The IBS 25th Anniversary Conference 16th April 2016

As I continue on my journey with my dodgy bowels. I was informed a few months back via Facebook of an IBS conference, in Sheffield (commutable). So we went.

It was held at the Victoria Holiday Inn and the whole day was free!! We initially paid for parking and when David went to reception for change to top up the meter he was told no charge and refunded what we’d paid, winner.

Upon entering, there was a sign in area where all the name badges for people who had registered were laid out. It was a beautiful sea of the charities blue and white colours, alongside some very cheery volunteers who were coordinating the day alongside the CEO! A lady who was constantly buzzing around, keeping everyone on track, the CEO of the charity, the free magazine later revealed.

So we entered the foyer laden with a nice goodie bag. The foyer was set out with various traders, mostly pharmaceutical and some gluten free, dairy free product makers too.

One in particular was Delicious Alchemy. Who make gf and df cake and bread mixes. Based in Sheffield they are just starting out on the bigger market, but definitely one to watch as their products are amazing! Very tasty and egg free too? They substitute eggs, milk and oil for mashed potato! I would have never thought about doing that, clever squirrels.


I made my way round and spoke to a few different reps. I was provided with 4 months supply of probiotics, copious amounts of pens, stress balls, mints and product info about other companies. Oh and the best thing in the world for someone with bowel troubles….a Bristol stool chart magnet! That went straight on the fridge.


After a cup of decaff tea we headed for the auditorium where we sat down ready for the talks.

Next stop: Part 2: Lectures and (free) Lunch.


Change of direction

So after months of silently deliberating a point of focus for this blog I have finally found one. I have always wanted to include the subject of creativity within this blog. How it is formed, why some people can access it more frequently and easily than others and how my creativity manifests on a regular basis.

Throughout my twenties I have spent a considerable amount of time searching for the right choice. The right career, the right job and most importantly the right path.

However in doing so I have greatly neglected my right sided brain, the creative parts of my being and made myself miserable, time and time again.

This blog will document and illustrate my journey to complete the many unfinished projects I have surrounding me at present. Which will require me to step into the past and question my decisions. It should help me to organise my present and retain the focus I need to live in the now and to practise mindfulness, something I have been doing for the past two weeks with great results. Finally it will guide my way into the future and objects I may create or places I may go to seek out new skills and new challenges.

I aim to share my progress with each project I attempt to complete, whilst reflecting on the practise and process. I also hope to improve on the greatest unfinished project I have, myself.


Day 1 low FODMAPS diet

So it’s coming to the end of day 1. How did I do?

Well I had to make a trip to Tesco on the way to work for some breakfast. I bought some Tesco own brand oat porridge cereal which is gluten free! Only contains oats and fortified with vitamins, score!

I had this with some lactofree milk. It was ok texture wise but a bit bland. I’m going to try it with cinnamon tomorrow.

Next lunch.

For lunch I had a sandwich with Genius gluten free brown bread, the filling was Tesco’s ‘cheddar style’ spread. Tastes like a weird cheese, is actually made from coconut and potato starch..mmm.

I think I would struggle a lot more on this diet if I had to start from scratch. But since I’ve spent considerable amounts of time on both gluten and lactose free diets, I know a lot of what to avoid in those categories. I can also have crisps *wipes sweat from brow* only plain flavours though which I can live with. So my accompaniment was some Walkers French Fries also 78kcals per pack, woop!

I had de caff tea and water throughout the day.

Tea was quick as the OH had to go to his fortnightly pub meeting to talk geekery (IT stuff) so I found this recipe on Love Food, Hate Waste:

I omitted the black olive stuff, topped with cheese and a bit of black pepper. I cooked some boiled rice on the side which I flavoured with lemon juice. OH loved it! And also commented that we’d had a meat free Monday meal…oh yeah, double score! He’s agreed to eat low fodmap dinners with me so long as he can have whatever he wants for breakfast and lunch. Which is fine by me and means a lot that he would support me. As much as I know a lot about nutrition and food, it’s still going to be really difficult. Especially when it’s my birthday and favourite holiday…Easter.

I’ve decided were having Easter late this year. Hot crossed buns, chocolate, flowers and champagne (tummy willing) will be had once we’ve passed the reintroduction stage.

I feel full and I haven’t experienced any pain* or bloating all day which is a bonus. *except totm pain, Mother Nature sure has her timing right!

I’m also super tired. I have been trying to eat little and often lately as I have slumps a couple of hours after eating. However today after a memory lapse early morning (not like me at all) I had no fodmap friendly snacks to gobble on. So snackless I’ve managed without but combined with 30mins on the wii fit and washing my hair, I am r e a d y for bed.

Not before I create a new board on Pinterest to house all the yummy recipes I’m going to find *crosses fingers.

