03 May 2009

carbs and cream cheese

I so love Jen Gray's post (the link in my last entry) I almost don't want to add an entry---
but I will, of course.
My sister is visiting this weekend with her boys which is balm on so many levels, even though I am so tired I am more newt-like than spry.

My belly is feeling and looking thick and pouchy- I look bloated, and, as my sister said, like I've had a few extra cheesecakes. It is funny since my weight is the same.  The tiredness remains profound. The blue has been blessedly distant and dim. Cramps are common, especially at night....and the queasy puts in enough of an appearance to remind me that all is not as it was.  I hate the taste of water unless it is hot or warm. I am blissfully free of the debilitating "morning" sickness that so many people have, and I am so lucky. But I admit, I am having a hard time with food in general.

I think I might have already written about this-- I had some food sensitivity tests back in January-- and have been off of all wheat, eggs and dairy since then-- I already had food limitations after a lifetime of colitisy stuff and some limitations by choice from growing up on a farm. So these new limitations basically took away all I was used to eating- bread, cheese, pasta, eggs in various forms and combinations...

Of course I dropped  a quick 10 pounds and felt lighter (ok except for my new cheesecake belly) and miss those foods with a longing that can only be described as pathological.

But, I feel so much better- only one colitis attack since removing those new things from my diet- one. And that one was the day of my IUI where I felt nothing but distress and anxiety beyond what my body could handle. Otherwise- I have been so much better it is undeniable.

I am used to managing my colitis by food limiting based on testing and verification through elimination diets  (no onions, no broccoli, cabbage, corn, kale, or anything related. no beans of any kind except tofu (not edamame). no peanuts. no flax seeds). I had limits from my farm upbringing: no red meat, no pork. Nothing I would not be willing to kill (of course under duress).  And sadly I've never liked fish and seafood. Ok, except for lobster which I love but it is hardly a staple food. 

But even with all of those limitations, there were so many other things I loved so much I did not really miss the things I was avoiding and I avoided them for years and years with sufficient improvement to keep me avoiding them. But I still had colitis, often, sometimes very often, so I also took peppermint oil capsules which helped a lot, Inderal which helped with situational anxiety which sometimes helped my belly. But there was enough going on early this year-- colitis, infertility--to warrant retesting.

Since then it has been a challenging eating time between my previous limits and my new ones. I have found some substitutions- rice pasta for example. But oh I miss real pasta. I miss baked goods. And oh I miss cheese. Sadly, even soy cheese has casein in it (one of the milk proteins I am supposed to avoid). Gosh I miss pizza. 

Here is what I want- thick slices of homemade bread with blackberry jam, or a slab of cheddar cheese.  I want to eat a bagel with a block of cream cheese.  I miss toast enough to feel teary and nostalgic. Oh snickerdoodles.

In these past few weeks I have had a really hard time imagining what to eat. My interest in food has fallen off. But I promise am eating really really really well. I eat a lot of chicken. I eat a lot of rice. I have plenty of salady things. And have been eating fruit. But while I am eating well, I am not eating happily. My only cravings are for unsafe foods. 

I need to say I love food. LOVE it. I'm a food lover from way back. Food brings me pleasure and joy and it is the oddest thing to feel so meh about it. So Eh. So so whatty. Not so muchy. I am not used to food just being fuel.

In my natural state I am such a wheat-based carbivore. With a liberal sprinkling of sugar, butter and cheese. This new world is like being in salad-land, wondering how the hell I will curb my craving for cream cheese. But since my belly already looks like I've indulged in multiple cheesecakes, maybe it is better this way. Maybe it is better that these things are off my list. But gosh darn, how I miss them.


Anonymous said...

I loved your post - I can tell you are a true food lover! I am too - and I hope that you can find a good balance soon!

Anonymous said...

Oh Kate, I hear you. For me it's wicked dairy. I dream of apple pie with old cheddar. Ice cream. Cream cheese on a bagel. Grilled cheese sandwiches and lasagna. Every time I think - what to eat? all of these things come into my head and then reality sets in and I eat an apple or some almonds...it's so cruel for food lovers.

karen alonge said...

hallo my friend-

you might enjoy a visit to Elana's Pantry (www.elanaspantry.com).

she's an awesome gluten free cook, and the pictures of her food are luscious. I've tried several recipes, like the gluten free brownies, and they were amazing!

also, it takes a little getting used to, but Eziekiel bread makes pretty good toast, especially if you haven't had any bread in a while. it's made with sprouted grains, not flour. they make bagels and english muffins, too.

you might enjoy quinoa or millet in place of rice sometimes. you cook them pretty much the same way. I like leftover millet for breakfast with all the stuff I'd put on oatmeal.

if you have a health food store near ya, I've heard good things about Pamela's cookies. There are lots of wheat/gluten free goodies on the market nowadays ... even frozen waffles!

one of my staples when I got off wheat for a while was sweet potatoes. I would bake a couple at a time until they got all oozy, and then keep them in the fridge to grab and go.

hope this helps!

Joannah said...

I would miss those things, too! I guess nutrition is more important than enjoyment at this point, huh?

I just hate it when I'm having digestive issues (I also have a history of colitis), and I have to eliminate some of the foods I love. Lately, it's been the breakfast meats. They used to bother me a great deal. Then I got better and could eat them, but not so much lately. I miss my bacon! Oh, and wine just isn't a good thing for me right now either. It's those sulfates and nitrates that trigger me. Fortunately, items with lactose have not been a problem, but I'm only enjoying them in limited quantities just to be on the safe side.

Colitis sucks!!!

Nic said...

I have colitis and really need to be as strict as you! Well done.
I love carb and starchy foods and cheese, all the bad stuff! Find it very hard to give them up. I must try harder!

Grade A said...

Oh, cruel fates that govern pregnant women's cravings!! Can't you go pick on someone other than sweet Kate? Cravings are SOOO hard to trick, too. Your body says says "pizza" and you say "how about x?" "No, pizza. Pizza NOW!"

Karen is right about the Ezekiel bread. I like the cinnamon raisin. Not quite a bagel, but not half bad.

Hope you find some yummy treats for yourself.

Anonymous said...

i've been eating tons of carbs ever since i've been pregnant. i think that my stomach can "deal" with them a little better.....