Food for Thought

I have to say my most recent struggle has been with FOOD! My last flare of symptoms, which I spoke about in my post Mind Over Matter, was most likely an obstruction due to me eating some pistachios. Yep, you heard me…pistachios! *sigh* Sometimes I just have to pause and take in the full ridiculousness of my situation. Anyways, since then I’ve honestly lost interest in eating. I know I NEED to eat to survive and I do want to eat– but I would rather eat things that taste good and make me happy, but I can’t. I would be happy with something delicious and nutritious as well, but those options are very limited on a low residue low fiber diet. And since my flare I’m being extra careful about sticking close to that diet. This has honestly been a real source of frustration and anxiety for me lately. I’d rather just drink liquids and do smoothies.

I gotta say this is a new one for me! I’ve never had issues with food in my life until now. With the low fiber low residue diet, you can pretty much assume if it’s healthy for a normal person to eat it, you shouldn’t eat it! No fruits or veggies with skins or seeds, no nuts, no whole grains! Yet junk foods don’t really lump into a category, so “technically” it’s allowed. Well that is only because its likely fake or processed stuff. But at least it tastes good right?! This diet is incredibly counter intuitive and a real struggle for me lately!

I’m learning our emotions are heavily tied up with what we consume. I don’t think many people realize just how much our minds connect enjoyment with food. I certainly didn’t until recently. Think about it—we associate many memories with particular foods because our minds connect the dots between our 5 senses and imprint that on our brain. The term “comfort food” says it all. Everyone has a food that brings them comfort, but it’s different for us all. Frozen coffee drinks take me to my mental happy place. Popcorn has always been my favorite snack food because well it goes hand it hand with my love of movies! Deviled eggs remind me of family holidays and a fond memory of my mom teaching me how to make them for the first time. Hotdogs remind me of 4th of July cook-outs and fireworks. Foods invoke emotions when consumed. The problem is that the enjoyment gets lost when diet and nutrition are restricted and that leads to depressing feelings since we can’t consume what makes us happy or tastes good. Or honestly even what our body might need! I never realized that I would associate negative feelings with eating.

I hate feeling like I have to eat just to survive. Having to pick & choose and think through what I’m allowed to eat day-in and day-out, never eating too much of the same thing, always keeping things varied up. POOF–there goes the fun! When it becomes such a big chore just to figure out what you can eat, you just don’t wanna do it anymore! I dread the task of meal planning each day. It’s depressing to know you have to eat foods you don’t want to, just to get something in your system and sustain yourself. I strongly feel like that is just no way to live. Maybe it’s worse because i know there are better foods out there and I would rather eat those. So perhaps I have some coping to do and my anxiety over this will go away. I don’t know! I certainly hope it gets better down the road! But for now, this is my hurdle.

So the question is, why should the enjoyment get sucked out of this part of our life too? Don’t we already have enough problems to deal with?! I feel like there has to be an answer here that I just haven’t found yet. I will continue to look for a solution to this dilemma but in the mean time…

If you have experienced this struggle and have some ideas on how to follow a safe low residue diet, with little frustration, and still enjoy eating your foods–Please share by commenting or emailing me through my contact form to the left!

Published by Jana Rosenberger

I blog about my life with Crohn's disease and all things quality-of-life. I don't sugar coat this journey but I do find a way to laugh!

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