Food and Recipes and How We're Doing

Food and Recipes and How We're Doing

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Since: Jun 12

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#1 Jan 4, 2013
Hi all,

I'm starting this thread as a general thread to talk about food and recipes for those of us living with diverticulitis and trying to keep our reactions to food to a minimum. It's meant to be a place where we can talk about how we're all doing living with this - what we're eating; what we're cooking; how we're feeling about it all.

I am right now sticking to no-lactose and no-gluten diet. I also try to keep my sugar intake to a minimum but haven't been super strict about it over the holidays.

A little about me: I ruptured my colon last April not knowing I had diverticulitis. I had peritonitis and had to have a colostomy bag for 8 months. I had it reversed one month ago. So I'm still recovering from surgery and gaining weight back. My sigmoid is basically gone. I had ER visit due to a partial bowel obstruction since my surgery.

This is meant to be a realm for support and sharing that is not specific to any diet but one where we can share our food ideas and experiences and talk about how we're feeling.


Since: Jun 12

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#2 Jan 4, 2013
For Anne:

Below is a recipe for peanut butter cookies that I had over the holidays and they were delicious!(They do have brown sugar, but no flour)

2.5 c. smooth peanut butter @ rm temperature
1.5 c. firmly packed light brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
2 lrg eggs
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Optional chocolate filling
10oz bittersweet chocolate (about 2 cups)
.5 c.(.25 lb) unsalted butter, cut into pieces

For cookies:
Preheat oven to 350
Place rack in center of oven

Beat peanut butter, brown sugar and baking soda on medium speed until well blended.(About 1 min.) Add the eggs and vanilla and mix until just blended.(About 25 seconds)

Shape level tablespoonfuls of dough into 1-inch balls and place them on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, 1.5 inches apart. Using a glass or cup that's dusted with rice flour or all-purpose flour if you're not gluten-free), press down lightly on the balls to flatten them a bit. Bake one sheet at a time until cookies are puffed and crackled but still moist looking.(About 11 minutes.) Transfer cookie sheet to a rack to cool about 10 minutes, after cooling, transfer cookies to a rack and let cool completely.

For chocolate filling (optional). Meltt chocolate and butter in microwave or double burner, or heat proof bowl set in simmering water and stir until smooth. Let cool for for 20-30 mins.

Assemble chocolate sandwiches by turning one cookie over and spooning 2 tsps of the chocolate filling into center of cookie. Top with 2nd cookie, flat-side down. Set on rack to cool until filling is firm: 20-30 mins.


#3 Jan 6, 2013
Hi, wow, pretty intense cookies! Here I am and hello. I could have sworn I wrote yesterday, but I guess I did not (not a good sign that I cannot remember .....). In this here my post-SCD phase my intestines are doing pretty good - my diet is not strict, but not totally off the wall, and I have been eating less frequently and hence less food - but I thought I would bounce something off you guys and see if anyone else has this problem/encumbrance. I am wracked by headaches again, and cannot figure it out. Since I have been eating fairly consistently, i.e. the same foods generally - and there are days when I have absolutely no headache at all - I don't think the headache is due to a specific food group. But the headaches are frequent right now - I'd say three days out of five, and sometimes they are fierce. There were times in my life - looking back - that I thought my headaches were due to the fluctuation in constipation and d, but that is not the case right now. Also, my blood pressure is perfect. But then, my life has been "sloppy" in that I have been having a grand time making jewelry & watching movies to the wee hours of the morning (that means like 2 a.m. in my case), and not sleeping so well, because I find it harder to fall asleep at 2 a.m. So that is my issue, currently.----AC, gastro docs are an interesting breed, some are fantastic. Please tell us what the visit was like, and what he generally thinks of food-relatedness when it comes to our issue - if you guys talk about that. You might be involved in other things. I love my gastro doc, although I sure don't love the colonoscopy I will undoubtedly have in the next few weeks to determine whether I need the surgery. The surgeon I spoke to a few months ago said a colonoscopy was no help in determining the operation factor - a CT was much better for that. Who knows. At any rate, I am thinking of asking if he can schedule the colonoscopy for late in the afternoon, that way I can get up and have tea & breakfast before I start taking that fierce liquid, instead of having it before I go to bed at night and being all consumed by worry about the early morning colonoscopy, which I cannot even spell - take care, guys.

Since: Jun 12

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#4 Jan 6, 2013
Hi Betsy-

I guess the first thing that comes to mind with the headaches is dehydration. But I'm sure you've considered that already. I've been using the powdered "EmergenC" packets with vitamin c and electrolytes lately since my ER an attempt to make sure I've got the electrolytes covered. Maybe that's an idea? I imagine there's something comparable in Germany.

