Sunday, December 07, 2008

So I nearly killed my husband yesterday

I didn't mean to. But this whole "cooking for Crohn's thing is really hard. And yesterday, I just got it wrong. You see, oatmeal is one of the few things that is officially considered a "good choice" for Crohn's sufferers, because it's high in soluble fiber and relatively easy to digest. It's also got some insoluble fiber, but almost everything with a nutrient does, so that can't be avoided altogether. I made oatmeal, but because I have been trying to up the nutrient content of everything we eat whenever I can, I decided to make pumpkin oatmeal. After all, he likes pumpkin and generally tolerates the orange vegetables well. So I cooked the oatmeal with half a can of pumpkin and some cinnamon and clove and topped it off with milk and a little maple syrup, which made for a delicious and balanced breakfast. I was rather proud of myself, really. A few hours later, he was in terrible pain. He spent the afternoon in bed, painfully digesting. We checked the fiber contnet of oatmeal - about 4 grams for the serving he ate, half of it soluble. That's all good, he's not supposed to have 5 grams or more in a sitting, and the more soluble the better. But then the pumpkin. Oh. Three grams of insoluble fiber. Who would have thought? It's all soft and mushy and not in the slightest bit fibrous, and it's cooked, which is supposed to help, but no. Full up of the wrong type of fiber. Shit. Back to plain oatmeal.

For those of you who CAN have all the fiber you like, and indeed probably need more than you get (most Americans don't get anywhere near the fiber they should), can I suggest adding pumpkin to your oatmeal? It's very good.



Shirley said...

Hi, I have Crohn's, too. Yes, pumpkin will knock you for a loop. It is akin to winter squashes and very fibrous. What fruits does he tolerate? I can use some cooked apples or blueberries. Oatmeal in itself can be kind of bloating I thnk, soluble or insoluble or whatnot. I only have 1/2 serving at a time. Of course, I am on low-carb, so I only eat oatmeal about once a weak, when I am sick of eggs or meat for breakfast. Also I add walnuts and make sure to chew them up well.

I started of with clear liquids, worked up to skinned breasts and the insides of baked potatoes. I was tested for lactose intolerance and gluten sensitivity, but I have neither. I cannot eat peanut butter, so I avoid soy. I eat other nut butters. I cannot eat malt, which is stuck into everything. I don't eat much processed food.
I can commisserate with you and your husband. I didn't eat any salad for 1 1/2 years. Now, maybe once or twice a week. No broccoli, no cauliflower, no spinach, no mustard greens, no beans, no lentils. No hummus! Boo-hoo. Meat, eggs, and cheese work well for me -- pasta worked better for my dad, who had Crohn's. But take heart, he lived a long, successful life and traveled all over the world despite the Crohn's. Your husband just has to find what works for him. It's trial and error.
I picked up this link from Chowhound Home Cooking.

Shirley said...

Sorry, my proofreading was lacking.

Jonathan said...

Hey, it's the husband here - weird, Shirley, I've never had a reaction to pumpkin - or squash - before. At least nothing major that I've even put 2&2 together. I really think there is some sort of "magic number" for the amount of fiber I can tolerate in a day or something. It was awful, and my Crohn's has pretty much been in remission since I had surgery five years ago. My doc is about ready to take me off remicade.

Anyhow, thanks for the advice.