What I Eat and Drink During the Summer With Crohn’s
Today is one of the hottest days in the UK but we still have many weeks of summer ahead of us. I have often shared recipes and useful foods that help my Crohn's but thought today I'd share my tips and tricks for useful foods and drinks during the summer with Crohn's.
When the weather is hot, we often crave different foods and also have different nutritional needs. Soups may be our go-to in the winter months but aren't so appealing in the warmer weather. We also need to ensure we're hydrated – which is always important but becomes crucial in the summer when our risk of dehydration increases.
Summer drinks and hydration with Crohn's
Avoiding carbonated beverages
In the summer months. I obviously drink a lot of water. One thing I struggle with is when I am thirsty, I naturally gravitate towards ice cold beverages such as soda. The problem is that fizzy drinks often contain sweetners and carbonated beverages can cause bloating. It is so tempting to reach for these when the weather is hot but I always pay the price the next day.
Making water more interesting
I am trying to get around this by making my usual water more interesting: I have tried cold brew herbal tea bags and also adding fresh fruit to make fruit-infused water: these aren't quite as refreshing but make me feel much better. I also find water served at room temperature is much kinder to my belly than ice cold. Anyone else find this?
Warm drinks in the morning
I also find herbal tea (peppermint and fennel) really soothing for my belly, along with bone broth. Whilst it feels way too warm right now for hot drinks, I am trying to drink these first thing in the morning (which for me is 6 a.m., as I have a toddler!) when it isn't too hot.
I use a water bottle with a time tracker to remind me to drink enough and if I experience diarrhea I use an electrolyte drink, such as Pedialyte, to help ensure I don't get dehydrated.
My Crohn's summer diet
Avoiding salads and raw foods
Let's talk about what I eat in the summer. Although they are tempting, I avoid salads and any raw foods such as cucumber, pepper, and sweetcorn. These are just too fibre-full and harsh on my digestion but I know everyone is so different.
Protein and carbs
I try to base my meals around protein (such as chicken and plenty of fish) and easy-to-stomach carbohydrates. I often make or buy potato salad which is a nice alternative to mashed potato. Rice and gluten-free pasta are other fail-safes for me and I make them into easy lunches – like tuna and rice.
For breakfast, I have noticed that only having a small breakfast really helps me in the hot weather. This was a change I made on holiday and felt much better for it. So now I have been having light breakfasts such as banana (one of the few fruits I can eat) and yoghurt, or rice cakes with nut butter.
If there is a BBQ, I have avoided traditional BBQ food (like burgers and sausages) but have found grilled fish to work well (you can even make salmon skewers).
Popsicles are really refreshing at this time of year, but again, I find a lot contain added sweeteners. I try to make my own (you can just use fruit and water) or look at the label carefully – you can buy 100% juice popsicles which I find are better than one with sweetners in. You can also make smoothie lollies or smoothie bowls as an alternative to cooling off in the heat.What do you drink/eat with IBD? I hope this post has given you some ideas of what to eat and drink over the summer. Do you find your diet changes in the warmer months?