An annoyed and judgy stomach stands on top of a slice of pizza that is about to be eaten.

A Holiday IBD Mistake: A Tale of Food Regret

Well, I did it. I knew I shouldn’t, but I did anyway. At this point, I didn’t want to opt for "safe." No, I wanted to live life on the wild side. Why? Because it’s the most wonderful time of the year. Right? So, I jumped in full force.

Oh, the tasty temptations...

During this holiday season, it wasn’t the alcohol that tempted me. No, my crabby colitis gut and adult libations seem to get along with one another.

Instead, the temptation that I just couldn’t resist was a piping hot, saucy tomato, thick-crusted, ooey-gooey, cheesy goodness of a pizza. Yep, I ate "real" pizza. Real in that I refused to order a gluten-free or cauliflower crust version.

Nope, I didn’t want that. Those versions were too small for my holiday pizza needs. (They only arrive in the 10-inch form around my local area and cost way too much!) Instead, this UC gal was craving the real deal – a real Italian crust.

Don’t give me gassy cauliflower. Nor rubbery, gluten-free, what-exactly-are-the-ingredients-in-this-weird-kind-of-crusty pizza? Nope. I wanted... I desired... I CRAVED a thick, fluffy, powdery real pizza crust.

Gimme that gluten

Since it was a time of festivity and celebration, I decided to indulge myself. So, I ate the regular pizza that my husband ordered. The problem is, though, he can eat anything. As for my colitis gut, going gluten-free is the only way this gal can survive digestively in the food world.

Slowly and with way too much pleasure, I relished in bite after bite of that cheesy, Italian, heavenly goodness. Granted, I could have avoided some repercussions by leaving the end crusts behind. My dog would have readily volunteered to take on the "crust mission."

But no. During this holiday season, I felt food greedy.

The aftermath: carb coma + IBD food regret

Shortly after plopping my bum on the couch to satiate in the carb coma that was slowly infusing my whole body, I felt a rumbling – low and deep. A stirring in my gut. A sort of small internal earthquake building within the depths of my being.

Pow! Bam! Boom! The war of a real pizza crust began seeking its revenge.

"You know you can’t eat real dough," my gut screamed at my brain. "But I just want to be normal," I pouted in my head as the pummeling of gluten continued to assault my digestive system.

Sadly, the gift of this holiday was not one any reasonable person would enjoy, offer thanks for, or even reciprocate. Instead, the nighttime guttural distress and hours spent the next day in the bathroom proved otherwise.

No food regrets in the new year!

So, in this new year, I resolve — once again — to be better than I was this past year. As one living with an IBD, I must make good food choices. What I know to be true is when I ignore my gut and gravitate towards cravings, I live in regret. Life’s too short for regrets, especially when it comes to my health.

With more than 30 years of living with ulcerative colitis, I know better. Therefore, I should do better. Avoiding "triggers" is the way to avoid flares. Period.

In the end, being food greedy will only result in gastrointestinal remorse. My UC served up its reminder dish this past holiday. And NO pizza is worth the pain. Trust me.

Finally, for 2022, I wish that all my fellow IBD-ers may experience a flare-free year. Happy New Year to all!

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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.

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