Saturday, December 6, 2014

{Crohn's Awareness} :: What is it Again That You Can/Cannot Eat?

I get this question a lot. Before Crohn's, I was the person that just smiled and ate whatever was served to me, whether I liked it or not. If they got my order wrong at the restaurant, I just dealt with it. But now I have become "that" person...the person that a) has to request a special meal when we meet with friends, b) takes a long time to order at restaurants because I'm asking the waiter specific questions about their menu items, or c) sends something back if it's something I can't eat. I HATE it, because I don't like being high maintenance. But there's not much I can do; the alternative is to suffer the consequences, and I'm not a fan of that :)

I have learned that there are certain "trigger" foods, or items that irritate my intestines. This is mostly because they are harder to digest, or just natural irritants to your digestive tract. Trigger foods can be different for varying Crohn's patients; so what is ok for me to eat, may not be ok for someone else. If I eat any of these "trigger" foods listed below, I spend a lot of time in the bathroom, and I usually end up in a lot of pain.

So my DO NOT EAT list is:
  • Greasy foods
  • Fried foods
  • Spicy foods
  • Beef
  • Pork {at least not in large quantities...I eat this very rarely and only if I have been feeling well}
  • Processed lunch meats {again, at least not in large quantities}
  • Corn
  • Beans
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Caffeine
So basically a lot of good stuff haha. I have actually not missed too many things, but every now and then, I will catch a wiff of a burger and fries...or fried chicken...and just wish I could still eat those things. It's a good thing I have eliminated most of these items from my diet, as they're not very good for me anyway...but I will get a craving for something every now and then. And it just makes my heart a little sad.

So you can guess that we eat a lot of grilled chicken, turkey, fish, and pasta in our house! I'm glad I like those things, because otherwise it would be really tough. I am so thankful that my husband is so easy going when it comes to definitely helps that he is so flexible. And he is so sweet to participate in my diet, at least when he's with me. So the good news is that I can eat breads, gluten, dairy, peanut butter {but not peanuts}, vegetables, most fruits, and most importantly: desserts! :)

There are times when I have to go on a low-residue diet {think mashed potatoes and smoothies}, and that kind of stinks. This is when my intestines are irritated, or when I am experiencing some sort of blockage. The bland, smooth diet helps my insides to calm down, and allows for things to, well, move along in my system. {TMI? Sorry}.

Someone once asked Mike if I ever cheat on my diet; he had to kindly explain to them that cheating for me could have terrible consequences. There have been times when I have pushed the envelope, particularly with something made of corn or something containing seeds...and I have paid dearly for it. Even with small quantities. So there really is no room for cheating. I just end up kicking myself and deeply regretting it.

I can control what we eat at home, but it's harder when we go other places. Mike is really good about giving people the heads up, so he takes good care of me from that aspect. Parties are trickier, because you don't usually get asked about dietary restrictions; so there have been several parties that I have ended up just having to wait to eat until afterward. If I come to your house and don't eat your food, please don't take offense! It's only because my insides can't handle it :)

When I eat out, I can usually find something to eat on the menu. It might not be anything exciting, but it's at least something edible. So sometimes that means eating out isn't very fun or exciting for me. That's most frustrating when it's an expensive, not very good menu item...but it's the only thing on the menu I can eat. I have also learned never to assume anything...hence the reason I ask the waiters a lot of questions. I have learned the hard way that I should have checked at the beginning whether or not that wheat bun had seeds on it!

So there are some things I have to avoid, but for the most part, I still enjoy a lot of good food :)


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