We all know what they say about best laid plans—sometimes now matter how good our intentions, things just go awry. My goal for this month was to cook dinner for myself every night. Sounds simple enough, right? I thought so too, until I came down with a mysterious stomach illness.
After weeks of discomfort, a slew of doctor’s visits and numerous tests, I found out that I have a digestive problem called gastroparesis, which is a motility problem where your food doesn’t digest as it should, making you nauseous, unable to eat many foods and always feeling uncomfortably full.
Once diagnosed with the condition, I learned I’d have to follow a very strict diet. No matter how much I want to write about new recipes for a delicious pot roast or a great salad, those are foods that I can’t really eat (at least for right now). But there is a plus side to all of this because having gastroparesis has really forced me to look at food in a different, and healthier, way. I now avoid foods that are hard to digest, such as fats, red meat, raw veggies, high-fiber foods, fried food, and many processed foods. My new eating plan is low-fat and very healthy, and it has introduced me to new recipes and new foods.
When cooking meals, I’ve learned to be creative with food and adjust recipes to make sure they won’t upset my stomach. It’s obviously not ideal, but in any situation it’s important to be able to accept the unexpected and make it work.
I’m not a doctor or a nutritionist so everything I say is from my own experience, but I have found a lot of useful information and recipes that anyone can try. One book that I found is called Eating for Gastroparesis: Guidelines, Tips & Recipes by Crystal Zaborowski Saltrelli. There are many recipes that I plan on trying such as low-fat homemade pizza, exotic smoothies, and turkey meatballs. It’s going to be a new way of cooking, but it will be a healthy one that still keeps you energized and provides you with your daily nutritional needs.
Check back every week for scrumptious stomach-friendly meal ideas I find along the way!
About Juliette Brindak
When Juliette was 10, she started a company Miss O and Friends, which aims to help young girls build self-esteem. The company is now the No. 3 "girls only" website and has over 250,000 active registered users. After graduating college in May 2011, Juliette just got her own apartment, and where else would it be, but New York City.