exclude all these foods from my diet, that I just have to try different ways and see what works best. But as we all know, change is always hardest in the beginning, and that’s where I am now.

So my question to all you awesome, intelligent vegans out there is: Is there anyone of you who has IBS and has managed to get it under control with a vegan diet? How did you do? Which foods have you found to be worst, which ones tolerable? Anything you can say about it would be highly appreciated!

Tips for consuming less

We consume an enormous amount of things today and it’s so easy to buy things – there are shops all around and online you can easily buy things with just a click. Most of the things we buy we don’t actually need and often we end up just leaving them unused. This is a habit we all need to change, mainly for the sake of the planet, but also for our own health.

I found an “anti-consumption check-list” written in one of my notebooks, and I wanted to share it with you. I know I copied this one from a book or something, but I hadn’t written down the source. Anyways, the original is in Swedish, so this is a free translation with a little changes because I just don’t want to write everything.

When you want to buy something, think about these things first:

1. Do I really have time for this?
Consumption is often time-consuming, and most often you have something better to do with your time.

2. Do I really need this?
Often we think we need something that we actually would be able to do without. When you get the first impulse to buy something, count to ten in your head and then think again if you actually need it.

3. Can it be fixed, borrowed or rented?
Maybe what you would need can be borrowed or rented (books, music, games for example).

4. Can it be found or bought second-hand?
Try finding what you want at a second-hand store. You can also check what other people are throwing away, often there are fully usable things (like furniture for example) in garbage rooms.

5. Is there an organic alternative?
If you really have to buy something, buy fair trade, organic and/or energy-efficient things. If you buy things of good quality they last for many years and you don’t have to constantly buy new ones.

Also remember to not throw things you no longer want in the garbage if they are still usable, trying selling them, giving them to friends or to charity/second-hand stores!

Veganism is not a diet

Many people believe that veganism is merely a diet, something you do because it’s good for your health, or because you want to lose weight. But it is far from just a diet, it is about so much more than what you choose to put on your plate every day.

Today I stumbled upon the blog Rakkaudesta eläimiin ja luontoon (In Finnish) through a Facebook-page that I follow. Netta, who is behind the blog, phrased what veganism is about in a very nice way, which I want to share with you. Since the original text is in Finnish, this is my own translation:

“Ethical veganism is not a diet. It is not a religion, which you can believe to be the one and only truth. It is not only a sign of love for the animals. It is not a pursuit for health. It is not oppression of agriculture. So what is it then? Ethical veganism is a whole set of values. It is a lifestyle. It is an indication of that you don’t want to be a part of the speciesism of today. It is thinking of the future. It is respecting nature. And above all, it is empathy, love an equality.”