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Looking to improve my diet

Hello all
I am looking to improve my diet, I currently suffer with crohns and currently in the middle of a flair up.
So I need simple foods and simple meals, salads, sandwiches are good for work and ideally simple dinner meals A: makes my life easier and B: helps me find something that could cause more damage.

I know it’s light on info but food is not my strong point apart from eating it, so any other questions please ask.

Many Thanks

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Sorry to hear that. Glad you’re looking for help, though the reason sucks. :confused:

As for a solution (because luckily there is one, as you’re basically suffering from chronic food poisoning), I would suggest you have a look at this: https://www.drmcdougall.com/health/education/health-science/common-health-problems/colitis-severe/

Inflammatory bowel diseases occur almost exclusively in parts of the world where the diet is high in meat and dairy foods, and are rare in countries where people still consume starch based, almost entirely vegetarian meals. Severe “allergic-type” reactions to some of those rich foods have been suspected as being the causes of these conditions.
Some clustering of cases in a family occurs, which is consistent with the fact that we learn our food preferences from our parents.
Current Treatment: Bowel contents must be changed continually in order to get long lasting significant improvement. The simple increase of the fiber content in the foods eaten has been shown to reduce the frequency of attacks and to improve symptoms in many patients. A starch-based diet, which is inherently high in fiber, is highly effective at alleviating the distress from this condition.
One step further in effective therapy is to avoid the foods that most often cause allergies–dairy products, eggs, chocolate, wheat, and citrus fruits, as well as fats of all kinds. If this approach is not successful, the final step toward diagnosis is to use an elimination diet.

Depending on how long you’ve had Crohn’s already, you may want to go ‘one step further’ immediately, though the symptoms should decrease either way. Easiest dinners are probably potatoes or sweet potatoes/yams (cooked or cut in wedges, without oil, in an oven (at 200C, 30m or until brownish) or airfryer) with steamed cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, sprouts) and something that’s fat-free like ketchup by way of seasoning. See here for other suggestions: https://www.drmcdougall.com/health/education/recipes/mcdougall-recipes/?cat-id=18&cat-name=Fast+%26+Easy+Meals+

For lunches, here’s a bunch of suggestions that’ll work, though feel free to come up with solutions that work for you that fit the pattern: https://www.drmcdougall.com/health/education/recipes/mcdougall-recipes/?cat-id=16&cat-name=Sandwiches

(As an aside, I also eat according to the guidelines this GP/internist recommends, though for different reasons, partly health-related, and have been for 4 years now, without it taking much effort to stick with it.)

Aside from that, Facebook has a bunch of groups organized by and for people following this diet for this and other reasons; try McDougall Friends especially, as it’s very active, with lots of ‘veterans’ who’ve been eating this way for years without problems. (This way of eating is very easy to sustain long-term, so long as you accept that during the first month or so you’ll have to invest some time and energy in acquiring new habits.)

I do not have crohns (that I know of) but seem to have developed a gluten intolerance that had gone un-diagnosed for years (not at the level to trigger positive blood tests). I think I have caused so much damage over those years that even eating gluten free I still do not feel 100%. I’m starting to get the opinion most gluten intolerance is due to leaky gut, supposedly if gluten gets through the gut most anyone will have a reaction- people without gluten problems simply have a healthy gut that does not allow gluten through. This would explain why in general my gut is just really easy to be triggered- like SJW easy. This has driven me to eat essentially a ketogenic diet- it has helped me a lot, and what helped even more is intermintent fasting.

IMO look into intermittent fasting (such as 16 hour windows of no food) and simple foods such as bone broth and anti-inflammatory foods- Thomas DeLauer’s youtube channel has a lot of anti-inflammatory recipes/smoothies etc. His videos helped me identify items that one would think is really innocent but are not such as soy/almond milk that has carrageenan added to it.

Even eating “clean” (simple foods, low carb high fat no gluten) doesn’t do as well by itself vs when I combine it with intermittent fasting, where your window to eat for the day is very small. I suppose its a two-prong approach- eat stuff that avoids immune response or other gut agitation + you have to give the gut time to heal by not having it process food. You and I both could probably benefit from a few days long fast here and there. After going Keto, going without food isn’t nearly as difficult as when your body is used to carbs. Also going Keto helped me loose over 30lbs without even trying.

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I was going to suggest that to counter inflammation, so the next thing in my opinion would be to try turmeric “golden paste seems hc” and ginger …tea I guess?

