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My Food "Do"s and "Don't"s

This page was updated on October 22, 2019.

Image courtesy of  xedos4 /

This is the page that I will use to keep track of how food effects me.  It's more for my benefit than anything else, but maybe it will give you a place to start looking if you're trying to identify your food "do"s and "don't"s.  The lists will fluctuate over time, I'm sure.  I'll try to keep it as up-to-date as possible.
I have split this page into 2 categories: Foods that Hurt and Foods that Help to make it easier to find specific items at a glance.  Foods that Hurt will be any food that makes me tired, changes my mood negatively, gives me IBS-type symptoms, nausea, etc.  Foods that Help will be any food that improves my mood, gives me energy, improves my health, etc.

Also, in September of 2019, I decided to try intermittent fasting.  This is where you eat for only 8 hours a day and fast for the rest.  I normally try to eat between 10am and 6pm, though some days it is 9am to 5pm.  Either way, this has really helped with my digestion issues, my sleep issues, and is helping with weight loss.  I highly recommend it.

{Note: I am not a doctor.  This page is just intended to share my personal experience.  Any decision you make to change your diet or lifestyle should not be made based on this information alone.  Please discuss any dietary changes with your doctor or dietitian before you try them!}

Foods that Hurt:

  1. Processed or junk food.  This is like your bleached flours, pre-made frozen foods, foods with lots of additives/preservatives, fast foods (though I can do it on occasion as long as it's a small amount, certain types (hamburgers do better than chicken sandwiches, believe it or not, and I do best with a Taco Bell burrito or Burger King hamburger if I'm going to eat fast food) and less than once every few weeks), foods loaded with simple carbs, etc.  These make me sick in some way from fatigue to IBS-type symptoms to migraines every time, hands down.  I avoid them at all costs because they are NOT worth the trouble they cause!
  2. Soy.  Though some say soy is good for you, it is NOT good for me.  It turns my stomach, makes me cranky, and zaps me right out.  Soy is a no-no food for me.  I can handle it in very small amounts in the form of soybean oil if I have it about once a month, but even that gives me a little bit of an upset stomach, so I'm best off avoiding it.
  3. Too much sugar or the wrong type.  By wrong type, I mean anything other than cane sugar, maple syrup, molasses and honey.  I can have a serving or 2 of the "good" sugars per day without issue, but more than that is a bad day.  Normally it just makes me crash energy-wise or gives me an upset stomach.  The "bad" sugars (like corn syrup) I can have on rare occasions, but only 1 serving or I'm in trouble.  I have found out that I cannot do high fructose corn syrup at all without a belly ache/IBS symptoms.
  4. Artificial sweeteners, including sugar alcohols, even the little amount that is in sugar-free gum.  These make me bloated, sick to my stomach, gives me a headache and makes me moody.  I've even noticed it can get me on an obsessive kick.  I know that sounds nuts, but it's true.  If I have sugar-free gum, I can only have it a few times a week, if that often.  I steer clear of it as much as possible.
  5. Chocolate.  There are only 2 types of chocolate that I can eat now and then: Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips and cocoa powder.  All types makes me moody, and I mean HUGE mood swings, even obsessive behavior and causes IBS symptoms, but those 2 types aren't nearly as bad.  I can have a very small amount of another type of chocolate (about a serving, max) on rare occasion, but more than that is a huge mistake, and once I have a little I tend to want more, so I avoid it.  
  6. Peanuts.  I do ok with natural peanut butter and unsalted peanuts, but no other type/kind, and even then I have to limit it.  I can have about 2 servings per day of natural peanut butter and unsalted peanuts and do ok, but any other type if I have more than 1 serving, I'm in trouble.  It causes everything from moodiness to IBS-type symptoms to headaches.
  7. Fats.  I can have full-fat, salted butter and fatty foods like bacon and cheese, but I can only have them in moderation, and I have to try not to have them all together at the same time.  For example, I can have cheese, but not cheese with bacon, at least not more than a serving or so per day.  I do best with "good" fats like extra virgin olive oil to cook with.  Again, I can use the other fats, and they don't seem to bother me when in baked goods, but if it's fried or greasy, I really need to limit it to no more than a serving or 2 per day max, preferably no more than a few times a week or I have IBS-type issues.
