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Woman staring at a carrot on the table looking like she is about to cry.

Sometimes You Just Want to Eat a Dang Veggie!

I never really thought much about food. I liked the food. Cooking was and still is enjoyable. But it wasn’t something I had to worry about. I didn’t think twice when I ate a handful of nuts. I didn’t worry when I had a nice, big salad. Raw veggies? No big deal. Definitely not a problem… until it was.

The blame game

Patients living with ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn’s disease can be very sensitive when it comes to food. For many reasons. Some of us are accused of being at fault for having inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) because we, ‘didn’t eat right’ before being diagnosed. That is neither helpful, true, or fair.

First of all, patients should NEVER be blamed for their diseases! It is not their fault. Research shows that IBD cannot be blamed on food. It’s more likely genetic or other environmental factors. Please, STOP blaming us.

Secondly, I have a friend living with UC who ate organic food her whole life and still ended up getting sick and having her colon removed. While there are foods that become bothersome after being diagnosed, food has NOTHING to do with developing a disease. My friend is just ONE example of a healthy person who ate ‘healthy’ food and still got landed with an incurable illness.

The irony

What a person living with IBD can or cannot eat is very individual– just like the treatment of the diseases. What my intestines can tolerate will be different from another patient. For me, apples, bananas, and lettuce are a nightmare. But I have a friend who can’t eat meats. The sad part is, the unhealthy food is easier on my gut than the healthy food. The food that is supposed to improve our health makes us feel worse.

Are you sure you should be eating that?We don’t like thinking about food

It’s maddening having to go out with friends and be so picky with food. Even worse is when you’re feeling rotten and you DON’T eat at a party. For some reason, people notice. I don’t feel like explaining to you why I don’t want to try your award-winning casserole. I don’t want to think about my eating habits… so I wish you wouldn’t either.

J-Pouch and food

Now I’m living with a j-pouch. And while my quality of life has definitely improved, food can still be painful. Raw veggies will hurt if I eat too many. If I eat strange colored foods, I might have a panic attack the next time I go to the bathroom and see the ‘black’ poop… Oh! That was the blueberry muffin I ate.

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.


  • HerMom
    5 days ago

    I have question about my adult daughter with a j pouch: Can smoothies made with a Nutribullet be “safe”? Not a really gnarly fibrous smoothie but maybe some ripe fruit, liquid like juice or milk, cow or other milk, and maybe a handful of baby spinach leaves? Do any of you do that?

  • Pam.Kingsland moderator
    5 days ago

    Hi @hermom, thanks for reaching out. Unfortunately, since it isn’t one size fits all, it’s so hard to say! What helps or hurts one person, might be totally different for another person. Sometimes it can be a real struggle. I thought you might be interested in reading some of the food experiences from our advocates, found here – Keep us updated on how you’re daughter is doing, if you’d like! Sending well wishes – Pam (team member)

  • TPChamp
    1 year ago

    I just found this site and am a huge fan of your writing. I’ve just hit my four year anniversary with ‘j-dog’ as I like to call him. It’s been a struggle at times but it’s nice (unfortunately) to see others are suffering in a similar way…and laughing about it too! Cheers!

  • Amanda Osowski moderator
    1 year ago

    Amber I relate so much to this post! Thank you for sharing!

    Amanda (team member)

  • thedancingcrohnie moderator
    1 year ago

    I can definitely relate to this. It’s especially hard when you try to be social with IBD and are at that party (just like you mentioned) and you don’t eat. It’s so funny how people really notice, but it’s like sorry, I can’t have the pizza or hot wings.

    I usually try to eat before going to someone’s house so that I’m not a starving dinosaur and want to eat everything in sight.

    Thank you for the read!

    Always dancing,
    Elizabeth (team member)

  • IBDfighter
    1 year ago

    Very true for everyone with IBD. Some foods give no problem one day & same food gives uneasy time the other. And I eat Mac, the night before my traveling. Don’t know why junk food is easy on my pouch. I try to eat everything except hard fibrous veggies and strong spices. When I do get the reaction, I take it as a part of my illness. It’s different every time with the same food even. To keep fighting is our life perhaps.

  • thedancingcrohnie moderator
    1 year ago

    So true! Some foods can be fine one day and another day it is like death! I wonder why that is.

    I absolutely love mac & cheese but that has become one of my trigger foods. So happy you still get to enjoy it! I know I miss it!

    Always dancing,
    Elizabeth (team member)

  • Gillendor
    1 year ago

    I totally connect with what you are saying! I very often feel judged for having my disease, like it’s my fault I have it and it’s my fault that I’m not better! Nooooo…Incurable disease, genetics, other factors. Anyways, I also just wanna eat veggies, but its true the unhealthy food is easier on my gut! I’m embarrassed to admit it, but eating McD’s almost regulates me. Completely unhealthy, but eating broccoli and carrots isn’t always a good idea with a stricture. It feels like some days I can handle it and other days nope!! #crohnsproblems

  • robynne
    1 year ago

    So true junk food with no high fibre fibre easier to digest
    No leafy greens or grains for me even some fruits indigestible
    Eat what you can many others even without IBD are picky eaters

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