If you have Crohn's disease, you may be viewing the approach of Thanksgiving with edgy trepidation and a jaded eye. For those unfamiliar with Crohn's, even small dietary missteps can cause agony. This can really put a damper on the festivities.
But it's possible to protect yourself during this family feast. Know your enemy. That is to say, know your food triggers. And then avoid them like the poison they are.
The list of potential food triggers varies from one Crohn's sufferer to another. If you're doing the cooking, make no apologies for the fact that your menu is going to be biased in your favor.
And if you're the guest, don't be shy about providing your host and chef with a complete list of foods that make you sick as well as some great substitutes.
If your triggers are dairy products, you're going to want to skirt around the pumpkin pie and whipped cream. Mashed potatoes? Might be okay if skins are removed and milk, cream and butter are left out.
Depending on how the turkey is prepared, you may be able to safely indulge in the bird. If pepper poses a problem, don't fret. A turkey can be a thing of beauty even without a dusting of crushed pepper.
Stuffing can be prepared in lots of different ways. If whole grains are a problem maybe rice is all right. Toss some ideas around.
Leave out any dangerous ingredients, feel free to make substitutions, and be praised as a creative cook.
If gravy is indigestible, a slicker of the juices from the turkey may be just the touch. If you know that's going to make you sick, feel free to ignore my idea -- or any of my ideas. I'll understand.
Broccoli and cauliflower are often autumn side dishes. If cruciferous veggies double you over, perhaps cooked carrots or peas can take their place.
Pumpkin pie may be the traditional Thanksgiving dessert, but there's no rule that says you have to serve it or eat it.
A dinner table with more than one type of dessert on it is a decadent looking table indeed. And the agony of choosing between two great dishes is far superior to the agony of the gut pain that comes with eating a Crohn's Surprise.