Yesterday I had really bad constipation and twisted bowels; lots of cramping. It was kind of crazy. I left the house and was wincing standing in line at Peet's coffee. Couldn't do much yesterday. But I took 2 senna and a stool softener, so after that, everything came out last evening and I've been okay today since I didn't wake up feeling like I swallowed a basketball. Today, I seem fine. But now that I mention it I need to take some more electrolytes.

As for the appointment: I met with a physician's assistant first and gave her my history and then after that I met with the GI. To tell you the truth I wasn't super impressed with either of them. The PA kept asking me if I had bloody diarrhea as if it were the most common sign of diverticulitis. I kept saying nope, I don't agree that's the most common symptom. I don't have blood in my stool. Yes, I had projectile vomiting...etc. etc... They're going to test me for celiac again. We didn't actually talk a lot about diet. Next time I see them, I'll ask more about diet, I guess. I hope I test positive for celiac since it would give me some clarity, but I doubt I will. I suspect the issue with me and gluten is something the medical establishment doesn't quite understand yet. I have all the signs of celiac but I had a test once and it came out negative.

Those peanut butter cookies are great. I've been craving them since I had them over Christmas. I didn't try them with the chocolate filling.

Disclaimer: this is not a good salad if you're having an attack. Just my food report:

Today I made a chicken salad with:
about 2 cups chopped chicken breast
about 1 cup chopped celery
about 3/4 cup dried cranberries
about 3/4 cup pecan halves coarsely chopped
about 1/2 mayo (mine was homemade)
about 1T honey
about 1/2 T apple cider vingegar
salt and pepper

Play with the amts of the honey and vinegar to get it to your liking. Good with rice crackers or on a bed of greens.

I made some roasted eggplant dip, too. This is a diver-friendly recipe.
1. Cut a globe eggplant in half, poke some holes in it and put it face side down on some parchment on a cookie sheet with a rim, and stick it under the broiler for about 25 minutes
2. Peel off the charred skin when it cools.
3. Plop it in a food processor with a few cloves of garlic (to your taste)
4. Plus about a half teaspoon of cumin
5. And about a quarter to a half cup of tahini
6. And as much parsley or flat-leaf parsley as you want
7. And the juice of one lemon
8. Let 'er rip in the cuisinart until everything is puréed.
9. Add salt and pepper to taste.

This is a nice safe dip for post surgery in my opinion. The chicken salad is more questionable due to the nuts and celery.


Montréal, Canada

#5 Jan 6, 2013
spending more time indoors than usual can give you a headache...less fresh air, less exercise (walking around outdoors...)???


#6 Jan 7, 2013
yeah, nat, you nailed it - I really think that is it. I have not been out enough, have not walked enough. Will shoot out the door in a sec. don't really feel like it on account of one of my most beloved people in the world dying yesterday. My cousin. In Orange County, CA. She was my guiding light. She had a real battle with an ugly cancer, and the last stretch was long. 3 months. So today I do not feel like going out. But since I need to, I will.--- And also I have not been eating until late in the day, like 2 pm or so my first meal. Worked fine on SCD. And now it is not working.- Two beautiful recipes, AC. The chicken salad would be fine with me, intestine wise, the eggplant recipe would not on account of the garlic, which throws my intestines into a twist.--- And you know, you are right, I should not have bragged about all gastro docs, it is just the one gastro doc I love. The others are sort of clueless. And bloody stool sounds more like UC or Crohn's, or whatever, like she was lumping everything together or what? How do they even test for celiac - is that the one where they take a sample during a colonoscopy? I have heard that frequently - people seeming and feelig like they have celiac disease, but not testing for it. The meds have a weird way of reading numbers sometimes. So black and white. And nothing is black and white.--- At any rate, we can commiserate with our upcoming colonoscopies, why don't we just call them colies?

Etobicoke, Canada

#7 Jan 7, 2013
Hi guys. Betsy..sorry to hear about your headaches. Not sure what it could be but Nat is right about the fresh air so maybe it could be that. Also, so sorry to hear about your cousin. That is also difficult for you to go through and could also be contributing. Also you have had the change in diet again so everything put together with all the stress you have had might have triggered the headaches. Also, wanted to comment on the timing of your colonoscopy. My last one was in the afternoon at 3:00 p.m. and it was horrendous because I still had to quit eating the whole day before so my last meal was in the late evening (or I could have gotten up in the middle of the night to have something) because I had to go the entire day before without food and then had to be at the hospital by about 1:00 p.m. the next day and the procedure was scheduled for 3:00 p.m. and by the time I got out of there it was after 5:00 p.m. so it turned into almost 2 days without food and mine was only a sigmoidoscopy not a full colonoscopy. Not sure if it would be that way over there but I would take an early morning test over the afternoon any time.

