Two amateur cooks explore the world of cooking for a Crohn's and Colitis diet

Presenting…..the Eggvocado!

A healthy breakfast should start with a mixture of fiber and protein, both of which contribute to satiety. Individuals with Crohn’s Disease often have to limit their fiber (and in some cases, their fat intake), which limits their ability to consume avocados. Eggs can also be a trouble food if eaten in high amounts, especially because a decent amount of fat is stored in their yolks. However, if these foods are eaten in moderation, they can be paired to create a delicious breakfast combination. If you want to mix up your breakfast routine, try out this new breakfast food: the Eggvocado!

Slice an avocado in half, remove the pit, and carve out enough space in the center for an egg to fit. Crack an egg into the hollowed out portion of the avocado, and bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes until eggs reach desired consistency. For those trying to avoid too much fat and fiber, just have half an avocado with 1 egg.

Nutritionally, avocados mostly provide the healthy fat known as monounsaturated fat (the same fat found in olive oil). These fats boost levels of HDL (good cholesterol) and potentially reduce levels of LDL (bad cholesterol0. One often-cited study found that high avocado intake was linked to lower blood cholesterol levels. Patients that were on a diet rich in avocados showed a 17% decrease in total cholesterol levels, a 22% decrease in LDL and triglyceride levels, and a 11% increase in HDL levels.¹ Avocados also provide a good hit of carotenoids, which are colorful plant pigments that our body can turn into vitamin A.  If turned into vitamin A, it is used for eye health, proper immune system functioning, and other uses.  The carotenoids can also be used as a powerful antioxidant that destroys free radicals (molecules that can cause cancer in our bodies).  Carotenoids are a fat-soluble micronutrient (Vitamin A, D, E and K are all fat-soluble vitamins), and so the fat content of the avocado enhances the absorption of the carotenoids. Avocados are also rich in potassium, B vitamins, vitamin E and vitamin K.

The egg portion of the dish provides a majority of the protein, along with numerous vitamins and minerals not found in the avocado. One egg has up to 7 grams of high-quality protein (eggs contain all 9 essential amino acids and are easily digested and absorbed), along with iron and choline (a mineral associated with brain development and memory). While one egg yolk provides close to the daily recommended amount of cholesterol, scientists have found that foods that are high in saturated fat have a bigger impact on blood cholesterol than foods naturally high in cholesterol (i.e. eggs). A large meta-analysis study found that certain dietary fatty acids, particularly foods high in saturated fat, trigger the body to produce cholesterol.²

The images and recipe for the eggvocado are at the bottom of the blogpost.

And now….As a bonus, in celebration of Thanksgiving, we would like to share some information from our friends at CCFA on how to survive and thrive during the holiday season. The potential for overeating and the increased travel can provide lots of problems for IBD patients. Hopefully the information below will help prevent any IBD-related mishaps in your holiday season!

IBD Experts Provide Tips to Surviving the Holidays

Holiday eating and air travel can be challenging for the 1.4 million Americans suffering with inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). People who suffer from Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis and other bowel diseases — painful chronic conditions that cause inflammation of the gastro-intestinal track, which cause severe abdominal pain and diarrhea-should take special precautions in order to avoid exacerbating symptoms and insure easy traveling amidst the busiest time of the year.

It is easy to get caught up in the excitement of the holiday season. Many patients have a sense of what foods worsen their symptoms. A safe approach to holiday parties and travel is to try to follow your usual routine as closely as possible and plan ahead,” says Dr. Jim Lewis, chairman of the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America’s National Scientific Advisory Committee.

Experts at the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) have compiled a list of diet and Transportation Security Administration (TSA) tips for IBD patients to have a healthy, happy holiday.

When flying, remember:

  • Pack medications in a separate, clear, sealable bag.
  • Pack your own toilet paper, soothing wipes, ointments, changes of underwear and extra clothes. Keep hand sanitizer in small bottles that can go through airport security.
  • Make sure you bring more medications and if applicable, ostomy supplies than you think you need.
  • TSA CANNOT ask you to show your ostomy bag, nor can they ask you to remove it any time. You can ask for a disposable drape at any time during a body pat down.
  • Arrive at the airport 2-3 hours before your flight.
  • Contact CCFA several weeks in advance to become a member and receive the CCFA I Can’t Wait card to help you explain Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis to TSA workers. Call 646-943-7521 to speak to the CCFA Membership Department.
  • Download the free CCFA Air Travel Talking Points Card at www.ccfa.org to keep in your wallet for you to refer to as you travel.

