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different types of food

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 team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • 123sad
    2 weeks ago

    I’ve had ulcerative colitis since my 20’s and now am 59. It has been in remission for many years. Unfortunately, I was diagnosed with lymphoma in 2002 and am now on a drug which I believe has exasperated it. I am very down and will probably take off from work tomorrow because I have a flare up and being a teacher it’s extremely difficult to get to a bathroom. Does anyone have advice for a diet change?

  • thedancingcrohnie moderator
    2 weeks ago


    I am so sorry you are dealing with this flare on top of your diagnosis’s.

    As far as advice for diet change, like Jessica mentioned, we are all so different and what works for me may not work for you but its important to share.

    I stay away from grains, dairy, and sugar. That is when I feel the best. I eat lots of chicken, turkey, fish, potato, avocado, eggs, smoothies with almond milk and fruit. Bone broth is always a good idea to help soothe the gut. I drink a ton of water and stay away from processed food and drink.

    You can go on Pinterest and get a ton of ideas for grain-free and dairy-free recipes. In my experience, coming up with a meal plan is the best way to stay on track when it comes to diet.

    I hope this helps some. Feel free to message me if you have any questions!

    Always dancing,
    Elizabeth (team member)

  • JessicaH moderator
    2 weeks ago

    Hi @123sad, my heart goes out to you. <3 I am so sorry to hear you have gone through so much. Others in the community may weigh in with their experiences and what has helped them. It's always good to keep in mind what works for some, may not for others, and always good to speak with one's doctor. In the meantime, I have included a couple articles that you may appreciate that can be found here and here. I truly hope this is helpful and you have a restful evening. Sending many hugs your way. Kindly, Jessica- Team Member

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