F is for Food

 F is for food.

I have a love-hate relationship with food right now.

I enjoy good food, doesn't everyone? But it does not treat me with the respect I feel I am warranted.

Well my body, specifically my small intestine (all I have left), sees food as the enemy. Meals are a ticking time bomb for me. It doesn't seem to matter what I eat either. If I put food in my mouth and swallow it, my stupid intestine is standing ready with full artillery to do battle. It starts to cramp about three-fourths of the way through a meal.

F also stands for a bad word that I try not use... key word: TRY. It's pretty difficult when the pain and cramping are at their worst. The F-bomb is just so cleansing when used correctly. It should be treated with respect and only used when absolutely necessary. This reserves it's power for when it is most needed.

Over the past few days, I've eaten rice (white) with almost every meal. Breakfast...Lunch...Dinner. It seems to be one of the least offensive grains to my cranky gut. I visited an acupuncturist in Sedona recently and she had some wonderful food advice for me. She told me to start the day with a rice porridge with ginger and a banana (banana benefits are pretty cool too) added to it.

My first attempt with rice porridge didn't turn out well. It was a liquidy-pasty-mush that I made in the crockpot and I added WAY too much ginger. FYI: Ground ginger from the spice rack is like a million times stronger than fresh ginger. I did not have fresh ginger so I improvised with the ground ginger. The recipe calls for one tablespoon of fresh grated ginger so without looking up a conversion chart (big mistake) I put in one teaspoon. Don't do this. The correct amount of one tablespoon of fresh ginger is one-eighth teaspoon. Ginger is an extremely strong tasting spice. Extremely strong, but oh so very beneficial. Lifehack.org lists some of ginger's super powers. For me and my moody gut, ginger helps to improve absorption of essential nutrients and assists in reducing pain and inflammation like anti-inflammatory drugs.

I promptly pulled up Amazon and ordered a rice cooker. My next batch (done in above mentioned rice cooker) was much, much better. I used the correct measurement of ginger and also added some agave to it. I topped it off with a few slices of banana and a bit of almond/coconut milk.

Normally the texture of a banana will set off my gag reflex faster than sitting next to an air-sick person on a plane so I mashed the bananas into the porridge.

It was quite tasty! I might add some cinnamon next time. Cinnamon is full of good stuff for you as well.

I'm finding that red mean in any form seems to trigger a gut rebellion. Say goodbye to tacos... well, beef tacos anyway. I can make pretty good ground turkey tacos and burgers. I love a good steak (I'm a Texas girl ya know) but unless it is the most tender of all filet mignons and I chew until it is pure liquid, I can't eat it. I certainly can't eat it for dinner or it will keep me up all night.

Eating out poses multiple issues too. I can't even begin to tell you all the problems I have when downing fast food. I'm not exactly sure what is in fast food that can cripple me, all I know is it makes life almost unbearable sometimes. It might be better that I don't know what's in it... There are a few places I can go that offer items that  don't seem as vicious, Chick-fil-a is one if I stick to just the nuggets. Fast food bread/buns are full-on gut war instigators. Maybe it's the preservatives? You know those things have a shelf life of 200 years and would probably be the only food left after a nuclear bomb.

In addition to rice, I eat a lot of eggs. Usually scrambled and occasionally, I throw in some left over salmon and cheese.  Baked potatoes are another staple but I tire of them very quickly.

The closer to nature the food is the better for my gut; however, raw vegetables, fruit, seeds and nuts can make my life most difficult. I must steam the heck out of veggies if I want to eat them. A salad would most likely land me in the hospital at this point.

There are many days where the thought of food and the torture it likes to inflict leave me with only one option: a protein shake. I found some really tasty ones at Natural Grocers. Lately, I've been drinking one a day in addition to regular meals. My hair has been falling out like crazy from the trauma and lack of nutrition from the 43 days I spent hospital hopping. Every time I run my hands through it, 5-6 strands come away wrapped in my fingers. When I wash it, oh my gosh, I loose handfuls! So, if you see me out and about and wonder why my hair looks like I haven't washed it in 3 years, you will know why: I'm trying to go about 3 days between washes to hopefully conserve what hair I do have. Crohn's is really hard on my vanity.

Aloe Vera juice is also a daily regimen. I drink about 8 ounces everyday. George's brand has zero taste so I often add it to my water bottle. It helps soothe my tummy and gut when things get stirred up in there.

Isn't IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease) just nifty? It can seriously rob you of a part of life that is necessary and should be enjoyed. We often celebrate special events and occasions by eating. Family, friends and food always seem to go hand in hand. I used to savor a good glass of wine but that is a BIG no-no right now. Any kind of alcohol seems to be a hand grenade at this point. I hope this will change at some point but until then, I will stick with my aloe and water.
Scrambled eggs with salmon and a cup of joe for lunch.


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