AC..thanks for the recipes. I am wondering if I can substitute the brown sugar for honey as I am not eating that type of sugar on the SCD. I think my problem with the ones I made last time was that I thought the batter was too runny so added more almond flour and ended up with a really dry mess. I am going to try the ones in Elain's book again as they were much better than the last ones I tried. I also shouldn't have tried to modify the recipe myself so probably my own fault they didn't turn out very well. Your other recipes sound good too but still afraid of the raw veggies and nuts (unless finely ground to a flour) so maybe after I have been settled down for longer, I will give them a try. Also, if you have not been eating gluten for awhile, how are they going to test for Celiac. I read that the test will not be accurate for celiac unless you are still eating wheat. Have you been eating it again?

Take care all!

Etobicoke, Canada

#8 Jan 7, 2013 is what I read about the celiac testing:

"People with celiac disease have higher than normal levels of certain autoantibodies—proteins that react against the body's own cells or tissues—in their blood. To diagnose celiac disease, doctors will test blood for high levels of anti-tissue transglutaminase antibodies (tTGA) or anti-endomysium antibodies (EMA). If test results are negative but celiac disease is still suspected, additional blood tests may be needed.

Before being tested, one should continue to eat a diet that includes foods with gluten, such as breads and pastas. If a person stops eating foods with gluten before being tested, the results may be negative for celiac disease even if the disease is present."

You might have to start eating wheat again for awhile before they can do the testing. Also, I have never heard of bloody diarhea being a common symptom of diverticular disease. Some people might have it but I don't think it is common. I agree with Betsy that that sounds more like UC or Crohns.

Since: Jun 12

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#9 Jan 7, 2013
Thanks for that info, Anne.

It's funny, I asked the nurse if I needed to be eating gluten before the test and she said no, it didn't matter. I wonder though. I thought it was necessary, too.

I agree that the bloody diarrhea sounds more like Crohn's to me. I wasn't sure where she was coming from with that.

Here's my food report for the day:
Had yogurt and sugarless jam for bkfast.
Warmed up leftover roast chicken and roast butternut squash with mushroom sauce for lunch.
Ditto lunch for dinner.
Went to a class.
Defrosted chicken soup for post-class snack.

I eat so much chicken it's kind of unbelievable.

I was wondering if people have opinions about eating before bed. I have read that some people think it's very unhealthy to eat before bed. But I have a hard time falling asleep on an empty stomach. What do other people think?

Anne, I think you could switch out the brown sugar with honey. You probably just need a little less honey and might need to cook them a bit less long since honey can burn, no?


#10 Jan 8, 2013
Hi guys, Anne - thnx for the description of the 3 pm colonoscopy, I think you are right - 12 hours without food, so unless you get up at 3 am and eat, you are right - you stop at supper, and then the day, etc. I will bear that in mind.--- A propos recipes, I found it very difficult to modify recipes on SCD, one little bit too runny & then more flour and you throw the whole recipe off and it becomes "inedible", and you waste the expensive ingredients; you do the whole thing and stick to the measurements and it turns out fine. I agree with AC, honey for brown sugar and you are good to go.

I agree with that celiac testing thing, I read that, too - you have to continue to eat "normally" for them to be able to test, otherwise it throws the test off.

AC, I think that whole - do not eat before going to bed - thing is a myth. Especially if you have been in class, you are all revved up and have burned calories. I cannot sleep if I am hungry, either. And if I have cold feet. I sleep much sounder when my feet are warm. So there. How's that for a scientific approach? You know, Germans also like to say that if you want to loose weight you should skip the evening meal, and Weight Watchers did away with that myth ages ago, saying that the calorie did not care when it was burned.... Just like the old "you must eat breakfast" to lose weight - I know more skinny people who DON'T eat breakfast. I get headaches when I eat something sweet at night - but protein is fine. And a propos headaches, I do not have one today. I think they also have to do with semi-constipation after switching from no-carbs to carbs. So I am loading up on fruit and raw vegetables (fennel) and oat bran.

Since: Jun 12

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#11 Jan 8, 2013
I was just looking at the celiac tests they ordered for me and I think that nurse was wrong when she said I didn't need to be eating wheat gluten.

