IBS: It must be what I’m eating


If you have long-term IBS, you probably have trouble eating. You may think it’s just you, that you aren’t eating the food you should for IBS, and somehow it’s all your fault. But I’d like to help you see why you are struggling. And how you can start getting some relief.

Back to basics

Back in the days when farms were small and supermarkets didn’t exist, no-one examined what they were eating.

It took time to get and make food, and most people ate what they had around them.

In France, that’s how regions got their speciality dishes. In the mountains there was a cow eating the grass and providing milk for cheese, a pig to eat the scraps, and potatoes because the potato harvest kept well in the winter. Put this together and what have you got? Cheese melted over potatoes and cured ham.

As more food became available, and people traded with each other, more variety became an option. And more and more delicious dishes became available to more people.

From eating to live, food became a part of pleasure.

Be careful what you are eating for IBS

What to eat for IBS

And that’s where scientists started looking into food, and what it provides us with.

However, from there we were told what we “should” be eating. And what not to eat. Which took a lot of the pleasure right out of eating, and associated food with shame and guilt.

Enter all kinds of eating problems: food intolerance, weight “problems”, controlling food intake

As well as all the food scares, and “healthy foods you should avoid“.

The simple, basic act of eating has become so darned complicated.

There are things that give us pleasure, that we feel guilty eating – only because we have been told by some authority that we “shouldn’t”.

So we get into our heads, forcing ourselves to follow a “healthy diet”. And follow diet plans devoid of pleasure. eating foods that “we have to eat”.

And, of course, if you have IBS you are lectured about the digestive system, and told you should be careful of what you eat. So you go round in circles trying to avoid what seems to be setting off your IBS flares.

Where we are going wrong with eating

Our brain is not equipped to “work out” what we need to eat. It’s a natural phenomena that we have been doing without thinking about it for centuries.

Forcing yourself to eat foods you don’t fancy doesn’t feel good. That’s your indicator right there that your brain is meddling.

After all, you don’t have to “figure out” when you need to breathe. You just do it.

Food is the same. Go towards what you fancy. After your 6th day of burger and fries, you will start wanting fresh veg. Automatically. No thinking required.

But Alison, I have IBS

Yes, and the foods you’re having trouble digesting have something special about them.

No matter which foods you’ve been told to eat for IBS – or the foods NOT to eat for IBS.

As you were eating them, you were feeling frustrated, fed up, powerless, boxed in with life, – or with your IBS.

Or you felt guilty eating them. And shameful afterwards. All because of what you have been “taught” about food.

As your brain is a learning machine, over time it has probably labelled those foods as “guilty”, “powerless”, “fed up”, “boxed in”, “getting it ALL wrong” and “you should be ashamed of yourself“.

And guess what? Your system has red-flagged them – and now you have developed food intolerance (aka food triggers).

Eating for IBS: Where you can go from here

Firstly, awareness around this topic will help you.

I invite you to start noticing what happens when you eat your next meal. This is better done alone if you can, so you can focus.

As you are eating, see if you can notice where your mind goes, the thoughts you think. And how you are feeling.

I shouldn’t be eating that (but it tastes soo good!)

THAT will set off my IBS.

I can’t eat gluten/dairy. In any case it’s “bad” for health.

Notice what you have learned about eating. What you “should” eat, and what you “shouldn’t”. What are your beliefs? Are you eating what you enjoy? Do you believe that enjoyment is bad?

Notice if there is a pattern at play. A loop of thoughts and emotions that is on autopilot at each mealtime.

If so, see if you can change the record even slightly. What could be more helpful? Why am I feeling this way? How could I feel differently about food?

If you want help reprogramming this, find a hypnotherapist or NLP specialist that can help you do so. One that believes this is possible – which may be hard to find as most people avoid looking at their feelings by blaming food.

Or come and work with me, and beat your IBS as well.

(I know this is possible – because I’ve done it. And you can too;)