When eating during the holidays, remember:

  • Eat a light, nutritious meal of foods you know you can tolerate before going out to a party. This will help prevent you from overindulging or being tempted by foods that you don’t tolerate well or are uncertain about.
  • Eat smaller portions. Appetizer and half-size portions are a good option.
  • Plan your diet around foods that you know nourish your body well.
  • Try to stay away from “super-size” portions that may make you flare.
  • Don’t be afraid to make special request-whether dining out or going to your next holiday party. Most restaurants are willing to make changes to their menu to accommodate special diet needs. If you are at a party, call the host ahead of time to see if you can bring your own dish.

To find out more TSA and diet tips, visit www.ccfa.org.

Images and recipe for eggvocado below:

Hollowed out avocado

Cracking an egg into the avocado pit

Cooked and ready to eat – the yolks were slightly runny after a 15-minute cooktime

The finished product – with a sprinkle of paprika!

Eggvocado

Ingredients:

  • half of an avocado, pitted
  • 1 egg
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • Topping of your choice (we used paprika, but you can add parmesan, chili flakes, balsamic, oregano, basil, etc.)

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 375°F.

2. Using a small piece of aluminum foil, create a ‘bowl’ or ‘boat’ in which to bake your Eggvocado (or you could use a ramekin).

3. Scoop out a small amount of the avocado to create a larger hollow. This will prevent your egg from overflowing completely (a small amount of overflow is normal).

4. Place avocado in your foil ‘bowl’ and crack the egg into the hollow. Top egg with salt and pepper, and add toppings of your choice.

5. Bake until egg reaches desired doneness (about 15 minutes should give you a tender yolk without runny whites). Serve warm.

Recipe source: http://travelingspoonblog.blogspot.com/2012/02/eggvocado-baked-egg-in-avocado.html

¹ http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed8987188

² http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1386252

Comments on: "Eggvocado & Surviving the Holiday Season" (6)

  1. I need to try this egg in an avocado thing! I’ve seen it in a couple other places as well. I have Celiac disease but my boyfriend’s mother and a couple friends of mine have Crohn’s so I understand how hard that can be.

  2. So clever! Looks amazing–two of the best foods: avocados and eggs! I’m gonna have to make this soon! I feel like you could serve it on a bed of cooked spinach or rice to make it a more complete meal too. Or even with a tortilla and use Mexican spices!

  3. dpcoburn1@gmail.com said:

    Seth, You don’ t give a caloric count with your dishes. Do I assume that is because this is not an issue or is it because you can’t calculate this figure for many of your dishes? Mom

    Sent from my iPad

    • Mom,

      Thank you for bringing up this issue. In the past, we have given thought to providing nutrition information (including calories counts, fat content, etc) for the recipes that we post, but we have been hesitant because there are very few reliable programs that calculate calories, etc. We could use websites like http://nutritiondata.self.com/ or calorieking.com to calculate the nutritional information of each recipe, but we cannot be certain how exact these programs are in their calculations. The USDA does have the National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, but it is very difficult to use and it is not a comprehensive list. Also, what they list as a standard size/weight of a food is often not what is found in a supermarket, and so the calorie counts would most likely be an underestimate.

      As part of one of my classes i am subscribed to a diet analysis software, which includes a database with over 20,000 foods that can be personalized with recipes, so we may try to use the software in the future.

      Thanks for the comment/suggestion!

  4. Even though I’ve had Crohn’s for 14 years, I’m still searching for answers to the almighty question: what can I eat? I’m also a foodie – I have a feeling I’m going to love this blog. Looking forward to following you! – Melissa :)

  5. That recipe looks and sounds like it will taste great! Looks pretty cool and I will definitely be willing to try to one. It looks like it takes a lot of effort but actually is really simple so I can impress some people.

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