Monday, June 8, 2009

A Birthday, Crohn's, and Food

My birthday came and went recently and I was reminded once again of how Crohn's Disease has settled into my life. It's not all bad actually, but rather.... inconvenient.

A birthday is always a good time to take stock of your life. I find myself sometimes looking at all the things I haven't done or the things I don't have. I have to mentally shake myself and start looking at all my blessings. One of the big ones being that my Crohn's Disease, is for now, being managed with 3 pills of Salofalk (5ASA) with breakfast and 3 with dinner. All in all I feel pretty good, meaning that if I stayed like this for my entire life, I'd be ok.

The main trouble is that I have to be very, very disciplined with what I eat. It was my birthday though, so I thought I could be daring. We went out for sushi and I got my typical shrimp, cucumber and lettuce rolls. I for ask them to be made without spices or wasabi so it's great. But there was other tasty stuff on the table. Some kind of tofu soup that was delicious but also had onions soaking in it. As well as some kind of meat filled dumplings with various tasty seasoned fillings. Don't forget the salad. Raw, fibrous greens. Oy! The next day I was not feeling well at all, though I had to spend the whole day outdoors helping with a huge arts & crafts show. Funny how angry bowels can sap your energy and make walking around feel like a strenuous activity.

I'm feeling better today, but it's still a toss up whether my food fling was worth it. Those were some darn good dumplings. Maybe next time I'll stick to my shrimp and spice-free, cooked, sushi.

Speaking of trouble foods, have you experimented with any common recipes to make them more Crohn's friendly? I recently read that traditionally, teriyaki sauce was just sweetened soy sauce. Here in the west we've been adding garlic and other spices. (yeah we like to cover up our food here). So I'm going to try making my own version of a teriyaki sauce by mixing soy sauce and brown sugar. I wonder how that will taste? I like experimenting with new recipes - tonight I'm going to try making a pork and potato stew on a bed of rice. Good thing I bought a new apron at the art show!

Do you have any good food substitution tips to share?

Here are my favourites:

-Cream cheese >> Yoso brand soy cream cheese
-BBQ Sause on chicken or fish >> honey or olive oil
-Milk on cereal >> President's Choice brand original fortified rice milk
-Butter >> Olivina brand margarine
-Lettuce on a sandwich >> thin slices of cucumber
-Store bought broth/gravy >> home made broth w/ fat skimmed off. Added salt.
-Milk in pancakes or porridge >> water or rice milk
-Milk in boxed mashed potatoes >> water and a tsp of margarine
-Various potatoe chips >> reduced salt Lays
-Whole eggs >> liquid egg whites
-Pudding snacks >> Belsoy brand soy puddings
-Ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) >> Ester C supplements (non-acidic/buffered)