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Network : Fresh Tastes
: May 1998
Spring Breakfast Choices
Spring is definitely in the air... and so is the pollen. Luckily for
the many IC patients with seasonal allergies, the antihistamines that
stop our allergic sneezing, may also help our bladders. There is a
down side, though. The drying and constipating effects of
antihistamines can result in constipation-- which is already a
for those of us with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). But here is the
good news: according to most doctors, eating more dietary fiber can
help offset the effects of constipating medications. For me, fiber is
important and I find that breakfast is an excellent opportunity to
include more fruit and fiber in my diet.
When I take antihistamines, I usually forgo some otherwise
bladder-safe breakfast foods like bagels and cream cheese or
eggs. Initially I was tempted to try the popular boxed cereals. But
the brands commonly found in grocery stores all gave me horrible
bladder flare-ups. It turns out that those boxed cereals, though a
good source of fiber, cause symptom flares for many IC patients. This
may be due to the preservative, BHT or BHA (common food allergens
according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology).
So what's both IC-safe and fiber-rich for breakfast?
Though it may take some preparation time, fried potatoes or hash
browns are a good source of fiber. They're delicious seasoned with
salt, pepper, and a pinch of sage or thyme. (Vulvodynia sufferers
should omit the pepper). Chopped red bell peppers stirred in are a
tasty change of pace. Lightly fried using a vegetable spray, potatoes
are part of a protein-packed meal when paired with a small strip
On cool spring mornings try a bowl of hot oatmeal. A quarter-cup of
dry Quaker quick oats, doused with milk and popped in the microwave
for a minute or so, is ready to top with IC-safe condiments that make
it a treat. Try these combinations on oatmeal (or cream of wheat):
- A few drops of almond extract, some chopped almonds, and a chopped fresh pear.
- A dash of cinnamon, a spoonful of maple syrup, and a handful of
crushed, salted cashews.
- A quarter-cup of fresh blueberries, a dash of nutmeg, and a heaping
tablespoon of crunchy wheat germ or wheat bran. (Those with
oxalate-sensitive vulvodynia best avoid the wheat germ and
- A swirl of brown sugar, maple syrup, some sunflower seeds, almonds,
and chopped dates (or raisins if you can eat them), make a delicious
oatmeal topper (but beware of sulfites on dried fruit).
If you're a fan of toast and jelly and both you and your bladder like
cinnamon, then you might enjoy the delicious new cinnamon-flavored
pear jelly that the IC Network store offers. It's called A Perfect
Pear and on toast it's a perfect treat for your sweet tooth! What
makes this spread so unusual is that it is not formulated with large
amounts of lemon juice or citric acid as are so many jams and jellies
on the market.
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