It took about 6 months for me to face my fears and find out what was really going on with my body. I was afraid that I would find out I had a terrible disease or an inoperable tumor somewhere in my intestines. 6 months of stress eating anything I could think of and paying the price, dearly. Finally I started the research, reading symptoms and trigger foods, and accounts of others experiencing the same problems as me. There it was clear as day, I have Crohn’s Disease. I began to panic, wishing I had never looked into my symptoms, reading the various lists of my favorite foods that were now off-limits. I tried frantically to figure out how I could live for my entire life with no dietary restrictions, for that to come to a screeching halt to leave me here, with a new lactose intolerance and Crohn’s. Eventually I understood that these foods were not completely out of reach but that they should be avoided during “Crohn’s flare ups”. To confirm my suspicion of Crohn’s, I started to eat a “Crohn’s approved” diet based off of multiple lists of Crohn’s approved foods. After 3 months of eating a diet that cut out almost everything that was any good or that I liked, my suspicions were confirmed.
I did extensive research about Crohn’s friendly foods and diet plans or recipes but it didn’t exist! When I saw that this was not being done and I reflected on my own frustrations of trying to eat a combined Crohn’s friendly and lactose (or dairy) free diet, I decided that something needed to be done. I started to lose interest in food. Me! My life’s passion and I no longer cared about it, it would only make me sick anyways. I thought to myself How could I be interested in something that felt like literal poison to my body? Cooking has always brought me such joy and relief, and now I can’t even eat it. Finally after 3 months of feeling sorry for myself and losing all hope that I would be able to eat fruits and veggies, or good Italian cheeses, or whole wheat again, I decided to take my life back from this disease.
I walked back into the kitchen with another mission. To make delicious and healthy Crohn’s friendly (and free from or low in, lactose or dairy) food. This could be done, it would take some work and experimentation but it would be worth it.
My discoveries needed to be shared with the masses! How can I let people know that eating and living with Crohn’s is very doable and affordable? I’d have to be creative, I’d have to have laser focus and I’d have to do research.