Foods with FLARE: Inexpensive Go-To Options for when you’ve got the IBD Blues

Foods with FLARE: Inexpensive Go-To Options for when you’ve got the IBD Blues

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.

rdj eyeroll

 

 

And then, the unthinkable happened. I BECAME one of those people.

bish whet grandma
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.

dairy meme

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!!

cant be serious meme

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!

Bread

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

Rice

Cooked white rice is perfect for anything. Use it as a side dish or throw in in a veggie soup to feel fuller faster

Applesauce

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.

Toast

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.

Water

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!

-A

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Sweet Treat Saturday: BROWNIES! (Dairy-Free, Gluten Free, Nut Free, Only 2 Ingredients)

Sweet Treat Saturday: BROWNIES! (Dairy-Free, Gluten Free, Nut Free, Only 2 Ingredients)

If you know me at all, you know my absolute favorite dessert is brownies.

For my 23rd birthday party, I specifically asked to only be gifted with brownies of all kinds..homemade, store bought, didn’t matter. I’d just been working out & eating well for months up until my birthday and I was ready to do some damage.

I’ve always loved chocolate period, but when you combine chocolatey goodness with the dense gooey texture of a good brownie….Chiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiile, it’s heaven on earth!

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Sometimes when you just need a good late night snack, you want to indulge on something that takes little effort to make. I’ve seen recipes for brownies in a mug and other seemingly simple hacks but they always involve measuring out ingredients and dirtying up multiple dishes and ain’t nobody got time for that!

sb meme

I’m super excited about this recipe because most of y’all have seen “What the Health” on Netflix and were ready to go vegan with a vengeance. I totally understand, so I figured I’d at least try my hand at dairy-free desserts. SO….OUT WITH THE EGGS!

My husband and my best girlfriend are deathly allergic to nuts, so anything I came up with could not include nuts as a substitute. SO….OUT WITH THE NUTS!

(**Disclaimer: The brand of brownie mix used here warns that it was manufactured on shared equipment with peanuts and tree nuts. If you don’t want to chance it, feel free to try another brand of brownie mix. Don’t say I ain’t warn ya tho!**)  

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Celiac disease and gluten sensitivity also came on my radar. My sister and I both deal with terrible migraine headaches, and my research cited gluten might be a trigger. I recently stage managed a show where the actors were to drink alcohol onstage, but one of the actresses could not consume gluten, and therefore could only consume tequila, as it is gluten free. This experience got me to thinking of ways to eliminate gluten from my diet. And what better way to go for it than to start with my all time favorite dessert?!  SO….OUT WITH THE ENRICHED FLOUR & WHEAT GLUTEN PRODUCTS!

So what are we left with? How can we possibly have brownies that are absolutely yummerz without those 3 staples? And how the heck can you do it with only 2 ingredients?

Fear not, kids. I give you…the two mystery ingredients:

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Yep, that’s it. Gluten free brownie mix (from Aldi of course #DontSleep)  and Canned pumpkin.

CANNED PUMPKIN?!!

Yes. Canned. Pumpkin.

Before y’all come after me with Tiki Torches, hear me out:

The pumpkin not only makes these brownies moist, but they act as the glue that holds everything together, much like the eggs would. Be advised though you might have to put in a little extra elbow grease just to make sure everything is mixed thoroughly.

I had my family try some of these brownies, and before I had a chance to tell them what was in it, all they raved about was the chocolatey taste. So even if you despise veggies like pumpkin, you’d be hard pressed to even notice it in your dessert because it’s overwhelmed by the chocolate in the mix.

This pumpkin-infused treat is so yummy you’ll be screaming “Oh my Gourd!”  

See what I did there??

Screenshot_116

Lol, Pumpkin Puns…or should i say….

PUN-kins

hahahaha (slaps knee) Whew! I crack myself up. Ok, ok…I’m done for now 😉

 

Ingredients

1 box Gluten free brownie mix

1 can pumpkin

Directions

Mix ingredients in bowl

Pour into greased pan or casserole dish

Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes

Allow to cool for 10 minutes

Dassit!

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Give this recipe a try and let me know if you love it.

Til next time, stay (mostly) meatless.

-A

Banana Oat Pancakes (Dairy & Gluten Free)

Banana Oat Pancakes (Dairy & Gluten Free)

If you’re just now catching up with me, welcome to my (mostly) meatless world!

Now what kind of woman would I be if I didn’t give you guys a post with a recipe? That’s what you’re here for right? (and of course to take in all of my awesomeness, jk jk) 😉

And what better way to kick off the recipes than with…BREAKFAST?! (woot woot!)

This recipe has me so excited I just couldn’t wait to share.

Pardon my midwest slang, but I can eat breakfast food ALL DAY, ERRDAY. Lol.

Seriously though, I live for all things breakfast, brunch, all of that. Of course, the usual breakfast template for the western world is riddled with high-fat processed meats and meat byproducts. We don’t have to limit ourselves to this alone though.

I’m here to tell you: Sausage, Bacon, & Steak, does not a breakfast make!

(Not always, at least)

I promise you can have an amazing, fulfilling, easy to make breakfast, without any of these western breakfast staples.

I heard a song once called “Banana Pancakes” by a guy named Jack Johnson. It’s the perfect Saturday morning lazy song. And up until I heard it, I’d only ever tasted pancakes made from a mix of flour, eggs, & milk. Ihop & Aunt Jemima could do no wrong in my eyes. The song alone was catchy, but when I figured out how to make pancakes out of bananas….oh, baby it was on like popcorn!

If you’re lazy like me, don’t worry, the base recipe only calls for 3 main ingredients.

*If you like fluffier pancakes add about ¼ tsp baking powder

Banana Oat Pancakes

Ingredients:

  1. 2 Very Ripe Bananas (the blacker the better, you’ll need the mushiness)
  2. 1 Cup oats
  3. 1 Tbsp Vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Mash Bananas with a fork
  2. Place mashed bananas in a blender
  3. Add Oats and Vanilla extract to blender
  4. Blend
  5. Heat skillet with oil
  6. Pour mixture into skillet
  7. Top uncooked pancake with your add-ins (See Below)
  8. Flip and cook the other side
  9. Once finished cooking on both sides, transfer to plate & enjoy!

The best part about this recipe is that you can add in whatever you want to the base recipe.

A few flavor combinations to try include:

  • Shredded Carrot & Walnuts
  • Chopped Apples & Cinammon
  • Chocolate Chips & Raspberries
  • Pineapples & Coconut flakes

Or my personal favorite…Blueberries!

3 ingredient no egg pancakes
Banana Oat Pancakes with Blueberries. Issa win!

 

You can pair these beauties with some syrup, honey, agave, Nutella, cookie butter, or even fresh fruit.

And that’s breakfast, baby!

Give this quick breakfast recipe a try & let me know if you love it.

Stay (mostly) meatless  :-*

-A