Something interesting that I am noticing more and more through my research and my discussions with people is that the recommendations for what Crohn's sufferers should eat is all over the place and more contradictory than ever. I realized this the first time I started on the Low FODMAP diet and I couldn't find two lists that were the same online! The information is so inconclusive for just about everything. This is a good fat but its too fatty so you can't eat it but you really should eat it. Oh and this is a vegetable so it's gluten free so it should be fine... but really its not. And is gluten really bad for you? And what about dairy? I must be horrible because I eat dairy. Lactose intolerance is proven but gluten intollerance isn't. I am not kidding those are all different things that I have heard. It goes as far as to me getting comments on Instagram asking why I can eat this or that if I have Crohn's. Yikes.
I have decided that it really is completely up to the individual person. There is not blanketed dietary (or any type) of approach to combating Crohn's. I know people who can eat chicken nuggets and other fried goodness until they are too full to move. They also have Crohn's. I know people who can't eat a bite of cheese without getting sick. They have Crohn's too. I know people who can drink like fish and I know those who can't. I read stories online about people that go into remission and can eat whatever they want and here I am doubting the day a glutenous bite will ever enter my mouth again.
What I figured out was that I had to get to know my body and get to know what was best for me and best for my situation. I know the things that set me off and I know the things that I can handle in moderation. I'm not going to lie, at first I would get super pissed off when I saw someone who said they had Crohn's and they were sinking their teeth into a huge slice of pizza. I would judge them and say wtf why are they doing that, it's so bad for their health. I became a food snob. I legitamately would judge people mainly who ate gluten. Like what kind of asshole am I? I was judging because I was jealous because every deliciously glutenous thing makes me violently ill. (On a side note I have done my own research on gluten and am pretty turned off now which helps but that is to controversial to get into in this specific post. Gluten is a hot fucking topic.) Anyway, I was upset that I wasn't sinking my teeth into some pizza. Instead I was resentful of what I had to do. But then I started to really look at what I was doing and all of the flaws that I had in my diet. Yeah maybe they were eating gluten, but I was still eating processed crap to replace my glutenous alternatives. WHAT WAS I THINKING? Judging other people. Even if it was in the privacy of my own head.
Then I would realize that since I was so insecure about my own situation I felt super judged when I was out at restaurants and had to order something with all of these restrictions. But the thing is... WHY am I so self concious about something that I need to do for my own body. For me, as someone who has struggled with an eating disorder in the past (that's something for a whole different blog post), food has always been an area of my life that brings me great discomfort. As much as on the outside I seem cool, calm, and collected about it I definitely am not in the inside. At all. Having a disease where you have to focus on food so much is actually really freaking hard.
To this day I am still working on not worrying what people think about me and not worrying what I think about other people. It's hard. It is a day to day struggle. And I will bet money on the fact that some of you have felt the same way before. Having Crohn's is a constant game of trying to stay afloat in the world of food and balance. I can eat 100% "perfect" but then where are my experiences in life? What do I do when my girlfriends are having wine and pizza night? It is up to you. It is up to what you need to do for balance. For me I know I cannot puree and eat all of my meals thats so unrealistic but at the same time on that wine and pizza night it will be a gluten free pizza and only two glasses of wine. Why? Because I know what MY body needs. And I should love and respect and listen to that because it is MY body. Everyone has to do what is best for them. What is best for me isn't best for someone else and vice versa. Now I try my best not to judge, even when I do get jealous of someone eating a really fucking delicious looking thing. That is so great for them. And guess what? I have other great things that I can fuel my body with too. Stay in your own lane. Do what you need to do for your own self and your own body.
Blonde babe. Maryland native. Crohn's crushing puppy mother to two sweet rescues.
Welcome to my unfiltered commentary on crushing chronic illness in your 20's and everything that goes along with that.