Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Battling Crohn's

I am thankful for my GI and her office that have went the extra step of not only monitoring the meds they prescribe,  probiotics, and prebiotics. They also researched what foods I can eat to help replace my med. In 2012 when I found out I had Crohn's there was no diet that they could really offer. It is definitely a disease that is very personal. BUT through the years I have tracked what triggers me and what doesn't. Certain bottle waters will trigger me. SO it's easier to look at what I need to eat and if I can eat it.

By time I got off the phone with the office I and the PA that was working with me was laughing. It's real close to the Mediterranean diet. Which is a frugal diet for the most part.

They gave me a list of prebiotic  foods which isn't a big effort on my part

onions, leeks, garlic radishes,carrots, tomatoes, asparagus, sweet potatoes and dandelion greens are already in the plans for the gardens. Apples, we have 2 trees. Didn't do well last year but I can always pick up some from one of the Amish neighbors. I already have flax and chia seeds,oats, barley,cocoa powder and as of last night I have bananas.

The list of probiotics was a different story.

Greek yogurt. I used to make in the oven but this gas stove doesn't have a switch to turn on the light. I priced yogurt makers but really I hate to spend money on something that only does 1 thing. I settled on a 2 qrt crock pot using my swag bucks to pay for it. Seems to be the right size for simmering soups for the 2 of us when not in use for yogurt. I paid $16 ON SALE last night for 3 lg containers of Greek yogurt. I don't prefer Kefir but might be sucking that one up.

Cured meat...hum... MY NONNA would be happy, pancetta, pepperoni, proscuitto, corned beef, kielbasa, summer sausage (we are usually given deer summer sausage) etc. I grew up eating cured meat, cheese and bread for lunch when I was with her. It can be expensive but as long as I use it as a condiment like Nonna did, it can be in the budget.

Oats and Barley...have

Fermented foods...that sounds easy but it's SALT BRINE or RAW VINEGAR brine, not cooked with weak aka store bought vinegar food. Still my girlfriend mentioned refrigerator pickles/veggies and using raw vinegar with the mother to make it( also ordered from Amazon using swagbucks) My Nonna used to make kraut by the bowl full with salt and then refrigerated it to eat after it sat around for a month or so at room temp.

Sourdough bread... SIGH, neither of us really like sourdough bread. I know I could also make muffins, pancakes, waffles, noodles, tortillas, crackers, pie crusts etc besides bread.

They asked if I could include spinach, kale (greens) and collagen...no problem as I am growing the greens and have the collagen already bought .

Wine. I've been told to drink it for my heart failure... first time I have been told to drink it for my gut.

Berries and cucurbits (cucumber, summers squash, winter squash family will be in gardens also) I don't have the berry bushes at the stage of getting a harvest so I will have to find people growing extra but I do that yearly anyways as we both love berries, just need to have more than I usually freeze.. There is a farmer's market in the local town that someone might be selling some when they start harvesting this summer.

I don't want to kill my budget and stress out (which triggers Crohn's) over what I have to pay to get in my diet. On the other hand, if I don't get it in my diet I'll be paying the hospital bills instead.

I decide to make what used to be my standard bfast... a porridge type of oats, fruit, chia seeds and yogurt that sits over night in the frig and then a smoothie after dinner when I usually crave chocolate, I can use cocoa powder which helps also.

My lunch can be cured meat okay...Italian pepperoni (yes it's what I've ate most of my life)with mild cheddar cheese (instead of my standard colby) and I can sourdough crackers or sourdough pita bread (instead of my townhouse crackers).

I could be like my Nonna... coffee and toast with orange marmalade jam for bfast. Cured meat and or cheese and bread , 4 oz of wine and glass of water for lunch. Biscotti and tea at 2. Salad, 1 cup of soup or 1 cup of pasta, 1/2 plate of veggies and a little serving of meat with bread followed by fresh fruit and maybe some cheese and 4 oz of wine and glass of water. Woman lived to her  late 90s and had no health problems. Died in her sleep.

I remember the first week I spent with her. Early mornings spent in the gardens, fresh veggies daily, evening walks around her 10 acres of property as she walked the fence line every evening no matter what the weather was. She taught me to make bread and the difference between being frugal and miserly . Bean soup on Monday with fresh bread, tossed veggies and more water day 2 of that bean soup. Pasta or rice and more water day 3 and day 4 it was served over very stale bread. Friday what ever she decided, usually a pizza of fresh tomatoes, basil and fresh mozzarella cheese or parmesan  cheese. Saturday she baked and we would have eggs for our meals. Sunday after church...  Salad of what was ready in the garden , 3 beans salad or carrots and raisins during the year when there was no garden, spaghetti with meatballs, fried chicken with 3 or 4 veggies, wine and pitchers of water, bread, fresh fruit and cheese for dessert. There was NEVER leftovers and we ate for HOURS. 

Blessed be


  1. I think Aldi is your answer for all of those foods. Qt of Greek yogurt is 2 something at my store and all the other foods you listed are great prices including apple cider vinegar with the mother, sourdough bread, summer sausage, wine, etc.

    1. We have no Aldi's here and the other stores are even higher priced

  2. I have made a lot of fermented things myself and you can do this very inexpensively. You can use live whey as a starter - just drain it off yogurt and keep it in a jar in the fridge.
    What I do is put veggies in a clean jar, add salt (not iodized) and water, plus some whey. Let it sit on the counter for a few days, and make sure the veggies are submerged. It will start bubbling after a couple days. There are tons of recipes online. You can also buy an airlock for the top of a mason jar, which is a good investment and makes the process easier.
    You can also freeze live yogurt to use as starter for later yogurt batches. This always worked great for me.
    - Tina

  3. Tina thank you for that information. I usually just use the whey in my baking but definitely will try it on the veggies

  4. So everything you eat has to be somewhat already eaten? Okay that is the way I look at it. Good luck girl, you seem to have this in hand.

  5. Boy, yogurt is very expensive there! Yikes!!

    I buy it for my husband and daughter, and often get it at a store called Grocery Outlet. I'm not sure if it's everywhere, or just here. It's the kind of store where you never know what you are going to find--they get things that are overstocks, short dates, etc. So, when it's there, it's usually inexpensive.

    I do have a yogurt maker. I got it years ago on clearance, and it's got little glass jars. The nice thing is that it can just do it's thing without me, but I don't use it much.

    I've heard the Instant Pot makes yogurt, and I use mine constantly for other cooking, so you might want to consider one of those if you are looking for a multi-purpose appliance.

    I think you are very wise to just get the food you need to manage your illness. Besides the monetary factor of going to the hospital, I'm glad to think you would not have to go through the suffering and pain a hospital visit would entail. Sometimes quality of life is the most important thing:). Glad you are taking care of yourself.

  6. We make yogurt in the crock pot and it was really simple. Our biggest problem is using it all up. I would like to make kefir too but buying the starter at the moment isn't practical. I haven't located anyone who has any. It's amazing how these things can make a difference in your health. Hope you feel better. Lillianna

  7. Just for everyone...You can freeze yogurt to eat like you would ice cream. Mix it with cucumbers,herbs, shallot or green onion (or regular onion) for dip. Turn it into salad dressings, marinade (Greek and Middle Eastern) or stir into soups instead of adding cream.A friend always serves it with roasted meats and veggies. My granddaughter uses it to top fruit desserts instead of whipped cream