Friday, October 30, 2015

a little more health talk ~ and my reading stash

Good morning, friends! I've received some comments and emails from readers asking questions about intestinal problems and asking about different foods. Some people have said that they could "never give up beans". When you have an intestinal problem such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO), Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), or Crohn's, there is no choice in giving up beans/legumes (among other particular foods) ~ unless you want to remain very sick. Beans contain indigestible saccharides. The dietary goal with treating IBS and other intestinal maladies is to eat foods that are easily digested. This way, most of the nutrients can be absorbed higher up in the intestine, away from bacteria that lives near the end of the small intestine. I love beans/legumes - I used to eat them all the time because I ate mostly vegetarian. Little did I know one of my most-loved foods was contributing to my gut problems. To give them up to feel well once again, not be in constant pain, not have my stomach be so bloated that I look five months pregnant and can't even button my jeans, and not be constantly running to the bathroom with diarrhea (sorry, but I have to be real here) is 100% worth it. Once the eight weeks of being on the FODMAP diet is up, I can then try adding in one of the higher FODMAP foods (beans, gluten, apples, pears, onions, garlic, etc...there's a long list!) one at a time, to see how my intestines react.*

  On to better things ~ reading! I am never just reading one book or one magazine. I like to have several different genres of things going at one time, because I choose depending on my mood. If I want light or quick reading, I will pick up a magazine. And I'm a magazine junkie! I don't spend much on magazines...there are several I get free (I signed up with Mercury Magazines several years ago and still get free subscriptions through them) and others that are passed down to me. I do have subscriptions to several of my favorites: Mother Earth Living, Better Homes and Gardens, Clean Eating, and Midwest Living. I love the British magazines such as Country Homes and Interiors, Country Living, and The Simple Things. Every so often, I'll go to Barnes and Noble and thumb through these...and once in a blue moon, I'll treat myself to one or two of them. This is my current stash. Sorry for the poor lighting quality. I took these photos at night when I had the lights on in my house.

Here's my current book - and other reading material - pile. A cookbook, a health/psychology book, a novel, and yes, a medical article on microbiomes (which is all about your gut flora). As you can tell, I am fascinated by medical issues, how our body works, and natural ways of healing. If you're interested in reading a little about microbiomes and how they control your health, click here to read an article from Dr. Mercola. There's also a video to a TED talk in this article.

Here's a great idea that I actually saw in a magazine (don't remember which one, so I can't give proper credit): use extra vintage Pyrex dishes to corral stuff around your house. In my case, I'm using one of my dishes to stash a couple of small notebooks, page tabs, note cards, and a pen. I keep this dish in the living room by my book pile. I can't tell you how many times I'd be reading something and then have to jump up to dig for a pen, a piece of paper to write on, or a Post-It note to mark a page.

What's in your reading pile right now?

This blog post pro­vides gen­eral infor­ma­tion about health and related sub­jects. The words and other con­tent pro­vided in this blog, and in any linked sites, are not intended and should not be con­strued as med­ical advice. If the reader or any other per­son has a med­ical con­cern, he or she should con­sult with their physician.
Never dis­re­gard pro­fes­sional med­ical advice or delay in seek­ing it because of some­thing you have read on this blog or in any linked sites.


  1. I'm the same way when it comes to books. I can pretty much read any genre as long as it's a good story. I just finished reading a very good thriller and now I'm reading At Home in Mitford by Jan Karon.

    I'm sorry to hear about your health, but it's good to know that you are on the road to recovery. I hope you have a lovely weekend, Melanie... :)

  2. I have been following your posts Melanie and while I have been a bit preoccupied with other matters this month, getting my tummy back on track is a priority now. Thanks for sharing and being real!

  3. Melanie- I agree with you- beans are so hard to digest and most people would be better off without them...but you will meet resistance whenever you tell people that - as I have found out! I follow the Whole 30 and feel so much better. I don't do dairy, grains, corn, legumes or sugar and I feel like a different person..and that happened in one months' time.