  8. Acidic foods.  This is everything from coffee to citrus to tomato-based products.  I can eat them, it's just HOW I eat them.  I have to have them with a form of protein (meat or dairy generally) or they upset my stomach.  Also, I do better if I only have about a serving or 2 per day of these items.
  9. Waiting too long to eat or eating too late at night or too early in the morning.  Waiting too long between meals makes me feel everything from queasy to headaches to weakness to crabby.  Eating after 8pm makes me feel sick and gives me heartburn which makes me crabby and not able to rest well which tends to ruin the next day.  If I don't get at least 12 hours of fasting in a day (from like 8pm to 8am the next day), I feel awful, too.
  10. Garlic.  I discovered in April of 2014 that I cannot handle garlic in any form.  Raw or cooked is the worst.  I can handle a little bit of garlic salt or powder, but very little.  If I eat it, I have horrible IBS symptoms.  This makes me sad because I do enjoy garlic.
  11. Onion.  Also in April of 2014, I figured out that I can eat very little raw or cooked onion.  I can tolerate onion salt and powder, though, but still only in moderation.  I can tolerate it better than garlic.  I love onion, too, so losing it as a "anytime" food makes me a little sad.  When I have too much onion, it causes IBS symptoms.
  12. Too many grains.  In April 2014, I noticed issues with IBS-type symptoms when I ate too many grains of any sorts.  I do ok with small amounts, but not tons.  This applies to all grain-types (oats, wheat, corn, etc.), though I do ok with rice.  I also do best with sourdough bread if I limit it to no more than a serving per day.
  13. Sausage of any sort.  In 2019, I started to notice a real issue with sausage of any type with very rare exception.  This includes breakfast sausage, hot dogs, bologna (not what you typically think of as sausage, but it technically is a type), Italian sausage, summer sausage, pepperoni, etc.  It doesn't matter what type it is or how little I have of it, it will give me a horrific stomach ache, gas, etc.  I avoid it now as often as possible.  On the days that I do have some, I try to eat some that is more natural.  I do better with that, but I can still have only a very small amount and I will always have at least a slight stomach ache from it.
  14. Most pizzas and bread sticks/rolls.  I figured out in the end of 2018 that I cannot eat fast food and restaurant pizza ever, and have to avoid bread sticks/rolls at restaurants.  They make me very sick (anything from horrible gas to severe stomach pain, diarrhea, etc.).  I can eat a few frozen types of pizza (I do best with Home Run Inn, and do best with the plain cheese, but I can ironically eat their sausage pizza without issue if I only eat a slice or 2 every other week at most) and a few store types of pizza (I do best with Aldi's Mama Cozzi pizza as long as I only eat a slice or 2 every other week at most and I pick the types that aren't loaded with pepperoni or sausage), but I have yet to find bread sticks/rolls that I can eat more than 1 of (if I can even eat that much) no matter if that is from a restaurant to frozen (I can eat some homemade rolls/bread sticks if I only have them like once a month).  Even if I make pizza from scratch, I can only eat a limited amount  (1 or 2 pieces at most), and definitely can't eat it every week.  I'm not sure what exactly the issue is with the take-out/restaurant pizza that is so different that I get so sick whenever I eat that (even if it is just a few bites), but I believe it is either something in the preparation or the ingredients.  The worst one for me is Little Caesar's (I nearly went to the hospital after eating that one last time, and I was the only one who was sick out of all of us that ate it, so it wasn't food poisoning, and I know it was the pizza because it hit less than 30 minutes after eating it, I had no fever, and I was fine the next day), so I especially avoid that one completely, including their bread sticks.  If I could pinpoint the exact issue, I know I'd be better off because if it is a specific ingredient, I would know to look for it in other things.  Since the issue tends to be with not just the pizza but bread sticks, too, I believe it must be something in the dough that is the issue.  Maybe one day I'll figure it out.
  15. Bread.  I mentioned above about too many grains, but I wanted to mention bread specifically.  In late 2018, I noticed that I could only eat sourdough bread (in very limited amounts - no more than 2 slices per week generally) and the Oat So Healthy bread by Aldi's Simply Nature brand (I can't eat this daily, but I can eat it every few days without issues).  Any other type is hit and miss, and I can't eat more than a slice with out IBS-type symptoms.  I feel like I am getting more sensitive to non-organic wheat, so I try to avoid bread more often than not.

