What is a time of joy for many women was my darkest hour.
I love food. LOVE it. I love cooking. I love recipe books. I love smelling food, I love watching programmes about food, I love Instagramming photos of food, I love going to supermarkets so I can LOOK at food. I am pretty much obsessed. My days revolve around planning my next meal -– and then after-dinner snacks. I like to cook big elaborate recipes that involve hours of work, and I similarly like getting in from the office and just eating crumpets with peanut butter for dinner. Either way, dinner is up there in the highlights of my day. I’ve even been known to touch myself during Man v Food, but that’s a whole ‘nother fucked up story.
So imagine my face when last week, I did what I should have done 7 years ago -- some research into what I should and shouldn’t eat to help my stomach settle down following my recent Crohn’s flare up. Usually, a course of steroids will sort me out, and I’ll be back downing the Jagermeister in no time –- but not this time. I haven’t quite bounced back. The pains are still coming and going more often than is usual, and I’m lacking energy. I need to whip my intestines into shape!
So I’ve bitten the bullet and I’m now avoiding:
•butter, mayonnaise (!!!!), margarine, oils
•coffee, tea, chocolate
•fatty /fried foods
•foods high in fiber
•gas-producing foods (lentils, beans, legumes, cabbage, broccoli, onions)
•nuts and seeds (peanut butter, other nut butters)
•red meat and pork
•whole grains and bran
This doesn’t leave me with a lot. My diet currently consists of white bread, chicken, white pasta and Pom Bears, with a side order of multivitamins.
Don’t get me wrong, I love eating chicken and teddy-shaped potato snacks HOWEVER I am suffering from caffeine withdrawal from my usual 2 cups of coffee in the morning and Diet Coke at lunchtimes. I am teetering on the edge of a chicken shaped breakdown. ALL I WANT IS SOME MAYO! I am a complete mayo slut. (When I first met Chris he said he was going to get me a t-shirt designed that said "Will Suck for Mayo" on it. Romance! It’s alive, people!)
And chocolate. Normally I couldn’t care less about chocolate –- but now I can’t have it? Obsessed. I spent a good 15 minutes in the supermarket earlier fingering the wrappers of Milka Daims and Dairy Milk, and then moved on to the cheese aisle where I considered just unwrapping as many Babybel cheeses as I could and stuffing them into my cheeks like a demented kleptomaniac hamster.
I’ve lost the plot. I’ve gone batshit. I’d probably promise you my first-born for a bacon sandwich.
Along with my diet of white things, I have chosen to stare my fear of things that don’t taste nice in the face, and took a trip to the health food shop. I read in a few places that drinking aloe vera juice, or gel, is a great natural aid to help heal the gut. It tastes bitter, but it’s certainly not the worst thing I’ve ever had in my mouth, so I won’t moan about it. I’m bound to start GLOWING from the inside out soon! I’ve been drinking a couple of tablespoons a day –- you shouldn’t drink too much of it as it will give you the shits which is totally not what I’m all about, hence the brutal diet.
I’m pretty willing to try anything right now so I don’t have to end up back on steroids with feet looking like Christmas hams, so this is sure to be the beginning of a long and beautiful relationship with my local health food shop. And I am being a whiny cry-baby about it.
Have you ever gone on a really restrictive diet? How did you cope? Got any good recipes that involve chicken and Pom Bears? Hit me up in the comments!
Come and watch me have a public food-related breakdown over on Twitter - @Natalie_KateM