-JRE Expert

Bonus notes:
Try eating same stuff as your family before you, JRE seems to be going towards that

“Explaining following shit as perspective”
For me this stuff seems to work out so that if I dont eat some beef/horse meats, I’m feeling like Gollum “shit posture, I’m feeling weak”, then after eating some meats my posture goes straight and veins bulk up, and as side effect on top of just feeling great, it turns out that I can be with really light winter clothing when being like that, sometimes my jacket ejects smoking like steam

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I have ulcerative colitis and I know how hard it can be, meal wise I don’t touch salads or sandwiches because things that are high in fiber and sugar can hurt our condition more. its different for every person and its hard to find what agrees with your gut, from what I’ve learned over the few years of having this chronic illness we have to stay away from dairy and most wheat along with any fatty foods that are greasy, fast food restaurants are out of the question as they can use a lot of spices that hurt us more, If I may ask, how long have you had the condition for?

Try to get healthy fats from proteins, fish,crab,lobster,macrel,salmon for example are great or tofu. (moderate amounts) Look into asian specifik diets as they are eons ahead of the west in terms of diet and overall health.

If you ever want to use oil, only use fats with very high degree of smoking. 100+ celcius (coconut oil, avocado oil use as little as possible)
Easy ways to manage it can be potato and other healthy vegetables. Buying vegetables you like and then blending them, add potato for a more fat consistence for an awesome soup.

Egg-whites are pure protein and tastes good too, with some vegetables in it for an omelet

Instead of frying anything try to only boil, (careful with boiling some vegetables as they turn into pure carbs, for example carrot) steam or bake your food, with minimal or no oil and salt, also try changing regular table salt for better quality salt (himalayan or similar, its not expensive in large amounts)

Yeah ive heard seafood can be easier to digest with his condition, I also cook with coconut oil and I try to cook things with less butter as fried foods can aggravate the flare up more. I would say in flare ups chicken vegetable soup with tumeric and ginger will help reduce the inflammation. also normal table salt has a lot of filler in it so I go with Sea salt that is just pure, hate to also talk about organic but pesticides and preservatives can cause issues as well (beleive me ive felt it and I dont want to feel that sepuku feeling again)

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My current health improvement is pretty much all due to JRE and a little Thomas’ channel. JRE = Red Pill haha.

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You should look into a candida diet. It’s semi controversial but definitely worth a try. People with chron’s have had great success with it.

For me that has been this red pill to trust my feelings, in food terms thatd be from “just eat stuff I make myself, and I like meat” to “I feel fucking chilly I need some meat” :smiley:

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For sure- seriously. I’ve done a lot of a fad stuff and realizing this, do what makes your body feel good (key point- not what makes your mouth/brain/dopamine feel good, but actually body)- we have so much genetic diversity + gut biome diversity, there isn’t a “one way for all” to eat. Just realize to associate how you feel after eating, how your body puts on weight, cravings, energy levels, brain fog, skin rash, fatigue etc- take it all into account and find your personally calibrated diet. If I practiced what I preach I would use the myfitnesspal app + some kind of note taking to really zero in on good and bad foods for myself- regardless I’m much much better than when I didn’t know gluten was jacking me up. Thank goodness for the gluten free fad going on right now, creates a lot of options for the people that really have an issue. And on that note, like a blood hound, I can find “gluten free” products that aren’t so gluten free (according to my reactions)- lots of miss-advertising out there…

I’ve had crohns since 2015 unfortunately due to some issues with the NHS it has been left unchecked since 2016 (finally back on track with the help though!).
I have heard potatos are good for helping with crohns due to A: full of calories and B: easy to eat and digest, generally on a sunday we have either whole baby potatos or mashed (unsalted) with cauliflower, home made yorkshire puddings and some meat which is generally chicken or pork.
meat leftovers I use in sandwiches for work and adding a few little extras.

The problem with fasting for me is my weight, currently due to the flair up and some operations I have had recently I am considered seriously under weight, normally I am around 80kg but currently I am around 57/58kg so fasting wouldn’t help.
When I have had to go into hospital for colonoscopies though you have to do a 24 hour fast, but you are allowed clear soups and water, generally in these times I use water heavily to try give my self the ‘full feeling’

it was diagnosed in 2015 but maybe longer, started with a abcess which prompted the investigation.
I did speak to specialist nurses (I dont have a specialist doctor) and my girlfriends best friend (She also has crohns).
She avoids fried food as it triggers her crohns rather badly, only fried food I have at home are chips which are home made in the fryer, but I have been looking at a chip receipe from gordon ramsay which looks rather nice.
Never thought salads would trigger it, never had much problems with I make one, but again it affects us all differently.
Spice doesn’t affect me much (Used at home not fast food) but things like coffee do which I have ruled out completely and if I go to a coffee shop I geneally grab a fruit drink now.

