When I started this blog I swore up & down that I wouldn’t become one of those Super Health Nuts.
You know, the ones who are all “Ummm….is this nonfat?”
Or “Sorry I don’t eat animals, and you shouldn’t either because……the environment”
And I can’t forget the “No” folks. Those are the ones that make my skin crawl, especially when standing in line behind them to order.
“Can I get that with NO sugar, NO dairy, NO flavor, NO fat, NO high fructose corn syrup, NO nothing.”
Ugh! I have a massive internal eye roll every time I come across one of those people.
And then, the unthinkable happened. I BECAME one of those people.
I’ve been living with Ulcerative Colitis since 2008, and I’ve been in remission for 5 whole years now. I’d realized back in 2013 that processed meats were the cause of many of my flares, prompting me to go meatless. Since then I had been without incident, until a few weeks ago.
For those of you without an Irritable Bowel Disease, let me hip you to the tea: Flares are NOT fun. Everyone is different, so it stands to reason that everyone’s symptoms are also different. Symptoms can be anything from intense abdominal cramps to frequent diarrhea, to bloody stool, and other symptoms. Sometimes it can be so severe that you can be hospitalized. I had all the above & then some but luckily for me, mine was nowhere near hospitalization bad. The worst I suffered from this last flare was some extreme fatigue & a little short-term embarrassment in the restroom. But it was still a flare nonetheless.
So to manage my symptoms, once again it was back to the drawing board. Back to the elimination method. Meaning I had to yet again figure out what to eliminate from my diet. So I began researching…
I consulted my food diary and quickly realized what the culprit was: DAIRY.
Granted, I was eating mostly grains & veggies, but they were almost always covered in some sort of dairy product. If I made a zucchini & squash casserole, it was held together by a mixture of sour cream & scrambled eggs. Making a sauce? It was nothing to throw some heavy cream in it to thicken it up. Late night snack? You guessed it! Cheese & crackers.
I ate so much cheese it’s a wonder I didn’t turn into a block of cheese myself
(Though, I did have a nightmare once where I woke up as a life-sized grilled cheese sandwich and drowned a terrible death in a bowl of tomato soup..but that’s neither here nor there)
That being said, I recently made the decision to adopt an entirely plant-based diet.
I WENT VEGAN Y’ALL!!
I know what you’re thinking. “OMG Nooooo!!! We’ve lost another one. She’s gonna be a super annoying nutritionally conscious health nut! What are we gonna do with this weirdo?! Revoke her invites to any future potlucks, this heffa aint cooking nothing worth your time if it’s meat AND dairy free.”
I know, I know, I’ve beat myself up about it the first few days, but I promise you it’s not that bad. Remember guys, my hubby is still an avid meat-eater and cheese connoisseur. So fear not on the recipe front. I’m forever dedicated to frikkin deliciousness & I vow not to leave you hanging.
I will even throw in a recipe or two that I make specifically for my carnivorous husband.
On that note, I’m dedicating this post to all those guys & gals out there singing the Irritable Bowel Disease Blues
Here are my 7 favorite foods to eat during an Ulcerative Colitis flare. They’re easy on your wallet and your tummy 🙂
THE BRAT DIET
(Bread, Rice, Applesauce, Toast)
The first 4 items are ones my mom hipped me to long ago. They are tried & true no matter what has you bedridden be it IBD or the flu (Look, I made a rhyme! Lol).
And let’s be real, tis the season for all those common cold germs so stock up, kids!
My personal favorite is the King’s Hawaiian Dinner Rolls. They’re just sweet enough to feel like a dessert but still savory. Careful though, they are addictive. And of course, Aldi carries a similar product for just $1.29
Cooked white rice is perfect for anything. Use it as a side dish or throw in in a veggie soup to feel fuller faster
As a legit sufferer of a sweet tooth, applesauce to me is grossly disappointing. But alas, there are a number of flavored applesauce varieties so it gets the job done.
When all else fails, regular schmegular toasted sandwich bread slices are the bee’s knees. I like to start off with mine plain, and then work my way up to toppings like peanut butter or Nutella
And of course, my personal faves….
Bananas & Potatoes
Y’all are gonna think I’ve lost my ever-loving mind, but for real…this combination is legit. There are so many ways to eat them! You can freeze your bananas & blend it like ice cream, or you can slice them up into little discs. You can mash your potatoes or cut them into wedges & bake them for some yummy fries. This is my absolute fave go-to meal during a flare.
Last but not least..water. The unsung hero. Water truly doesn’t get enough credit, but in general and ESPECIALLY during a flare, you must make sure you’re staying hydrated. Your tummy will thank you!
What about you guys? Are you living with an Irritable Bowel Disease? What are some of your fave things to eat during a flare? Are you vegan? What prompted you to make the change?
Til next time,
Stay (mostly) meatless!