    Your reading looks good to me- I have just not had time to read lately----darn it! xo Diana

  4. Figuring out what is right to eat for you is the most important thing isn't it. Great idea on the pyrex dish! xx

  5. I had intestinal issues off and on for about 10 years. I kept changing doctors (because our insurance kept changing), and I never got any decent answers to what was causing my problems, just that it was "probably IBS" and I should watch what I ate. I KNEW it wasn't IBS (because it would come and go and there was never any rhyme or reason to what would trigger it).... Eventually I had an episode where I was in so much pain, I had to go to the ER, where they finally did an MRI and determined I had an intestinal blockage. (I had had two previous abdominal surgeries, which had created scar tissue inside my abdomen and as the scar tissue grew it started wrapping around my intestines.)... I had emergency surgery to remove the blockage and have felt great ever since.... All of which is to say (A) Digestive issues are awful, and I feel terrible for you and (B) Keep on being your own health care advocate. Nobody knows how you're feeling except you.

  6. I always knew that beans were a problem for me, but my surprise was that apples are one of the worst foods for my IBS (I ate one every day with my lunch- who knew!"?). I've tried eating one several times over the past year, but unfortunately they don't agree with me. I can eat them cooked, but not in their raw form. My hair stylist and her forester hubby cultivate chaga (mushroom antioxidant) from birch trees that's been known to help with digestion, acid reflux, arthritis, and many other maladies. I'm going to purchase some to add to my tea and see what happens.

    I read a little bit of everything, too. I love to read before bed, since watching the news tends to keep me up at night worrying about....everything!

  7. Thanks for your advice--you save so many of us research! Isn't the Internet great? I love reading Mind Body Green...they address a lot of subjects. Can you perhaps recommend similar websites in a future post?

    When you talk about beans do you mean kidney brans, pinto beans, etc.? Or green beans and the like? Do they cause they same issues?

    I read a variety, too. It's only been recently that I've opened up more than one book and like you, I do it depending on my mod. Sometimes we want a non-fiction book where we get facts and pretty much retain them (or highlight them in my case). Other times I like a juicy fictional novel but you have to devote more time to those or you'll be lost when you pick it back up after a lull.

    Hope you have a good weekend. It looks like the weather will be crappy again. Today would have been perfect for those kiddos. :)

    Jane x

  8. I read that apples are picked too green before an natural enzyme is allowed that makes them very digestible but nowadays nothing is picked right from the tree and ate. Getting older is not for the faint of heart.

  9. I find this is working for me too. I couldn't see letting an organic apple go to waste and sure enough, it triggers my intestines. I had a piece of chicken at work last week that was catered from Whole Foods. Found afterwards I could taste garlic and it made me sick.. The salad you and I ordered at Pantera made me sick. You just had lemon, I had dressing. :-) From now on, I take homemade dressing with me. EEVO w/balsamic vinegar & a bit of pure maple syrup. Delicious. My stomach has gone down too.
    Xoxo Mom

  10. You've given me some things to think about in the food area. As I get older, I just don't tolerate things the way I used to, and I need to be more aware of what I'm eating.

    I love seeing what others are reading. I have a little basket that I keep similar 'tools' in for highlighting, taking notes, and of course those indispensable sticky tabs!

  11. Beans, apples, pears, onions, and garlic, Oh My! These are some of my standbys. I will have to remember this, if I ever start having a problem. I love the fact that you added a disclaimer . . . Smart Girl :)
    I always have a pile of magazines at my end table by my favorite chair. Then there are the never ending supply of seasonal catalogs that come in the mail this time of the year. How they all get my address, I do not know, but I do enjoy looking through them. As for books, I just finished a light Amish novel and started the sequel the other night. I like reading in the bed before sleeping, and I like to keep it light . . . no bad dreams from reading material, LOL. I sure hope that your new diet helps and that you are feeling much better.
    Happy Sunday.
    Connie :)

  12. Glad your feeling better on the diet...and I've picked up reading again. Have a great day!

  13. Hi Melanie, sorry to be late reading your latest post. I've been away from the computer lately. I'm glad you're feeling better since your dietary changes, that is really good news. I liked seeing what you read; I'm a big fan of magazines too and usually read about six monthly ones. I read lots of books too, of course. I've always got my nose stuck in some book or magazine, or so they tell me. :) I hope you have a good week.


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