After writing 1243 posts since May 2007, there is one topic I haven’t addressed.
That is, having a case of diarrhea (or the “runs”) just before they call your race. This isn’t a funny topic to address, as it happened to me just before a 400 meter race back in Vancouver.
The strange part is I don’t get as nervous before a 100 or 200… only the 400m, also known as “the killer event”. I had to run to the toilet (literally), which was located by the 100m start line, and I got back to the 400m start line in less than 5 minutes. And it wasn’t caused by excessive baking soda supplementation, in case you were wondering.
Usually it’s stress. Sometimes, food can be the culprit. That’s why when I travel, I try to eat the same foods, and in my case, it’s the classic club sandwich on white bread (chicken, mayo and lettuce on one side, and bacon & tomatoes on the other side of a 3 decker sandwich). But don’t eat a Cheesecake Factory Club Sandwich!
The lesson is: You CAN control your nerves before a big race by deep breathing, and I covered it in this past article.
If you suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (or IBS), the best advice is keep a food diary of everything you eat and drink, and do 3 things:
Sometimes too much caffeine from 20 oz. venti supersized Starbucks coffee can trigger a case of diarrhea. Or you can always blame food poisoning like MJ at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.
Food and IBS
Diet is an important part of the treatment for irritable bowel syndrome so Canadian gastroenterologist Dr. Maitreyi Raman has written "The Complete IBS Health and Diet Guide" and, along with other dietitians, has created a “foodmap” that lists what to eat and what to avoid. The book also offers more than 100 recipes that meet nutritional standards for IBS patients, including some recipes for vegetarians and vegans.
Among restricted foods HIGH on the Foodmap are apples, fruit juices, broccoli, onions, honey and corn syrup and cow’s milk.
Alternative LOW Foodmap foods include bananas, berries, oranges, tomatoes, small amounts of wheat products, maple syrup, almond milk, lactose-free milk and soy milk. And you wonder why I like pancakes with pure Quebec or Vermont maple syrup?
Fiber and Gassy Foods
Another good tip to prevent Irritable Bowel Syndrome is to avoid food with too much insoluble fiber, or food that cause a lot of gas such as beans and cabbage. Chinese Egg-Rolls are high in cabbage by the way!
There are other types of fibers and myths surrounding fibers and the book covers that too.
For example, if you cook vegetables like asparagus by steaming, boiling or baking, it reduces the amount of insoluble fiber so they are safe.
As I mentioned earlier, you just have to open your mouth wide and test, test, and test.