I love food. Well, most food, anyway. I don't care for any kind of seafood; my babysitter forced me to eat fish sticks when I was 5, which I immediately threw up. I used to eat Tuna Noodles and tuna salad, just because there was nothing else to eat. But now that I am in control of what I eat, I don't even bother.
I am not afraid to try new things, but I know what I like. I think that is one of the reasons why I developed a love for creating new dishes.
My career with food began when I started working at McDonald’s when I was 15, though my love for baking started way before that.
My first attempt at baking happened when I was 11. I found a cream puff recipes in my mother's Betty Crocker cookbook and though I didn't have any filling, they were delicious! My love for baking continued and when I became a busy four of four, I cooked out of necessity. It wasn't fun anymore.
Once I had more free time, I started to experiment with different dishes and taught my children and grandchildren how to cook.
I love to bake. Unfortunately, I love to eat, too. Cookies, cakes, breads, and pies are not my friends, and I am always looking for new ways to eat foods that are good for me, but satisfying at the same time.
And for someone who is very picky about her food (I have Crohn’s disease, too), I am always creating something new and different, dishes that isn’t too hard on my digestive system.
I am luckier than most Crohnies; I have been able to control my symptoms without medication by watching what I eat. I know my body so well that I can tell when I have eaten something my body doesn’t like. I adjust my diet and just avoid that food. It’s that simple.
My rule of thumb has become “everything in moderation.” If I’m trying a new food or one I haven’t eaten in a while, I test it first, with a small serving. If I can tolerate it, and if I even like it, I will integrate it into my diet.
I was diagnosed with Crohn’s in 1991 and everything I ate gave me diarrhea. I especially couldn’t tolerate fruits and veggies and avoid them all together. But once I was able to get my Crohn’s under control, I slowly introduce them back into my diet.
The strategy worked and now I enjoy all kinds of fruit. I still stay away from anything with a tough peel, because they are harder to digest. But honestly, I never cared for the peels anyway. J
Other foods I tend to avoid when I’m having a flare-up include nuts, popcorn (including regular corn), fried foods, anything with seeds, and dairy. Like I said, I tend to try a food once and if I have a bad reaction, I just avoid it.
Not only do I have to be careful because of my Crohn’s, but I also gain weight easily. (Being middle-aged and menopausal has not helped me any.) My weight has been a rollercoaster the last few years and I am always on a “diet.” I lost 40 pounds last year, only to gain it all back this year.
I used Fitness Pal to lose the weight and eliminating sweets, pastas and breads. It worked, but I made the mistake of allowing myself a cookie here, a Dairy Queen there. It was so easy to just let myself eat what I want. I know now that will never be possible. (Did I mention my addictive personality?) And because I love to bake, I felt the need to eat it, too.
I love Fitness Pal because you can enter any recipe into their system and it will give you the nutritional values so you know exactly what areas you need to adjust.
You will notice that I use a lot of chicken, but other proteins are good, too. I do my best to stay away from processed cheese, but I do use cheddar cheese in some of my recipes. I have learned that we do need a little fat in our diet, but healthy fats, and not that bag of potato chips that are so easy to munch on while I work.
Join me as I explore the world of not only eating healthier, but cooking healthier, too.
Next Blog: Eating healthy without denying yourself life’s pleasures