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I know this is a "personal" question, but if you are "intestinally challenged" will you share your approach to the French diet?

I know this is a "personal" question, but if you are "intestinally challenged" will you share your approach to the French diet?

Jul 9th, 2006, 07:05 AM
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I know this is a "personal" question, but if you are "intestinally challenged" will you share your approach to the French diet?

My hubby is "intestinally challenged" in that he has diverticulosis which sometimes becomes diverticulitis and must take antibiotics to cure the illness. He WILL be taking along on our trip to France a round or two of the proper meds, but he's also an IBS sufferer. We're concerned that the change in diet will get him rumbling and spoil our trip. We've never been to France and are uncertain not only about food choices, but also about their methods of preparation. Anyone else out there have the same "personal" issues? Suggestions, please! Thanks.
mkdiebold is offline  
Jul 9th, 2006, 07:21 AM
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Just realized that I should offer my email address in case you don't wish to reveal your health issues to the entire fodor-family ....thanks again, [email protected]
mkdiebold is offline  
Jul 9th, 2006, 07:36 AM
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Forgive my ignorance, but it might help if you state what your DH must avoid. The only thing I've heard about diverticulosis is that sufferers shouldn't eat nuts and seeds. It would be helpful if we knew what he can't have.
Trophywife007 is online now  
Jul 9th, 2006, 07:40 AM
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As you know, both diverticulosis and IBS respond to a high fiber diet. With the wonderful fresh vegetables you will find in France, you should have little trouble. Take along lactaid tablets should lactose intolerence occur.
basingstoke1 is offline  
Jul 9th, 2006, 08:15 AM
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This is what I can offer: We love to travel to Mexico, but of the six times I've been there, four times I've gotten so sick. This all stopped when I made a doctor's appointment before going and she gave me anti-biotics! I just take them before I go and continue as recommended and I'm fine. Now, I know it is different with MX and France. I have traveled to France without a problem, but you have a medical concern in question. Make a doctor's appointment and do what you have to do to take care of it while away.
MrsKiss is offline  
Jul 9th, 2006, 08:27 AM
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Yes, he knows to avoid nuts and seeds. I don't think that will pose a problem as I've not read that the French diet is high in either. Managing IBS is about a "balance of fiber" throughout the day's intake of foods. He has to be careful with raw or mildly cooked vegetables. So, some salads are okay if they don't contain uncooked broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, etc. What does a typical French salad contain?
Also, he reacts to anything that is deep fried. I don't think that's a common cooking method in France, but I'm wondering if the high fat of butter and cream will set him rumbling. Again, any advice is appreciated!
mkdiebold is offline  
Jul 9th, 2006, 08:34 AM
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I do not know about these particular problems but you can certainly avoid butter and cream sauces, and probably should! There are almost always the option of plain grilled steak or chicken, for example. I can't speak to all of France but in Paris you will find all kinds of restaurants, not only what you are thinking of as traditional "french cooking" (greek, italian, etc.).
suze is offline  
Jul 9th, 2006, 08:38 AM
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French food is wonderful in terms of being fresh and often "clean" with not a lot of sauces and fat..their salads are lovely, sometimes only greens but the flavors are always good and you can always ask that everything you order be prepared without sauce, etc.
Get a Marling Menu Master book, they are small but describe and translate food/dishes/preparation for you .
We have a family member with IBS...it seems to affect each person a bit differently- so knowing yourselves what works and does not, is best..
For some reason, I think he will be happy with his eating in France..I have never seen deep fried foods, of course, they have frites but that is easy enough to say no too ( well, for some people anyway lol)..look at menus in some restaurants in Paris for guidance, you can see just what they serve and how.
Good luck, I think you will be fine..
Scarlett is offline  
Jul 9th, 2006, 08:43 AM
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I have several friends/family with similar issues,and the management of stress seems to play a role.Perhaps ,if that is also the case for your DH,you might want to take a look at your itinerary and be sure to plan enough relaxation/cafe time to cultivate a happy G.I.system.
massagediva is offline  
Jul 9th, 2006, 09:00 AM
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massagediva...you are so right. I suffer from IBS which rarely gives me trouble when on vacation. I can eat just about anything when I'm away from the stress of everyday life. It is usually once I'm back to work that everything I eat bothers my stomach and causes a reaction.

I do however avoid deep fried foods and try to never eat a sugary desert after a large meal. I'll usually wait a few hours and can then have a gelati or icecream. The sugar is a big trigger for my IBS. I know not everyone has the same reactions so maybe I'm one of the lucky ones.
CRAZY4TRAVEL is offline  
Jul 9th, 2006, 09:15 AM
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You have to change your ordering strategy in France. You won't find many dishes with the balance of fiber you're looking for. I find that vegetables tend to be either a separate course entirely or merely a garnish.

For instance, I usually see asparagus as a first course and it's usually dressed lightly with a vinaigrette or mayonaise. If a main course is described as say chicken with asperagus, there will be only a couple of spears.

In Burgundy, it gets worse. One restaurant in Beaune that the DH loves has almost no vegetation at all on the menu, unless you count the truffles. I asked if they could make me a salad of some sort and she brought me a plate of sliced tomatoes.
Linda431 is offline  
Jul 9th, 2006, 09:32 AM
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I have a lot of digestive problems but I find when I am in France they magically disappear. The minute I come back to the US I get bloated, gassy, and whatever, and I am back on Zanax.

The next trip is to Italy. We shall see what happens there.

Go figure!

loisco is offline  
Jul 9th, 2006, 12:12 PM
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mk, I use Metamusil or similar products during our international travels if I have any "colon concerns". It works for me!!! As states my son, this may be more information than others may want to know Deborah
DeborahAnn is offline  
Jul 9th, 2006, 12:41 PM
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Loisco. I agree with you.It's seems to me that all the walking, eating smaller meals and eating slower is part of it.But I think on the whole there is less carbs too..

yes I know there is some of sweets and cheese and bread but all in moderation.I dont remember eating any ,coliflower, cabbage,broccoli in france (one of the most hard to digest foods)..or any hot or fried food..
the trigger for me is a diet heavy in salad,sugar,fried foods, breads and spicy hot foods.But I eat bread and dessert when Im over there.
I had a couple of episodes in Rome but probably the food and the stress

Take some "depends" and when he first feels a twinge find a bathroom quick!!....dont let it stop you

hypatia is offline  
Jul 9th, 2006, 12:52 PM
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Hi mk,

I find that in France I don't have the digestion problems that bother me at home.

French cuisine tends toward well-cooked vegetables.

I have found "Equalactin" to be very helpful for bouts of IBS.

Hope this helps.

ira is offline  
Jul 9th, 2006, 03:20 PM
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ira, what is equalactin? Sounds like something we ought to pack.

Thanks to everyone for your help. Here's hoping the old gut enjoys the trip!
mkdiebold is offline  
Jul 9th, 2006, 03:57 PM
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oops! I said I am back on Zanex!! I meant Zantac...Actually both are handy when I get back. LOL
loisco is offline  
Jul 9th, 2006, 05:16 PM
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Freudian slip!
massagediva is offline  
Jul 9th, 2006, 05:22 PM
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When I'm traveling, I try to remember to take my Metamucil every day, and I pack a small bottle of Pepto Bismol. So far, that has been enough. I also try really hard to lay off the high-fat foods, which can sometimes become a guessing game, ie when baked goods are involved. Sorry I don't have any advice about French cooking. Good luck on your trip!
sunny16 is offline  

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