Living in London Town, there were all kinds of foods that I couldn’t eat without having painful tummy rumbles. I can’t list them because there are so many but just to get an idea, most fruit and veg was out, caffeine, anything sweet and wheat. At one point I’m sure I was living off rice, tuna, rice, tuna and erm rice and tuna.
Food plays such an important role in my life these days and my relationship with food is a tricky one. I used to HATE eating because food is so complex for me. I went through many a phase where I was like “SCREW YOU J POUCH” and ate what I wanted.
This never, ever has a good outcome. I’ll be fine for a few days, albeit my tummy rumbles were in full force with everything I ate, but the pouch eventually would win. I’d feel run down, exhausted, I would have been bleeding heavily and I’d be feeling very dizzy because I would have been going to the bathroom heaps, therefore losing salts and electrolytes and feeling pretty dehydrated.
Now I know what you’re thinking, if I know it’s going to be so detrimental to my health why am I eating it?
Sometimes I just want to feel normal, and I miss the convenience of eating anything I want. I miss going for lunch and grabbing a sandwich rather than having to plan all my meals beforehand. I miss going to dinner and not having to make a fuss about what I can or can’t have. I miss going to a friend’s house and not have to give them a list of what I can or can’t eat.
What I miss the most? Easy food shopping. I now lose precious hours of my life in the supermarket. I detest food shopping because I have to check everything. Did you know that there is wheat in soy sauce? Neither did I.
There is no way I can go into a supermarket and spontaneously think of what I would like for dinner. I am so envious of all the people who are going through the aisles, they see something they quite like and it goes in the basket. I’m sure I’ve disturbed some people by looking at them with such green eyed jealousy, that they have cautiously backed away slowly, not making any fast movements for fear that I might pounce on them, or God forbid, strike a conversation with them.
Food shopping is a mission for me, I have to plan my food shops and if I don’t? Oh boy. I’ve gone into the supermarket once for a weekly shop and ended up leaving with some chicken and potatoes. That’s it! The thought of traipsing through the aisles without a list became so daunting I just picked up my “safe foods” and left.
I’ve even gone in once for a snack and left because the task was just too overwhelming/daunting.
So how do I cope these days? Well since coming to Australia and taking some amazing supplements, having a lot more sunshine and in general being more relaxed, there are a few more things that I can tolerate which makes shopping easier. Imagine my disbelief when I found I could finally eat broccoli and cauliflower without feeling like I was trying to pass eggs through my intestines. I literally cried into my food when I found I could eat spinach again, in small doses mind you, don’t want to over do it.
Lists and pre planning. These are my best friends when it comes to food shopping and meals. Going to a restaurant with friends? Check out the menu or call ahead to see what you can eat.
Yes, it is a pain in the backside, yes it takes the fun out of food but with the glorious thing called the internet it doesn’t mean that your meals have to be boring!
If you’re strapped for time, take a day to cook your food for the week so you can just heat it up when you don’t have the time to cook from scratch. When making certain foods, make them in a big batch so you can freeze a portion or two and heat it up another day.
It does take time and effort to plan all your meals but it is worth it. Also I found when I was being really good and sticking to my diet, I found that in the long run I could tolerate more foods because clearly my intestines were healing.
As it stands, I’m on the brink of a flare because I’ve been stressed and not sticking to my diet, which is completely backwards because I know that when I am stressed I need to stick to it even more. I’m lucky though because I can recognise when things are getting bad and tighten the reigns so I don’t flare completely.
I know it seems hard but it is worth it in the end!
What are your diets like? How do you cope with food?