I'm going to go back on gluten for a while now and then have the tests. I didn't get the labs done that day since my next appointment isn't until March. So...back to gluten for me!

I can't sleep without socks...and I can't sleep on an empty belly. Not easily anyway. Eating yogurt before bed seems to be a good thing. I used to have toast before bed. Maybe i'll go back to that before my test.


Mississauga, Canada

#12 Jan 8, 2013
Hey AC..your diet sounds a lot like mine. I have eaten mainly chicken for almost 3 years and I am surprised that I haven't started clucking when I talk. I too am still doing the yogurt and love it. Can't make enough of it. After I make a batch of the small jars, the next day I make a big batch in a 7 cup bowl and then usually turn it into greek yogurt. I have this really neat berry bowl that I got through work. It is a plastic bowl with a colander that fits inside of it. A large coffee filter fits inside that perfectly so after my large bowl of yogurt is done, I refrigerate it for a couple of hours then pop about half of it into the berry bowl with the coffee filter and all the whey drains out into the bottom below the colander (I have to empty it a few times) and voila..thick homemade greek yogurt.

Betsy..glad you don't have a headache today. That is brutal to have them constantly. I think a lot of changes can do that so hopefully they are gone. I think when I changed from gluten free to SCD I had a few and I don't usually get them. Today for me was a nausea day. Been pretty good lately so don't know what triggered it. There is a lot of flu going around the office and thought I was OK but who knows..maybe just a bug. Guess it will be a gravol night tonight.

Wanted to share one of my favorite recipes. It is for Cheddar Biscuits (SCD) and I have made them several times. Mine come out flat so I use them like toast and put peanut butter on them or I poach a couple of eggs and put the eggs on top. They are really easy.

Mine don't come out like the picture, they are a lot smoother and flatter..not sure why but I like them better because you can pop them in the toaster as they are not as bumpy and you don't have to slice them :-).

Hope all is well with everyone. Take care!

Lubbock, TX

#13 Jan 8, 2013
AC, they recommend the equivalent of 1-2 slices of bread per day for 2 weeks before being tested for celiac disease if you are doing blood antibodies, longer if you are doing a biopsy. The nurse is absolutely incorrect. Celiac disease gliadin antibodies respond rapidly to a gluten free diet, and you will get a false negative if you are gluten free when tested. That is how they test compliance to the diet in people with celiac - they do a repeat blood test to verify that the antibody levels have fallen.

I eat before going to bed most nights. Sometimes it causes a little reflux, but usually doesn't give me a problem. Eating causes anxiety for me sometimes now, so I find if I eat and then fall asleep, by morning I have digested my food and don't have to worry! Gaviscon is a good bedtime food "chaser" if you have acid reflux problems. The Canadian version can be mail ordered and is aluminum free.

Since: Jun 12

Location hidden

#14 Jan 9, 2013
Hi Mary,

Thank you for the information. I bought some bread yesterday and had a sandwich and toast last night as well as a cheese roll during the day. Today I woke up and feel like I swallowed a basketball again. Totally stopped up. But I had risotto for dinner last night too. Anyway, nothing is moving.

Not really looking forward to two weeks of this to tell you the truth.

I'm not sure I'll go through with it all if it puts me at risk for constipation and another intestinal blockage. Those things are so miserable.

I'm on the fence now...

Lubbock, TX

#15 Jan 9, 2013
AC, I'm so sorry! You know, there are some people on the celiac boards who are "self diagnosed" because it was just too hard for them to go back to eating gluten for the testing. It is true that once you go off, your immune system begins to recover and the response is more severe if you go back on gluten. It's so weird, but even the tiniest amount now causes such severe abdominal symptoms.

Since: Jun 12

Location hidden

#16 Jan 9, 2013
Hi Mary,

If possible, I'd really like to have a formal diagnosis. I tried a celiac test last March and it came out negative. I was eating gluten for two weeks and felt lousy. Then I backed off of it. And one night I shared a pizza with a friend since I got a negative diagnosis. The next day I was doubled over in pain and the day after that I ruptured my colon. I told them (in the ER) about the pizza...and the cornbread I made the following day and they basically laughed at me and said gluten can't cause diverticulitis and wouldn't have contributed to the rupture. But after everything that happened I still have this question hanging over me about whether I'm celiac or not. But I fit the profile: skinny, northern european (swedish/english), and I have lots of celiac symptoms - but the only diagnosis I have is diverticulitis.