I have had Ulcerative colitis for 14 years and it took a long time to get it under control. I no longer take medication and have not had a bad flare up for about 3 years.
It was not just 1 thing that got it under control.

Exercise, being fit really helps.
No alcohol.
Probiotics every day.
Diet is different for everybody. No dairy, no wheat, no starchy or sugary foods.
For me the SC Diet worked wonders. http://scdiet.net/

For me to get a flare up under control:
Activated Carbon tablets. This is for the gas and bloating.
Lots of water. Litres of it. It really helps.
Eat well strained rice, tuna and vegetables.
Lay down on your left side.
Edible weed really helps too.

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Greetings from NZ, I’m sorry to hear about your crohns my guy.

I’ve been suffering from crohns for 10 years and it has also taken a while to lay off slightly on the bad eating habits (which is extremely difficult considering i’m a poor uni student and junk food is cheap!). As @nuzixs has stated, it’s not just one thing that can get it under control, it’s a lifestyle diet change. I’ll note a few things that works for me (:

  • Stay away from fiber e.g. Brown rice, vegetables that aren’t softened, brown bread (anything that begins with brown).
  • BE WARY OF SEEDS & NUTS, they’re your worst enemy.
  • Minimal Dairy (especially chocolate and chocolate milk, they’re deadly) - trim/low fat milk maybe with just tea/coffee.
  • Spicy foods are a no-no.
  • Coffee… generally not a good idea but if you’re having a good day, treat yourself and 80% of the time, it’s okay.
  • Beware of the dreaded salad! Take off any fruit/vegetable skins (I just try avoid salads in general)
  • Greasy and oily foods, try to use vegetable oils when cooking.
  • White carbs are your friend! Pasta, white bread (can even put a bit of weight on if you’re a fan :wink:
  • Check out this “meal replacement” shake called Fortisip, I have about four a day and use in conjunction with meals, they’re really easy on the stomach and are packed with essential vitamins and minerals.
  • Fish is another good friend of yours.
  • Laying down on your left side also gets a thumbs up from me.
  • REST! Super important, especially under stress, a nap can save you/mitigate bad flares (well at least for me anyways).

I should really take my own dietary advice, but I hope this helps you!

I already drink lots of water, I ended up purchasing a hydroflask just for this as I love ice cold water.
I do have alcohol but only about a pint a week if I can be bothered to go to the pub, which isn’t often, otherwise its dilute orange juice or some other juice drink.
I take calcium and vitamin tablets from the doctors over some herb shop as standard vitamin tablets do not have enough units in to support crohns (generally they have 1000 units or so, crohns need around 10000 to get at least 1000 units)
Being fit is unfortunately something I can’t do at the moment due to an operation and low iron levels, but when I am better I do plan to go swimming a few times a week.
I also almost always sleep/lay on my sides anyways, cant sleep on my back or front :slight_smile:

Thanks!, I do a lot of this anyway, I do need to cut out the fast food when I go out with my mum, there is a jacket potato shop I have been meaning to try which offers things like tuna, chicken etc with it, looks rather nice.
I recently purchased something similar to fortisip called complan which is a meal drink with all the vitamins.
Unfortunately due to low iron levels at the moment I sleep during the day anyways (Off sick at the moment) but due to my job I can’t lay down during the day, although I can go sit down in another room, have a drink and relax for about 5 mins which helps, problem is I don’t notice when I am getting stressed as I don’t feel stressed until I get home.

Good stuff, sounds like you’re on the right track!
I’ll take a look into complan, fortisip is not generally cheap where i’m from but I do get a subsidy due to the condition.
Yeah… I know those feels, some days just feeling too fatigued to even function properly. Iron tablets go a long way.
I feel the same as you, stress is the ultimate killer and I too also don’t feel the stress hit until I get home, some things just keep me up at night when it comes to work related things.

How often do you have flare ups? and how do you deal with the pain that comes with having crohns?

I just went to the specialist yesterday, turns out I’m probably going to get surgery on my small intestine sometime in the near future… and I was hoping that it wouldn’t get to this stage.

My aunt had the surgery with the same illness (ulcerative colitis) I got, she says its hell, thats why im trying my best to do what I can, how come they say youll need surgery if you dont mind me asking. my doctor said to me as well saying I needed surgery and I just flat out said NO and that I wanted to keep my intestine, its been two years since then and Im still having a rollercoaster of good and bad times, I think my doctor was just trying to get his next paycheck tbh.