Nothing I enjoy more than a Root Beer Float. One problem though...I don't eat dairy. Big problem. Life-altering problem, really. For what's a Root Beer Float without ice cream?
My girlfriend one day, with the best of intentions, made me a Root Beer Float with vegan ice cream, a product that contained a heavy dose of almond milk. I appreciated the effort. Very thoughtful. Knowing I couldn’t tolerate dairy, she’d secured a worthy substitute.
A sensitive stomach with Crohn's disease
The problem is, owing to Crohn's disease, I have an incredibly sensitive stomach. Almond Milk is almost as bad as regular milk for yours truly, unfortunately. In fact, it should come with this warning label: DANGER! DO NOT DRINK OR YOU RISK BEING HANDCUFFED TO THE TOILET FOR THE NEXT TWELVE HOURS WHILE SCREAMING OUT ‘GOD, WHY!’
Sadly, even if I’d been granted such a warning, it might not have stopped me. You see, I knew full well that not just dairy products but imitation dairy products (such as products with almond milk) frequently bother my gut. Still, there it was...that magical Root Beer Float. It seemed to be calling to me, like an enchanted forest or a parking spot on Madison Avenue. Scrumptious. Magical. My favorite dessert. How bad could it be?
I consumed it ravenously. Honestly, it was incredible. Yummy vanilla ice cream. Delicious root beer. Every delectable sip, each gooey bite, made me feel as if I’d entered the Buddhist state of Nirvana. Seriously, I was levitating in a state of pure bliss in the clouds while chanting “Om.” The problem was, days later, I felt sick.
The need to avoid trigger foods with Crohn's
I suspect the trigger was that Root Beer Float since it wasn't something I normally consumed. Also, I hadn't been having stomach issues. For days I wasn't well. Kept running to the toilet. My abdominal pain lasted hours. Still, my troubling symptoms just kept on torturing me. It was rough, even for someone who has had IBD for thirty years and is used to periodic flares.
The whole incident got me thinking that I should have resisted the Root Beer Float. Sounds minor. It's not. With Crohn's disease, you really need self-discipline. While these sacrifices may be tough, long term you will be better off. Health comes first. No food is worth extended suffering. Above all resist temptation (as the story of Adam and Eve demonstrates).
Making sacrifices for better health
We all know these basic truths. But sometimes, I guess, we need to relearn them. I certainly did. I may never have a Root Beer Float again. That's okay. There are still Italian Ices. Aha! Can’t go wrong there!
I’m sometimes, admittedly, jealous when I see someone consuming a Root Beer Float. Why can’t that be me, I think? But I also know, when I turn away, try to forget what I’ve seen, that I am doing the best thing for my health.
Sacrifices, sacrifices. Sometimes they are necessary. Sometimes they are what is best. Sometimes they can help you remember what is most important. Thanks for reading, and, as always, feel free to comment below.
How open are you about being diagnosed with IBD?