The thing is I love toast. I just love it. But I was sooo out of it today. I slept in the afternoon. Totally constipated in the morning. Had to take senna. Then diarrhea...But I had risotto last night, so maybe that was it?

I had a chicken sandwich on toast this afternoon. Then more toast tonight after dinner. Now I'm constipated again. Time for more senna. I don't know if I could do this. I found a site where they said that 75% of people who are celiac will test positive after the sort of test you describe, but that more effectively, you'd need to be on gluten for 6 -8 weeks. I just had more toast and honestly I can feel a headache starting.

It's weird how when you go off it, it's so much worse when you start eating it again.


#17 Jan 10, 2013
Hey AC, I was thinking - I think you jumped in too fast with the bread. I think it may be better to introduce the real glutenous carbs with stuff like potatoes and rice and maybe oat bran, rather than bread. Bread is such a mish-mash of many things, including yeast - and then there is the issue of whether it is made of wheat or not, and then whole wheat or not - and I think the other carbs are gentler on the system. I mean, I am sort of just making this up after reading what you wrote - but it is what happened to me, too, after leaving away the carbs for 3 months. Initially there is this shock, and you become constipated (and that leads to the headaches, I think)- but the other stuff can un-constipate you. Have you tried our legendary oat bran cooked like oat meal yet? With butter and honey or brown sugar and some milk drizzled over it? Maybe that would be too fibrous, but I think it maybe easier on the system.--- And don't forget, when you are having that chicken sandwich you are mixing carbs & proteins, that could be sort of hard on the system, too. While I believe that re-introducing the carbs is important before your test for celiac disease (and could you tell me, is the biopsy done during your colonoscopy?)- maybe there is an easier way to introduce them there carbs. Like maybe even pancakes? That does not take a ton of flour.--- I am sort of better, no headache today, the other day, yes. Made myself some bran muffins but added sugar to them and that was stupid, am in pain today. Stoopit, stoopit. But no headache.--- The tax lady came yesterday, we had a good talk. I will end up paying a couple hundred dollars, I can hear Deb say shut up and pay it and be happy it was not worse .... and it is true. Actually it was a good conversation, she listened intently and we figured out where I had made a mistake (VAT tax). And then she told me that the couple hundred dollars I will be paying are tax deductible (?), so that was fair of her. Like money in the bank, haha. Take care girls.--- Saw all of Downton Abbey, first series, last night and absolutely loved it. Like early 20th century Borgen, AC, you might like it to.

Etobicoke, Canada

#18 Jan 10, 2013
AC...sorry to hear about the problem with the wheat. Betsy's oatbran suggestion was great and how about avacadoes. Both are soluable fiber so should be gentle but help. I also use fennel tea sometimes when I need to get things moving and find it helps. Hope you don't have to resort to laxatives but guess you have to try and get things moving to prevent another blockage. Maybe just adding the wheat a little bit at a time would be better than overdoing it.

Betsy..glad your visit with the tax lady went well and good that you don't have to pay too much. That should take a load off you and good that it didn't cause a headache.

Downton Abbey is one of my favourites. Watched Season 1 and 2 last year and Season 3 started on Sunday. I had taped it so watched it this week and it is great! I love everything that takes place in England. Pride and Prejudice with Colin Firth was also one of my favourite mini series.

Take care all and hope everyone feels better soon.

Since: Jun 12

Location hidden

#19 Jan 10, 2013
Hi everyone:

I feel better today. Thanks for the tips. I'm going to try and get an answer out of the gastro doc as to how long he thinks I should stay on the gluten.

Betsy, that's great news about the $200. I mean who wants to pay $200? But that's not so bad at all in the grand scheme of things. But jeeze, I'm amazed that Germany will send someone to your house for that small of an amount. I mean here, the cost of that alone would have negated the $200 for sure.

I'm on to season 3 of Downton Abbey, too! My sister and I had a special dinner last Sunday and watched it together on her big screen. Lots of fun. Love that show. I'll check out the Pride and Prejudice with Colin Firth.

My latest TV addiction is the show, "The Closer". It's a little goofy, but fun, and in keeping with my crime compulsion. I'm watching it on Amazon prime. Kyra Sedgwick is great in it.

Etobicoke, Canada

#20 Jan 10, 2013
The Closer is another of my faves too. Wish it wasn't ending this year. If you like crime you watch Criminal Minds. Thats another one I don't miss. Also started watching Justified. I don't get the original channel it is aired on so when I see it, it is a season behind but another good one! I also only read crime novels (most of the time) with a few Sophie Kinsella thrown in for some variety now and then.

Glad you are feeling better and hope the doc can give you some answers.

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