I had such terrible digestive issues. I am not talking about weekly or monthly stomach pain, because of a bad meal, overeating or mental issues. In this blog post I want to show you what you can do in order to get rid of stomach cramps through a plant-based diet. I am talking about daily stomach cramps, no matter if I would eat just bread, a simple carrot soup or a pizza. There was always something.
It was so embarrassing, feeling so bloated all the time, that I even stopped talking to people about it because I did not want to be annoying. At that time, I was living on a vegetarian diet but I had no idea about food labels, nutrition, vitamins, fiber, etc. I thought that eating some fruit and veggies from time to time would make up the fact that I was eating lots of proceeded foods and dairy products.
I slowly changed some habits. First I was eating less dairy products and incorporated more fiber. I’ve seen a change but I still experienced stomach cramps, so I decided to fully cut out on dairy products and also artificial sweeteners. Of course, not everyone is sensitive to dairy, but it is one of the more common food sensitivities out there, leading to bloating, gas, and cramps. Just after 2 months, I was free from the chains of feeling bloated. Also, I could it so much more great food and I got experimental in the kitchen. Damn did you know that you can make a vegan chocolate mousse with just three ingredients and one of them is chickpea water? I learned that eating more fiber would fill me up and I wasn’t nearly as hungry as I had been, and I was craving the right kinds of food.
Maybe if you are skeptical and if you can not imagine going fully plant-based (more tips below), you can start with baby steps. You don’t have to give up on these foods entirely, just eat them in smaller amounts and see how your body reacts.
If you want to experiment, I advise you to void foods that tend to bloat you
Milk: If you are based in the States you can agree that there are tons of plant-based options! And even in Switzerland and whole Europe, there are great alternatives such as soy, almond, coconut, cashew, quinoa and rice milk. What I did when I was not familiar with these milk varieties, is that I went to the store and bought one of a kind and tried all of them. I personally prefer unsweetened versions and I use cashew milk for lattes, cappuccinos, coconut milk for curries, almond milk (I do 50%water and 50% milk) for granola, muesli and for most cake recipes.
Butter: I have neve been a huge butter fan, but if you can’t live without, I would go with an alternative with an olive oil basis.
Yogurt: The selection of vegan Yogurt is very big. And to be honest some of them taste disgusting. But there are also many good ones. I like the coconut based ones and I prefer if they have not added sugar or E-numbers.
Ice cream: Trader Joe’s has a lot of great Ice Cream flavors. They are softer than normal Icecream and I really like that fact. My favorite brand when it comes to Icecream is “Booja-Booja” and my number one flavor (by far!) is Hunky Punky Chocolate.
Cheese: I can’t really tell you about vegan cheese because I don’t like the real cheese and therefore I don’t see why I should try the vegan one. (blame me, Swiss people ;)) I could only imagine having some cheese on my pizza but I think vegan pizzas are amazing without cheese (blame me, Italian people ;))
Chocolate: Now we are talking. Many people don’t know that most dark chocolate is dairy-free. Just make sure you double check the labels. My favorites are Ombar, Pana Chocolate, Loving Earth, Lindt and Vego
Every Nut-milk chocolate lover should now head out and buy Vego, because it will be the best damn chocolate you ever had in your life. Not kidding.
One thing that always helps me when I experience bloating is turmeric. I would put it into my oatmeal, make a turmeric latte or simply give a tsp of it in my tea combined with black pepper. It is proven that because of the reduced inflammation, turmeric can significantly help with gas, bloating, and digestive discomfort.
Further, you can check out my article about 5 foods that help me with bloating.
I hope the article helped some of you and I wish that all of you suffering from bloating and stomach cramps can find relief soon!