Also I found some Udis gluten free & dairy free Cinnamon & Raisin bagels half price. So I bought two packs. I’m thinking I can have them as breakfast toasted or as a mid morning snack with some sort of spread. The look, the smell…it’s super exciting!

Any snack suggests would be appreciated. Until tomorrow, Adiós. x


Monday, Bloody Mondays

As Alan Partridge so happily sung, is the day I start to sort out my digestive tract.

I’ve had ongoing problems with my stomach, well let’s not mince words, more specifically my bowel has given me a whole heap of problems for at least 7 years. I’ve been admitted to A&E for suspected appendicitis and had scans on my ovaries. In 2013 my symptoms became a lot worse. I was in pain most of the time and really bloated. I was bleeding (down there) and I’ve had loose stools ever since March 2013. That Xmas I was having 10 bowel movements a day. Other symptoms include

  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Muscle cramps
  • Joint pain
  • Low mood
  • Bloating
  • Nausea for hours at a time
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Excess gas
  • Pain (like glass moving through my bowel on my lower right side abdo)
  • Loose stools
  • Blood and mucus in stools

Great huh?!

After a rather painful Christmas my partner dragged me to the GP. Now I’ve been to many doctors over the years who have fobbed me off. I’ve been on anti cramp medication, mint tablets and immodium all of which failed to treat my symptoms.

This GP listened. She did a PR exam which was very painful as well as examine my abdo which was also tender and sent me for a colonscopy. Long story short that was January 2014 and a year later I had a sigmoidoscopy, cameras both ways but neither actually viewing the site of my pain. After two rather abrupt and shockingly poor appointments with the Gastro doctor, I’m still nowhere near fixed.

I tried a gluten free diet which helped initially, all my symptoms vanished. I was so happy I cried. But after reintroducing things back into my diet the pain and bloating and nausea returned.

The Gastro doctor wrote to my GP and suggested I trial a low FODMAP diet under the supervision of a dietitian. I booked an appointment with the wrong GP. A GP I had seen at 26 who told me it was normal for me to be having blackouts….

She refused to refer me to a dietitian and printed off some useless american sheet re fodmaps.

So here I am about to start the low fodmap diet as a last ditch attempt to regain normal function of my bowel.

Luckily for me, up until recently I was a dietetic assistant. While I know I am NOT a dietitian, I do have more information and knowledge than your average Joe. I also have a few friends who are registered dietitians and trained in the fodmap diet.

So with their help, a diet sheet and the internet I am about to start an 8 week diet that will hopefully help to ‘reset’ my gut so I can reintroduce foods and find out what is so intolerant to my gut.

I’ll be posting my progress, thoughts and recipes here. Welcome aboard if you are interested.

*Please note, this diet should be followed under the supervision of a dietitian trained to support you. Please seek a referral if you are searching for an answer to your gut problems/IBS.



Today I had afternoon tea. My last supper. With bread, cheese, crisps, pork pie, scotch egg and cake. I’m going to miss processed foods.

100happydays day 13, Youth

Yesterday I bought new shoes. Some tiny boots, I’ve wanted that sortof style for ages.
I don’t know how, I spent the day in pain, then went home, got into my PJ’s and did nothing.

Today I went for a run, cooked a veggie curry
and watched a new TC programme, orphan black. Not terribly exciting but at least I have my youth.

100 Happy Days, A song for day #8

So my happy thing for today is actually an artist. His name is Julien and he is a very talented and very nice gentleman from France. I’ve been following and watching his YouTube videos for a few years now and no matter what he sings it always cheers me up and makes me happy!

Recently I found out about his patreon page. I’m not sure how long this has been going for as a site, but basically it allows independent artists to ask for pledges to support their ongoing work.

You can find Julien’s page here:

It was a no brainer for me. For the same amount of money it would cost for a serious tea/coffee addiction I get his sweet voice straight into my inbox 🙂

I should say a bit about Julien or Trudbol’s music. He sings a capella, which is in a barbershop style and he does the vocals, editing, lighting, everything! himself. Link to a capella:

I got round to reading through my emails and found his most recent submission which as always is brilliant. I think, well I know the reason why I love his music so is because he inspires me. Unfortunately due to ongoing health issues I can’t commit to choir at the moment. I would love to start doing a capella myself. Every time I see him singing I want to join in too! But you can’t just go on YouTube hans solo, you need to put in the work. Go on audacity and get your vocals synced and then edit a video to accompany your voice.

I hope one day I will find the courage to join him. For now though, please go and enjoy his sound and if you love this artform just as much as me then go fund it too! this is one of my favorites. 

p.s I should note that although Trudbol introduced me to this genre and subculture on YouTube there are many other singers a capella on there. Another favorite of mine is a gent from Canada called Danny Fong, you can find him here: