But - good news - I am able to eat a larger variety of foods now. And along the way, I've found a few hacks and foods that I can tolerate. Some of these gastritis hacks are also "healthy alternatives" to some not-so-healthy foods. So even if you're not dealing with a damaged stomach, you may want to stick around to learn some healthy food hacks.
Disclaimer before I get into it - These are foods I can tolerate. Everyone with gastritis/stomach issues is different. I'm also about 7 months into treatment.
This first one is something you may already know if you follow me on Instagram. (Shameless plug - follow me @FloridaMommyDiaries.)
(Also, as I insert this post's photos I feel the need to say this post is not sponsored by or affiliated with any brand. I just really love the dairy-free Reddi-Wip!)
Easy Sweet Potato Dessert
It's super simple, quick, and easy to make. Just bake (or nuke) a sweet potato, cut it open, and add some Dairy-Free Coconut Milk Reddi-Wip on top. It tastes almost like a sweet potato casserole or pie. But way fewer calories/sugar. And gastritis friendly.
French fries. I haven't been crazy about them since I had my son (I couldn't stand ANYTHING potato while I was pregnant). But...of course once I can't have them, I want them. I now make a version I can tolerate at home. I cut up a potato into wedges, toss it in olive oil (an oil I can tolerate) and salt, and bake it in the toaster oven at 450 degrees for 45 minutes. They're so good that my husband even prefers them.
Banana with Coconut Sugar
This is a "dessert," although I like my desserts sugary with chocolate or ice cream...this is something sweet that I can tolerate. And it's a bit healthier than an ice cream sundae. I simply cut a banana lengthwise, sprinkle some coconut sugar over it, and toast it in the toaster oven until the sugar caramelizes.
I use avocado for everything. Mash it up and pretend it's a less flavorful guac. Avocado toast has become a staple. I also mash it up and mix it with salt and olive oil to make a creamy pasta "sauce."
The top three things I miss are the three C's - cheese, chocolate, and coffee. I haven't found an alternative to cheese yet. But I have found alternatives for chocolate (hang in there, I'll get there) and coffee. Apparently, they make coffee alternatives that are caffeine-free. Do they really taste like coffee? Eh. Kaffree Roma (I tried several brands, this was the one I liked best) tastes a little bit like airplane coffee (you know, that coffee you get on an airplane that ranges from awful to so-so). But add in some almond milk creamer (they even make a pumpkin spice flavor now!) and top it with either the coconut milk Reddi-Wip or almond milk Reddi-Wip and it's as close as you're going to get to coffee without having...well...coffee.
This is the chocolate alternative. I remembered buying a dog we had years ago dog cookies made out of safe-for-dogs people food. They looked like chocolate chip cookies. But the "chocolate chips" were carob chips. So I set out to look for carob treats. Again, it doesn't taste like chocolate on its own. But a local grocery store (shout out to Publix) carries carob covered raisins and carob covered almonds. The carob covered raisins taste most like chocolate covered raisins. The almonds...meh. They're not bad but they definitely don't taste like chocolate covered almonds.
- When eating out, look at the restaurant's menu online beforehand if you can. It will make it less overwhelming if you plan out what you're going to order ahead of time since, most likely, you will have to ask the server to leave out a few ingredients. (Or ask them to put them on the side - which is what I do.)
- Breakfast is one of the easiest things to order when eating out. Egg whites are a good option. And if all else fails - pancakes.
- Grab and go snacks can be hard to find. I can tolerate:
- Harvest Snaps Lightly Salted