Foods that Help:
  1. Whole, natural foods.  This is food that is made (normally from scratch) from whole, natural ingredients, food made from scratch with those ingredients, and things that are not processed or very minimally so.  I also do better with organic and non-GMO if I can find/afford it.  This includes, but is not limited to:
    • Fruits and veggies, fresh or frozen that are just fruit or veggies.  Canned veggies with water (no salt preferred, but not 100% necessary), natural applesauce, and other canned fruits in natural juices are ok, too.
    • Whole grains/flours that are not processed to death, and I can only eat them in limited amounts since April 2014 (no more than 2 or 3 servings per day is good, but 1 serving a day or 1 serving a week is better).  I do best with King Arthur brand flours, oats, rice and pasta (whole grain is the best bet with pasta, but not 100% necessary) as long as I don't eat a ton (that's more preference than it is a need, since eating a lot of carbs of any sort makes it harder for me to lose weight).  I can eat Nature Valley Crunchy granola bars on rare occasions, but only certain types (I do best avoiding the ones with peanut butter, chocolate or lots of corn syrup), and I do try to avoid them in general.  I can also eat a whole wheat/grain bagel about once a month or so without issue.  UPDATE: As of June 2016,  I need to avoid all grains other than rice most of the time.  I can handle up to 1 serving per day max of any other grain that fits the criteria mentioned.
    • Most Dairy.  Cheese, milk and yogurt such as Stonyfield Organic Plain or Vanilla yogurts (not fat free) are all good as long as I don't have them in combination with something greasy.  I have found out that I do best with Greek-style yogurt if I have yogurt, too.
    • Meat, not injected with broth or full of preservatives.  Chicken, beef, ham, pork, venison, turkey, bacon - these are all fine as long they aren't injected with broth or full of preservatives.  I do best with Hormel Natural Choice meats and bacon.
    • Stocks.  I do best with Pacific brand, but there are a few other soy-free types out there that will work, too.  As long as it's not loaded with soy or preservatives, it's good.  Any other brand is a no-no.  Homemade is also fine, though I have yet to make my own.
    • Limited amounts of Cane Sugar, Molasses, Honey or Maple Syrup.  All of these are fine in moderation, but I do best avoiding sugar whenever possible or just using honey.
    • Eggs.  I try not to eat these all the time, though (again, more personal preference than need here).
    • Spices/herbs and baking ingredients that are just the spice/herb or don't contain soy or preservatives.
    • Cocoa powder and Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips in moderation.  I can't handle much chocolate any more.  I tends to make me sick to my stomach or make me moody.  I can very rarely handle other types of chocolate, but again, I can only handle very small amounts on rare occasions.
    • Limited amounts of tree nuts, seeds and unsalted peanuts and natural peanut butter.  The fat content can sometimes bother my stomach if I have too much (no more than 2 servings a day), but otherwise these are good to go. :)
    • Limited amounts of full-fat, salted butter, olive or canola oil.  All of these are the only fats (with the exception of bacon grease now and again) that I can cook with, and I have moved away from doing a lot of frying in that it tends to upset my stomach.  
  2. Drinking enough water.  If I get at least eight 8 oz. glasses of water a day, my stiffness and swelling is much better and I feel good in general.
  3. Taking my probiotic.  I take a probiotic daily.  It really helps with my digestion issues and overall health.
  4. Eating on time.  This just means that I eat breakfast between 8am and 10am, lunch between 11:30am and 1:30pm and dinner between 4:45pm and 6:30pm, and nothing after 8pm.  If I have a snack or dessert, it is something light and healthy, preferably something like carrots or an apple.  If I follow this, I feel so much better.
  5. Getting my 12 hour fast daily.  If I make sure that I get at least a 12 hour fast in every day, I feel better.  I think that's because my digestive system gets time to rest.  I aim for eating after 8am and then nothing after 8pm (preferably after 6 or 6:30pm if at all possible).
  6. Tea.  I have a few herbal teas that I drink for wellness, and I find that switching to tea has helped me in my weight loss journey, so I find it a wonderful thing!  I try to avoid drinking more than one serving (think one tea bag) of black tea per day, and fill the rest of the day with either herbal teas or green teas.  It has made such a difference in my health, and I highly recommend it!
  7. Coffee.  I have noticed when I have a bit of brain fog/lack of focus that drinking coffee (just a cup - nothing crazy) can help clear it.  Though I do not drink it at all right now, at least I know that drinking a cup of coffee when I have a headache, congestion/asthma and/or brain fog will help, so I can drink it for those reasons if absolutely necessary. 
Note: I found a site called Green Thickies by Katherine Natalia that I found very helpful!  It shows you how to incorporate greens and other veggies into your diet among other things.  It even has recipes for delicious smoothies that contain all those healthy things I just can't seem to get around to or make myself eat in and of themselves for one reason or another.  I tried my hand at making my own version using her guide and the stuff I had around the house, and I tell you - good stuff!  When my daughter was 2, she drank it faster than I did! :)  I encourage you to check out her site; you won't be sorry.


    1. Hiya Julie! Thanks for stopping by TheMommyhood! I was just checking out your site there's a lot I can learn here. Also, I have a family member who has fibromyalgia. I am going to send her a link to your site as well!
      Take care,

      1. Hi, Heather! Thanks for stopping by!

        I hope my blog can be a real help to her and to you! If you need anything or have any questions, feel free to email me. I generally check my email several times a day.

        Take care!


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