The big food debate.
"Remember when you were younger and the only thing you could eat was white rice but you made me sneak you to Dairy Queen to get you a strawberry shortcake?"
That was what my 86 year old beautiful grandma said to me a couple weeks ago as we sat next to each other eating strawberry Belgium waffles. White rice. It was what my doctors told me to eat. Silly right?
Okay you guys, I have a confession to make. Every time I read a blog of someone who has Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis and they are sharing a recipe and calling it a “Crohn’s recipe” or telling people what is “safe” to eat, I roll my eyes. I know I am not the only IBD activist who has this reaction. For me personally, I think it’s completely silly. There are a few reasons I don’t talk about food on my blog or in my videos.
1. I came here to do something different. There are plenty of sources out there who talk about food. You can go there and read about it. But I can give you something here that you can’t get anywhere else (I hope). At least in my videos anyway…*crosses fingers*
2. I don’t get this whole “safe” business. I’m sorry, but to me it comes down to a matter of severity of the disease. Did that food really put you into remission or are you just in remission because the inflammation turned off? Is your case of IBD less severe? Some people just have a very mild case and chalk up their remission to the foods they eat. I wish it had been that easy for me. There have been times when I wasn’t eating a thing for months but being fed TPN. If it were a matter of what I was putting into my body wouldn’t it stop if I were not even eating!? The fact of the matter is my Crohn’s disease (your Crohn’s disease or UC) is an auto-immune disease. Our bodies are in a way attacking themselves by attacking our insides with damaging inflammation. Bleeding open wounds plague my insides. A tomato ain’t gonna turn that off people! If it would I wouldn’t take the medications that I am on.
3. I’ve tried it. I bought the SCD book years and years ago. Years before I ever had surgery or was ever online doing my thang. It says in one of the first chapters that if it doesn’t work for you in X amount of time then it probably will not work for you. It didn’t. I have tried vegetarian diets, vegan diets, gluten free, etc. But when it comes down to it I need medication to try and control things. And believe me, I am ALL for doing it the natural route first. And if you keep reading I will explain that.
4. I am weary of people telling me they “cured” an incurable disease.
5. Restriction. A lot of those diets involve me thinking about food or restricting myself in ways that are not mentally healthy to who I am personally.
6. What works for one person does not work for another. Just like medication. IBD varies from person to person which is why remicade (or any other medication) can work for one person and not for another. Finding the right combination of foods is just like finding the right combination of medication.
7. In a flare-up everything hurts! Bleeding ulcers and inflammation HURTS. Anything passing through that hurts. Narrow portions of bowel can cause pain when food moves through. Lots of things involving IBD can cause pain because of eating. Therefore is it that specific food bothering you or is everything bothering you? Or are softer foods easier to digest, etc? Is it a mechanical problem (strictures, obstruction) or physical problem (active disease)?
8. I am and have always been all for natural health. I gave up meat as a kid. I juice foods currently because I know it’s beneficial. I take vitamins and supplements and make sure to get whole foods in my diet. This isn’t because I think it’s “safe”. It isn’t because I think it will “cure” me. I would still do these things even if I didn’t have Crohn’s disease. I do think that all of these things have an impact on overall health and can be beneficial but I do not think they can cure you. I take anti-inflammatory supplements and eat a variety of foods. Yet still, here I am typing this with no colon.
9. I don’t blog about it because people tend to feel so passionately about it one way or another. I don’t want to deal with the back and forth of people telling me what is right or wrong when it comes to food. I am a live and let live type of person, and I try to keep an open mind. If what you are doing is working for you then I think that is excellent. However, I get so tired of the messages and emails I get telling me I should really eat this or that or asking if I have tried this or that. I don’t want this to be a place of argument but rather a place of support and education. I educate you on what I can, and what I can’t (or don’t want to) educate you on is what you should eat. To me it has nothing to do with food.
So yeah. That my friends is why I do not talk about food. There is so much misunderstanding out there on what Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis is. If it were as simple as food I wouldn’t be here writing this blog. I wouldn’t do my videos. I would have never lost my large intestine and I wouldn’t take medication that costs more than I make during the years I am sick. That doesn’t mean that I think you shouldn’t look into food yourself. I did. I tried all sorts of things. I am just not the person to be blogging about it - other people can and do.