My Foodie Secrets

Food!!! What is a better topic than food? Not much.

Well, as much as I love food, it has often been my enemy.

Before I go on about how excited I am to start this section of my website, I thought I’d give you a little glimpse into what got me here.

When I was a kid, I would frequently have to come home from school from chronic stomach cramps. Over and over I was told that I had irritable bowl (IBS). I’ve known first hand how bad IBS can be, because myself and people close to me have dealt with it. But I always knew it was more than that. After all, I missed nearly a month of my grade 5 year and from there on out had bouts of missing school throughout my teenage years.

Things got pretty bad in my junior year of high school. I was spending every evening sleeping if I wasn’t at dance- and when I actually made it to dance class, I often was unmotivated and overly tired. My weekends consisted of falling asleep by 9pm, and I rarely made it out of the house. I didn’t notice the change at the time, but my friends started to wonder why I wasn’t around so much. In my senior year of high school, I began to really struggle as I missed over 30 days of my final term. I found myself anxious and beginning to search for answers.

Then came the night of the snowstorm at the Willee O’ Ree rink. Shout out to my friends who helped me through this one. I was violently ill and in excruciating pain only after being at the game for 15 minutes. I ended up at the ER, where doctors swarmed around me to figure out what was wrong.

I was so delirious from the pain that Amanda, who was with me at the time, watched me walk down the hall with my butt hanging out of my hospital gown (and this has remained one of the funniest but most humiliating moments of my life). All jokes aside, this is what sparked the doctors interest into finally starting to search for the answers I was looking for.

Shortly after I graduated I was sent for multiple tests, and was assigned to a gastroenterologist. As we walked into the office awaiting the results, I remember almost being excited because it finally meant some peace of mind. He casually, and calmly told my mother and I that I had ulcerative colitis (a disease that is caused by the inflammation of the colon).

I was relieved.

Most people are probably thinking- why are you happy you were diagnosed with a bowel disease?

Well, after being in chronic pain for so many years, it felt nice to have answers. Even if that meant that I would have to deal with this for the rest of my life, at least I’d know what to call it.

I have to admit, I didn’t really take it seriously at the time. Not only was I told that I had colitis, but I was told I had allergies to wheat, yeast, lactose (dairy), caffeine and many more. I was being told that I had to change almost everything about my lifestyle, and despite being in pain a lot, I wasn’t quite ready to change everything I’d ever known.

About a year later I really had to get my shit together. I was unhealthy, often eating food that I was allergic to, and still battling with chronic stomach pain.

It was time for me to step up and take care of myself. I began going to get monthly shots of B12 (as my body doesn’t absorb it naturally due to the inflammation) and continued to do so for my entire undergrad. I cut out wheat, I cut out dairy (well- except chocolate), and I started being way more careful with alcohol and what I put in my body.

Not only is colitis often looked at as a gross disease, but people often disregard wheat and lactose allergies as even being real. It was hard to accept who I am, and deal with the massive horse- size pills I have to take every day.

But, as I get older, and understand more about who I am and how I can take care of myself better- I find that I am happier. Yes, I am tired a lot and get anxious about going anywhere without planning out how I am going to eat/ routes of escape etc; but it could be a lot worse and I have a lot to be thankful for.

With that all being said, I have spent many years trying new recipes, and new ways of cooking. I have spent so many hours in the kitchen (and my mom thank u ilu) trying to find ways to make it possible for me to be able to have my favourite foods- without the wheat and dairy.

So, this page is for me to tell you about my favourite recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and all my favourite products. Plus dessert of course. And while I pop into shops and restaurants, I’ll share with you my favourite things on the menu and things to look out for.

I hope you enjoy! xx

ash

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