What I Eat and Drink in A Day with Crohn's Disease
Before I begin today's post, it's important to say that this post is a personal diary of my food choices and not-in any way-designed to be a model or guide to follow. I'm not stating that my What I Eat in A Day should be your What I Eat in A Day, but I'm always fascinated to read and watch other people's versions of these so I thought I'd share my own and spend today keeping track of what I eat to share with you all!
My dietary restrictions with Crohn's disease
Some people with IBD avoid lots of different foods whilst some find that diet changes make no difference at all. Sadly, I've found myself in the former category and I personally need to avoid...
- Fatty or Greasy Food
- Raw vegetables-e.g. salad
- Sweeteners and lots of Preservatives
But why? This is something I did gradually and with the help of a nutritionist and lots of reading. I have always found dairy to be problematic for me long before my IBD diagnosis, and like many of us, I always noticed that raw vegetables set my stomach off immediately. As for gluten, that discovery came later, and I noticed a marked improvement with my levels of brain fog and energy when I gave it up. I think fatty foods are another common trigger and I know it can upset many people's stomachs, so I am not sure if that is a Crohn's thing or just general digestion issue.
Breakfast I eat with Crohn's
I'll usually start the day with some gluten-free oats and easy to digest fruit such as banana. I use almond milk (and make sure I get the reinforced calcium version) instead of regular cow's milk. I religiously add a spoonful of cashew nut butter to have some good fats to start the day. I'd like to gain weight so I try to add nut butter where I can.
Depending on how accommodating my stomach is feeling, I will also sometimes make a vegetable juice. I can't eat a lot of vegetables (like spinach, beetroot, courgettes) so I tend to juice them instead. I try to stick to mainly vegetables so I don't get a sugar spike and it really helps me get some goodness at least without being too fibrous. I know juicing isn't for everyone but it really does work for me and helps improve my energy levels. However, some mornings I'll skip it as I just want a peppermint tea instead.
Lunch options and staples
At lunch, there are a few different 'staples.' One is a sandwich made with chicken or tuna and hummus; using gluten-free bread. I also often make soups using bone broth and vegetables like carrots and sweet potato; which are my go-to if my gut needs a bit of a rest. I work from home so I also often reheat leftovers or cook something from scratch.
The British staple of 'jacket potato' (a baked potato with fillings like chicken, tuna, hummus or dairy-free cheese) is a favorite. I find avocado something I do well with so I will usually add this to my lunch to again get some fats.
Dinner options for Crohn's
I'm not a big meat eater but I do eat plenty of chicken, turkey, and fish. My evening meal will usually be based around them and safe carbohydrates such as...
- Mashed potato or sweet potato
- Gluten-free pasta
- Homemade vegetable wedges (I do ok with cooked carrots, sweet potato, butternut squash etc).
I try to always use plenty of herbs and spices for flavoring, and sometimes I'll use dairy-free cheese too (it's getting better!) Although I'm not a big spice lover, we will often make homemade curries as they are naturally gluten and dairy-free and contain lots of ginger and turmeric. Another thing I'd recommend to all IBD folks is a slow cooker! We will often put turkey, chicken or fish in there at the start of the day with plenty of herbs, potatoes, and other safe vegetables. And by evening, we have a tasty dinner! It's so easy for days when you're low on spoons.
Drinks, hydrating, and snacks
I am one of those strange people who has always loved drinking water! I have never liked caffeine either, so my main drinks are herbal tea and the occasional glass of red wine. I do LOVE to snack and one of my weaknesses is dark chocolate. I find I can only have this in small portions or my stomach is not happy. I also will snack on crisps (potato chips to Americans) as I am not happy unless I've eaten a potato in several different forms!
I hope my 'What I Eat in A Day' was useful. How similar or different is it to your daily meals?
What type of IBD have you been diagnosed with?