Padstow, pasties and IBS

I don’t write about it often, but I have IBS. I’ve got it under reasonable control through my diet (I was eating clean long before it was a thing), but it is with me pretty much every second of every day. Most of the time, I can resist having too much ‘bad’ food because I know what the consequences will be, but sometimes I just want to eat what everyone else is eating. And no more so than when I’m on holiday.

When I’m at home, I wouldn’t dream of eating a pasty, but there’s something magical about pasties in Cornwall. A few years ago, my family graduated from pasties every other day for lunch to pasties every day for lunch while on holiday. And I was powerless to resist. For a vegetarian, there’s so much more than the humble cheese and onion pasty these days. There’s lots of delicious spicy versions, like spiced chickpea and curried parsnip. Believe me, they taste a lot nicer than they sound.

For me, one of the worst bits about IBS is that, when it gets bad, I can’t run. And you know how much I hate not running. I can cope with discomfort and pain. I can cope with rushing to the toilet or spending far too long in the toilet. I can’t cope with not running.

Two years ago, the sheer deliciousness of those pasties in Padstow meant I was completely unable to run while I was on holiday. It was a huge price to pay.

Last year, I told myself I wouldn’t be drawn into that trap. While my family munched on tasty pasties, I would eat peanut butter sandwiches on gluten free bread. (Have you tried gluten free bread? It’s so DRY!) But I would have a pasty every other day. At the end of the holidays, I caved in and had pasties on two consecutive days. I managed to run OK on holiday, but the car journey home was VERY uncomfortable and fuelled by a lot of Rennies.

This year, I would go one better. I would manage to run and I wouldn’t feel ill in the car going home. I would only eat two pasties the whole time I was in Padstow! But I’ll admit, I genuinely worried about how I would manage it. Would I have enough willpower? They really did look and smell delicious and I knew I would cave at the sight of them.

But I didn’t! I ate one pasty on the Tuesday and one on the Wednesday. I managed five runs while I was away, varying in length from three to seven miles. And I didn’t even feel ill in the car on the way home! However delicious the pasties are, I know IBS is too big a price to pay.

And I still managed to eat plenty of pizza, veggie burgers and chips, amongst the healthier foods. It felt good to have actually got my holiday eating just right.

Veggie burger, Chips, Holiday, Padstow, Cornwall, Padstow Pasties and IBS

Author: Sarah Mummy

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  1. The pastries sound so so nice, especially the curried parsnip one (our work does a spicy parsnip soup which is amazing) but lots of cheese makes me ill too. But I often wonder how the Cornish stay so healthy with all those pasties and fudge and scones!

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    • They are absolutely delicious! Luckily cheese isn’t too bad for me, because I absolutely love cheese! I think the Cornish must have to avoid all the treats – either that or work really hard in physical jobs! When my friend moved away to the seaside, she had an ice cream every day for about eight months, then suddenly the realisation dawned on her that she wasn’t on holiday and she couldn’t do that every day!

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  2. Oh well done for getting it right! It’s so difficult not running isn’t it? I couldn’t motivate myself last time we were away, the campsite was just so vast and on a main road so nowhere nice to run. I really missed it.

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    • That’s a shame. The only time I don’t run on holiday is if we go abroad, as I just don’t feel confident running around the strange streets. I ran even more than usual on holiday, plus we did a long (for me!) bike riding and a lot of walking.

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  3. That must be so difficult because when you are on holiday, eating things you don’t normally eat is part of the fun. I agree that there is something really special about pasties in Cornwall, they do look and taste so delicious. The one bonus is that these days, there are so many amazing veggie options, it sounds as though you made the most of them. It isn’t worth making yourself ill and uncomfortable over.

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    • It definitely isn’t worth making myself ill over, but it’s taken me a couple of years to work out how to strike the right balance. Now I just have to stick with what I’ve learned this year for future years. Luckily I’ve discovered that I’m OK with veggie burger and chips – and Rick Stein does THE BEST veggie burger and chips (although the one in the pic is from a restaurant called Burgers & Fish in Padstow).

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  4. To be honest, I can’t believe that the other members of your family eat more than two pasties in a week! Well done you though, IBS must be so debilitating. There are certain foods that don’t agree with me – I feel very bloated and uncomfortable after eating – and that’s mad enough. Glad you were able to continue running 🙂

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    • Thanks very much! It’s just become a thing where they have a pasty every day on holiday and it doesn’t affect them in the slightest. We’re always active on holiday, so I think it’s fine for the week. It was such a relief to conquer the IBS this year – especially as I discovered that veggie burgers and chips from the chip shop didn’t affect me!

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