Mediterranean Diet for Crohn’s Disease. Week One.
I have officially been on my new diet for a whole week now. I was asked to participate in a study for the affect of diet on Crohn’s disease being done out of the University of Pennsylvania. If you want to read about the diet, click here. I already wrote a few posts about it, the latest post from the beginning of this past week about my first 2 days on the diet. To read that post, click here. I am on the mediterranean diet which I have had to learn a lot about.
The Crohn’s Dine-CD study has been sending me food each week from a company called healthy chef creations. I did have the option, when they set everything up, to tell them if there were any foods that I did not want to have. I really didn’t know a lot about the diet or what foods that they would be sending me so I opted to receive everything for the first week with the knowledge that I would be able to call anytime to make changes, if needed, in the future.
The diet FOOD!
I have always, honestly, never been able to figure out which foods bother me and which foods don’t. My disease has been basically flaring for the last 4 and a half years now, since my diagnosis, so I have never been able to tell which foods were food or bad. This will be a great way for me to find those foods that may actually bother me and I am going to take this great opportunity to finally figure out what I should be eating. I have been 100% compliant with this diet. I really want it to work!
I have been receiving 3 meals for each day and 2 snacks from healthy chef creations. The food has been all pre packaged and divided into sections making it super easy for me to grab a meal, heat it up and then store and organize the rest of the meals and snacks. In general the food has been great, but I have been finding some of it a bit bland. I usually find myself wanting to add salt to the meats and sides and sugar to the breakfasts and snacks, but I have not added anything even though I am allowed to add a bit of both of those.
There have been some things that I have just not enjoyed eating, such as plain greek yogurt or celery and hummus (just don’t like those at all, never have) and I have substituted an apple with almond butter or some nuts and dates which are all compliant with the diet. I have been craving sugar. It took this long to kick in I think. My body is realizing that I haven’t been eating nearly as much sugar and its all I want!
As I mentioned above there are some foods that I am finding I just can’t tolerate. Carrots are one of them. They make my stomach hurt and increase my gas and bloating. Nuts and beans seem to be ok in limited quantities but anything more than about a handful will make me have stomach pain and cramping.
I am learning a lot which I really appreciate. On the other hand, I am surprised that some of these things have not upset my stomach which is a testament to the fact that I actually think this diet is making a difference in my Crohn’s symptoms.
I have also been learning a lot about this specific diet and trying some new foods that I have learned that I love and that don’t bother my Crohn’s. They have been sending me manchego cheese with figs which I have never tried before. I have never eaten a fig that wasn’t cooked and I am finding that I really love them. The manchego cheese is really yummy too and something that I have never tried before.
I have noticed a lot less bloating. I have been feeling a bit more energy. My bowel movements have reduced somewhat but I am eating less than I was before so I am wondering if that has anything to do with it. Although, when my Crohn’s is bad it doesn’t matter what I eat or what I do, I am on the toilet all day with pain, so maybe it’s the diet. Fingers Crossed!! Time will tell.
I have also been experiencing less acid reflux pain. I still have the same gas and gas pain but my abdominal pain is lessening slightly. The gas and gas pain could also be that I am eating a lot more fiber and grains, which I usually stayed away from before. I think that my body needs a bit more time to adjust to all these diet changes.
I have lost about 2 pounds. I am happy to lose a little bit of weight, but I need to be careful because Crohn’s can make me drop weight really fast and I don’t want to lose too much due to the diet. I’ll keep an eye on it and increase my calories if needed. For now, I’ll be happy with a couple pounds of weight gone from eating too much sugar and carbs throughout the summer 🙂
I will certainly keep updating this week and documenting my symptoms. The study coordinator that I talk to monitors my symptoms daily and will let me know my trending symptoms at my 6 week appointment which is coming up in 4 weeks.
As always, thank you for following and please let me know if you have any questions or comments!