Spring Breakfast Choices – Fresh Tastes by Bev

By Bev Laumann, Author of A Taste of The Good Life: A Cookbook for IC & OAB


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 problem 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 scrambled 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 steak.

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 blueberries).
  • 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.