Sorry, I can't eat that.

A 20-something woman documenting life with Crohn's disease, struggling to eat what I should — and often eating what I shouldn't.

In good health

To point out the obvious, it has been several months since my last post. In that time I’ve settled in my new city, made some exciting life changes and buried myself in school work. While my schedule has become increasingly busy, I feel passionate about all my work. Most importantly, I’ve been able to maintain good health through the process. I continue to eat what I shouldn’t — a consequence of having a busy schedule with limited time to cook healthy meals, let alone pre-plan them. But miraculously, my health has stayed in tact and I remain very cognizant of my body’s needs and take breaks when necessary. 

With that being said, I’ve decided that it is time to end this blog. I began it wanting to document my journey juggling life with Crohn’s disease. As the disease has become dormant, it has become less of a focus in my life. While I do experience infrequent IBS symptoms, I’m not obsessing about my diet or battling anxiety resulting from the juggle of life with chronic illness. A time may come when re-starting this blog will be necessary, but for now I think it’s best I give it up and open up space for new opportunities. 

To everyone who read my journey over the year I wrote this blog, thank you for your interest and support. I wish you all good health in 2014. 

IBD research news: $5 million investment

Great news to come across. Canada needs to figure out why it has such an abnormally high prevalence of the disease. 

5 months ago - 4
Breakfast smoothie: This comes a bit late but the blueberries, banana, almond butter and almond milk was delicious.

Breakfast smoothie: This comes a bit late but the blueberries, banana, almond butter and almond milk was delicious.

Switching it up

After three consecutive smoothie meals, I opted for solid food for dinner. I felt that another smoothie with fruit or vegetables would be too much sugar for one day. Sticking to detox mode, however, I made brown rice with tumeric, nutritional yeast and pepper and piece of cod fish. 

The detox is working as I hoped. I still feel great and have healthy meals planned out for breakfast and lunch tomorrow (a smoothie and then pumpkin hummus with carrots and crackers). Dinner will be the hard one to figure out because I will be on campus into the evening. I’ll worry about that when it comes. 

Lunch smoothie: ripe pear, romain lettuce, cucumber, fresh ginger, frozen sweet peas, green juice (Bolthouse Farms)

Lunch smoothie: ripe pear, romain lettuce, cucumber, fresh ginger, frozen sweet peas, green juice (Bolthouse Farms)

Breakfast smoothie: vegan protein, berries, almond butter, flax mix, chia seeds, oatmeal, almond milk, honey

Breakfast smoothie: vegan protein, berries, almond butter, flax mix, chia seeds, oatmeal, almond milk, honey

Dinner smoothie: frozen berries, frozen sweet green peas, green juice (Bolthouse Farms), almond butter, oatmeal

Dinner smoothie: frozen berries, frozen sweet green peas, green juice (Bolthouse Farms), almond butter, oatmeal

Return to smoothies

A few months in to being in Vancouver and my diet is not as healthy as it should be. Granted, I’ve felt better than ever. Occasionally eating gluten or dairy has gone without consequence. But I’m concerned that my attempt to try out at all the new and amazing looking restaurants around me — mounted with being a busy student — is going to catch up with me. 

To get myself back on track — and to do so quickly — I’ve decided to spend the weekend consuming only smoothies. Since I mix complex carbs and veggies in my smoothies, I shouldn’t be lacking any nutrition. 

I made a green smoothie this morning for breakfast. It had protein, veggies, fruit, almond milk and a mixture of probiotics, flax and chia seeds. The fruit was a bit tart but still drinkable. 

The only “cheat” for the weekend is that I had sushi for lunch. I already had plans to meet a friend and wasn’t about to break it for the sake of having a smoothie. At least the sushi was healthy and fit within my food rules. 

11.5 km Sunday morning run. 

11.5 km Sunday morning run. 

Because moving wasn’t enough mayhem

At long last, I’m writing about the whirlwind of moving across the county. Two days before my flight from Toronto to Vancouver, I came down with an incredibly sore throat. The following day, I went to a walk-in clinic downtown and the doctor — taking one look at me — diagnosed me with strep. She prescribed me with 10 days worth of penicillin and sent me on my way. 

Given how often I get sick and how commonly penicillin is prescribed, I didn’t think I would have any problems with it. The only drug I’ve experienced to react poorly with Crohn’s is cloxacillin. The pharmacist upon receiving my scrip and hearing about my “allergy” warned that penicillin and cloxacillin are in the same family and could result in the same problems. I took the risk anyway. Poor choice on my part. 

Hours after my first dose, I was in the bathroom. Effectively everything I consumed that day was flushed out of me thanks to the penicillin. With my flight the following afternoon, I was worried, to say the least. 

Thankfully the pharmacist turned out to be a saint. I called her first thing in the morning and she contacted the doctor, found an alternative antibiotic — azithromycin — and had the new prescription sent to my local drugstore. Sending it to the new store was crucial since there was no way I could make it downtown and then to the airport. 

I made it to my flight without any problems, and about six hours later I was standing in my new, unfurnished apartment. Never a dull moment.