July 1st marked my 31st birthday. I naturally found myself reflecting upon the last year and thought it would be appropriate to share a personal update with you:
Some of my happiest memories in life have been whilst travelling; enjoying new experiences and embracing different cultures. Since my diagnosis, I lost the travel bug. This was mainly because a huge part of travelling (for me) is sampling the host country’s cuisine but I also became quite anxious of not being able to eat whilst travelling. This is a legitimate fear for anyone who has to follow a particular diet but gastroparesis adds a further layer of complexity because there is no such thing as a ‘gastroparesis diet’. I cannot tell a restaurant or hotel that I am gluten free, or dairy free or nut free. It is hard enough to explain to friends, colleagues and family what I can and cannot eat:
Not very spicy food; low-ish fat (40g/day); low-ish fibre (15g/day); I also try and avoid refined sugar, dairy and eat low-gluten foods when possible. All vegetables (including potatoes) must be well cooked (soft) and peeled. I cannot eat the following: seeds, nuts, granola, beans/legumes (except red kidney beans), brown or wild rice, raw vegetables, salad leaves, berries, broccoli, brussel sprouts, coconut, corn, green beans, kale, figs or oranges.
I can see them (understandably) thinking: ‘Well, what can you eat then?!’