Ever since I started following a low-fiber diet for my Crohn’s Disease, I have struggled to find meal replacements or snacks that are “Marnina-friendly.” One of my biggest issues was finding granola bars that were less than 3 grams of fiber. While the consumer industry is raising the fiber content in their products to make them healthier, the added fiber is further limiting my snack choices. I was especially surprised when I went looking for protein bars. Protein bars are a gold mine for fiber. Companies design protein bars so that they can replace a meal and so they usually contain between 3-8 grams of fiber. After speaking with fiance Seth, my in-house nutritionist, I learned that companies add fiber to protein bars because it helps slow digestion and make the energy from the bar last longer. That is great news for everyone BUT me and and others who cannot tolerate lots of fiber.
Archive for the ‘Crohn’s Disease’ Category
As noted many times before, we love spice (remember our Tandoori Cauliflower blogpost?) Whenever something tastes bland, we usually add some hot chili sauce known as sriracha, or we add some kind of spice to impart more heat. Many dishes that we are served at other people’s houses or in restaurants are too mild for our taste, which is one reason we enjoy Indian food. The generous use of spices ignites our tastebuds, and those first few bites are heaven. For these reasons, we were extremely excited when we were approached by Arora Creations, one of the top of the line retailers of authentic Indian Spices Blends. They were kind enough to send us a sampling of their line-up of organic spice blends. All of their blends are made from 100% pure spices, and they are vegetarian, gluten-free, sugar free, kosher, nut-free, contain no MSG and are non-irradiated. Many Indian packaged spice blends are very salty, so the low sodium content and absence of MSG was very appealing. These inexpensive Indian spice blend packets allow you to create unique homemade Indian dishes with relative ease. (more…)
Before our move to Boston, Marnina and I volunteered at Camp Oasis, a week-long summer camp that enriches the lives of children living with IBD. Established by the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America, the camp provides a supportive community that is beneficial to the campers’s growth and understanding of IBD. The camp is replete with a full physician staff, including doctors, nurses, and other health care professionals. The staff ensures that campers follow their medication, diet, and lifestyle regimens prescribed by their doctors back home. As counselors, Marnina and I provided guidance, safety, mentorship, and sometimes nursing duties. During camp (we attended the Pennsylvania location), we noticed that the campers learn best from each other. They learn that they are not alone; there are other people out there who truly understand their situation. The campers share their IBD stories and build confidence through these friendships.
As you may or may not know, we just moved to Boston. We are probably one of the few couples you know who set up a kitchen and spice rack before installing a 52″ TV. We know we are weird. That’s why we are foodies, right?
As we continue to unpack and get settled we would like to share another foodie’s story with you. Meet Louise Hunt – a 24-year-old Crohnie and foodie. These are her thoughts on her struggle with food. (more…)
As foodies, we enjoy learning about different cuisines. Our ethnic culinary adventures have ranged from experimenting with a traditional Greek food to popular Korean dishes. Food was a big part of our travels this past July in Turkey and Israel. We encountered new ingredients and new flavors, and we gained a new perspective on cooking, as well as a renewed respect for specific ingredients. In Turkey, ingredients are simple and unadulterated. There are hardly any incredibly complicated dishes. The natural state of food is heavily emphasized, and this brought us back to the basics of cooking: using fresh ingredients. The Turks often love to take seasonal and local ingredients and cook them with some olive oil and a few spices. This method of cooking brings out the flavors in a way that is not complicated or overwhelming, but just perfectly balanced. (more…)
We recently returned home from our global travels, and in many ways our trip was a gastronomic tour of Turkish and Israeli cuisine. We tried our best to sample as many mezes, main dishes, desserts, and other foods that we could fit into our stomachs within a 3-week time span. We were able to stay relatively svelte and fit thanks to walking an average of 8 miles each day. Our goal during the trip was to try all the authentic cultural foods that these two countries offer, and of course, to stay healthy. At times, Marnina was forced to expand her diet either because: 1) a Crohn’s-friendly dish was not available; 2) the language barrier caused confusion that led to Marnina biting into a food stuffed with seeds; or 3) she could not resist the temptation of ordering an authentic dish that contained some form of food that might upset her GI tract. However, thanks to proper plannning (over-the-counter medications, antibiotics, flushable wipes), Marnina was prepared for the worst. Luckily, neither of us got sick from the food and water in either country. It turns out that the water is unsafe to drink in Turkey (even for natives) so bottled water was incredibly cheap. (more…)
We are proud to present Part II of our IBD restaurant guide series! (To view Part I, click here!) The average American eats out several times a week, and those with IBD often have a more difficult time choosing IBD-safe foods at restaurants or even finding a restaurant that meets their dietary needs. In creating the guide, we wanted to provide the “average” IBDer with some practical knowledge of each cuisine, and to give tips on how to navigate a menu and order food when dining and exploring various cuisines. We hope the guide will become a tool for those with IBD to allow them to make smarter choices. We also hope to expand it to include additional information (by no means is this guide an exhaustive review of each cuisine!), and in the future we still plan to add more! Feel free to add your own thoughts about the guide, which cuisine you prefer, IBD-friendly restaurants that you recommend, or even certain dishes that you always order because they are “safe” for you.
Download a printable PDF of the entire IBD Guide To Eating Out by clicking here. (more…)
When limited to a restrictive diet, one must get creative with the foods that can be tolerated…digestively speaking. Eggs and most vegetables (cooked of course!) are usually tolerated by the average person with IBD. But despite the numerous ways of incorporating eggs as a main ingredient, the available dishes are not limitless. There are only so many times you can eat plain eggs, an omelet or a quiche. Eggs are extremely versatile, and so we wanted to reincarnate eggs as more than just a breakfast food. For this blogpost we want to focus on frittatas. A healthier alternative to a quiche, a frittata omits a pastry crust (high in saturated fats) and milk usually replaces cream. The frittata filling is also less custard-like, and has more of the consistency of a hardened omelet.
Marnina and I have been eating kosher poultry and beef for our entire lives, and so we profess to have a decent amount of knowledge when it comes to the typical kosher meat offerings. We have always been led to believe that the quality of kosher meat is superior to non-kosher meat because kosher meat goes through a kashering process, which involves salting the meat to extract the blood. Also, some people say that the kashering process and the specific diet they are fed, produces moister, more flavorful meat. (more…)
On a recent visit to our local supermarket, Marnina and I came to the conclusion that we were spending too much money for subpar produce and seafood. For months we had been bemoaning the produce and fish section of the supermarket (as well as the entire store in general), but for some reason we could not muster up the courage to switch our allegiance to a new supermarket. Every now and then we would supplement our shopping trips with some tastier-looking food stores such as Harris Teeter or Whole Foods, but we would do the bulk of our shopping at the less-than-appetizing local grocery store. We thought we were getting a better deal on our produce and other foods, but in reality, we were paying slightly lower prices for mediocre (and sometimes rotten) food. (more…)