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Holidays and Eating Restrictions

This year I celebrated the holidays with some in-laws I’d never met before. They knew nothing of me. These were in-laws by my sister’s marriage and although they attended the wedding, we’d never “formally” been introduced before. Since my J-pouch surgery, for years I hadn’t been too concerned on my eating habits, especially not concerned with how it affected those around me. I’d been on and off special diets a great deal for Pouchitis (that I personally decided to initiate). All of which were temporary, lasting a month a most.

Making changes to help with Pouchitis

This year is a bit different. A few months ago I had my latest run-in with Pouchitis, or inflammation in my J-pouch. Once again this year I decided to make some serious changes. I’d tried this before years ago but only for a month. This year I am shooting for more long term. A few months ago I made the transition into Pescetarianism. While I do eat seafood, I do not eat any other kind of meat. I know this diet is not for everyone and of course before trying any diets or treatments you should always consult your physician. I am trying this diet because I seemed to notice a trend.

My Pouchitis tends to get much worse with fried, greasy foods. This is exactly how I’ve been eating meat. I wasn’t practicing “healthy” habits and because of this, I decided to cut it out of my diet completely. Although from the outside looking in, it may seem difficult or even crazy. It’s actually been quite refreshing. It’s allowed me to become more in-tune with my body. I don’t overeat anymore because I pay attention and understand when I am full. Simply put, it’s working for me.

It’s difficult to adjust to a new diet

Going to this year’s holiday dinner, I thought nothing of it. Although it hasn’t become 100% natural (for me) to turn away my favorite meats, I’m learning to adjust and I’m slowly beginning to understand and incorporate simple meat alternatives. In spite of my new mindset, I learned not everyone is as open-minded as I am (at least not when it comes to dietary restrictions.

When I first arrived I was shocked to learn that most foods on the Christmas dinner menu were meat! It hasn’t been extremely hard for me to turn down meat but as mentioned earlier, it’s not 100% natural to me just yet. I found it pretty hard to watch everyone around me indulge in such a delicious buffet while I suffered with sides and veggies. Don’t get me wrong, the sides and veggies were quite delicious, but unfortunately just not as filling. It really made me miss my greasy and fried meats but I kept my overall goal in mind.

Reminding myself that these lifestyle changes lead to better health

When feeling extra pressured, I just remind myself of why I decided to make this change in the first place. I cut meat from my diet to better myself and better my health. I remind myself of how much better I feel since I’ve transitioned into this new lifestyle. Occasionally, I even question if the unhealthy foods I crave are worth it. The answer is always no.

If you are struggling with the temptation of “forbidden foods,” whether the restrictions placed are temporary or permanent, stay strong. Remember the overall goal is better health.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The InflammatoryBowelDisease.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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