Saturday, October 1, 2016

Elemental Diet Rules

So, this diet starts the way most Crohn's diets start - with a liquid diet, but there's a twist. Instead of three days, you are supposed to stay on the liquid diet for two to three weeks. Also, instead of Ensure, you are supposed to use the elemental diet. There are several products on the market, I used Peptamen 1.5 Elemental Nutrition, unflavored. The cost was high but so is the cost of Humira, so I pressed on. Peptamen is supposed to be safe for Lactose Intolerance, but it does contain whey, so I took Lactaid tablets, just to be on the safe side. My shake in the morning consists of 1 box of Peptamen, 2 or 3 tablespoons of strawberry jello, a tablespoon of Coolwhip, and just a squirt of strawberry syrup; for the rest of the day I had tea, water, grape juice, and chicken broth. By the fourth day, I was symptom free.

I stuck with just liquid for six days. Then I added rice to my broth on the seventh day. The eighth day I tried carrots, too. Thoroughly cooked carrots, to be precise. The ninth day I had mashed potatoes and everything was going well. Now, the actual diet recommends that you add one new food every four days. I have had two surgeries, so it does not take me long to find out what my reaction to food is. The tenth day I took pears and rice with me for lunch. Just a little Dole fruit cup packed in water. I was sick for the rest of the day. So pears were the first thing I marked off my list.

The diet also gives a list of safe foods that you may resume eating after your two weeks are up. Pears are on this list, so I decided to just try one new food each day. When I have something that sets me off I go back to the liquid diet for a day and then try again. I have marked off green beans, too. So far I can eat: chicken, salmon, rice, homemade mashed potatoes, rice noodles, Lactaid Milk, Daiya Products, Jello and Pretzels.

Here's the safe list:

Grains: rice, bread, egg noodles, rice noodles Fruits: banana, melon, applesauce, canned pears, avocado
Dairy: lactose-free products, or dairy in moderation with lactase supplements
Vegetables: thoroughly cooked asparagus tips,beets, carrots, mushrooms, spinach, and squash with no seeds
Meats: Lean, Tender, and Soft, preferably grilled, roasted or broiled chicken, fish, and pork
Sweets and Snacks: Gelatin and Sorbet, Plain cookies and cakes, Pretzels, and Hard Candy
Beverages: Tea, no-pulp juices, water Condiments: no restrictions

P.S. You are also supposed to give up coffee. I have cut back to one mug a day, but I need it to wake up, Tea just isn't the same.

More Later. Thanks, Heather

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